mlearn project

Charles Sturt University's Mobile Learning Project

Compiled Student Feedback

The following feedback was garnered from the students through open comments in the surveys.

Most Useful Application

  • I found it really useful to type notes on the iPad during class
  • The note pad was the most useful application to use in class for taking notes on class topics and information on any events/assignments coming up
  • Socrative and Chalkboard in conjunction with Pages. Take notes in class and add drawings or pictures and record class video or sounds
  • We used various apps to make virtual storybooks for children where you could draw your own pictures and add words, audio and voice overs. I found this really useful and ended up using it in another class for an assignment which got really good feedback
  • uPad was the most useful as it was used in a major part of our English lessons for writing blogs, while ‘Notepad’ was great for just taking notes within a normal lecture or tutorial
  • It is such a portable device, it made it very easy to access the Wi-Fi at uni from almost anywhere
  • Looking up the syllabus and locating information quickly in class
  • It was useful for bringing up websites, syllabus documents and resources, whilst typing the assignment on my laptop or iMac
  • Getting free and paid for copies of relevant literature. Taking notes and having a to-do list was also great
  • Quick easy access to the internet. Just ability to quickly search things online
  • Research
  • Taking notes during lectures and tutorials
  • Resources such as eBooks
  • Using IWB (Interactive White Board) to show the class
  • Creating content
  • Learning how to use technology
  • Completing our assigned English text types
  • Socrative and Slideshow lectures, like Slideshark

Positive Benefits

  • Less likely to carry laptop around with me. Also helped with study, where I had the Laptop or iMac on with the word processing document and used the iPad to find websites/resources. Made the screen less cluttered and more organised study.
  • The iPad made it easier to carry and store information rather than carrying a book/ Subject Outline to class and writing
  • Easy access to PDF files
  • Loved being able to relax in an armchair and do reading for uni!!!  My husband adored being able to do internet shopping from his armchair instead of going to the computer; it was also great for sharing stuff with others in an informal environment
  • being able to look up each K-6 syllabus was much easier than bringing all the books to class and being able to quickly look up things to assist me during class was really good
  • Allowed me to get away from the desk, and don’t need textbooks
  • Use while travelling
  • Not having to carry book to class, recorded notes on ipad

Problems & Issues

  • Giving the iPad back
  • Typing is slow for assignments, which I solved by connecting a wireless keyboard. Apart from that, some lecturers seemed to assume iPads were being used for things other than study in class/lectures and were perhaps not familiar with the possibilities of their use
  • Some of the activities that we were required to do were time consuming as we were not competent with using the iPad to begin with, for example, drawing, labelling and creating graphs. These activities would have been better done on paper as it would have been easier and taken less time
  • Issues with apps and the distraction of the iPad during lectures and tutorials
  • I had to learn a lot of new technology and felt I spent a fair bit of time learning about the technology rather than applying myself to the subject, but that is what happens when you use new technology
  • Finding it hard to work around uPad. Some of the little things that I wanted to do but couldn’t was annoying
  • Losing work due to silly mistakes like clicking the red button in the corner by accident and not being able to retrieve the work
  • deleting info by accident, there was no way of getting it back such as the undo button on Word
  • screen too small to type all info, keypad covers the page where you need to type and you cannot see what you’re typing – frustrating at times
  • Was hard to do assignments on
  • The iPad is distracting when there is such easy access to internet and social networking apps.
  • Internet access on placements
  • Sometimes the CSU Internet wouldn’t work for days on end on the iPad, but I think this was an issue with the Wi-Fi rather than the iPads as it didn’t happen to just me
  • Difficulty with university WiFi not being able to connect for intermittent periods of times

Where should CSU go from here

  • An increase in the availability of more tablet-friendly course content such as online lecture videos and eBooks.
  • I think that iPads should be subsidised or given to all students in education courses. I know the Apple store offers a 10% discount for uni students, but the way things are going with smart boards and the increase of technology in classrooms, it seems that without one, students are being left behind. Not all of us can afford to purchase them, so if the uni gave them to students (with the exception that leaving students need to hand them back) and allowed graduating students to keep them, not only would it improve student ability to learn, but open up massive possibilities for teaching staff
  • If iPads were utilised appropriately I think they would be a great device for students to use at University but due to the easy access to internet, social networking, search engines and YouTube they are too distracting within the classroom
  • To educate students in the use of different technology mediums
  • I think that having an iPad for uni would be extremely useful and I think everyone would agree that they would much rather carry it around than textbooks and other learning materials for their subjects, although I don’t think assignments should be set by lecturers that specify having to use the iPad. There should still be an option.
  • I think we need to continue the iPad learning experience
  • More facilities
  • I believe giving out small laptops, such as high schools have been given, would be more appropriate and will have more use personally and for study.
  • I’m not sure if the iPad was the only factor in this, but in my class I went from a Pass in previous sessions to a Distinction. I think that my skills and knowledge were better displayed in my assignment

Most Important lesson

  • That everything can be much simpler! Aside from typing an essay or notes, the iPad made studying significantly easier, quicker and simpler. To be honest I think it was wrong that the university didn’t offer to at least subsidise purchase of these for students who were in the trial, because it changed the way we studied and it is a big transition to go back to how we were doing it before
  • How to use an iPad for study purposes
  • That technology should not replace old methods such as using pen and paper and can be unreliable and not suited to all tasks
  • I learn a lot about using technology and how many amazing educational apps are out there
  • The ability to easily read and study on the iPad. Video lectures I downloaded were also great
  • How beneficial an iPad can be in class. I never really thought of an iPad as an educational tool but after using it for a semester I now realise how beneficial it was to my studies. Reading things online was the best thing and looking up the syllabus
  • It allowed for my education to be more interactive and engaging. It was really helpful
  • How easily you could incorporate technology into teaching a subject
  • How to take benefit by using while moving
  • you can actually type on a program on the iPad, i had no idea there were programs for iPads, although UPad is nowhere near as good as using/accessing Microsoft Word to complete assignments
  • How the iPad can be an effective marking and lecture delivery tool
  • The important role technology plays in our learning now
  • How to effectively use mobile devices to improve learning experiences
  • Classes are better with iPads
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