The pandemic has forced all learning in Scotland’s schools to be delivered online to pupils in their own homes or in a school hub setting. A live lesson, or synchronous online learning, refers to learning activities happening at a set time over a platform such as Microsoft Teams. A synchronous learning environment means that students and teachers engage in learning at the same time. Pupils listen to the teacher discuss the lesson, see visuals on the screen and ask questions/receive feedback in live time. Asynchronous online learning refers to completing assignments, undertaking reading or watching videos away from direct contact with the teacher.
This terminology is not a result of the pandemic, normal learning environments incorporate both forms. For example, the standard classroom environment is an example of a synchronous learning environment whereas homework, completed before or after an in-person task, is an example of asynchronous learning (NLC, 2021). The enquiry should establish the nature of the linkage between the teaching and feedback provided in live lessons and each pupil’s performance and engagement.
The enquiry aims to provide the pupils with a voice in terms of how they feel the real-time feedback/support for learning helps them. It should allow us to understand if it is advantageous for pupils to receive their lessons in a live format and if so what techniques make this a success.
However, it should also be noted that there will not be any punitive actions taken if a pupil does not engage in live lessons. It is understood that working remotely is not ideal for all students and that they may not be engaging in live lessons for a number of reasons. In addition to a live lesson, a synchronous learning task will always be provided and if the pupil is able to upload work then feedback will be given in written form.