What are some good practices to support teachers to carry out remote learning?

The evidence-backed advice below is one in a series of topics from the EdTech Hub Helpdesk. Here we summarise recommendations from our work with governments, ministries of education and partnerships with other organisations through the World Bank and FDCO.

There is significant evidence that teaching quality is one of the most significant determinants of learning outcomes in low- and middle-income countries. We know that teachers who are equipped with good pedagogical practices are crucial to engaging students in learning while schools are closed. Given that remote learning can impact the ability of teachers to be heavily engaged in learning, the role of non-formal educators — such as parents and caregivers or community-based teachers — has risen since mass school closures.

In a traditional classroom setting, effective teacher practices include well-structured lessons with frequent checks for understanding and adaptation to the needs of individual learners. Students benefit from high levels of interaction with teachers (‘teacher presence’) and a sense of community. Efforts to support educators to carry out remote learning should aim to foster these same practices. For example, radio programmes can prompt interaction between siblings listening together, or promote the atmosphere of a listener community by inviting individuals to submit questions via SMS. 

Educators also need curriculum-aligned and contextually appropriate materials to support children’s learning at a distance. Given that this is time-intensive, materials should be developed in partnership with schools and governments. Where possible, we recommend content curation over creation. Open Educational Resources (OER) are open-source, freely available materials that can be modified and shared with others. OER have proven to be especially useful as teaching materials; they have the potential to provide high-quality resources that can be adjusted to address local circumstances. 

For more information, check out EdTech Hub’s list of teacher education initiatives implemented in low-connectivity settings, many of which use OER, and a brief on characteristics of effective teacher education (and EdTech-enabled examples). We also have additional resources on: 

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