EUROCALL 2014

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Implementation and Student Reception of Tablet PC based Annotation and Mark-up of Compositions

One significant technological advance that was made by the introduction of tablet PCs such as the iPod was the integration of a large touch-screen in a hand-held device. While a distinct advantage of the tablet over desktop or laptop computers is its mobility, it does not distinguish itself primarily as a communication, playback, recording, or reading medium. Rather, it is the combination of mobility and touch-sensitivity that gives a tablet PC the unique capability of accommodating — in addition to typing — the input of free-form, handwritten, and drawing gestures on a horizontally placed canvas. This is the natural orientation we are used to from paper & pencil grading of student compositions. With the tablet, the screen acts as the paper, the stylus replaces the pencil. Here is where the similarities end and the potential of the tablet for increasing pedagogical sophistication as well as optimizing the draft and revision process begins.

Compositions by students in an upper division German course at the college level will serve as an example for the pedagogical approach to grading process writing on the iPad. Substantial consideration will be given to functions in the grading application that make mini-grammar style feedback via voice-recorded annotations possible — a feat that cannot be accomplished by paper & pencil mark-up. The palette of tools is not limited to highlighters and pens, but extended by a collection of preset symbols and stamps that can be customized by the instructor. The presenter will report results from an ongoing survey of beginning and intermediate level students who were asked to compare paper versus tablet based grading for effectiveness of feedback as well as to rate the efficiency of online submission workflows. Diagrams will illustrate available options for the management of the electronic draft and revision process. A feature comparison of popular iPad and Android mark-up apps such as iAnnotate, and pdfPen will be provided.

Author(s):

Bernd Conrad    
Global Languages and Cultures
Northern Arizona University
United States

Dr. Bernd Conrad is Associate Professor of German, CALL specialist, and Coordinator of the lower division German program at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona.

 

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