Clicking our way to great teaching

The latest blogpost by the IEE’s Robert Slavin looks at electronic response devices, and the recent studies of Questions for Learning (QfL) conducted by the IEE. He concludes: “The classroom of the future will surely have some means of giving teachers and students immediate feedback on students’ learning, and quick means of accommodating differences in student proficiency. QfL seems like a major step in this direction. The findings of the early research are encouraging, and as clickers get ever smarter, the possibilities seem exciting.”

Source: Clicking our way to great teaching (2012), Education Week (Sputnik Blog)

New study finds technology improves grammar learning

Hand-held technology can help to improve primary pupils’ learning of grammar, according to a new study by researchers at the Institute for Effective Education (IEE). A randomised evaluation of the use of Questions for Learning (QfL), a technology-enhanced, self-paced learning tool, was conducted in more than 40 primary schools. In QfL, each pupil responds to progressively more difficult questions that are presented on wireless hand-held devices at the rate that the pupil answers them. This allows both more advanced and weaker pupils to answer in a private way at a pace appropriate to them.

Pupils in classes who used QfL showed significant gains in grammar compared with pupils in the control group. This improvement was greater in schools that used QfL at least three days each week, and for low- and average-achieving pupils. If these results held over a school year, these pupils would make between three and four months of additional progress. Both teachers and pupils enjoyed using the strategy for formative assessment, believed it improved pupil achievement in grammar, and would recommend its use for other pupils and for other subjects.

Source: Effects of technology-enhanced formative assessment on achievement in primary grammar (2012), Institute for Effective Education

Self-paced learning looks promising

A new study by the Institute for Effective Education has shown that self-paced learning could produce significant gains in primary maths learning. In self-paced learning pupils answer, at their own pace, questions delivered directly to electronic handsets.

The technology instantly marks the responses and feeds back the results to both pupil and teacher. Teachers can use this formative assessment to help pupils and guide future teaching. Significant gains in pupils’ mathematical learning were made by those pupils using the self-paced learning technology.

Source: Self-paced learning: Effective technology-supported formative assessment report on achievement findings (2011), Institute for Effective Education