Niamh Higgins

Primary Teacher

St. Teresa's Primary

  • Digital Learning: Pupil Engagement

To what extent does the implementation of a daily challenge increase online engagement?

Rationale

Due to COVID 19, teaching and learning this term has been moved to a digital platform. As a group, we felt that children in our classes are not always fully engaged when it comes to the submission of assignments, social interactions on Microsoft Teams, or answering out during group calls and class video check-ins. We discussed in depth the potential reasoning behind children’s lack of engagement and participation, whether it be lack of understanding, lack of confidence or because they are not in the classroom setting. We reached a collective decision to introduce daily challenges on Microsoft Teams with the aim of increasing engagement and social interaction across digital platforms.  

Research indicates that learners who take part in well-designed and thought-out tasks take pride in their work, value their education and actively engage in activities (Munns and Woodward, 2006). More active and thoughtful activities encourage learners to dive deeper into the evaluation of their own learning and enjoyment (Munns and Woodward, 2006), for instance, conversations between the teacher and pupil on engagement and progress, key strengths and weaknesses (Costa and Kallick, 2004) and how the strengths can be further strengthened and how the weaknesses can be targeted. Furthermore, Curriculum for Excellence, Building the Curriculum 5: A Framework for Assessment document emphasises a coherent approach to planning, teaching, learning and assessment (Scottish Government, 2011), which is necessary for young people to be successful in their learning and when developing key skills. This document highlights that in order to gather great quality evidence of pupils’ progress through experiences, educators will therefore, have to plan to utilise a scope of approaches that mirror the breadth, challenge and use of learning and the wide range of skills being developed (Scottish Government, 2011). I took this on board when carrying out my enquiry remotely.  

Aim

The aim of this enquiry was to examine what happens to the level of online engagement when daily challenges are implemented as part of online learning. 

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