The COVID-19 crisis has forced pedagogy systems worldwide to discover alternatives to face-to-face up instruction. As a consequence, online teaching and learning accept been used by teachers and students on an unprecedented scale. Since lockdowns – either massive or localised – may be needed again in the future to respond to new waves of the infection until a vaccine becomes available, information technology is of utmost importance for governments to place which policies tin maximise the effectiveness of online learning. This policy brief examines the role of students’ attitudes towards learning in maximising the potential of online schooling when regular face-to-face educational activity cannot accept place. Since parents and teachers play a fundamental role in supporting students to develop these crucial attitudes, particularly in the current situation, targeted policy interventions should be designed with the aim of reducing the brunt on parents and aid teachers and schools make the nigh of digital learning.
Key findings and recommendations:
The current COVID-19 crisis has obliged most teaching systems to prefer alternatives to face-to-face teaching and learning. Many education systems moved activities online, to allow instruction to continue despite school closures.
Considering the culling of no schooling, online schooling has been an of import tool to sustain skills development during schoolhouse closures. That beingness said, at that place are even so concerns that online learning may take been a sub-optimal substitute for face-to-face education, peculiarly then in the absence of universal access to infrastructure (hardware and software) and lack of adequate preparation among teachers and students for the unique demands that online instruction learning pose.
Developing strong attitudes towards learning can help students overcome some of the potential challenges posed by online learning such equally, for case, remaining focused during online classes or maintaining sufficient motivation. They are also crucial in supporting students using information and communications technology (ICT) effectively and making the most of new technologies for learning. Positive attitudes towards learning, self-regulation and intrinsic motivation to acquire play an of import function in improving performance at school in full general, but may be particularly important should online learning continue.
Students’ attitudes and dispositions are influenced to a cracking caste by the support they receive from families and teachers and by the function models they are exposed to. Different forms of back up from families and teachers, including parental emotional support and teacher enthusiasm, are found to be important for the development of positive attitudes towards learning and can ensure that students learn the attitudes and dispositions that can maximise their ability to make the most of online learning opportunities. All the same, some families and teachers may struggle to provide such support – especially during the COVID-19 crisis – because of a lack of time, insufficient digital skills or lack of curricular guidelines.
Educational activity systems should aim to strengthen date between schools and parents in order to improve data and guidance to parents on effective practices for supporting their children’due south learning. At the aforementioned fourth dimension, teachers need support to incorporate technology effectively into their teaching practices and methods and help students overcome some of the difficulties that are associated with this class of learning environment. Supporting teachers’ training near the use of digital resources for pedagogical practice and promoting pedagogy practices adapted to this context is key to ensure that ICT is leveraged effectively.
As a response to the COVID-nineteen crisis, many countries around the earth closed schools, colleges and universities to halt the spread of the virus. According to data from UNESCO, the peak in school closures was registered at the beginning of April 2020, when around i.6 billion learners were affected beyond 194 countries, accounting for more than 90% of full enrolled learners
. The sudden closure of schools meant that education policy makers, school principals and teachers had to detect alternatives to face-to-face instruction in order to guarantee children’southward right to instruction. Many systems take adopted online teaching (and learning) on an unprecedented scale, ofttimes in combination with widespread remote learning materials such as idiot box or radio. Until effective vaccines or therapeutics for the novel Coronavirus become available, it is likely that schooling may proceed to be disrupted. Even if the worst case scenario of a second moving ridge of the outbreak were not to materialise, localised and temporary school closures may still be needed to incorporate transmission of COVID-19. For example, children coming in contact with infected individuals may be required to cocky-isolate and the lack of adequate spaces for them to attend classes or of qualified educators to exist deployed in those circumstances volition force certain schools to adopt blended models to guarantee social distancing. This has already been the example, for instance, in Germany, where, just two weeks later re-opening, some schools were airtight once again over Coronavirus infections. Against this uncertain backdrop, information technology is therefore important to identify which policies tin can maximise the effectiveness of online teaching and learning.
