The General Teaching Council Scotland (GTCS) has recognised the significance of practitioner enquiry in promoting professional development amongst educators by challenging them and ‘disrupting thinking’ (GTCS, online). It is expected that practitioner enquiries will soon become embedded into the day-to-day-practice of teachers and various education professionals. Practitioner enquiry allows the opportunity for professionals to draw on relevant research and theory as well as work collaboratively with their colleagues, to enhance the learning and teaching experiences of children. More specifically, this digital-focussed enquiry supports the new professional standards (2021) which state that teachers must be able to, “employ appropriate teaching strategies and resources, including digital approaches, to meet the needs and abilities of every learner” (GTCS, online).
The Flipped Classroom is a pedagogical model in which the traditional classroom environment and its learning activities are adapted (Awidi&Paynter, 2019). Typically, the Flipped Classroom consists of both at–home and in-class learning. Research has recognised the Flipped Classroom as an effective approach to learning and teaching, as it promotes active learning and student-centred activities (Lai&Hwang, 2016). In 2021, children across the country adapted to a new way of learning which took place remotely online. Teachers adapted the Flipped Classroom pedagogy, minus the face-to-face teaching element. Online learning and teaching can take the form of many different approaches, for example live lessons, recorded tutorials, online quizzes and digital platforms such as apps and websites. Ultimately, the Flipped Classroom aims to increase student engagement, enhance the overall learning experience and improve outcomes.
As a group, we chose to focus on the impact of digital platforms on learners’ engagement and performance. More specifically, I chose to monitor the relationship between my pupils’ engagement on Sumdog and their performance in their written maths tasks. Noorhidawati, Ghazal Ghalebandi & Siti Hajar (2015) define engagement as, “a concept that involves a combination of attention, interest, and enjoyment”. I chose Sumdog because my pupils are familiar with how the app works and enjoy using it.
The aim of this enquiry was to find what impact, if any, learning apps can have on children’s engagement in online learning and their overall performance with written maths tasks. I specifically focussed on the use of a Maths learning app called ‘Sumdog’.