Student Engagement, Visual Learning and Technology: Can Interactive Whiteboards Help?
William D. Beeland, Jr.
Abstract: The purpose of this action research study was to determine the effect of the use of interactive whiteboards as an instructional tool on student engagement. Specifically, the desire was to see if student engagement in the learning process is increased while using an interactive whiteboard to deliver instruction. In addition, an effort was made to determine if methodology impacts the level at which students are engaged in the learning environment when a whiteboard is used in the classroom. In other words, does the manner in which the whiteboard is used affect the level of student engagement? A total of ten middle school teachers and 197 students participated in the study. In each of the ten classes, the teacher presented a lesson using an interactive whiteboard. After the lesson, students were given a survey, and some students completed a questionnaire. Teachers also completed a survey and questionnaire. The results of the surveys and questionnaires indicated a strong preference for the use of interactive whiteboards in the classroom. The results will be used to make further technology spending decisions at our school.
As the Instructional Technology Coordinator and School Improvement Steering Committee Chairperson, I am responsible for identifying ways that technology can be used to improve the learning environment for teachers and students at our school. The goal is to create learning environments where students are actively engaged in the learning process. Student engagement is one of most important factors that affect teaching and student motivation to learn. When students are apathetic toward learning, a barrier to learning is created. One current method of delivering instruction that may assist with engaging students in the learning process is the use of interactive whiteboards. Thus far, our school has invested in six...