In spite of existence a desirable option compared to no schooling – which would have caused major interruptions in pupil learning with possible long-lasting consequences for the affected cohorts
Hanushek and Woessmann, 2020[three])
– the sudden switch to using digital education may accept led to sub-optimal results if compared to a business organisation equally usual in-presence instruction, every bit teachers, students and schools all had to unexpectedly adjust to a novel situation. This policy cursory takes stock of some of the difficulties encountered by students, teachers and schools while adapting to online learning in club to understand how remote schooling can be improved further, should online learning become necessary to prevent widespread manual.
The start concern which has arisen is that online learning is only available to children that have access to a broadband connectedness at home that is fast enough to support online learning. While network operators have mainly been successful to maintain services and efficiently utilise pre-existing capacity during phases of lockdown
, in that location are withal geographical areas and population groups that are underserved, especially in rural and remote areas and amid low-income groups. For example, in many OECD countries, fewer than one-half of rural households are located in areas where stock-still broadband at sufficient speeds is available. In improver, children demand to have access to devices such equally computers and the necessary software to participate in online learning activities, which is frequently a challenge for lower‑income households.
For those students that are connected, the second concern is that certain students have not been able to receive a sufficient number of hours of instruction. For example, in the United Kingdom, 71% of land school children received no or less than i daily online lesson
, while in Germany only 6% of students had online lessons on a daily basis and more than one-half had them less than once a week
(Woessmann et al., 2020[half dozen])
. Some economists have estimated that, equally a result of this, students in the United States will resume their schooling in the autumn of 2020 with roughly lxx% of the learning gains relative to a typical school year on boilerplate and that the learning gains might be fifty-fifty smaller in mathematics, amounting to merely 50%
(Kuhfeld and Tarasawa, 2020)
. It is therefore important for education policy-makers to understand which factors accept prevented sure children from receiving sufficient instruction – among them, in addition to the lack of infrastructure, the absenteeism of adequate training in schools and among teachers, as well equally, in some cases, the lack of curriculum guidelines. These elements have too determined a great variation, across schools and countries, in the quality of online learning, raising the concern that disparities in educational outcomes across socioeconomic groups may be reinforced in the absenteeism of cosmetic measures. For example, in the United States, over one‑tertiary of students have been completely excluded from online learning, especially in schools with large shares of depression-income students, while elite private schools experienced almost full omnipresence
(The Economist, 2020
. Similarly, evidence from England (United Kingdom) suggests that
children from better-off families spent xxx% more time on dwelling learning than those from poorer families during the lockdown, and
their parents reported feeling more able to support them than socio-economically disadvantaged parents, while students from richer schools
had access to more individualised resources (such as online tutoring or chats with teachers)
Farther concerns relate to the fact that the effectiveness of online learning might have been hindered, in some cases, past the lack of basic digital skills among certain students and teachers, making them unprepared to conform to the new state of affairs so abruptly
. For example, descriptive evidence based on PISA 2018 shows that there were major differences across countries and socio-economical groups in the use of technology for schoolwork before the pandemic among 15-year-olds, raising the business that students who were less experienced might be those suffering the about from the shock caused by online learning.
Effigy 1 indicates that, in almost all countries, students from low socio-economic backgrounds made less frequent use of digital technologies compared to their peers from high socio-economic backgrounds before the pandemic in 2018. Disparities were specially striking in Australia, Mexico, Southward Korea and the United States. Similar differences are observed between students from public and individual schools, with the latter making more frequent employ of digital technologies for schoolwork
In addition, some teachers might also have struggled to adapt to online teaching and so abruptly due to a lack of adequate digital skills, possibly contributing to a great heterogeneity in the quality of online pedagogy across schools. An antecedent outcome in the literature is in fact that the effectiveness of ICT for learning purposes depends considerably on the digital competencies of teachers and on whether technology is incorporated into pedagogical practices
in an constructive manner (run into Box i).
Impact of digital learning on students’ performance: What practice we know?
