Whiteboard Animations for Developing English Academic Oral Presentation Skills and Reducing Public Speaking Anxiety

Conference: The European Conference on Language Learning (ECLL2022)
Title: Whiteboard Animations for Developing English Academic Oral Presentation Skills and Reducing Public Speaking Anxiety
Stream: Educational Technologies
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Neil Edward Barrett, Southern Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taiwan


Students are increasingly using online media tools to produce high quality work which has created a demand for more engaging instruction and projects in higher education. However, slides with text still dominate student English oral presentations, and public speaking anxiety (PSA) is a problem for many students, especially in Asian countries such as Taiwan. This places graduates at a disadvantage in the global workplace. To assist students, investigate PSA, and probe the reasons for anxiety, we designed a single group quasi-experimental study with whiteboard animation (WBA) software. A total of 30 students participated and produced three WBA presentations over 16 weeks to measure gains in oral presentation language and skills. A pre-and post-questionnaire measured PSA, and follow-up interviews and instructor observations probed students’ perceptions. To obtain a finely-grained understanding of how students developed the presentations and interacted with the technology we adopted a Complex Dynamic Systems approach with the quantitative data for patterns, interviews and observations for individual differences, and Retrodictive Qualitative Modelling. The results indicated that both WBA instruction and production helped improve students oral presentation skills and was effective in helping reduce PSA. The interviews and observations revealed that students held positive views towards WBA, and the course helped students develop multimodal communication skills. However, instructional problems, technology efficacy, and language anxiety interfered with the learning process. The findings will benefit English learners and instructors teaching OPs, be of interest to instructors dealing with PSA, and provide support for research into multimodal communication for language learners.

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