This report defines the key concepts relating to remote and digital learning. It gives clear definitions of remote/distance learning, blended learning, asynchronous/synchronous learning and virtual learning environment. For those practitioners who have wondered what asynchronous or synchronous remote learning is, the definition in the report is clear. It relates to the time-based nature of learning. A synchronous learning environment means that students and teachers engage in learning at the same time. Asynchronous means that student learning takes place away from direct contact with teachers. The report summarise existing knowledge on what makes an effective remote learning environment. It analysis evidence from Higher Education, who have been using remote learning for years and China. It outlines 4 effective remote learning characteristic. These are firstly, appropriate organisation to reproduce learning environments which are well structured, provide a level of flexibility to individual learners, and use assessment appropriately. Secondly, the presence of an educator who achieves appropriate interaction with students to increase motivation. Thirdly, the role of teachers within remote teaching reflecting classroom-based approaches explaining content using direct instruction. Fourthly, creating a learning community using social and cognitive presence. Social presence relates to the sense of belonging that learners have to their online learning communities. Finally, the report present tips for practitioners and parents.
The tips for practitioners are based on evidence from China and the Education Endowment Foundation. Tips include reminding practitioners that teaching quality is more important than how lessons are delivered, peer interactions can provide motivation and improve learning outcomes and different approaches to remote learning suit different types of content and pupils. The tips for practitioners include trying to maintain a daily routine, providing time and space for your child’s homeworking and be realistic and manage expectations. The report also has useful resources for practitioners and parents as well as key academic references.