Using Mobile Applications for Paperless Assignments in Mathematics: A Pilot Study

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Maths writing does not lend itself easily to a traditional computer keyboard (Livingstone et al., 1988), which is the reason why maths software was not successful in meeting the needs of tertiary students. Scanners were not portable enough to carry them everywhere and not many students will have their own. With the development of smart phones and tablet computers since 2010, a significant amount of applications that can scan, handwrite and annotate documents are being developing (Reyna 2010). Digital pens have been around for a long time, but only in the past years we have seen a few that work smoothly (Bradford, 2013). They are adding the ability to smoothly draw on high resolution screens to the repertoire of applications, imitating the paper experience. This creates a new opportunity for tertiary institutions to initiate the paperless submission of assignments in maths courses. At present, there is a research gap on how math courses are using mobile technology in assignment submission. This pilot study will address this gap, investigating academics’ and students’ perspectives/experiences using a mobile paperless workflow for assignment submission.
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