Proceedings of the 7th International Academic Conference on Education
Exploration Of Strategies That Lecturers Employ to Promote the Use of Smart Board Devices: Participatory Action Learning and Action Research Approach
Diana Robertson, Annie Kirsten
This study aims to explore the underutilisation of Smart boards in a private higher education institution and the efforts made by lecturers to revitalise and fully use these devices. Smart boards are interactive whiteboards that have been introduced in educational settings to improve teaching and learning experiences. However, despite the potential benefits of Smart boards, they are often underutilised in higher education settings. This study seeks to understand the factors contributing to the underutilisation of Smart boards and the strategies that lecturers employ to promote their use. The research design considered a constructivist paradigm to observe the participants in their natural environment, in this case, seven purposively selected lecturers from the School of Education at a Private Higher Education Institution (PHEI). The study used qualitative methods and a participatory methodology: Participatory Action Learning and Action Research (PALAR) approach that includes three cycles of focus group interviews. We aimed to contribute to understanding what kinds of research, knowledge, and action we need to create, to achieve practical engagement and improvement – for positive and sustainable implementation of Smart board devices. Thematic coding was utilised to analyse the data collected from the lecturers working at a PHEI. The findings suggest that the underutilisation of Smart boards is due to a lack of training and support for lecturers, and technological challenges. We are interested in the efforts lecturers make to address these challenges by seeking additional training, developing new teaching strategies, and collaborating with colleagues. The study concludes by recommending the type of support private higher education institutions should provide to adequately train and align teaching strategies and practical applications that ensure full utilisation of Smart boards in teaching practices.
keywords: Smartboards, PALAR approach, Teaching Strategies, Theory of Change