Bioscience Education Research Group, Institute of Membrane and Systems Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom.
This article reports findings from a study investigating undergraduate biological sciences students' use of technology and computer devices for learning and the effect of providing students with a tablet device. A controlled study was conducted to collect quantitative and qualitative data on the impact of a tablet device on students' use of devices and technology for learning. Overall, we found that students made extensive use of the tablet device for learning, using it in preference to laptop computers to retrieve information, record lectures, and access learning resources. In line with other studies, we found that undergraduate students only use familiar Web 2.0 technologies and that the tablet device did not alter this behavior for the majority of tools. We conclude that undergraduate science students can make extensive use of a tablet device to enhance their learning opportunities without institutions changing their teaching methods or computer systems, but that institutional intervention may be needed to drive changes in student behavior toward the use of novel Web 2.0 technologies.