Educational Technology Research and Development

, Volume 65, Issue 5, pp 1369–1388 | Cite as

Use of handwriting recognition technologies in tablet-based learning modules for first grade education

  • Berrin Yanikoglu
  • Aytac Gogus
  • Emre Inal
Development Article


Learning through modules on a tablet helps students participate effectively in learning activities in classrooms and provides flexibility in the learning process. This study presents the design and evaluation of an application that is based on handwriting recognition technologies and e-content for the developed learning modules. The application aims to support the handwriting learning process in first grade and provides an efficient interface to the learning modules through the natural form of handwriting input. The learning modules consist of handwriting and arithmetic modules, which were deemed to benefit most from the use of handwriting recognition technologies. The developed e-content was designed to be used in the evaluations of the developed application, rather than being a complete set of exercises. Among the main findings were that the majority of the children in the two evaluations were visibly motivated to use the application for doing exercises and preferred using the tablet over pen–paper, while teachers were concerned about the extra work associated with preparing questions in the new medium. Reflections from the design of the application and students’ and teachers’ perceptions and teachers’ observations in two separate evaluations are presented with related recommendations.


Instructional design Handwriting recognition technologies E-content development Tablet First grade 



The authors wish to thank TÜBİTAK and the participating schools, students, and teachers for their important contributions, as well as the reviewers for their valuable comments.


This study was funded by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) with Project Number 113E062 and a Project titled “Development and Implementation of Handwriting Recognition Technology Used in Smart Classes”.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

First author, Berrin Yanikoglu, has received research Grants from TÜBİTAK with the Project titled “Development and Implementation of Handwriting Recognition Technology Used in Smart Classes”. Second author, Aytac Gogus, was the Researcher of this Project. Third author, Emre Inal, was the Research Assistant of this Project. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Association for Educational Communications and Technology 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Engineering and Natural SciencesSabanci UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  2. 2.Faculty of EducationOkan UniversityIstanbulTurkey

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