Practitioner Enquiry
1) What I wanted to change in my group
The aim was to introduce activities that used the interactive features of the whiteboards and to assess the impact of these activities on student motivation.
2) How I went about this (i.e. the methods used)
The activities initially introduced were pre-prepared by the teacher and then students would complete them on the interactive whiteboard assisted by the rest of the group. These activities were varied and involved matching, creating diagrams, organising processes and ordering definitions and examples. Questionnaires were used to assess how useful students found these for learning and how they affected motivation levels.
3) What the results were for the group
It was found that, although these original activities were interesting, appeared to engage and motivate and learning was taking place, the students themselves tended to state that they did not find them useful. This was mainly because they only involved one student actively engaging in the activity. Therefore the activities were reassessed and a new more inclusive activity was designed which moved away from pre-prepared activities to student involvement in the whole process and the actual creation of the activities. The successfulness of these new activities was also assessed through questionnaires. This new style of activity was considered useful by the students and they believed that it improved on the weaknesses previously identified with the original activities. In conclusion, the interactive whiteboard is a useful tool in increasing student motivation due to its active learning style, however, it must be used in a truly interactive way for it to be most effective.
4) What I learned as a practitioner from doing the project
This research has been useful in reassessing how I use the interactive whiteboard technology, and in making me consider whether the methods and activities I use are really the most effective for my students’ learning. I would certainly encourage all teachers to think about their own use of the whiteboard whatever stage they are at, whether it is moving on from using it as a projector to something more interactive, or whether it is moving from simple pre-prepared activities that only one student can complete to something more engaging for the whole group.
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