In what has been a year like no other, teachers and pupils have had a uniquely different experience during their school year (la Velle, et al., 2020). As reflective educators, it is vital to continuously evaluate practice and adapt teaching approaches to suit the needs of all learners. This has been particularly important during the period of online learning (Korkmaz & Toraman, 2020). The restrictions have meant that educators have had to adjust to a very different way of teaching and learning and provide high quality learning experiences for all children both at school and at home. This piece of research conducted within this enquiry has been chosen as a key area of interest due to the nature of education at the moment. Enhancing pupil confidence during the period of online learning is key to progression and engagement, and is closely linked with current educational issues (Nieuwoudt, 2020). Having virtual teacher interaction during the period of online learning helps to maintain the relationship between pupil and teacher and allows the teacher to monitor and assess progression more easily (Garbe, et al., 2020). The focus on this area of enquiry was discussed and chosen as it was something that could be implemented across a variety of stages and abilities. It was also widely agreed that this would be an appropriate subject to investigate and determine whether live teacher interaction helped to increase pupil confidence during what was undoubtedly an unsettling time for pupils.
Firstly, the aim of this enquiry was to introduce an emoji check-in resource to pupils on Microsoft Teams. The purpose of this was to allow pupils to assess their own work and take ownership of their learning whilst at home. This was sent to pupils at the end of the day after their live learning input and allowed the teacher to gauge how confident the children were about how they completed their Reading task. Secondly, the enquiry also aimed to identify if the face-to-face teacher interaction on Microsoft Teams, discussion of success criteria and opportunities to engage in a variety of self-assessment techniques enhanced children’s confidence in completing Reading tasks at home.