In 2010, Pepperdine University's Information Technology staff members worked with Pepperdine faculty to assess the effectiveness of the iPad as a learning tool. Exploratory research began in fall 2010, and continued in spring 2011 and ended with an quasi-experiemental design in fall 2011. The study compared student learning outcomes in the control and experiment sections for each course. The iPad research team reviewed feedback from faculty and students involved in the study and assessed the impact the iPad has on learning.
The research team worked to answer two specific questions:
- Do the iPads have the potential to enhance students' performance on course learning objectives?
- Can we develop a formula for success?
iPad Workshops for Faculty
Our iPad Research Study came to a close December 2011. The Technology and Learning group are available to provide full technical and pedagogical support to faculty looking to use technology in the classroom.
This research initiative was conducted by Information Technology in line with the desire to use technology to purposefully enhance teaching and learning at Pepperdine University. This initiative also coincided with the division's goal to provide 'anytime, anywhere' technological services to the campus community.
What is the iPad Research Study?
In August 2010, Pepperdine University launched a three-term study to assess the iPad's potential in the education sector. The fall 2010 and spring 2011 academic terms were used for exploratory research to inform an experimental research design. An experimental research design was used in the fall 2011 term to assess the iPad's potential to enhance student learning outcomes.
Throughout each term, this study compared technology use and engagement for students in two sections of the same course; one section is loaned iPads and while the other section uses various computing devices. Undergraduate and graduate courses were included in the study as well a variety of disciplines including religion, math, business, law, and health.
Data was collected throughout each term with pre and post-term student surveys, classroom observations, and focus groups for every iPad and non-iPad course section. The research team also conducted interviews with each participating faculty member after the term to collect anecdotal information to qualify the quantitative results.