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Influencing Student Achievement with an Interactive Smartboard

Darren Dennstedt University of Colorado Denver IT6720-Research in Information and Learning Technologies Professor Jennifer VanBerschot Spring 2012

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Introduction and Problem Statement Interactive whiteboards (IWBs) are being adopted into many classrooms as schools attempt to address the needs of the 21st Century Learner. These interactive whiteboards can be used to deliver instruction in a variety of ways, ultimately increasing student engagement. Interactive whiteboards are a large white screen that connects directly to a computer and projector. An educator can interact with the touch-sensitive screen technology of the Smartboard which is directly linked to a computer and projector. An interactive whiteboard “can afford interactivity by making use of the different ways of manipulating the applications running on the screen” (Armstrong, 2005, pg. 459). These interactive devices are considered to be a tool for collaboration, creating interactive lessons, and improving student learning outcomes. Interactive whiteboards allow users to interact with digital content and multimedia individually or in collaborative groups. Students can manipulate text and images while interacting with lessons. The technology has the potential to address various learning styles while engaging students. However, investing in interactive whiteboards can tax limited resources and school budgets. The cost of teacher training to make the tool a valuable component in the classroom, involves a commitment from school districts and from teachers. Does the cost warrant positive impacts on student achievement? Can student engagement alone justify the investment in the technology? Two years ago, I wrote a grant and received an interactive whiteboard or Smartboard. I spent one year learning the software and developing interactive lessons. In the last nine months, my primary focus has been to create interactive science lessons. As the science liaison for the building, my colleagues turn to me for advice and direction on how to raise science achievement scores. Some questions have arisen around the possible correlations between increased science scores and the use of an interactive whiteboard. Moreover, several other teachers in my building have received an interactive whiteboard, but fail to use the device consistently. When this occurs, they fail to understand the full potential of the device and how to integrate the technology daily. Hence, I conducted a research study to assess the influencing nature of the Smartboard in my classroom. With the gained insight, can adjustments be made to foster the use of the technology building wide? In other words, can the use of an interactive whiteboard have a direct impact on student performance? Every day, I interact with a Smartboard (IWB) as a tool for communication with my students. Knowing how to use the Smartboard most effectively to increase student participation, interest, and achievement were personal and professional goals. “Teachers are critical agents in mediating the software; the integration of the software into the subject aims of the lesson and the appropriate use of the IWB to promote quality interactions and interactivity” (Armstrong, 2005, pg. 468). As a researcher, I conducted an inquiry investigation to further understand the influencing nature an interactive whiteboard had on my students. A review of literature to assess gaps and prior research in the field occurred prior to embarking on my action research. Before suggesting an investment in the technology would be fruitful, an analysis of literature “to

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understand, locate, plan, and evaluate” (Koshy, 2010, pg. 49) my action research was fundamental. Purpose and Intended Audience State standardized testing is a requirement for all public schools. Results of state standardized tests are interpreted to determine the effectiveness and quality of instruction. Data analysis is performed to determine trends, and then alter instruction with the goal to raise achievement. The purpose of my study was to examine the relationship between using an interactive Smartboard in the classroom and the impact on student achievement. For the inquiry study, a qualitative approach for active research and data collection using pre-tests and post-tests and observations were employed. Focus group observations and semi-structured interview collection were used for data analysis along with a daily check list of student engagement. The intended audience was a focus group of fourth grade students in a public school classroom at Cougar Elementary School (Name changed for confidentially purposes). Parents were notified in an informal manner via a letter explaining the research goals (See Appendix A). The action research project was embedded in my daily classroom routines to cause the least amount of disruption for the participants. In addition to the classroom focus group, other participants included the school administrator, colleagues at the location, classmates in the Informational and Learning Technologies program at the University of Colorado, Denver campus, and the Morgridge Foundation. I observed the focus group and their interactions with the technology to assess the effective nature of an interactive whiteboard. Research Questions The inquiry study proposed to answer the following question and sub-questions: What are the effects in my classroom when I use an interactive Smartboard?    If students use a Smartboard in my classroom, to what extent is student achievement impacted? If I use a Smartboard in my classroom, to what extent is classroom management influenced? If students work collaboratively on a Smartboard lesson, to what extent is student engagement impacted? Context of the Study The research study was conducted at Cougar Elementary School where I am currently employed. In the 2011-12 school years, the school had 18.5 students for every full-time equivalent teacher which was an increase from the previous school year. Typically the Colorado average is 17 students per full-time equivalent teacher according to the Colorado Department of

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Education. However, due to state budget issues, the school has suffered in increased class size and a decreased staff of certified teachers. The audience was a focus group of fourth grade students in a public school classroom at Cougar Elementary School. Enrollment of students is currently at 620 students: 76% White, 8% Black, 8%, Hispanic and 7% Asian/Pacific Islander. In 2011, Cougar Elementary School had 15% of students eligible for free or reduced lunch programs. The general make-up of the individual participants in my classroom setting mimicked closely the school demographics. At the onset of the study, my class consisted of twenty-five students. During the data collection phase of my study, two students moved out of state. Currently, the classroom contains twenty-three students: 61% White, 8% Asian/Pacific Islander, 15% Black, and 16% Hispanic. The reduction in participants was negligible in altering the results of the study. Five students were on an IEP (Individual Education Plan) for various learning disabilities. The primary learning disability for this sub-group was reading fluency and comprehension. A larger percentage of the class was male compared to female: 60% male and 40% female. Classroom management was a struggle throughout the year, due to the imbalance between genders. Classroom management techniques used were classroom meetings, individual consequences using a behavior chart, constant communication with parents, and individual goal setting with students. During research, behaviors were contained and a consistent routine was in place for students. Overall, the majority of the students showed growth from the beginning of the year to mid-year as evidenced by DRA2 scores, MAP scores, formative assessments, summative assessments, and classroom anecdotal data. Additionally, fallout from the lack of state funds forced the district to change Cougar Elementary School from a “year round” school to a traditional calendar school in 2011. A savings of $250,000 dollars was projected with this change in schedule and as a result of a reduction in support staff and certified staff. Due to the problem of reduced staffing, it became imperative that technology in the building be utilized effectively and consistently. Literature Review An initial literature review began with altering my research questions. Due to the specificity of the research questions, a broader approach was undertaken. My research questions were broadened in order to find current information and viewpoints related to interactive whiteboard usage in the classroom. I wanted to locate information related to the following questions:    How does the use of technology impact student achievement? Is technology a motivating factor for students? How are interactive whiteboards used in elementary schools?

