Interactive teaching and learning - working with interactive whiteboards

An interactive whiteboard (IWB) is a digital board which is connected to a computer and offers a projection surface. Projection can be realised either using an integrated beamer or a high-resolution display. The projection surface is touch sensitive like a normal touchscreen and allows for operation with the fingers or a special entry stylus.

The attached computer is usually connected to the internet to add various relevant media and materials and thus to exploit the potentials of this technology.

Why deploy interactive whiteboards?

Usually, in course lectures a mixture of presentations (PPT, OpenOffice, PDF, etc.) and traditional board writing is used. The media used are incorporated into the presentation in advance and supplemented with examples which still readily have a place on the board.

The great added value in using the IWBs is the integration of interactive elements in the progression of the course lecture. Hence, presentations can be jointly changed with the students and supplemented with annotations.

Moreover, the IWB offers a shared space for all media without having to accept a media disruption. So, presentations, worksheets, texts, images, audio, video, board writing and even student work-results have a shared presentation surface. Thus, teachers do not have to deal with various types of devices since their use is omitted. Media use allows students to have a longer, critical and intensive examination if media disruption is skipped or kept within limits.

The interactive factor in these learning boards enables teachers and students to cooperatively interact with study/teaching material and avoids merely frontal teaching.

How do I deploy interactive whiteboards?

You can of course still use the IWBs for presentation purposes and for your PPT/PDF/etc. Using presentations in combination with a whiteboard. For this, you intentionally leave gaps in your slides which you can fill in together with your students. You can enrich your presentations with digital annotations (digital references in text, image, video etc...). These annotations make it easier for you to highlight important issues on your slides, to record additional information synchronously or name places on a visual element.

Furthermore, you can consider problems which you can integrate into your presentation (e.g. via Notebook-Software). Students can solve these problems either synchronously or asynchronously in individual or group work. The students have the opportunity of interacting with the contents and their fellow students. In this way you increase the interactive character of your course and motivate the students to actively participate in their course. The additional integration of mobile polls on relevant content-related topics with end-devices such as smart phones, tablets, notebook etc, support you to this effect.

Interactive whiteboards are suitable for...

...all lectures and seminars in which presentations and/or board writing have been the most commonly used media until now. In larger course events, the presentations can be furnished with annotations and supplemented with problems which the students solve on their interactive tables; different media contents (text, audio, video, website contents) can be integrated onsite in smaller seminars.

The students can even use the IWB in its total interactivity in seminars where presentations are being held. They will obtain the required media competence for this in the course of E-Assistant Programme courses. You can also learn the first steps with the IWB by means of small video tutorials (see column on the right).

What are the stumbling blocks?

If students and teachers work with the IWBs, they should be trained for efficient handling of the devices and made familiar with it.

Designing presentation slides takes time and requires not only intensive involvement with the interactive tools but also examination of the teaching objectives which are intended to be achieved using interactive techniques. The time for preparation and for implementing during the classroom period must be taken into account.

The media used should not all be deployed at the same time and the use of interactive elements should be kept within limits in order not to confuse the students.

How do I set up interactive whiteboards?/ Where can I get help?

The availability of the appropriate devices is required for the use of IWBs. Interactive boards and displays from SMART are available in all the lecture halls of the main lecture hall building and in many other lecture halls and seminar rooms (see room furnishing in UniVZ) of the University of Göttingen. A computer is already attached and connected to the internet.

The course lectures can be downloaded and used for preparation and follow-up by all teachers and students of the University of Göttingen at no cost in Notebook-Software. Apply for a licence here.

Naturally we offer advice and training on the correct use of Notebook-Software. Please check out our current range of courses.