The Barriers to Effective Online Learning Provision

Building online learning provision from scratch is no simple task. Find out more in this analysis of the challenges.

In October 2020, the government announced that schools in the UK have a “legal duty” to provide remote education for pupils forced to miss school due to the coronavirus.

Since the beginning of the school closures, schools around the country have been scrambling to provide online learning.

Working for The White Horse Federation, a multi-academy trust of over 30 schools in South-West England, we’ve been involved in setting up an online learning platform that served their thousands of pupils over the school closures and summer holidays.

Read this blog post to find out what we learned.

Children Need Engagement, Not Just Homework

An initial response by teachers at a number of schools in the federation was to distribute a series of homework materials to cover a week or a month at a time. While much of this material was well put together, the rate of response from pupils and their families dramatically fell after the initial engagement.

The majority of learning in school, particularly at primary level, is done through the interaction between pupils, their classmates, and their teachers. Therefore, asking children to continue their learning with almost no professional supervision is unlikely to yield positive results.

As a result, the first action we took to improve the situation was to set up every school with a virtual learning environment where pupils and their families could communicate securely with their teachers, receive feedback for their work, and discuss how they were feeling. Later, we made sure that every piece of work being distributed was introduced by a teacher in the form of a video that spoke directly to the pupils.

Teachers are Incredibly Resourceful

The school closures put an incredible amount of pressure on teachers around the country. It demanded that they produce resources and take on roles that they had never been trained or prepared for.

It was therefore amazing to see so many teaching staff take up new skills such as creating digital learning resources, recording videos, and administering pastoral support remotely. By trusting the ability of the trust’s teaching staff to adapt, rather than taking the responsibility of home learning provision away from teachers, we were able to deliver a significantly better product.

However, nothing is ever achieved alone, and it was by providing teachers with a user-friendly way of delivering their resources and by giving them adequate training, that they were able to adapt so successfully.

At Eduprise, we can provide your teaching staff with the necessary tools to implement home learning resources without being overwhelmed by the new set of tasks and proficiencies it requires.

Resources Need to be Suitable for a Variety of Home Contexts

When trying to get children to do school work at home, any difficulty or inconvenience in accessing the material can become a huge barrier. That’s why resources need to be accessible and usable on as many platforms as possible.

This means, for example, you should:

  • Avoid materials that need to be printed.
  • Make sure any webpage is suitable for phone or tablet use.
  • Don’t overload any webpages, making them hard to load with low-end internet connections.

While these might seem like minor issues in other circumstances, keeping children focused at home is challenging enough without any extra technical difficulties.

At Eduprise, we’re experienced in designing web pages and learning resources so that they can be used easily on the most basic of equipment.

How We Can Help You?

Our experienced consultants, web designers, and education experts can help you build a bespoke online learning platform for your school.

This, alongside technical training for your teaching staff, will help make online learning a simple and pain-free experience. By delivering a user-friendly and engaging provision, you will also be able to generate a large amount of goodwill and positive sentiment for your school that will benefit its reputation going forward.

If you’d like to chat about our online learning services, get in contact today.

Published by
Adam Barker-Wyatt

Producing content and communications on behalf of schools and multi-academy trusts.

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