While in recent years governments of many countries have been investing increasing resources to heighten the availability of digital devices across schools and households, some academic literature has tried to found the mechanisms through which the utilize of digital devices affects students’ learning. What has emerged is that simply providing access or using digital technologies does not automatically atomic number 82 to amend bookish results
(Escueta et al., 2017)
. For example, Angrist and Lavy
assessed the impact of Israel’southward Tomorrow-98 programme, which was launched in the mid-90s to provide schools with computers and teachers with training for computer-aided instruction. They document a negative relationship between the programme-induced utilize of computers and maths scores. Like findings come from the evaluation of a Dutch subsidy scheme for computers and software in schools, which had a negative impact on student achievement in linguistic communication, arithmetic and information processing
(Leuven et al., 2007[sixteen])
. Other studies have found negligible effects of ICT use. In 2008, a large calibration experiment was launched in Italia to provide 156 classes with large grants to buy ICT: despite its huge cost – in the order of EUR 1 500 per student – the [email protected] programme was found to have only a negligible issue on student achievements
(Checchi, Rettore and Girardi, 2015)
. Similarly, a field experiment involving the provision of free computers to low-income schoolchildren for home use in the Usa country of California did not improve educational outcomes
(Fairlie and Robinson, 2013)
. Such negative or negligible effects take been mainly attributed to uses of ICT that substitute for more effective traditional didactics
(Bulman and Fairlie, 2016[nineteen])
: for example, a written report suggests that classroom computers are beneficial to students’ achievements when used to look up information but detrimental when used to exercise skills and procedures
(Falck, Mang and Woessmann, 2018)
. Other studies illustrate that digital tools are beneficial to student learning when they are used to complement traditional teaching, e.m. extending study time and enhancing educatee motivation
Peterson et al., 2018)
Based on this knowledge, efforts should be fabricated past governments and school principals to support teachers in incorporating online tools effectively into their teaching practices, e.chiliad. by fostering teachers’ pedagogies aimed at providing students with guidance and motivation towards active learning
(Peterson et al., 2018)
. Pedagogical practices should besides ensure that the utilise of digital technologies and online tools corresponds to learners’ needs, prior competencies and digital literacy and teachers should human action every bit mentors to guide students and help them remain focused on the learning elements of tasks
Withal, effective pedagogical practices and ease with digital tools are necessary but non sufficient conditions to ensure the effectiveness of online education and learning. Students’ attitudes towards learning are strong drivers of their bookish achievements in regular times. Indeed, these may exist crucial in sustaining students’ motivation and active learning in times of dwelling house schooling. The following department of this cursory focuses on how the development of positive attitudes towards learning can promote effective skills development in a digital surroundings. It as well identifies how positive learning attitudes can be best promoted past parental emotional support and teacher enthusiasm.
Positive learning attitudes tin ameliorate performance at schoolhouse and assistance students keep their motivation when schools are airtight
Recently, there has been increasing attending devoted to sustaining the development of different not-cognitive skills amidst students – e.thou. personality traits, goals and motivation – since they have been found to have direct positive effects on several socio-economic outcomes, including wages, schooling and performance in achievement tests. Evidence indicates that these skills are malleable and amenable to policy intervention and classroom practise
(Heckman et al., 2014)
This section will focus on six learning attitudes:
students’ ambition to acquire and sympathize as much as possible (aggressive learning goals);
the relevance students attribute to school for their future working careers (value of school);
the sense of belonging to the school community (sense of belonging);
students’ commitment to work hard and to better functioning (motivation to primary tasks);
students’ ability to overcome difficulties on their own (cocky-efficacy);
the satisfaction students get from learning and reading (enjoyment of reading).
Prove from the
OECD Skills Outlook 2021
shows that all the above-mentioned attitudes are especially of import for students’ success
in that they are positively associated to their performance in reading, mathematics and science. While many of these attitudes are developed at early stages of i’s learning path, they are very probable to exist carried over in adulthood, making individuals more than resilient to changing societies and more than disposed to life-long learning
Tuckett and Field, 2016)
. Learning attitudes are not just innate and their development is highly influenced past schooling, parental care and investments, with high risk of major inequalities beyond socio-economic groups. Data show, for case, that in a vast bulk of OECD countries, socio-economically advantaged students are significantly more likely to have ambitious learning goals as compared to disadvantaged students (Figure 2). This eventually affects as well their proficiency and academic operation.
