Action Research Paper by Roger D. Turner MA, GRSM, ACM, ARAM, Adv. Dip., Educational Consultant, RDT Consultancy
Over the course of the Academic Year 2008-09, 62 classrooms in 7 primary and 7 secondary schools were provided with a portable infrared Soundfield Classroom Audio Technology (CAT) System. The equipment comprised a small microphone worn round the teacher’s neck, a handheld microphone for learners and a REDCAT all-in-one infrared flat panel CAT speaker placed at the back or side of the classroom. The equipment works by evenly distributing the teacher’s voice round the classroom, so that all learners can hear at the same level, no matter where they are sitting.
This research study aimed to find out what, if any, impact this would have on learner achievement, teacher well-being and the efficient use of lesson time. Teachers and pupils were asked to complete a questionnaire at the end of the research period, focusing on their assessment of pupil behaviors, perceptions of using the system and the impact it had on them.
The following report contains all of the raw data gathered, along with analysis and other supporting information. The study found very clearly that the Soundfield system brought considerable benefits to students including:
- Improved hearing and understanding of teacher instructions
- Improved on-task behavior
- Improved self-confidence when speaking to the whole class.
For teachers, the key benefits of the system were judged to have been:
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- Less repetition of instructions;
- Less vocal fatigue and tiredness;
- More time to support individual and small groups of learners.