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The impact of tablet PCs on teaching, learning and student performance at Richfield Graduate Institute of Technology.

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ABSTRACT The use of the Tablet Personal Computer (PC) has seen a significant increase in usage since 2012 due to its increasing popularity and adoption globally. It has also seen an increase in popularity in usage in the Post-school Education. Whilst some research does exist in other countries and settings regarding the roles of Tablet PC usage, minimal studies of this nature have been conducted within South Africa. The aim of this study was to address this gap by investigating the role of the Tablet PC in an institution of higher learning in a South African context (Richfield Graduate Institute of Technology). Therefore, this study investigated the impact of the Tablet PC on teaching, learning and student academic performance at Richfield Graduate Institute of Technology with the intention of enhancing education delivery as such. This study adopted both a quantitative and qualitative approach as a means to fully satisfy the research questions. The quantitative arm targeted the ‘student component’ in which a survey was administered online and students were asked to click on the link, which took them to the survey. The qualitative arm targeted the ‘teacher/lecturer component’ in which an interview schedule was used as the survey instrument. The quantitative study census population consisted of all Degree qualification students at the Richfield Pretoria cluster (483 students). With a confidence level of 95% and a confidence interval of 5%, the ideal target sample size was 214 out of the census population. The study obtained 169 responses, which resulted in a 79% response rate to sample. With reference to the qualitative study, 11 lecturers were selected from 26 lecturers through purposeful and convenient sampling. The key findings in this study were that the teaching and learning processes are enhanced by the use of the Tablet PC. A further finding was that the Tablet PC improved the academic performance of students despite several barriers and challenges that do exist. Though these barriers did not significantly affect the teaching or learning processes, the study did make recommendations to address them. Some of the main recommendations for this study included that Richfield Graduate Institute conduct student workshops, that lectures create and share resources to facilitate the learning process, that additional recharge points be installed through the campuses, and that social media access be restricted on the Campus Wi-Fi during lectures. Direction for future research can include country-wide studies of this nature and/or studies across larger institutions such as universities.


Master’s Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.