The importance of effective digital technology has been emphasised within Education Scotland teaching strategies; effective digital technology should be included within each aspect of the curriculum and assessment. The Curriculum for Excellence National E-learning outline is composed of online learning that is to include live interactions between learners and teachers, pre-recorded learning sessions, and a variety of digital content made available by teachers to support learners (Education Scotland, 2021). Effective online teaching within the CfE emphasises consistent interaction, assessment and feedback with great focus on Children’s mental health, wellbeing and engagement (Education Scotland, 2021). Strategies applied by educators online should target pupil engagement and wellbeing.
Dweck’s (2015) growth mind-set theory has informed the importance of building resilience and self-esteem within the classroom, in turn increasing engagement and motivation. Mclean argues that motivation is a way of thinking that should permeate the whole school, and must influence the implementation of the CfE within the classroom (2011). Engagement and motivation are therefore arguably fundamental to the use of digital technologies through online schooling. Black and William (1998) argue that effective formative assessment and constructive feedback are paramount to boosting children’s self-esteem and motivating children in their learning. As a result, effective feedback should involve cooperation from both the teacher and the learners, and can raise engagement and attainment.
Pupil voice is becoming increasingly researched in relation to effective teaching pedagogy. McIntyre, Pedder and Ruddock (2005) emphasised the importance of consulting pupils and listening to them, as a means to support pupil’s self-esteem and engagement, whilst allowing for the teachers own reflective practise. Social interactions and open communication are also indicative of effective learning according to Vygotsky’s theory of sociocultural learning, creating an environment which can be scaffolded by the teacher and led by peers to create the Zone of Proximal Development (Daniels, 2008). Vygotsky highlighted the need for pupil’s to be engaged in their learning to create this proximal environment. Engagement therefore plays an extremely important role in effective education and pupil’s wellbeing. Several elements can impact engagement, namely effective interaction, assessment and feedback, and opportunities for pupil voice.
The aims of this enquiry were to investigate the influence of live check-in sessions on pupil engagement during online learning. It was hoped that live lessons could promote pupil engagement in wellbeing check-ins, academic work handed in, and learners’ enjoyment of online learning.