While positive attitudes towards learning are important drivers of students’ educational attainments during normal times, they are probable to exist even more of import in the current context, considering of the unique challenges posed by online learning: online learning requires students to rely on intrinsic motivation and self-directed learning. Developing strong learning attitudes, for case, is primal if pupils are to remain focused and motivated in hard learning environments and could therefore be key to address the main difficulties that students may run into again in the virtually future, if a second moving ridge of school closures were to materialise before the health crisis has been fully addressed.
Figure 3 provides indication of the importance of attitudes for learning when this learning is mediated past digital technologies by comparing the association between a very frequent utilize of ICT for schoolwork and students’ operation in reading amid students who are, respectively, in the top and bottom quartiles of each learning mental attitude. Results testify that, among students who brand a very frequent employ of ICT for schoolwork, those with stronger attitudes towards learning reach significantly higher proficiency levels than their peers with less positive attitudes.
Further analyses shows that, while positive attitudes tend to beneficial to students’ educational achievements in general, this positive association is even stronger when restricting the sample to high ICT users, suggesting that learning attitudes can exist key to contain technologies and online tools finer into learning. When giving closer consideration to the office of different learning attitudes, data testify that students’ dispositions to develop ambitious learning goals and to aspect high value to school may be especially important for maximining the effect of online learning. For instance, in Republic of ireland, amidst students making an extensive use of ICT for schoolwork, those with strong ambitious learning goals score 32 points more in reading tests compared to their peers lacking ambitious goals.
Attitudes and dispositions toward learning are important drivers of students’ educational achievements. In the context of online learning, they can help students to incorporate more efficiently digital technologies and online tools into the learning procedure.
Families and teachers: Can they provide effective support to digital learning?
Learning attitudes are rooted in the support that students receive from teachers and families. Analyses based on PISA 2018 in the
OECD Skills Outlook 2021
shed light on the crucial role played past both teacher practices and parental emotional support as important drivers of the development of attitudes. Different forms of back up can be incentivised and shaped by effective policy intervention, generally, simply fifty-fifty more so in the extraordinary circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, information technology is important to sympathise which are the nearly suitable forms of support that teachers and families tin embrace to sustain the digital learning procedure of children.
Figure 4 shows that students display more than positive attitudes and dispositions towards learning when they benefit from more parental emotional support.
Parental emotional support matters for most attitudes and displays a strong clan with students’ self-efficacy. More than specifically, the forms of emotional support that are establish to be most benign are when parents encourage their children to be confident and when they support their children’southward educational efforts and achievements
. On the teachers’ side, the assay suggests that educational activity environments where teachers are able to convey enthusiasm towards the content of their instruction back up the development of positive learning attitudes in students, in particular ambitious learning goals, motivation to master tasks, cocky-efficacy and enjoyment of reading. The importance of instructor enthusiasm as a driving gene of student learning has been shown extensively in the literature: for instance, enthusiastic teachers help instill in their students positive subject-related affective experiences and a sense of the personal importance of the subject field
(Keller et al., 2014)
and they motivate and inspire students, increasing the productive time they spend on learning tasks
(Keller et al., 2015
Hoidn and Kärkkäinen, 2014
Kunter et al., 2013)
To requite an indication of the benefits brought about by parental and teachers’ support to students’ academic achievements, Figure 5 focusing on students making intensive use of ICT outside of school for schoolwork, compares performance in reading between those who written report to accept received, respectively, very high and very low levels of support
– both from families and from teachers. This evidence, based on PISA 2018, shows that several forms of support can be specially constructive in enhancing pupil learning. For case, among high ICT users, pupils who receive very high emotional support from parents or whose teachers are more predisposed to back up them and stimulate their reading tend to perform significantly better in all subjects assessed in PISA. Parental emotional back up is particularly effective: for instance, in the Slovak Republic, students who apply ICT very often and who receive very high support from families score on boilerplate 23 points more than than their peers with less back up from families. Receiving stiff emotional support from parents is similarly effective in some other countries, such as Austria and Slovenia.