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Literature Search Procedures My methodology for locating answers to questions I had regarding the use of interactive whiteboards started with a key word search. Initially, I identified key words associated with my questions regarding motivation, classroom technology, and the influencing nature of interactive whiteboards. A general Google search yielded a variety of resources that favorably painted Smartboards as a positive acquisition to the classroom. Several of these pieces of literature were written by proponents of the technology and the company that developed the technology. My search for literature was expanded to Google Scholar using a key word approach. Google scholar offered a greater variety of non-biased articles related to technology in the classroom. Several articles were in a pdf format allowing for easy access. However, I quickly became frustrated with this search method. Several journal articles required payment or became a false lead. Many of these articles that required payment had potential to help me identify trends in the research. As a result I utilized the Auraria Library search databases and attempted to locate several of the Google Scholar articles that required payment. I had varying degrees of success locating these articles, but was able to find similar documents that garnered my attention. I would toggle back and forth between the ERIC database and Google Scholar using the following key words as I narrowed my search.      Technology, classroom, pedagogy Interactive whiteboard Elementary student collaboration Engagement, Smartboard Achievement, IWBs

Eventually, I reviewed reference sources of journal articles that corresponded to my topic to help locate other sources that were relevant. In the end, I spent the majority of my research time on the Auraria Library Database system. Literature Review Findings Common trends in the literature became evident with extended reading. Much of the literature focused on studies conducted in the United Kingdom with limited research in the United States. UK researchers have found correlations between student –teacher engagement and use of the interactive whiteboard. Furthermore, most of the research centered on upper elementary classrooms to secondary education settings. Finding direct relationships with student achievement and interactive whiteboard usage was challenging. Engagement. Student engagement and motivation are directly connected. Engaged students have a higher attention span while making efforts to understand presented content. According to Amolo, “students overwhelmingly indicated their excitement for using the interactive whiteboard. This translated into an increased attention span for many” (2007, pg. 7). Student engagement is seen as a positive outcome in the classroom and is encouraged by classroom teachers. The “IWB shows rising promise as a means of displaying, manipulating, and promoting student interaction” (DeSantis, 2012, pg. 54).The interactive whiteboard is an

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engaging piece of technology that offers opportunities for students to individually or collaboratively interact with content. Based on my literature review, a greater percent of the current literature retrieved, focus on student engagement and associated connections to whiteboard use. Most of these studies are qualitative and have limited quantitative components. Research indicates a positive correlation between student engagement and interaction with the board. Interactive whiteboard use “promotes student interest and higher levels of sustained concentration “(Glover et al., 2007, pg. 5). Further evidence shows “the IWB to engage pupils, as from the raised hands it seems that they are very eager to be chosen to come up to the IWB for the activity” (Gillen, 2007, pg. 7). Moreover, one case study suggests “students exposed to IWB-assisted lessons reported a slightly higher level of engagement in mathematics classes, relative to a control group taught without the IWB” (Torff, 2010, pg. 383). Likewise, some research suggests this increase in student interest is a result of the multimedia properties of the whiteboard and the appealing lessons (Smith et al, 2005). In addition, how the teacher interacts with the interactive whiteboard can be an influencing factor on engagement. Research indicates teachers who allow students to interact with content by physically touching the whiteboard showed an increase in engagement. Interaction with the technology is a “significant factor in sustaining motivation and interest” (Digregorio, 2010, pg. 263). Teachers who primarily used the technology as a delivery model for content creating teacher-centered instruction showed less movement in student engagement (Higgins et al, 2007).In essence, the teacher appears to be a dominate variable in the effective use of an interactive whiteboard on student engagement. If the teacher reverts back to the technology as a teacher-centered blackboard the opportunities for student engagement diminish. Teacher training and professional development are essential for the technology to be effective. Motivation. Motivation can be a contributing factor to student success. The degree of motivation or participation can vary greatly among learners. Teacher and student perceptions of the interactive qualities of a Smartboard suggest motivation and engagement increase as a result of using the device. In one case study, the teacher “describes her pupils as being totally motivated, totally interested and focused when she taught using the IWB” (Shenton, 2007, pg. 133). The interactive nature of the Smartboard is perceived by teachers as offering “opportunities to elicit children’s ideas” (Preston, 2008, pg. 3) and gain enthusiasm for instruction. Several research studies cited an increase in student’s perception as a positive experience while using the interactive whiteboard (Amolo, 2007). Most of these studies used a self-reporting method for data collection meaning the researcher surveyed students who typically reported back that the technology increased their motivation while interacting with the content material. On the other hand, one study found “the extent to which use of interactive whiteboard technology (IWB) was associated with upper elementary students’ self-reported level of motivation” (Torff, 2010, pg. 380) was extremely weak. Claims about the motivation-enhancing effects of the interactive whiteboard seem minimal at best. Student motivation increasing slightly may be directly associated with teacher training and the novelty of the technology. In-service support and training is increasingly important, otherwise “it is unlikely that teachers will either be aware of or be able to exploit the potential affordances of IWBs” (Armstrong et al, 2005, pg. 467). Much of the literature indicates teachers with a high level of training and enthusiasm increased motivation in students. In other words, teacher influence may be a contributing factor to student motivation

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more so than the actual technology. Once the novelty of the device dissipates much of the research indicates motivation is short-lived. Student Achievement. There is evidence for links between interactive whiteboards and an increase in student engagement and motivation. However, much of the literature questions relationships between Smartboard use and student achievement. Student achievement is measured by formative and summative assessments in the classroom. Some studies found there is limited impact of interactive whiteboards on cognitive learning for students. One study conducted by Higgins et al. (2007, pg. 221) showed no impact on student achievement. Schools in the UK with adopted interactive whiteboards where compared to schools that didn’t have the technology. The research found that student performance stayed relatively the same between the two groups. “The actual benefits of this type of integrated experience appear to be mixed in terms of the children’s learning” (Kershner, 2010, pg. 378). However, other literature points to an increase in student achievement that may be directly linked to the amount of exposure to the device and or experience using the tool. Gillen et al (2007) suggests, “IWBs enable teachers to produce a very lively, varied, quite complex and interactive lesson more easily than previously possible, which is likely to have an effect on what teachers realistically can do in the time available” (pg. 6 ). Gillen also reports in a different case study “that the IWB may be a useful heterogeneous tool kit in facilitating interactions with multiple modes of representations. It is not that access to these modes was previously impossible for teachers, but rather that this technology makes it easy and convenient for the teachers to deploy them as rapidly as wanted to facilitate their aims” (Gillen, 2007, pg. 357), thus fostering student growth. Another study conducted by Amolo (2007) showed “students demonstrated an increase in learning based on the pre-test and post-test” (pg. 4 ) on a Social Studies test after interacting with content using an IWB. Moreover, research suggests, “unless changes in teaching and learning occur, investment will be of limited help in enhancing pupil understanding, retention and the application of learning” (Glover, 2007, pg. 6). Consequently, the conflicting research on student achievement directly connected to Smartboard usage suggests a gap and need for my further research. Quality of Literature The quality of literature is mixed at best. There was an extensive amount of literature on engagement and motivation and how the interactive whiteboard can promote learning. Fewer sources were located on student achievement relationships with interactive whiteboard usage. A lack of literature on student achievement is a concern. Much of the research data was qualitative, with few studies conducted over a longitudinal period of time. Many studies used a small sample of participants. Much of the literature questioned the effectiveness of the interactive whiteboard as a valid instructional instrument and suggests that other variables may be dominant factors in student change. A primary conclusion that surfaces in several studies is teacher influence. Teacher influence may be more of a contributing factor to student growth and engagement as compared to the use of an interactive whiteboard. Sources appear to look at several variables, making it difficult to tease out the real underlining effect the technology has on students. One might conclude more research needs to be conducted in the areas of student achievement while isolating one or two variables.

