Computer Science Department
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


Using Handheld Devices for Tests in Classes

Franklin Chen, Brad Myers, David Yaron

July 2000

Also appears as Carnegie Mellon
Human-Computer Interaction Institute Technical Report CMU-HCII-00-101

Keywords: Handhelds, classroom, testing, Pebbles, educational technology, computer-assisted instruction (CAI), lectures

An important method of evaluating students' progress in courses is the administration of tests. The increasing availability of handheld computers, such as Palm and Windows CE devices, in conjunction with wireless networks, allows the automating of aspects of giving tests in the classroom. During the Spring 2000 academic semester, we experimented with using Windows CE devices in a chemistry course to allow the instructor to intersperse, with lecturing, the administration of a form of "concept tests", in order to determine whether material just covered was understood, thereby enabling the instructor to modify the content or presentation of the rest of the lecture. We found that most students preferred the use of handhelds for this purpose to the use of a show of hands or holding up of flashcards.

39 pages

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