Personalizing the Lecture Experience



StuPad is a ubiquitous computing system designed for the classroom environment to study how technology impacts the lecture experience.  As part of the Classroom 2000 project, it follows the general theme of reducing the amount of tedious note-copying that students typically perform during a class.  Instead, notes presented by the instructor are automatically captured and broadcasted to the students desk where StuPad seamlessly integrates the both the lecturer's notes and the student's notes.  As a result students are provided with the opportunity to take summary type notes that capture the essence of the material presented during class.


StuPad evolved from two different prototypes that were developed for the Apple Newton MessagePad 2000 and the Palm Pilot.  The following a links point to screenshots for each prototype: These prototypes contributed to the design in the next iteration of implementation.  Because the synchronization and integration of the student's notes (captured on either the MessagePad or the Palm Pilot) and the instructor's captured notes (located on the web) would require some manual effort in the post production phase, there was a clear need for networked machines to be used to automate the integration of the student's private set of notes with the instructor's public notes.  Thus, the next prototype was designed with networked laptop PCs as the target platform in mind.

As it turns out, by using a platform that is networked, StuPad is able to do more than just automate the synchronization and integration between the student's private notes with the instructor's notes.  By adding to each StuPad clients the routines to read events broadcasted from the Zen* system, StuPad was able to retrieve the instructor's slides live during class...enabling students to annotate directly on top of them.  Futhermore, functionalities such as the ability to share notes or to post anonymous questions could be implemented into the StuPad system.

The next several iterations of the system involved evaluation of the system as well as testing of the system on actual classes that used the Classroom 2000 technology.  From these studies, StuPad has since been modified and targeted for networked PCs that would have pen-based video display tablets (Mutoh tablets) as the capturing devices in the classroom.  The kinds of notes the students take as well as how they take notes were surveyed and the results have all contributed in the design of StuPad.

The Design

A formal design document of the current StuPad version is being worked on at this time.

However, please look at the following web page for more information on the initial evaluation performed on the system, as well as the design criteria and the StuPad prototype.

The Prototype

The following are some screen shots of the capture and access interface of the system.
  Figure 1. The Capture Interface.
  Figure 2. The Access Interface.

People Involved

StuPad Project Advisor: StuPad is designed and developed by: Inital formative evaluation was performed by:

StuPad Papers

For More Information

Further information on the Classroom 2000 project and the Zen* system can be found at:

StuPad is a Future Computing Environments (FCE) project in the College of Computing and GVU Center at Georgia Tech.  More information can be obtain by contacting Dr Gregory D. Abowd or Khai N. Truong.

Modified By:  Khai N. Truong
Last Modified:  January 11, 1999