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Many of the sources used a variety of data collections methods. Use of student observations, surveys, and focus groups seemed the standard choices for researchers. There were few studies that were quantitative using large sample groups. Several studies were reliable, peer reviewed and found in journals. Many pieces of literature examined initially were action research projects from graduate students. These reports are a valid form of research, but are less applicable to my action research and circumstances. Lack of quantitative data and conflicting findings make it difficult to generalize about the influencing nature of the interactive whiteboard. Gap in Literature It becomes apparent after reviewing the literature that a gap in research around student achievement exists. Few studies offer a definitive answer directly linking increased achievement to use of an interactive whiteboard. Most research has been conducted in the United Kingdom indicating an importance for these researchers to understand the influencing nature of the tool. It is not clear how interactive whiteboard use might affect learning outcomes. There appears to be a need for research to be less global in trying to understand motivation and engagement, but more centered on “subject specific areas, and at different grade levels” (Digregorio, 2010, pg. 271). Research seems to be concerned with the motivating elements of the interactive whiteboard as opposed to the tool being a change element in the classroom. More research needs to occur that can be replicated contemplating relationships between student achievement and use of an interactive whiteboards. Perhaps, research can zero in on specific subject areas and how the technology changes achievement. Therefore, my action research was important due to the fact that I looked at achievement based on a science pre- and post-test assessment. Pre and post-tests are valuable sources of data that can gauge the influencing nature of the Smartboard. A comparison of the median scores for the pre- and post-test could give evidence for growth in student achievement. This evidence will fill the gap or lack of research in the area of student achievement. Limited research on student achievement indicates a need for my research on the influencing nature of the interactive whiteboard. Ultimately, my study addressed the relationship between achievement and the use of the IWB in the classroom. This in turn added at least one more study assessing the influencing nature of the technology in the United States. Literature Review Summary Initially, my purpose for conducting the literature review was to investigate the effects an interactive whiteboard has on learners and how the technology has been used in the classroom. Several trends surfaced that suggest the interactive whiteboard can promote changes in the learning environment. Pupil motivation and engagement gleam to the surface as a case for adopting the technology into the classroom. According to Warwick, “it is clear that various uses of IWB affordances actively scaffold the pupils’ engagement with, and success in, the tasks they undertook” (2010, pg. 358). However, some studies suggest the engaging and motivating elements of the IWBs are short lived. In order to continue the positive impacts an IWB can have on students, “it is still the quality of the teaching that ensures progress; the IWB alone does not guarantee it” (Glover, 2007, pg. 17). Although, several studies have been conducted on the motivating and engaging elements of the technology, less substantial research shows effects on student achievement. In the world of standardized testing, student achievement is constantly examined as a measure of growth and teacher-student performance. Utilization of technology in

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the classroom should be viewed as an opportunity for change and meeting the demand to increase student achievement. Technology such as an interactive whiteboard could be a facilitating factor for increasing achievement. My research highlights possible correlations between achievement and use of the technology. Methods Site selection The location of a public elementary school was the setting for the action research. In fact, data collection methods occurred in a fourth grade classroom that consisted of twenty-three students. Data collection is an important component of teaching and is used to inform instruction. Five students were on an Individual Education Plans (IEP) for learning disabilities and pulled out daily. This issue failed to pose a problem for the action research study. Data Collection Instruments My intended purpose of the study was to examine the relationship between using an interactive Smartboard in the classroom and the impact on student achievement. In order to assess the impacting nature of an interactive whiteboard, I employed both a qualitative and quantitative approach of data collection. The quantitative approach consisted of administering a pre- and post-test in science and comparing landmark data points between the two assessments. The qualitative approach to data collection consisted of three forms: Student Engagement Checklist, Focus Group Meeting, and a Colleague’s Observation (See Appendices B, C, and D). The Student Engagement Checklist and Focus Group Meeting documents allowed me to record observations and assess engagement on a Likert scale. Data collection occurred over a two week period beginning with the pre-test on the Solar System (See Appendix E). Students were informed that the pre-test was a formative assessment for me to assess background knowledge and misconceptions. After the initial test, small groups were formed from the focus group. Each group was asked to complete a structured science lesson via the Smartboard. Little scaffolding was employed as I made observations on the Student Engagement Checklist. Over a two week period small groups cycled through the lesson. An additional Smartboard lesson was teacher directed and completed as a whole class lesson. During the whole class instruction, a colleague made observational notes regarding my instruction and student engagement. These notes provided unbiased feedback regarding the interactive nature of the Smartboard. Furthermore, I held a classroom meeting conducting a semi-structured interview while documenting student responses. Student responses were then coded to examine trends relating to motivation and engagement. Finally, as a culminating activity I administered the post-test and started the process of analyzing the findings.

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Data Analysis Methods With the completion of data collection, I embarked on the next phase of my action research inquiry study. I began to organize the data into groups in order to identify common themes which related directly back to my research questions. Initially, I graded the pre-test and recorded results of statistical landmarks like the minimum, maximum, and mean. My intention was to compare these landmarks to the post-test and document changes. The pre- and post-test results were displayed in the form of a graph to clearly indicate the changes in student’s scores. Ultimately, I wanted to ascertain if the technology affected student achievement and answer my first research question: If students use a Smartboard in my classroom, to what extent is student achievement impacted? Embedded in the Student Engagement Checklist was a Likert scale. After making observations of student engagement, I was able to average the scores on the Likert scale in order to generate knowledge and answer my research question: If students work collaboratively on a Smartboard lesson, to what extent is engagement impacted? Moreover, the Student Engagement Checklist was utilized like a journal. Comments on student behaviors and interactions were recorded to supplement my understanding of the impacting nature of the Smartboard. These notes proved valuable in answering my second research question: If I use a Smartboard in my classroom, to what extent is classroom management influenced? My observational notes were organized into categories and coded. The semi-structured interview was conducted as a whole class. The discussion was recorded and student’s responded to questions formulated prior to the discussion. The data was categorized and coded. As the data was analyzed, several categories emerged allowing me to identify themes. Finally, a colleague was utilized in the data collection process. The colleague made observational notes regarding teacher and student interactions through the use of the Smartboard technology. These notes were discussed in a post-conference and later organized and coded. The goal was to generate data to answer the following research question: How much does teacher training and consistent use of the Smartboard impact adoption of the technology? The following table shows the progression of data collection throughout the study along with the number of participants. The number of participants shifted slightly due to geographical changes forcing the participants to be removed from the study. In brief, the analysis for this study included categorizing and coding observational notes, finding quantitative percentages for a formative and summative assessment, and Likert scale averages, for the fundamental purpose of triangulating the data to answer the overarching research question: What are the effects in my classroom when I use an interactive Smartboard?

