It was inspiring to me to see how the research teams in this cluster met the challenges and disruptions of the switch to remote working and then to learners returning to the classroom with collaboration and innovation.
These projects demonstrate that inclusive, engaging digital learning is ‘not just about technology’. Though innovative use of digital tools certainly underpins their new strategies, building learners’ digital confidence, developing maths resilience and ensuring equality of access to digital devices and systems are also key themes.
In all four projects, the need to invest time encouraging learners to share more about their learning experiences and wider lives outside education paid dividends. The sharing of work, leisure and home life experiences built learners’ confidence and trust in teachers.
Early relationship-building groundwork encouraged learners to provide honest feedback on their experiences, challenges and concerns building more cohesive relationships with and between learners. Dispelling a ‘fear of being wrong’ and building a ‘hands up’ culture helped teachers draw out misconceptions and anxieties that learners had regarding maths operations and testing. Learner voice and teacher collaboration underpins the success of these projects; that can be seen clearly in the learner work and testimonials shared in these project reports.
Another stand-out feature is how collaborations with learners and between teachers increased participating teachers’ confidence and their motivation to experiment and innovate. This in turn increased teachers’ satisfaction in their role as educators.
Introducing technology for Functional Skills maths and English: Bishop Burton and Riseholme College
This project gave us the opportunity to take a holistic approach to Functional Skills (FS) maths. We developed a blended learning environment that helped to give learners the confidence to risk being wrong, and created a hands up culture where a comfortable classroom allowed deeper thinking and discussion around misconceptions.
A flipped approach to engaging, supporting and building confidence: The Sheffield College
This project set out to investigate if a more nuanced approach to undertaking weekly electronic diagnostic assessments prior to attendance at a weekly GCSE Mathematics Resit class improved learner motivation, confidence, and their learning experience.
Using technology to motivate and engage GCSE maths learners: Basingstoke College of Technology
This project’s premise was to use an action research approach to investigate digital learning and the effectiveness of learner-led digital activities. This includes not just what programs and software work best, but also which methods and approaches engage learners most successfully. We have used technology with our learners for a number of years but we aimed to refine it, with promising results.
Using online delivery to support learning and engagement in maths: College of West Anglia
This project started with an aim to develop our team’s ability to deliver remote learning for 16-18 year olds studying Maths. As the project progressed our research aims evolved, and we report on our research into maths anxiety and misconceptions here.
Watch the group presentations at the final dissemination event by clicking play (to the right).