With the unexpected breakout of COVID-19, life as we know it has changed forever. This change directly impacts the education of our children. Teachers and pupils have had to adjust to teaching and learning from home. Methods traditionally used to supplement classroom teaching have now become the primary way pupils learn. But how effective are these remote learning methods? Are online tutorials, quizzes and resources like BBC Bitesize really helping children learn?
Comfortable Learning Environment:
The classroom can be a very daunting place for some pupils. Particularly for those who find learning difficult and struggle with confidence. Remote learning removes physical aspects of classroom lessons. Pupils listen to lessons and complete assignments electronically. Remote learning focuses on the individual. It eradicates the possibility of pupils comparing themselves to others and the anxiety some feel about classroom participation. The stressful environment of school can actually hinder the academic performance of some pupils -remote learning can boost it.
Remote learning relies on interactive resources to support the academic progress of pupils. These resources can be quizzes, comprehension tasks and even games. One key feature of the resources is the fact that they provide pupils with instant and more frequent feedback. Pupils will know how well they did on the task and what areas they need to spend more time working on. This allows them to have more directed and effective study time.
Strengthens Independent Learning Skills:
Independent learning is a skill all pupils need to master, especially if they pursue higher education in the future. Being able to motivate yourself to complete work without the physical pressure of the class teacher is a necessary for academic success. Remote learning gives pupils the opportunity to garner these skills and improve their attainment.
The Education Endowment Foundation examined 60 studies that reviewed remote learning methods. This was done to find the best approaches to support the remote learning of pupils while schools are closed.
Here are two keys ways to support pupils in the remote learning during COVID-19:
1. Different approaches to remote learning suit different types of content and pupils
The research found that remote learning must be approached with variety in mind. Teachers should consider which resources are best suited to the content they are teaching and the age of their pupils. It was found that games for learning were found to have a high impact on vocabulary learning in foreign languages, but there is less evidence related to their use in other subjects. Choosing the most suitable resources has a great effect on pupil attainment.
2. Supporting pupils to work independently can improve learning outcomes
Learning from home means pupils will most likely need to work alone. The research showed that prompting self-assessment through reflecting on their work was beneficial. Pupils were also urged to consider the strategies they will use if they get stuck on tasks, which helped develop problem solving skills. Wider evidence also suggests that disadvantaged pupils are likely to benefit from explicit support in the form of checklists or daily plans to help them work independently. This support can easily be provided by parents and caregivers.
It is reported that even after the lock down period, schools will go through an adjustment period. This means that remote learning becomes the classroom for the foreseeable future. We have to make remote learning count.