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Table 1: Data Collection and Methods for Analysis Type of Data Formative Assessment Pre-test Process of Data Collection Students completed a pre- and post-test on the solar system. Participant observations Classroom meeting Methods for Analyzing Data Comparison of the Mean between the pre- and post-test Number of Participants 25

Student Engagement Checklist Semi-Structured Interview Colleague Observation Checklist Summative Assessment Post-Test

Observational notes were coded Student responses were coded Instructor and Observational participant observations notes were coded Students completed a Comparison of the pre- and post-test on Mean between the the solar system. pre- and post-test

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Schedule The following schedule was used as a timeline for completion of my action research inquiry study. Deviation from the schedule did not occur throughout the study. Project Overview Schedule Date February 12-14 February 15-17 February 18-22 February 23-March 4 March 4-9 March 15-April 1 April 1-8 April 9-20 April 20-27 Outcome Draft of Action Research Paper Assess Peer Feedback Review Literature Write Literature Review Edit Literature Review Collection of data Pre-Test in Science Conduct data collection including Post-Test Data analysis Write final research paper Edit Final Paper

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Project Milestones Over the course of the action research investigation, the flowing milestones were met in order to complete the inquiry study in a timely manner.

February 15 February 19 March 10 April 10 April 28 Ethical Procedures

Draft Action Research Proposal Action Research Proposal with Data Collection Methods Submit final Literature Review Section Submit final Data Analysis Submit final Action Research Report

The study was conducted following ethical guidelines to ensure the safety and anonymity of the participants. Due to the nature of this study and age of participants, parents and legal guardians were notified with a letter about the action research project. Since the action research study was already embedded in the daily classroom routine for students, there was no need for a formal permission slip. However, as Stringer suggests, “people have the right to refuse to participate” (Stringer, 2007, pg. 55), therefore, students could choose not to participate and their grade would not be impacted. Students who elected not to participate would receive instruction avoiding penalization, but their feedback was not included in the action research data analysis. Colleagues and the school administrator were informed about the study and necessary permission was obtained. A copy of the ethical guidelines was provided to all participants and stakeholders prior to conducting research. The parent letter clearly explained the purpose of the study outlining intended outcomes that show improvement in teaching practices. All names and the location of the study remain confidential and unrecognizable in order to prevent a breach in confidentiality. Participants had the right to withdraw from the research study at any point throughout the study. Information and results from the research were shared with all stakeholders. Any changes as a result of the study were communicated with all participants including the school administration. Checks for Rigor Several forms of data collection occurred in the action research study to increase the validity of the study. Collecting data and analyzing the data was structured and consistent throughout the study. Being rigorous in gathering data gave the study further credibility. In action research, rigor “is based on checks to ensure that the outcomes of research are trustworthy-that they do not merely reflect the particular perspectives, biases, or worldview of the researcher” (Stringer, 2007, pg.57). To achieve credibility in the inquiry study, interviews with the focus group were prolonged or extended, allowing participants opportunities to share thoughts and feelings at a deeper scale. Prolonged engagement with participants occurred for 15-20 minutes due to the age

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of the participants. Persistent observations of participants occurred with the purposeful intent on taking note of all events. These observations took place over a two week period. In addition, these observations were in the form of field notes which were coded. Finally, the data was triangulated using observational data (including recruited teacher observations), a literature review, and analysis of the pre and post-test assessments. Findings The following section reports on the quantitative and qualitative findings regarding the impacting nature of an interactive whiteboard. Formative and Summative Assessment At the onset of my action research study a focus group was selected. The focus group consisted of twenty-five fourth grade students in my classroom. In order to answer my research question: If students use a Smartboard in my classroom, to what extent is student achievement impacted?-a formative pre-test was administered to the group. Each student received a test that consisted of eleven questions. The test was a mix of true/false, multiple choice, and open-ended response questions. Students were instructed to “do their best” on the test and try to complete each question. The primary goal was to assess background knowledge and misconceptions on the science topic, the Sun and stars. The initial pre-test results showed the focus group mean at 6.6 points which equates to a 60%. The range of scores started with a 3 as the minimum and 9 as the maximum resulting in a range of 6. Graph 1 shows the number of students scoring in each range category. For example, one student scored a 3 on the assessment and seven students scored a 6 on the assessment. An analysis of each individual question and a comparison between student responses was not incorporated in the findings.

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Graph 1: Formative Assessment Pre-Test

The “average” results of the pre-test failed to shed light on the answer to my research question. In addition, the results showed a definite need for instruction and a quick analysis of the questions on the test helped drive my instruction. Over the next two weeks of the study, the focus group was divided into small groups. Each group cycled through one Smartboard lesson that covered the content assessed in the pre-test. Additional, a teacher taught lesson was conducted at the end of the study. Students were administered the same test as the pre-test. In other words, the formative (pre-test) and summative (post-test) were the same in order to maintain validity with the results. The summative assessment was administered showing a minimal rise in uderstanding of the content. The post-test results showed the focus group mean at 8.17 points which equates to a 74%. The range of scores started with a 5 as the minimum and 10 as the maximum resulting in a range of 5. Graph 2 shows the number of students scoring in each range category. Clearly, a shift has occurred in the data showing the mode to be 10 with 7 students achieving this score.

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Graph 2: Summative Assessment Post-Test

Graph 3 shows a comparison between the formative and summative assessment. As evident in the graph there is an increase in the overall average or mean. The difference between the two means is 1.57. Does this equate to a significant change in student learning? In other words, is the increase significant to suggest the interactive whiteboard clearly effects student achievement? Surprisingly, the increase shows limited growth in student achievement, even after instruction. These findings align closely to my literature review. Some studies found there is limited impact of interactive whiteboards on cognitive learning for students. One study conducted by Higgins et al. (2007) showed no impact on student achievement. Schools in the UK with adopted interactive whiteboards where compared to schools that didn’t have the technology. The research found that student performance stayed relatively the same between the two groups. “The actual benefits of this type of integrated experience appear to be mixed in terms of the children’s learning” (Kershner, 2010, pg. 378). Consequently, the slight increase in the summative test may be directly linked to the use of the interactive whiteboard or through teacher instruction. Perhaps, a closer look at each individual question or generating more quantitative data would yield more conclusive evidence that the interactive whiteboard impacts student achievement. In my particular action research inquiry study, I was limited in time. If only I had more time to conduct my research, then I would have a deeper understanding regarding my research question.

