Scientist: Cooperation between teachers would help with distance learning

A class in progress at Pelgulinn high school in pre-pandemic days.
A class in progress at Pelgulinn high school in pre-pandemic days. Source: ERR

Distance learning increases the number of students with learning disabilities and for the better arrangement of schoolwork, it would be good if teachers coordinated their work and gave tasks in advance, a Tallinn University (TLÜ) education scientist says, introducing the findings of a study conducted in spring.

"Students with learning disabilities were in trouble and there were more and more of them. Teachers estimated that the number doubled compared to the usual amount. Kairit Tammets, a senior researcher in educational technology at TLÜ, told ETV morning program "Television" on Thursday, December 10.

She said that the study conducted to evaluate the coping with distance learning during the first wave of the coronavirus revealed that about one-third of students didn't think the method was effective. "And about a quarter to one-third of the parents said they didn't manage too well. That means we have about one-third of families who needed more noticing and support," Tammets said.

Tammets said that a survey of 5th, 8th and 11th-grade students and their parents revealed that the distance learning experience was assessed more positively by younger students, but more negatively by older students.

Basic school's last level needs more attention

"When we look at the survey from the perspective of different age groups, I would say that students from 7th to 9th grade need more attention. This is probably age-related," Tammets said.

Tammets also brought out the importance of planning the learning process.

"We noticed in the case of many schools and teachers that teachers gave the assignments the night before or the morning of the day the child had to do. Our study showed that a slightly longer period was definitely needed - a week or for older students, even longer," she said. "Parents had the same issue - they too would like to understand more about what's going on and in advance."

The wish was especially clear among the students of the 11th grade who said that they would wish to commit to mathematics for a whole day and then it would be great to know what has to be done in a certain time period.

"Ideally, it should work in cooperation between teachers. That they would look together at what is happening for one class in a week. And make these agreements in advance and communicate with the necessary parties," Tammets added.

Tammets emphasized that the survey didn't study results but coping with distance learning.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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