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Technology in the Classroom

Tech Infused ClassroomAs computers become more prevalent (and required) in engineering classrooms, it becomes increasingly important to address the dichotomy in our current understanding of their impact on student attention and learning. While some researchers report increased student learning, others view computers as a distraction to learning. To address this conflict, I am conducting research aimed at gaining a fundamental understanding of how students use their computers in-class and how student attention is connected to learning and pedagogical practice. By gaining such an understanding, instructors’ design of classroom interventions aimed at increasing positive computer usage will be better informed. 

I am developing a software tool that will allow for the assessment of student attention in classrooms while upholding our responsibility to protect student privacy.  The lightweight software tool allows for real-time data collection across large classrooms.  Thus, the tool creates an efficient means of characterizing student computer use in classrooms, and supports the investigation of student response to technology-infused pedagogical practice.

This research has immediate practical implications and a broad impact since a clearer understanding of students’ computer use will better inform pedagogical practice in all technology-infused classrooms. The data collection tool developed for this study, once validated, will enable the exploration of additional research questions.


  • Mohammadi-Aragh, M.J., & Williams, C. B. (in press). Students' Perceptions of Tablet PC Interaction Techniques.  Computers in Education, accepted September 2012.  (Paper was also presented at American Society of Engineering Education Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX, June 10-13, 2012.) 

  • Mohammadi-Aragh, J., Stephenson, J., Song, K., Wasko, C., and Finn, T. (2012). Tablet PCs in undergraduate general engineering: The untold story.  Poster session presented at the Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy, Blacksburg, VA.