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Graph 3: Comparison of Averages between the Pre- and Post-Test

Student Engagement Observations of participant’s interactions with the whiteboard were conducted using a student engagement checklist. The goal was to find evidence to support or discount my research question about student engagement: If students work collaboratively on a Smartboard lesson, to what extent is engagement impacted? The Student Engagement Checklist incorporated an embedded Likert scale. The number 1 equated to “very low” to the number 5 equaling “very high”. Observations of students occurred as each group completed the intended tasks for the Smartboard lesson. Immediately, I ran into problems with my initial approach. At the onset of the action research I proposed to have students work collaboratively in groups of three to four. After the first two groups cycled through the lesson, I realized this approach was flawed and the ideal group was a dyad. Common themes surfaced as I coded my notes. Table 2 highlights common themes uncovered from the analysis of the data. Observation notes and the Likert scale show an overall “high” average for “positive body language”. Many students showed increased animation that indicated they were paying attention to other group members. Some members were observed jumping up and down, smiling, with an increasing volume level of verbal participation. Verbal participation had a mean of 3.8 on a scale of 1-5. Group size seemed to influence verbal participation. Large groups tended to cause some group members to become introverted letting others control the board. Observational notes support this

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claim- “two group members have shut down refusing to participate”. As a result of my initial observational notes, I reduced the group size to a dyad. Dyads were able to communicate and ask for clarification of concepts. The Likert scale results in Table 2 support observational notes that group members had a positive experience with the technology. However, is the positive behavior a result of the interactive qualities of the technology or a result of engagement with the content in the lesson? Based on observational notes, I would claim that the positive body language was a result of the novelty of the device and less on the subject content. Students were observed “making eye contact”, “laughing and smiling”, and “tapping on the Smartboard without reading directions or to see what a link would do”. Besides making observations about body language and verbal participation, I focused on students staying on task. From the Likert scale and observational notes it became evident that students stayed on task at a slightly higher rate of engagement as compared to a teacher driven lesson. The average calculated for students staying on task equaled 3.72 as referenced in table 2. What appeared to happen based on my field notes is group members were completing tasks at the onset of the interactive lesson, but as time passed they tended to disengage. Perhaps, the length of the lesson surpassed the attention span of the group? However, field notes indicate students “not following directions” or “off task” which suggests the self-guided Smartboard lesson is less structured than a teacher driven lesson. This lack of structure or purposeful lack of scaffolding causes participants to deviate from the learning goal. Evidence suggesting participants deviate from the learning goal surfaced in the Likert scale. In Table 2 the mean for understanding the intended learning outcomes was 3.54. This was the lowest average recorded on the Student Engagement Checklist. Yes, participants were excited about the technology, but “glossed over required reading material” embedded in the lesson. The need “to click to the next slide” seemed to outweigh the need to gain understanding from the content. Group dynamics also played a role in how participants interacted with each slide in the lesson. In Table 2, it appears that collaborative group work had the highest average. With an average of 4.36 on the Likert scale it would indicate that using an interactive whiteboard increases collaborative group work. Except as noted previously, my study was altered as data was being collected. Instead of using collaborative groups of three to four, I changed this parameter to a group size of two. Therefore, the number of 4.46 as an average for collaborative group work is most likely skewed. To increase the validity of future research, the group size would need to remain constant throughout the study.

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Table 2: Student Engagement Checklist Likert Scale Results Observation Positive Body Language Verbal Participation On Task Mean 4.27 3.8 3.72 Themes Positive body language Turn-taking; collaborative discussions Male students distracted by the technology; Female students take on a leadership role Scan directions and content information Large groups are ineffective; Group dynamic problems surface

Understand Intended Learning Outcome Collaborative Group Work

3.54 4.36

All things considered, my findings on student engagement seem to correlate with my literature review with the exception of sustained concentration. Further evidence shows “the IWB to engage pupils, as from the raised hands it seems that they are very eager to be chosen to come up to the IWB for the activity” (Gillen, 2007, pg. 7). Research indicates a positive correlation between student engagement and interaction with the board. Interactive whiteboard use “promotes student interest and higher levels of sustained concentration “(Glover et al., 2007, pg. 5). Semi-Structured Focus Group Interview A semi-structured interview was conducted with the whole class as a culminating activity to gather data. My focus was to answer the following sub questions:    If I use a Smartboard in my classroom, to what extent is classroom management influenced? How much does teacher training and consistent use of the Smartboard impact adoption of the technology? If students work collaboratively on a Smartboard lesson, to what extent is engagement impacted?

In hindsight, I would have structured this data collection process differently. Documenting answers to questions from participants became laborious. Initially, I did a trial run by recording participant’s responses to one question. With the recording in hand, I attempted to transcribe responses. Obviously, this process became tedious which forced me to search for a software application to complete the transcribing. Ultimately, the cost of adopting the transcribing

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software caused me to reevaluate my approach to documenting responses. In the end, I recorded the semi-structured class interview and posted my questions on the Smartboard. I reviewed each question, due to the age of the participants being 9-10 years old. After the review of each question we returned to question one and had a whole group discussion. The difference between the trial run and the actual interview was that participants wrote down their answer to each question. The recording was referenced when I was unable to make sense of a written response. I would listen to the recording to find evidence or support for certain statements. Moreover, as a group we progressed through my generated questions relating to using the interactive Smartboard. After the meeting, I collected the results and began the process of coding the answers. Again, in retrospect I should have created a survey using a tool like Survey Monkey in order to get similar results. However, the results received were surprisingly rich in context. Overall, as evidenced in Table 3 several common themes surfaced that help answer my research questions. Based on the results from question 1, participants appreciate the interactive qualities of the Smartboard, as evidenced by 48% of the focus group indicating interactive qualities are important. One participant reported, “I like the hands-on learning” (Participant Number 10). What was interesting is the amount of responses showing a high level of frustration in the software and hardware components. Table 3 shows 48% of the focus group had difficulty with the technology working correctly. This difficulty with the technology also surfaces in the coded responses from question 2. In Table 3, question 2, 52% of the focus group had challenges with the hardware with 30% suggesting the surface was cumbersome, “we have to press hard on the Smartboard” (Participant Number 9). Additionally, a high percentage of participants suggested the visual aspects of the Smartboard increases their understanding of content. Of the focus group, 61% of the coded responses showed that visual representations helped. Student Number 1 said, “It shows pictures and explains better”. This finding is consistent with the literature review. Previous research suggests this increase in student interest is a result of the “multimedia properties of the whiteboard and the visually appealing lessons” (Smith et al, 2005). Of the coded responses, there was an overwhelming percentage of the focus group that felt their peers were off task when engaging in a Smartboard lesson. In fact, 87% of the focus group remarked about peers “not following directions” (Participant Number 7). This finding seems to correlate with my literature findings. Teachers who primarily used the technology as a delivery model for content creating teacher-centered instruction showed less movement in student engagement (Higgins et al, 2007). In other words, using a self-guided lesson proved to be less engaging for participants which in turn increased off task behaviors. In essence, the teacher appears to be a dominate variable in the effective use of an interactive whiteboard on student engagement. Without teacher guidance and structure, the self-guided lesson breaks down. In conclusion, participants ranked their overall experience using the Smartboard on a Likert scale of

