Oklahoma Higher Education Campus E-Clips sponsored by the Communicators Council

June 2011

iPad Study Released by Oklahoma State University


Oklahoma State University has formally released its internal findings on an iPad pilot conducted during the fall 2010 semester, showing that the device had a positive impact in an academic environment.

“We put this powerful and creative tool in the hands of faculty and students and the end result reached beyond enhancing the academic experience of our students,” said OSU President Burns Hargis. “The report outlines a possible decrease to student and administrative expenses, increased productivity, and how the iPad crosses between academic and personal barriers.”

Bill Handy, visiting assistant professor in the School of Media and Strategic Communications, and Tracy Suter, Ph.D., associate professor of marketing in the Spears School of Business, led the initiative. Each class integrated the iPad differently but both focused on specific measurable outcomes including: expense impact, how the devise was used, viability as an e-reader and overall enhancement to a student’s academic experience.

“Consensus is the integration of the iPad can enhance a student’s academic experience and have a positive impact for faculty as well,” said Handy. “We used the iPad in every aspect of our course. The most important consideration is the device must be truly integrated. Simply distributing the device without evaluation of how the course might be modified for its use limits the impact.”

Among the enhancements noticed by both professors was an increase to the pace of the course, reaching traditional benchmarks sometimes weeks in advance.

“The increased pace is likely attributed to the mobile functionality of the device which allowed students to work in any environment, the change to the classroom environment, and the ability of all students to have complete access to the same technology, creating an equal and level playing field,” said Suter.

Both professors recommend the university should consider the full deployment of iPads for all students. Deans and department heads were given instructions to evaluate how best to use this and any technology device to enhance their students' involvement.

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