Andrew Holloway


Calderhead High

  • Digital Learning: Pupil Engagement

What impact does shortening task length have on the level of pupil engagement during remote learning?


In 2020, as a result of the coronavirus, the educational world was introduced to a term that it never expected it would hear any time soon. Nobody could have predicted that it would become an integral part of your day-to-day duties as a teacher 12 months from when it was introduced. What term is that I hear you ask? Remote Learning. Education Scotland defines remote learning as “being any learning that is conducted outside the classroom”. At the present moment this is the situation that the entire educational sector finds itself in. As a result of this it is of vital importance that we actively try to support all pupils while they are learning from home. However, the introduction of remote learning has not been without issues. According to a report released by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) (Lucas et al 2020) “teachers are in regular contact with, on average, 60 per cent of their pupils” but the study also found that only 42 per cent handed in their last piece of set work. This clearly indicates that some pupils are not engaging in remote learning and that these levels are a severe worry for teachers. As a result, it is essential for us as educators to actively try and discover a solution for this problem. Another aspect that is of vital importance is pupil voice. According to The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) “Pupil voice gives the pupils a sense of ownership in their own learning”. Consequently, a solution to the level of engagement could be to take the opinions of the pupils on board and adapt the length of the tasks to suit their needs at this time.


The enquiry was carried out with the aim to evaluate if the level of pupil engagement during remote learning would increase if the online tasks pupils were asked to complete were shorter in length.

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