ARCHIVED: Completed project: Tablet paperless classroom pilot

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Primary UITS contact: John Gosney

Completed: May 1, 2016

Description: To best explore the possibilities and implications of a "paperless" classroom, a variety of next-generation learning technologies, either in production or in pilot, should be integrated with other learning activities both in and outside of the classroom. To further this study, two faculty members on the IUPUI campus, along with their students, will participate in a "paperless" classroom pilot for the fall 2013 semester. Each faculty member, along with their students, will receive (pending their specific course section) either an iPad 3 or a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 for their own personal use throughout the fall semester. Students can use the tablet in the classroom, and however else they see fit to include it in their academic life. In an effort to facilitate a true "paperless" classroom, faculty will, as much as possible, deliver their curriculum (including use of eTexts) and course materials as to be accessed by the students via the tablet. Moreover, students will be encouraged to respond to assignments by utilizing the content creation/capture functionality of the devices (e.g., capturing audio/video, accessing files/programs via cloud services, and using apps designed for each type of tablet).


Some issues/questions the pilot seeks to explore:

  • With students bringing their tablets to every class meeting, the instructor will be able to fully explore the interactive functionality of the piloted technologies. For example, using an eText via Courseload, activities such as posting questions from student to instructor, student to student, and instructor to student could be explored. Students could be asked to annotate/highlight a chapter and/or ask questions prior to coming to class. Then, when everyone is logged into Courseload while in class, this could lead to more interactive discussion. This could also potentially lead to more investigation of the flipped classroom, a pedagogical approach that is continuing to gain in popularity (and is being actively utilized in courses at IU).
  • Utilization of the tablets outside the classroom is also a major consideration of this study. Since the instructor will know all students are equipped with a tablet, this could provide intriguing opportunities for collaboration outside traditional class meeting times (e.g., student groups could utilize the Adobe Connect app to meet synchronously). Also, individual students could use the tablets to capture content of some out-of-class event and then upload that content for viewing/analysis both in and outside of the classroom. Such content might then be further manipulated/explored/discussed/analyzed via integration with Courseload, Oncourse, and/or other technologies supported and piloted through IU.

Milestones and status:

  • July 2013: Faculty are selected for the fall 2013 pilot. They are:
    • Katie Stanton-Nichols, PhD
      Associate Professor, Adapted Physical Activity
      Department of Physical Education, School of Physical Education & Tourism Management
    • Dr. Roberta Lindsey
      Coordinator, Undergraduate Music Studies
      Clinical Associate Professor
      Department of Music and Arts Technology
  • Late August/early September 2013: Tablets distributed to students
  • December 2013: Surveys to be distributed to student participants, asking them to reflect on use of tablet devices across the entire semester
  • January 1, 2014: Faculty participating in the spring 2014 IUB pilot are:
    • Megan C. Mahowald, PhD, CCC-SLP
      Visiting Clinical Assistant Professor
      Robert L. Milisen Speech & Language Clinic Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences
    • Deb Getz
      Director of SPH Engage
      Applied Health Science
      School of Public Health
  • August 2014 - May 2015: Additional iPad paperless classroom pilots to be conducted for the fall 2014 and spring 2015 semesters at IUPUI. Participating faculty: Kevin Berkopes, PhD.
  • Fall 2015: Additional pilots involving both iPad and Android tablets planned for the IUPUI campus; related pilot involving Microsoft Surface tablets planned for IUB campus.

Comment process: Direct all inquiries to John Gosney, Faculty Liaison - Learning Technologies/Campus Centers for Teaching and Learning.


Some anticipated benefits of the pilot include:

  • As much as possible, the use of paper files in the classroom (both distribution of materials and the submission of student assignments) can be eliminated.
  • Given each student in each class will have a similarly configured tablet, the technology to which students have access can be definitely assumed by the instructor.
  • Extended battery life (~8 to 10 hours) and lighter weight of tablets when compared to traditional desktop or laptop computers suggests the possibility of more expanded use of the devices by students (i.e., students bringing them to campus every day).
  • Available apps for both Android and iOS platforms offer new possibilities for delivery of instruction.
  • Available access to eTexts, Oncourse, and other cloud-based services and files offers students a powerful, flexible technology platform for their coursework.

Client impact:

  • Students in participating course sections are provided a tablet for their personal use throughout the entire fall 2013 semester.
  • Faculty can fully explore the pedagogical opportunities of the paperless classroom, knowing that all students have access to their own tablet devices.

Project team:

  • Roberta Lindsey and Katie Stanton-Nichols (participating faculty)
  • UITS Learning Technologies
  • IUPUI Center for Teaching and Learning
  • Megan C. Mahowald and Deb Getz (participating faculty)
  • Kevin Berkopes (participating faculty)


  • Anastasia Morrone, PhD
    Associate Vice President for Learning Technologies
    Dean of Information Technology, IUPUI

This is document bdnx in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2018-01-18 17:33:26.

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