This evidence suggests that parents can play a crucial role during habitation schooling such as ensuring that their children follow the curriculum and supporting their children emotionally to sustain their motivation and aggressive goals in a situation where they might easily exist discouraged from learning autonomously, likewise due to the lack of peer effects. Parental involvement during this stage could significantly help students to address the main challenges posed past online learning, spurring their active and democratic learning. However, many obstacles may hinder an effective engagement by parents: for example, they might struggle to engage in their children’southward schoolwork while combining their job obligations or other family obligations – a challenge that may exist especially acute for single parents. Parents might besides feel uncapable of supporting them due to lack of digital skills, familiarity with the content of their children’due south schoolwork or negative attitudes towards the material. For case, differences in educational levels of parents might give ascension to farther inequalities in educational attainments and this should therefore be of great concern for policy-makers. A recent study from the Netherlands shows, for example, that less educated parents have been less supportive of their children efforts during the lockdown and that this has been partly driven by the fact that they were feeling less capable to help them
. Parents with low education might likewise hold negative attitudes towards learning themselves, thus underestimating the importance of their support for their children’southward skill evolution and, equally effect, help them less than highly educated parents. Another concern is that gender differences in math attitudes and achievements can exist worsened during dwelling house schooling, when many children are supported mainly by their mothers in their schoolwork
(Del Boca et al., 2020
Farré and González, 2020
Sevilla and Smith, 2020)
. What is known is that many women accept loftier levels of mathematics feet and previous inquiry indicates that girls may be specially sensitive to internalising mathematics anxiety when exposed to it from female person adult figures
(Beilock et al., 2010)
. It is therefore crucial for governments and schools to have immediate actions in order to tackle these bug and foster parental involvement.
Together with families, teachers play a fundamental function in helping students to make a more beneficial use of digital learning. In particular, the nigh effective practices relate to how teachers stimulate reading in students (e.g. the teacher poses questions that motivate students to participate actively or shows students how the information in texts builds on what they already know) too equally more full general teacher back up (e.g. when the teacher shows interest in every student’s learning, continues educational activity until all the students understand and provides actress-aid when students need it) and directed-instruction (due east.g. the teacher sets articulate goals for students’ learning, asks questions to check whether students understand the material, presents summary of previous classes at the beginning of each lesson). Similarly to parental emotional support, these teacher practices can significantly improve students’ functioning at school and might be peculiarly relevant in this context, helping students to remain focused on their learning tasks and to keep their motivation and dispositions to learning. To give an example, in Commonwealth of australia, among students that rely extensively on ICT for schoolwork, those whose teachers are more than able to stimulate their reading score on average 17 points more than their peers with lower support from teachers. Like results are observed for another countries, such as Australia and Switzerland.
If learning attitudes are key drivers of students’ (online) learning achievements, the primary challenge facing governments is therefore how to promote the development of those attitudes and how to support teachers and parents in strengthening them. Some countries take already implemented policies in this direction. These are discussed in the next section.
Policies to support families and teachers
The analysis presented so far has highlighted the importance of both families and teachers in supporting students’ learning and motivation, in regular times merely even more so during school closures. It is therefore important for governments to facilitate their effective engagement. Finding effective means for working parents to provide childcare and support to their children in schoolwork while combining their jobs obligations is an of import challenge that many governments are attempting to address. About OECD countries have already put in place interventions in this direction by extending, for instance, family unit leave opportunities. In Slovenia working parents who are unable to reconcile piece of work and family obligations are entitled to up to three-months paid leave, paid at 80% of their earnings by the government. Similarly, in Federal republic of germany parents with children nether 12 years of historic period are entitled to six weeks paid go out, paid at 67% of earnings up to a ceiling of EUR 2 016 per month. In the United States, according to the Families First Coronavirus Response Human activity, parents with children under 18 years of age whose school has airtight are entitled to up to 12 weeks paid family go out, paid at ii-thirds of earnings, up to a limit of USD 200 per mean solar day and USD 12 000 over the duration. Other countries take put in identify similar provisions – due east.g. Canada, France, Italian republic, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, etc. – and volition continue them whilst schools remain closed. Measures of this sort are crucial to spur parental involvement in their children’s learning activities while preserving their jobs.
