Date of Award

Fall 8-1-2005

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS)

First Advisor

Omar El-Gayar

Second Advisor

Mark Hawkes

Third Advisor

Richard Christoph


Educational institutions recognize that technology is an increasingly important factor in today's world as a skill and as a facilitator for learning. ln response, Dakota State University introduced the wireless, mobile computing initiative (WMCI) that made tablet personal computers (Tablet PCs) mandatory learning tools for both instructors and students. However, little is known about the effect of this technology on course performance. First, this study focuses on quantitative analysis to verify the relationship between student performance and Tablet PC. To achieve this goal, we statistically compared learning outcomes before and after the integration of tablets. The comparison showed that one out of five evaluated courses indicated a significant positive difference, while four courses did not show any significant impact. Second, we used data from three surveys to compare expectations of students and faculty in pre implementation with their perception in post adoption of the tablets. Fourteen out of sixteen evaluated items did not show any significant impact on satisfaction of faculty. The remaining two items showed that instructors are concerned with the quality of education students receive and expressed a need for training to effectively adopt tablets into their courses. Student evaluation of 18 items indicated that this new technology significantly exceeded their expectations, except students feel that the price of tablet is too high. Some data showed that students and faculty believe the tablets help them to accomplish school work, but at the same time tablet are viewed as distraction. ln conclusion, action is needed to minimize student distractions and maximize training outcomes to address complexities associated with adoption of wireless, mobile computing technology in the curriculum.