Engagement describes the pupils’ positive perceptions and feeling about their school, teachers and peers, and their active participation in school-related activities and learning. Pupil participation and engagement in school enhances commitment to learning, achievement, academic aspirations, enjoyment in school, self-esteem, and optimism for the future (Covell, 2010). Research with Primary school-aged children shows that pupils who like their teachers and classmates, and whose teachers have high expectations for them, tend to be more motivated to put sustained effort into their schoolwork. (Clerkin and Creaven, 2013). As a result, these engaged pupils, who feel like they belong and are comfortable in a learning environment, tend to show better academic performance than less engaged peers. It can be stated then that pupil engagement is a fundamental aspect of the teaching and learning process in which negative and positive emotion plays a significant part.
In the primary school, there are several different approaches used with the aim to improve pupil engagement and performance. These include pupil personalisation and choice, appropriate contexts for learning and meaningful conversations with teachers and peers (Vezzani, 2019). However, with the rise of digital learning, it has become increasingly difficult to sustain high levels of engagement with pupils in a traditional classroom setting. Therefore, the use of digital platforms has become essential tools in sustaining levels of engagement and increasing learner achievement in numeracy and literacy. According to Leger (2019) when a digital app was more useful, more enjoyable, and easier to use, learner’s achievement increased. Different research projects have found that the use of digital platforms can lead to a broad scale of improvement within learning which evidently adds to children’s attainment and achievement. An example of an effective digital platform is Sumdog. This digital platform provides choice and challenge, as well as a method of measuring children’s progress based upon the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE).
Our group picked out a common interest in pupil engagement and decided to focus on different digital platforms that suited the needs and abilities of our pupils. This approach is an effective way to measure learner engagement and progress within a contextual learning environment as we all teach different age groups. The enquiry will examine the connection between digital platforms and children’s achievement and engagement in maths.
The aim of this enquiry was to evaluate the success of using digital platforms such as sumdog, to improve the engagement and performance of children in their learning in maths during remote learning.