The provision of data to parents on how to finer support their children’due south learning can as well ameliorate educational outcomes, both during a lockdown and in normal times. For example, Broad Open up School, a spider web platform created in the United States, offers resources for educators and families for students from preschool to upper secondary pedagogy. Part of these resources aim to develop disciplinary technical skills also as creativity, critical thinking or social-emotional skills, while other resources support families, due east.g. by helping lower income families get devices and ameliorate broadband or by providing them with guidance almost social-emotional wellbeing. Beyond offering admission to curated resources, the platform also suggests a daily schedule to help students and families accept a skillful residual of activities
Education systems can also aim to strengthen school-parent engagement in lodge to provide appropriate information and guidance to parents on effective practices for supporting their children’s learning. An case from Latvia is the Educational TV Channel Tava Klase, which delivers high-quality educational fabric tailored for dissimilar age groups and provides a way for parents to connect with schools
(van der Vlies, 2020)
. As an indicator of its success, a recent survey of parents, students and teachers show that there is a strong positive association between the clarity of communications between schools and parents, and parents’ confidence that their children would achieve their learning goals
Teachers also need support to rapidly adapt their instruction practices to altitude learning, whether regular or advertisement hoc. In this respect, France has mobilised its network of local digital pedagogy advisers to support the transition from contiguous to distant learning. The network of digital educational activity directorate has supported both teachers and school principals – by providing them with online training about the availability and use of digital resources for pedagogical exercise and by promoting teaching practices adapted to educational continuity and progressive school re-opening – and students – by working with local authorities to lend and evangelize computers and learning worksheets to all students
. Other countries take decided to complement schooling resource and teachers’ efforts in delivering high-quality online classes by also providing home schooling circulate on television or social networks. As an example, in the United Kingdom, the BBC has started to collaborate with teachers and educational experts and provides daily lessons to pupils in yr i to 10, including videos and interactive activities aimed at keeping up students’ motivation and at stimulating their socio-emotional skills
(Van Lieshout, 2020)
The current COVID-19 crunch has forced many countries to close schools, colleges and universities to halt the spread of the virus. Due to the long-lasting negative consequences that school closures would have on skill aggregating, many educational activity systems moved chop-chop online on an unprecedented scale. Since lockdowns may be introduced over again in the future until effective vaccines or therapeutics become bachelor, information technology is of utmost importance for governments to reflect on the main difficulties that students, parents, teachers and schoolhouse principals have encountered in adapting to this phase of massive online learning and intervene to better harness the potential of online learning. For example, they should outset aggrandize infrastructure, ensuring that nobody is excluded from online lessons, and back up students and teachers to use online tools and technologies in an effective manner.
Based on forthcoming analysis in the
Skills Outlook 2021, this policy cursory illustrates that students’ attitudes and dispositions to learning, such every bit ambition or motivation, are important drivers of their educational achievements and can help ensure that online learning is as effective as possible. In addition, this brief showed that families and teachers play a crucial role in guiding children through the challenges of dwelling learning: parents can provide emotional and learning support to their children, while teachers tin act every bit mentors, encouraging active learning and motivation and checking that nobody falls behind. Such interventions tin can considerably contribute to making online learning more than effective. Given the crucial part that families and teachers play in the context of school closures, governments can spur their constructive engagement by, for instance, expanding family leave opportunities and by strengthening school-parents communication.
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Die Schulkinder Die Zeit Der Schulschließungen Verbracht, Und Welche Bildungsmaßnahmen Befürworten Die Deutschen?.
Other previous show is contained for instance in
(Heckman, Stixrud and Urzua, 2006)
Results concur when accounting for students’ grade compared to modal grade in the country and type of programme (full general, pre-vocational, vocational), mitigating the business organisation that results might be driven by school characteristics.
Coordinating results are found for the other subjects assessed in PISA, i.east. science and mathematics.
Parental emotional support is an alphabetize constructed in PISA grouping the post-obit forms of support embraced by parents: parents support their children’s educational efforts and achievements, they support their children when they are facing difficulties and they encourage them to be confident.
High and low levels of support take been defined based on the values taken by the indices of parental emotional support and teacher practices, synthetic in PISA. More specifically, students receiving low/high support are those in the bottom/meridian quartile of the corresponding alphabetize.