Megan Frances Croall

Modern Studies

Our Lady's High, Cumbernauld

  • Digital Learning: Pupil Engagement

Do live lessons promote pupil engagement?


Every child has the right to an education (The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989). As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic schools across the country have been forced to move to online learning. This move to online learning has led to questions surrounding the issue of engagement, namely how teachers can maintain pupil engagement whilst learning from home. The term ‘student engagement’ can be defined in a variety of different ways and is most commonly defined in reference to student’s involvement in the learning environment (Fredericks et al 2004). In reality, student engagement is a complex term that is not easy to define. This can be impacted by different factors such as their attendance, class participation, how welcome/safe they feel in the school environment and the subject being studied (Olson et al 2015). There is now a significant amount of research which showcases the importance of pupil engagement in a range of outcomes. A recent Scottish study carried out by Mannion, Sowerby and I’Anson (2015) has showcased the positive impact pupil engagement across all aspects of school life has on pupil outcomes including exam results.

North Lanarkshire Council has placed a great emphasis on ensuring pupils are engaging with online learning as this is important to ensure their education and progression is not disrupted. As a result of this and the previous research that highlights the importance of engagement in pupil progression, I have chosen to investigate the impact of live lessons in promoting pupil engagement. Olson and Peterson (2015) have explored the multiple factors that can have an impact on pupil’s engagement within the classroom. Sowerby and I’Anson (2015) have researched the positive impact pupil engagement across the school can have on pupil’s continued progression. It is from these key readings that the rationale for this enquiry has been ratified.


Overall, the aim of this enquiry was to reveal the impact of live lessons on pupil engagement. This inquiry was carried out with an S3 Broad General Education Modern Studies class. Young people were invited to a meeting at the beginning of each lesson where they were taken through the content and tasks for the lesson. The first aim is to analyse the impact of live lessons on pupil’s submission of work and the quality of this. The second aim is to analyse the impact of live lessons in pupil’s use of the chat function. Within this class an encouraging approach was taken to actively involve pupils in lessons.

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