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EvalTab (2014)

In EvalTab, the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning has been evaluating the use of tablet computers at university from a teaching perspective within the framework of a paperless study. In this project, both students and lecturers involved in the 2nd year degree program in Biotechnology were provided with either Apple iPads or Microsoft SurfacePro Tablets. EvalTab conducted this pilot experiment from teaching perspectives on an explorative basis initially so that the results could be validated and contextualized in online questionnaires using a control group design. An innovative phase-based approach was developed for the didactic evaluation of the teaching and learning processes arising from the use of tablet computers. In this way, the utilization of tablet computers during face-to-face teaching, self-study, exam preparation, and in the exam itself can be scientifically investigated. Equal consideration is given to the perspectives of both lecturer and student. The underlying hypothesis is that the use of tablet computers within these four distinct teaching and learning phases has clear advantages and disadvantages, and for this reason a phase-based analysis would be meaningful. Initial findings from the exploration phase show that common prejudices against the use of tablet computers, such as making it harder to read or orientate around a text, are not long-lasting. Worthy of note are the many teaching and learning practices which are made possible by the use of tablet computers.