What is the impact on pupil participation and involvement in live lessons when using the interactive features on Microsoft Teams?
As a an education practitioner, it is important to continuously grow and make progress through personal and professional development. In order to meet the professional standards for full registration, the General Teaching Council Scotland (2012) specify that classroom practitioners need to “Have knowledge and understanding of the importance of research and engagement in professional enquiry”. (Pg 12) This enquiry was undertaken in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and as such, the group had to adapt their topic to suit this.
The topic for this enquiry – pupil participation and involvement in live lessons – was chosen in light of the swift movement to remote learning schools had to undertake in January 2020 due to the second lockdown in Scotland. The data for the enquiry was all collected during the remote learning period in early 2021. In January 2021, at the onset of the second remote learning period, Education Scotland defined that remote learning should be “a combination of of ‘live’ interactions between teacher and learners, and also learning which takes place away from the direct presence of the class teacher”. (Education Scotland, 2021) It was decided to focus on live lessons as this had been a controversial topic amongst practitioners and the group were hoping to find data that could be shared amongst practitioners to improve best practice when delivering an online curriculum.
Ensuring pupils received the highest quality teaching and learning from the live lessons was at the forefront of the group’s reason to focus on the particular subject. Pupil participation in learning experiences and decision making is perceived to be an important aspect of developing the curriculum. In terms of school improvement, Rudduck and Flutter write that we should be observing the learning environment from the learners’ viewpoint and taking account of pupil voice and opinion, while allowing pupils to become active participants in their learning. (Rudduck & Flutter, 2010) This is an important point to consider; not only in terms of school improvement – but in allowing for pupil autonomy within their own learning and learning experiences. A previous study highlights the benefits of pupil participation. Overall, the study concluded that, in primary schools, participation was likely to increase pupil achievement, confidence and had led to better classroom learning relationships and school ethos. (Cross et. al, 2009)
There were three main aims of this enquiry. The aims were as follows:
- To examine the effect the use of the interactive functions on Microsoft Teams Meet had on pupil engagement and involvement in lessons.
- To investigate if there were any functions in particular that effected engagement and involvement most positively
- To offer an insight into why pupils were more potentially more responsive to lessons not utilising the features/utilising the features.