Practitioner Enquiry
1) What I wanted to change in my group
My main aims were to help my GCSE retake students achieve higher grades in their coursework, to improve motivation, to develop basic skills and to use the whiteboard for at least some activities in every lesson.
2) How I went about this (i.e. the methods used)
 I kept a detailed log, I used regular questionnaires, interviewed the students and compared results with previous years. I did feel however that the main measure of success would be my professional judgement concerning the students’ attitudes and motivation, something very difficult to quantify but nevertheless very easy to feel.
3) What the results were for the group
I feel that the students benefited a great deal from the use of the interactive whiteboard. This can be measured and quantified to a certain extent but I feel that the most important measure is how all the participants felt about it. The students said they liked it and that it helped them learn and increased their motivation. They also said that it consolidated their IT skills and that it helped to integrate with their other learning. I felt that it helped them to improve/practise their basic skills and their attitude to structuring and editing their written work, offering them a wide variety of different activities from interactive grammar games, spelling quizzes to sophisticated software helping them with writing coursework. It also allowed them to often be at the front of the class leading proceedings at the computer keyboard or using the tools. It seemed that they made far more suggestions and more requests thereby showing involvement with their learning.
I felt that the students enjoyed their lessons more. The lessons certainly felt better to me. This group seemed to have a much more mature attitude than previous groups. They even showed better attendance at optional lunchtime exam revision sessions. Some actually said that they looked forward to and enjoyed their lessons much more than they had expected.
4) What I learned as a practitioner from doing the project
I have certainly adopted the interactive whiteboard as one of the most important new tools in learning that has come along in a long time. Despite initial trepidation and lack of confidence, I discovered that it is surprisingly easy to use and that it really does promote learning. I would hate to teach without one now.
Participating in action research has been an interesting experience for me and I feel that it has really helped me develop as a teacher. It is surprising how much you can improve an area of your practice by taking a systematic approach rather that just having a vague notion that you want to do something to make it better. My experience with this group has given me lots of ideas for next year not only in terms of resources but also in changing my scheme of work. I have as a result of this research changed lesson structure and rooming. We now have a permanent booking in one the best equipped IT classrooms in the college.        
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