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1-5. The average calculated out to 3.78 which again indicate evidence that the Smartboard is engaging for students. Table 3: Semi-Structured Interview Results Questions 1. Why do you think we use a Smartboard in class? Common Themes Like the interactive qualities. Opportunity to learn. Percentage of Students 48% 48%

2. What do you find challenging or difficult about using the Smartboard? 3. Do you think completing Smartboard lessons help you understand the science material?

Issues with technology. Challenges with the hardware. Challenges with the surface. Assistance in understanding content through visual representations. Assistance in understanding content through the activity. Advantages of working with a group. Disadvantages of working with a group. Peers on task. Peers off task in a self-guided lesson.

48% 52% 30% 61%

17% 43%

4. How do you like or dislike working in a group when interacting with the Smartboard? 5. Do you think your peers are more or less on task when working with the Smartboard? 6. On a scale of 1-5, 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest: How would you rate your overall experience when using the Smartboard in Science.

57% 13% 87% Mean=3.78

Of the three sub-questions, I feel that the semi-structured interview added more evidence to clearly answer my research question on student engagement. The data somewhat answers my question relating to teacher training as a variable for successful implementation of the interactive whiteboard technology into the classroom. More research needs to be conducted to adequately answer this question about teacher training and how it impacts student engagement and achievement. By the same token, additional research needs to be conducted on the differences between a self-guided and teacher directed lesson.

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Observations from a Colleague As a final piece of data collected, a colleague was asked to make observations of a teacher driven Smartboard lesson. The purpose of the colleague observation was to answer the following research question.  How much does teacher training and consistent use of the Smartboard impact adoption of the technology?

The fellow colleague used an observational checklist that once again used an embedded Likert scale. The Likert scale used a scale 1-5, with 1 equaling Strongly Disagree to 5 equaling Strongly Agree. From a post-conference and coding the results, themes about the interactive whiteboard being a change agent for student learning became apparent. Observation Smartboard lesson is organized for students to practice content knowledge. Students show engagement reducing disruptions in the class environment. Teacher provides clear learning objectives for students. Common Themes “Students had a clear understanding of how to use the Smartboard.” “Some students disengaged during class discussion” “States them clearly at the beginning” Likert Scale Results 5

4

5

The feedback in the post-conference and the Likert scale results give some evidence towards the answer to my research question. Teacher training directly affects the success of implementation of the technology and accelerated adoption of the interactive whiteboard. As evidenced by the “teacher is very enthusiastic about the subject, prompting the students to become very excited about the subject” (Colleague). Evidence of content and how to deliver content were apparent in the Likert scale results. However, I struggle with the evidence as valid support that answers adequately my research question(s). The feedback was useful for my personal growth, but did I really answer my question? The literature review uncovered the importance of teacher training and professional development being essential for the technology to be effective. It becomes apparent; more research in the area of teacher influence on adoption of technology in the classroom needs to occur.

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Reliability and Validity Throughout the course of my action research study every effort to keep the study reliable and valid were employed. The need for “checks to ensure that the outcomes of research are trustworthy-that they do not merely reflect the particular perspectives, biases, or worldview of the researcher” (Stringer, 2007, pg. 57) was paramount. To establish the truthfulness and validity of my research study, I followed several procedures. In order to ensure credibility in the research study, I utilized persistent observations and triangulation. “Consciously observing events, activities, and the context over a period of time” (Stringer, 2007, pg. 58) occurred during two weeks of data collection. These observations become invaluable in determining trends in the data. Furthermore, triangulation or the use of multiple sources of information increased the validity of my inquiry study. The “perspectives from diverse sources” (Stringer, 2007, pg. 58) gave me valuable insight for answering the stated research questions. The transferability of my particular action research study seems limited. The action research conducted was applicable to the context of my classroom and the participants. However, various elements of the findings may be useful to other classroom teachers attempting to adopt an interactive whiteboard. Hence, the ability for others to make “judgments about whether or not the situation is sufficiently similar to their own” (Stringer, 2007, pg. 59), suggests that my action research is unique and valuable. Comparison of Research to the Literature Review When I conducted the literature review component of my action research project, three themes became apparent.    Student Engagement Student Motivation Student Achievement

Throughout my data analysis, attempts were made to answer my research questions. As I made claims supported by evidence, it was clear that I added to the body of research regarding the aforementioned themes. My research supports the concept that the interactive whiteboard is an engaging piece of technology. According to Amolo, “students overwhelmingly indicated their excitement for using the interactive whiteboard. This translated into an increased attention span for many” (2007, pg. 7). My data aligns with the findings of others stating the interactive whiteboard is engaging and motivating. However, as previously noted my study failed to find a direct correlation between the use of an interactive whiteboard and an increase in attention span. This suggests further research needs to be conducted to test the relationship between attention span and use of technology. Similarly, my action research supported the concept that motivation can be a contributing factor to student success. The degree of motivation or participation can vary greatly among learners.

