Handheld technologies with multi-touch functions have been embraced by the young generation and become their important tool for social and learning purposes. The purpose of this study was to explore how the state-of-art devices could be integrated into authentic art appreciation courses to motivate and enhance students’ learning. It was conducted in a class entitled “Art and Society” at a university in northern Taiwan. A total of 118 college students participated in this study. They were divided into two groups instructed by two approaches: the experimental group used digital materials with multi-touch technology, and the control group used both slides and printed materials. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches were adopted in this study. The results indicate that there were statistically significant differences in learning motivation, with a higher level achieved by the experimental group than the control group. The interactive multi-touch operation allowed students to use annotation skills and graffiti to create visual comments that could be edited, reused, and shared easily among group members. This study further discusses the role of tablets, students’ special annotation strategies, and the features of the tablets as superior to the conventional approach.
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