University of Limerick
Foley_2012_whiteboards.pdf (1.49 MB)

An investigation into the use of interactive whiteboards in VTOS centres in Munster

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posted on 2022-10-12, 13:14 authored by Leesha Foley
The Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS) is a second chance education programme aimed at unemployed adults to up skill them for re-entry to the 21st century work force or progression to higher education. IWBs have the potential to expose the adult learner to stimulating educational environments if they are used by educators who are skilled in their operation and who believe that these devices can foster critical thinking skills. The purpose of this study is to ascertain if IWBs have a role to play within a VTOS Centre. The study investigates the perceived benefits and constraints of using IWBs in VTOS centres from the point of view of the adult learner and the adult educator. The barriers associated with use and the role of professional development is also investigated. Descriptive research using survey data and a case study was used to collect data. Quantitative data was obtained from teacher and learner questionnaires, and qualitative data was collected from semi-structured interviews, observations and focus groups. The results of this research reveal that IWBs are not being used to their full potential in VTOS centres. The initial training offered by the vendors is inadequate and consequently educators are using IWBs as a presentation and visual tool and hence there is no change in their teaching style. Peer mentoring according to the relevant literature is one of the few methods of professional development which is successful in changing teachers’ pedagogy with the IWB; this form of training is underutilised in VTOS centres. The lack of a cohesive policy from the Department of Education and Science along with inadequate funding and time constraints are also contributing factors to the underutilisation of IWBs. This study also found that many educators understand interactivity in technical terms rather than pedagogical interactivity which fosters higher order critical skills. Teachers must be encouraged to design higher levels of interactivity into their resources with collaboration from the adult learner and within class time. The study also found that there is a lack of IWB resources suitable for the adult learner and to the Irish curriculum.



  • Master (Research)

First supervisor

Rea, Kenneth





Also affiliated with

  • DMARC - Digital Media and Arts Research Centre

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