Effects of Content Delivery Media on Student Engagement and Learning Outcomes

The Journal of Effective Teaching offered this article about content delivery and it’s effects on student engagement and learning outcomes which I found interesting to review after our last discussion.  Student engagement in this article is defined as “the quality of effort students themselves devote to educationally purposeful activities that contribute directly to student outcomes” (6) and purposeful observations and statistics are collected to compare a class taught by the same instructor using the same curriculum and activities, with the only difference being lecture with white board or chalk board method or power-point presentation method (as supplemental to the lecture.)

The students in each class consented to observation in the classroom and of their graded assignments and tests as a part of the research.  Behaviors that were observed :

Students participating in content-related tasks assigned only to them, participating in content tasks assigned to the group, participation in content tasks assigned to the entire class.  Students active listening to instructor and note-taking.  Students with eyes closed, head down on desk.  Students interacting with instructor such as asking a question.  Did the student ask a question that would be answered yes or no, or a question requiring explanation.  Do students answer questions that have a yes or no answer or answer questions that require explanations.  Did students answer questions without being called on by an instructor, did students leave the room, were students talking with the peers, were students engaged in media technology (phones/computers) having nothing to do with the class.

With the use of statistical and data driven charts the result of the experiment was that student engagement and performance was generally the same whether the teacher used a blackboard during lecture or power-point with pictures.

A lot of factors are involved in the measurement of student engagement such as course content, the instructor, and the environment but teaching and delivery methods do contribute greatly to success in learning outcomes.  Further research studies demonstrate that lecture alone, without power point or black board writing is not effective.  A hybrid method of both black board writing and power point works the best according to other research studies, but those results were not remarkably different than the blackboard alone or power point alone of this experiment, both of which proved to be equally as effective as a tool during lecture and for preparation of assignments when used by the same instructor.

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