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Covid-19: identifying effective remote literacy teaching methods for primary-aged children

This research project stems from a direct appeal from our UK teacher collaborators, who suddenly face having to teach pupils online, with scant training and patchy evidence on how to do so effectively. We aim to identify effective remote, evidence-based literacy instruction for primary-aged children with a range of literacy abilities; to mitigate as much as possible the negative effect of school closure on education. Implementing a longitudinal design, we will assess literacy outcomes before,during, and after two five-week cycles of online teaching. We focus on literacy instruction, given that literacy is core to primary education, and a crucial predictor of later educational achievement. We focus on the understudied topic of effective online delivery. 120 Key Stage 2 children will undergo remote one-to-one teaching, in which each child receives one cycle of (a) live interaction, simulating a classroom environment (synchronous),and one cycle of (b) independent work on tasks à live feedback/discussion from the teacher, often used in online class (asynchronous) methods, delivered in a counterbalanced curriculum over the two cycles. 120 age- and ability-matched children currently not undergoing structured formal teaching will form a baseline. Literacy outcomes will be assessed remotely, using standardised tests. Testing takes place before and after the first cycle (T1: May; T2 June), after the second cycle (T3: July), and nine weeks later (T4: November), to examine sustained benefits derived from instruction, and the longer term impacts of school closures on literacy, through modelling with the previous year’s cohort data.

Lead investigator:

Manon Jones


Bangor University

Primary topic:

Schools, universities & training

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Status of data collection

In Progress

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Unit of real-time data collection


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Periodic (other)