The results of the distance learning study, conducted by Centre for Educational Technology in spring 2020, indicate that 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.
According to Kairit Tammets, a senior researcher in educational technology at Centre for Educational Technology in Tallinn University, 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.
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. About a quarter to one-third of the parents said they didn’t manage too well. That means there were about one-third of families who needed more noticing and support.
For the research, a survey was conducted eith 5th, 8th and 11th-grade students their parents. The results revealed that the distance learning experience was assessed more positively by younger students, but more negatively by older students. Younger pupils may need additional help when distance learning. Aldso, Basic school’s last level (7th to 9th grade) needs more attention. This could be age-related.
Kairit Tammets also brings 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 says. “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 adds.
The survey didn’t study results but coping with distance learning.