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Teacher and student perceptions of the interactive qualities of a Smartboard suggest motivation and engagement increase as a result of using the device. In one case study, the teacher “describes her pupils as being totally motivated, totally interested and focused when she taught using the IWB” (Shenton, 2007, pg. 133). In my research, students were highly motivated when interacting with the Smartboard. At times the energy or enthusiasm by participants overshadowed the learning outcomes. My observations indicated that male participants were especially drawn to the technology and had a need to interact at a rapid pace. Female students tended to be motivated by the need to understand the content. Once again, my action research inquiry creates another question to be answered. For example, does gender influence how participants interact with technology? Or is there a relationship between gender differences and the use of technology? Likewise, my action research project seemed to mimic my literature findings in the area of student achievement. Some studies found there is limited impact of interactive whiteboards on cognitive learning for students. One study conducted by Higgins et al. (2007, pg. 221) showed no impact on student achievement. My research showed a slight increase in student achievement as evidenced by the formative and summative assessments. Although, there was an increase between the two assessments, I question whether the interactive whiteboard or teacher influence was the change agent. Data Analysis Summary In final analysis, my action research inquiry study helped to answer my initial research questions. For the purpose of my study, the answers to my research questions gave valuable insight on my individual practices. In general, the use of an interactive whiteboard proved to be engaging and a motivating factor for my students. Connections to motivation and extended attention spans in participants seemed to be a conflict with other researchers and their findings. Student achievement seemed negligible, but did indicate a slight increase. Changes in student achievement were less conclusive and suggest a need for further research. Although, several studies have been conducted on the motivating and engaging elements of the technology, less substantial research shows effects on student achievement. In the world of standardized testing, student achievement is constantly examined as a measure of growth and teacher-student performance. The action research inquiry study revealed complex problems and a multitude of new questions. Answers to my generated research questions give valuable insight on my individual classroom practices. However, a need to find answers to newly formed questions can assist in formulating a clear explanation for my situation. Utilization of technology in the classroom should be viewed as an opportunity for change and meeting the demand to increase student achievement. However, more research needs to be conducted to highlight possible correlations between achievement and use of the technology.

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Limitations When conducting the action research inquiry some constraints became apparent. The most obvious limitation was time or lack of time. Traditional studies may occur over an extended period of time, whereas my action research inquiry data collection only lasted for a two week period. The inability to have an abundance of time to plan, collect data, analyze the data, was a negative aspect. Time or lack of time to adequately gather enough data and analyze that data makes me question the validity. In other words, these time constraints increase the difficulty for maintaining the rigor in data gathering. Moreover, as I was in the midst of collecting data, I also found that some questions developed and activities for data collection needed to be refined. Consequently, there were definite flaws in my action research that could be ironed out over time. Due to the participant’s age and cognitive ability, being able to adequately convey the importance of the research was a hurdle. It was difficult to remove myself completely from the context of the research site and observe participants interactions. I felt at times, the participants knew I was making observational notes which may have impacted their interactions with the Smartboard. At various times, participants would glance over their shoulder to ascertain if I was paying direct attention to their actions. Or perhaps the glance by participants was to assess my non-verbal communication as confirmation for their actions. Often fourth graders look for approval and react based on what they perceive the teacher wants. Therefore, I question the relationship between the teacher and student and how it may skew the results of the study. Another concern I had when carrying out my action research was the scope of my research project. It became apparent as I progressed through the action research project that my questions may have been to general. Coupled with the idea of generalized questions, a limitation surfaced around my methods of data collection. It was difficult to remove myself from interacting with participants and or guide the outcome. For example, while conducting the semi-structured interview I question if my interactions where leading. As I examined the coded responses from the participants, common themes surfaced. Some of the student responses to my questions used vocabulary I mentioned in passing about the Smartboard. So then, did my values, actions, bias in data collection, alter the results? Implications for Practice Based on my research and the research discovered in writing my Literature Review, I would suggest that some changes in practice of how the implementation of an interactive whiteboard needs to be further examined. In my situation, students were more successful working on interactive Smartboard lessons when given clear objectives while working in a dyad. However, after completing my action research inquiry it becomes apparent a need for further research exists. More research needs to occur in the area of student achievement in relation to the interactive whiteboard technology. Often, we accept technology into the classroom with little hard evidence that suggests the technology will help increase student achievement. Unlocking

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the potential of the interactive whiteboard device seems to be directly related to teacher training and confidence. The concept of teacher training being directly connected to the successful implementation of technology should not be a surprise. Other studies conducted have suggested a teacher can have the greatest impact on student success. Ultimately, this adds support for a case that more research needs to be conducted on the influencing nature of the Smartboard in the classroom. There is a need to research how technology impacts learning in general in the classroom. Conclusion In final analysis, my action research inquiry study helped to answer my initial research questions. For the purpose of my study, the answers to my research questions gave valuable insight on my individual practices. In general, the use of an interactive whiteboard proved to be engaging and a motivating factor for my students. Connections to motivation and extended attention spans in participants seemed to be a conflict with other researchers and their findings. Student achievement seemed negligible, but did indicate a slight increase. Changes in student achievement were less conclusive and suggest a need for further research. Although, several studies have been conducted on the motivating and engaging elements of the technology, less substantial research shows effects on student achievement. In the world of standardized testing, student achievement is constantly examined as a measure of growth and teacher-student performance. The action research inquiry study revealed complex problems and a multitude of new questions. Answers to my generated research questions give valuable insight on my individual classroom practices. However, a need to find answers to newly formed questions can assist in formulating a clear explanation for my situation. Utilization of technology in the classroom should be viewed as an opportunity for change and meeting the demand to increase student achievement. However, more research needs to be conducted to highlight possible correlations between achievement and use of the technology.

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References Amolo, S. (2007). The Influence of Interactive Whiteboards on Fifth-Grade Student Perceptions and Learning Experiences. Retrieved from http://teach.valdosta.edu/are/Vol6no1/PDF%20Articles/AmoloSArticle_ARE_format.pdf Armstrong, V., Barnes, S., Sutherland, R., Curran, S., Mills, S., & Thompson, I. (2005). Collaborative research methodology for investigating teaching and learning: The use of interactive whiteboard technology. Educational Review, 57(4), 457-469. DeSantis, J. (2012). Getting the most from your interactive whiteboard investment: three guiding principles for designing effective professional development. The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 85:2, 51-55. DiGregorio, P., & Sobel-Lojeski, K. (2010). The Effects of Interactive Whiteboards (IWBs) on Student Performance and Learning: A Literature Review. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 38(3), 255-312. Gillen, J., Littleton, K., Twiner, A., Staarman, J.K., & Mercer, N. (2007). Using the interactive whiteboard to resource continuity and support multimodal teaching in a primary science classroom. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 2008, 24, 348-358. Gillen, J; Kleine Staarman, Judith; Littleton, Karen; Mercer, Neil and Twiner, Alison (2007). A “learning revolution”? Investigating pedagogic practices around interactive whiteboards in British Primary classrooms. Learning, Media and Technology, 32(3), pp. 243–256. Glover, D., Miller, D., Averis, D., & Door, V. (2007). The evolution of an effective pedagogy for teachers using the interactive whiteboard in mathematics and modern languages: An empirical analysis from the secondary sector. Learning, Media, & Technology, 32(1), 520. Higgins, S., Beauchamp, G., & Miller, D. (2007). Reviewing the literature on interactive whiteboards. Leaning, Media, & Technology, 32(3), 213-225. Jones, R. (2009). Teacher engagement teacher handbook. U.S.A.: International Center for Leadership in Education. Kershner, R., Mercer, N., Warwick, P., & Kleine Staarman, J. (2010). Can the Interactive Whiteboard Support Young Children's Collaborative Communication and Thinking in Classroom Science Activities? International Journal Of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 5(4), 359-383. Koshy, V. (2010). Action research for improving educational practice (2nd ed.). London: SAGE Publications.

