Prior to Christmas 2020, First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon announced that school pupils would be moving to remote learning until at least mid-January, which has now been extended further (Education Scotland, 2021). Over the past year Scotland’s children have spent a significant portion of their time in lockdown, learning from home whilst engaging with online interactions with their teachers and peers. During the 2020 lockdown, teachers were heavily criticized by the public and the media for their standards of online learning as well as having contact with an average of only 60% of their pupils (Lucus, Nelson and Sims, 2020). As schools had been underprepared for the effects of the Coronavirus, on the return to school many began to explore digital technology within the classroom to prepare the children for a second move to remote learning.
Now as children are facing their second turn at remote learning it has been advised that learning from home can only work when there is regular contact with the children, whether this is achieved through interactive lessons or weekly class contact (Rutherford, 2021). This approach has been widely popular and expected to improve pupil engagement however, with only 1 in 3 schools hosting daily live lessons per day (Williams, 2021) it is important to explore engagement levels following live interactions. Additionally, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to replicate a classroom environment through a live call (National Education Union, 2020) and it may be that live lessons are not as effective as other forms of teaching and learning (McInerney, 2021).
As my local council cluster has implemented daily live lessons, I found it important to explore whether or not live lessons make a difference to the children’s learning and motivation to engage with their tasks.
This enquiry aims to identify the impact of live lessons on pupil engagement with online tasks.