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Alvarez C.Brown C. (2011)

Comparative study of netbooks and tablet PCs for fostering face-to-face collavorative learning

Computers in Human Behavior, 27, 2, 834-844,

Tipo de publicación: ISI UC
Departamento: Ciencia de la Computación

Centros: Centro de Estudios de Políticas y Prácticas en Educación
Áreas: Psicología Experimental , Psicología Multidisciplinaria
Palabras clave: collaboration 1:1 , comparative study , face-to-face computer supported collaborative learning , netbooks , tablets , technology in the classroom. Ver publicación


With the recent appearance of netbooks and low-cost tablet PCs, a study was undertaken to explore their potential in the classroom and determine which of the two device types is more suitable in this setting. A collaborative learning activity based on these devices was implemented in 5 sessions of a graduate engineering course of 20 students, most of whom were aged 22 to 25 and enrolled in undergraduate computer science and information technology engineering programs. Student behavior attributes indicating oral and gesture-based communication were observed and evaluated. Our findings indicate that in the context in which this study was undertaken, tablet PCs strengthen collective discourse capabilities and facilitate a richer and more natural body language. The students preferred tablet PCs to netbooks and also indicated greater self-confidence in expressing their ideas with the tablet’s digital ink and paper technology than with the netbooks’ traditional vertical screen and keyboard arrangement.