Roisin Shields

Primary Teacher

St. Gerard's Primary

  • Digital Learning: Pupil Engagement

What impact does a digital reward system have on pupil engagement with Online Learning?


As a teacher during a global pandemic it was imperative to keep the children engaged without their usual face-face teaching or structure of a school day. Through daily check-ups, live lessons, reading groups and constant teacher support using an array of resources the children were encouraged to engage in their learning. Education Scotland (Scotland, 2021) suggest that in order to raise both attainment and engagement good classroom management is required. Jarvela (Jarvela, 2011) suggests that the foundation to classroom management is a positive reward system. It could then be suggested that if a positive reward system is successful in a classroom setting that it could also have a positive impact on a digital platform.

New research has found that children are much less likely to engage in home learning than face to face teaching. Carr (Carr, 2020) suggests that one third of students are not engaging on a digital platform. It is essential that children continue to engage with new learning even when they are at home. North Lanarkshire Council has provided weekly documentation throughout the online learning period repeatedly highlighting the importance of supporting each individual child’s achievement.
The Nuffield Foundation (Foundation, 2020) state that a child of a lower ability or have a disadvantaged background are less likely to engage with remote learning. Wiliam’s (Wiliam, 2011) noted that a child’s IQ increases when children are fully engaged and participate in lessons.
This practitioner enquiry will focus on the impact that a positive reward system has on pupil engagement in Literacy. Within the classroom setting, children are familiar with several reward systems such as ‘Star Writer.’ By continuing ‘Star Writer’ it allows for continuity along with Class Dojo Points for scratch cards.


Through this practitioner enquiry the aim is to establish if a reward system on an online setting impacts on the willingness of pupils to submit their work. By implementing a reward system for a specific curricular area, it allows there to be a focus to identify if the addition of the reward does impact on engagement. It is anticipated that by implementing rewards, engagement will either sustain or increase in numbers. Through the introduction of rewards, a positive attitude to learning and engagement will be encouraged.

Download Practitioner Enquiry