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Marzano, R. (2009). Marzano Observational Protocol. Englewood, Colorado: Marzano Research Laboratory. Preston, C., & Mowbray, L. (2008). Use of "SMART" Boards for Teaching, Learning and Assessment in Kindergarten Science. Teaching Science, 54(2), 50-53. Shenton, A., & Pagett, L. (2007). From "Bored" to Screen: The Use of the Interactive Whiteboard for Literacy in Six Primary Classrooms in England. Literacy, 41(3), 129-136. Smith, H., Higgins, S., Wall, K., & Miller, J. (2005). Interactive whiteboards: Boon or bandwagon? A critical review of the literature. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 21(2), 91-101. Stringer, E.T. (2007). Action research. (3rd ed.). Los Angeles: SAGE publications. Torff, B., Tirotta, R. (2010). Interactive whiteboards produce small gains in elementary students’ self-reported motivation in mathematics. Computers & Education, 54. Retrieved from www.elsevier.com/locate/compedu Turel, Y. (2011). An Interactive Whiteboard Student Survey: Development, Validity and Reliability. Computers & Education, 57(4), 2441-2450. Warwick, P., Mercer, N., Kershner, R., & Staarman, J. (2010). In the Mind and in the Technology: The Vicarious Presence of the Teacher in Pupil's Learning of Science in Collaborative Group Activity at the Interactive Whiteboard. Computers & Education, 55(1), 350-362

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Appendices Appendix A: Parent Permission Letter Dear Parents and Guardians, This semester I will be conducting action research on my own teaching. It is a requirement for one of the graduate courses in which I have enrolled. I am enrolled in this course and conducting this action research so I can continue to refine my practice and provide my students with the best possible teaching. Generally, the action research will focus on an overarching question and subquestions: What are the effects in my classroom when I use an interactive Smartboard? 1. If students use a Smartboard in my classroom, to what extent will student achievement be impacted? 2. If I use a Smartboard in my classroom, to what extent will classroom management be influenced? 3. If students work collaboratively on a Smartboard lesson, to what extent will student engagement be impacted? I would like to use classroom observations and student interviews as data for my research and would, therefore, like to notify you that your child will be engaged in this process. Due to the nature of the research and the fact that all research will be embedded in our normal classroom routine, I feel a simple letter notifying you of my intentions is sufficient. Furthermore, your child can elect not to participate in the action research. If you make a decision to not allow participation or your child decides not to participate, be assured your child’s grade will not be impacted. Your child will still receive instruction and asked for feedback, but their input will not be included in the research summary. In other words, any data specifically obtained from a child not participating will in turn not be included in the research. I assure you confidentiality will be maintained and your child will not be identified in any way if they participate in the action research. In addition, your child will not be denied any instruction or benefits because of my inquiry. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me via email. Sincerely, Darren Dennstedt ddennstedt@cherrycreekschools.org

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Appendix B: Student Engagement Checklist

Student Engagement Checklist
Classroom Observations Date: _______________ Very Low 1 Low 2 Medium 3 High 4 Very High 5

1.Positive Body Language Notes:

2.Verbal Participation Notes:

1

2

3

4

5

3.On Task Notes:

1

2

3

4

5

4.Understand Intended Learning Outcomes Notes:

1

2

3

4

5

5.Collaborative Group Work Notes:

1

2

3

4

5

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Positive Body Language: Student exhibits body postures that indicate they are paying attention to the Smartboard lesson and or to members in the collaborative group. Verbal Participation: Students express ideas, pose questions, ask for clarification on concepts. On Task: Students are on task with the activity without causing distractions. Understand Intended Learning Outcome: Students can accurately identify the learning objective of the lesson with the completion of the task. Collaborative Group Work: Students actively solve group dynamic problems and keep other group members on task or engaged.

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Appendix C: Focus Group Interview Questions

Focus Group Interview Questions

Semi-Structured Interview 1. Why do you think we use a Smartboard in class?  What do you like most about using the Smartboard?  What do you dislike about using the Smartboard?  Explain more… 2. What do you find challenging or difficult about using the Smartboard?  Why do you find (blank) difficult?  What could make the experience less difficult for you? 3. Do you think completing Smartboard lessons help you understand the Science material?  How so…  If not, what part of using the Smartboard makes it difficult to understand the material? 4. How do you like or dislike working in a group when interacting with the Smartboard?  Explain more about what you dislike…  Explain more of what you like… 5. Do you think your peers are more or less on task when working with the Smartboard?  Explain more…  Give me reasons for your ideas… 6. On a scale of 1-5, 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest: How would you rate your overall experience when using the Smartboard in Science. 1 2 3 4 5

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Appendix D: Science Pre-Test and Post-Test

A Closer Look at the Sun and Stars
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Sunspots are cooler than the other areas of the Sun.___T___F Larger objects have more gravitational pull than smaller objects.__T__F Our Sun is the brightest star in the sky because it is the biggest star.__T__F Because of the Earth’s movement, we see different constellations at different times of the year.__T__F If we didn’t have the sun, we could just turn on big lights and go right on living as usual.__T__F What causes day and night on Earth? A. Earth rotates on its axis. B. Earth revolves around the Sun. C. The Moon revolves around Earth. What tool that makes distant objects look closer did Galileo Galilei use? A. Microscope B. Telescope C. Periscope Describe the movement of the stars in the sky during night. ______________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ 9. Compare the motion of the stars at night and the Sun during the day. A. How are they the same? ________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________

7.

8.

B. How are they different? ________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________

10. Where will your shadow be if the Sun is behind you? A. In front of you B. Behind you C. Beside you

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Appendix E: Colleague Observation Checklist

Colleague Observation Checklist
Date: _______________
Strongly Disagree 1 Comments: Disagree 2 Comments: Neutral 3 Comments: Agree 4 Comments: Strongly Agree 5 Comments:

1. Teacher provides clear learning objectives for students. 2. Classroom routines are clearly established on how to interact with the Smartboard. 3. Students are provided opportunities to discuss content increasing engagement. 4. Smartboard lesson is organized for students to practice content knowledge.

1

2

3

4

5

1

2

3

4

5

1

2

3

4

5

33 5. Students are organized into collaborative groups interacting with new knowledge. 6. Collaborative group process new information evidenced through summarizing the learning objective. 7. Students show engagement reducing disruptions in the class environment. 1 2 3 4 5

1

2

3

4

5

1

2

3

4

5

8. Classroom management strategies are utilized and easily identified.

1

2

3

4

5

Additional Comments:

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