—Why can’t we teach more efficiently although the technology makes teaching much faster?
Research suggests that students learn better by having information presented through multiple modalities, especially through visual means (Mayer, 2003), and boards are perhaps the simplest visual teaching tool. In recent years, instructors have replaced boards in favor of PowerPoint presentations and interactive whiteboards (IWB). However, there does not seem to be a significant difference in learning outcomes when the same information is presented in PowerPoint rather than handwritten on boards (Shallcross, 2007). Additionally, to date, IWBs seem to present more complications for classroom integration than enhanced learning outcomes, and their potential for active learning is still under study (Karsenti 2016).
Instead, one study found that when instructors presented content on PowerPoint and also elaborated on the content via the chalkboard, students were more active and spent more time asking questions than when instructors only used one of the tools (Meo, 2013). This study underscores a core function for boards of any kind: they can be easily utilized to encourage active learning in the classroom. Instructors can use boards to engage students individually and via groups with problem-solving and brainstorming activities.