Learning with the interactive whiteboard in the classroom: Its impact on vocabulary acquisition, motivation and the role of foreign language anxiety.
When used in a sensible way, Interactive Whiteboards (IWB) are supposed to motivate and engage students in learning in the classroom. Thereby, they might also stimulate students who are usually more restrained, such as more anxious students. However, the body of research on the impact of IWB lessons is rather small. The present study investigated whether a 45-minute lesson with the IWB compared to a conceptual identical 45-minute lesson without the IWB would support learning and motivation within the subject English as a foreign language for German students. Moreover, the study examined whether the 45-minute lesson with the IWB compared to the 45-minute lesson without the IWB would be better able to counteract the detrimental effects of foreign language classroom anxiety (FLCA). One hundred and two eighth graders from two secondary schools in Germany took part in this study and were either taught with the IWB or without the IWB. Results showed that students in the IWB condition stated to be higher motivated and performed better in a vocabulary test than their counterparts in the No-IWB condition. FLCA was negatively correlated with performance in the vocabulary test. Other than expected, learning with the IWB did not compensate the detrimental effect of FLCA, meaning that learning with the IWB was more beneficial than learning without the IWB irrespective of a student’s FLCA. Implications of the study will be discussed.
In today’s classrooms, digital media use already plays a central role and its importance is growing. One of these digital media that is supposed to possess great potentials in the classroom is the Interactive Whiteboard (IWB). When used properly, lessons with the IWB are supposed to foster students’ learning as well as to motivate and engage students. Thereby, they might also stimulate students who are usually more restrained, such as more anxious students. However, also due to a lack of (quasi-)experimental studies, we know relatively little about if and for whom, that is for which student characteristics, learning with the IWB might be especially beneficial. We took up this issue for the current study and examined whether, for the subject English as a foreign language (EFL), the IWB would not only foster learning in general, but would also be able to counteract the negative effects on learning for students with a higher (foreign language) anxiety. Moreover, we also examined whether students’ motivation would be increased by the IWB in the classroom, and in turn may explain the potential beneficial effect of learning with the IWB.
Can Motivation Explain the Differences in Performance Between the IWB and No-IWB Conditions?
Teaching with the IWB had an influence on students’ performance in the vocabulary test as well as on their motivation. Moreover, these two dependent variables correlated significantly. Hence, the premises were given to conduct a mediation analysis with learning conditions (IWB vs. No-IWB) as independent variable, motivation as mediator and performance in the vocabulary test as dependent variable. To execute the mediation analysis, the tool PROCESS for SPSS was used with 5.000 bootstrap samples. However, the indirect effect was not significant. These results mean that the assessed motivation of students could not explain the positive effect of the IWB lessons on performance in the vocabulary test and are not in line with Hypothesis 3.