ETA – filling the LEARNING GAP !

Article

COVID-19 and the local and international lockdown measures enforced to control its spread has considerably impacted the education of the global student population. The school closures of 2020 have resulted in significant learning gaps that even after returning to the traditional in-class format, individual institutions are struggling to fill. The reasons attributed to these losses tended to fall under these categories: none or limited instruction, ineffective homeschooling or school-related activities in the home environment,and more time spent on passive activities such as watching TV or computer games (Woessmann et al., 2020). The exact learning losses remain unknown and under research, though the few studies of the past year that have been conducted point towards students having learnt significantly less than what was observed in 2019, and, in many cases, the stagnation that was observed in the reduction of new knowledge being absorbed, led to significant growing deficits and loss of already acquired skills (Kuhfeld et al., 2020). The economic effect on both the individual and national level has also been noted, with studies suggesting a 3% lower income for students in grades 1-12 (Woessmann et al., 2020). All in all it is quite clear that what is being faced now is an education crisis.

COVID-19 Learning Stagnation Effect

 More than half of students are three months or more behind in mathematics as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

So reads a finding from a survey undertaken by The Royal Society in November 2020, on the impact of COVID-19 on the teaching and learning of mathematics for 3–19 year-olds. Although schools are doing their best to make up for this learning and achievement gap caused by this “COVID-19 Learning Stagnation Effect”, the enormous educational burdens and strains under which they currently find themselves will ultimately affect the student body. Educators and teachers have long acknowledged the variance of their students in terms of their performance levels and learning styles, and the urgent need for individualised learning. It is likely that school attendance will remain disrupted at best in the coming year, which will continue to take a toll on the education and learning of the student population, with an even greater impact on disadvantaged students. Many parents that can, are taking additional steps to address the impact of the learning and progress loss suffered by their children in the past year, one of which is by filling the gaps through private or small group classes with a strong emphasis on individual and/or personalised learning.

How can the Europe Tutorial Academy help fill the Learning-Gap?

The core of Europe Tutorial Academy GmbH (ETA) educational practice is to create a learning experience for our students that successfully identifies and addresses each individual student’s needs, is student-centred and empowers each student to critique and adapt their own learning strategies. To do this, we use a tried-and-tested learner-centred philosophy in working with all our students. Step by step we take our students on a learning journey by:

  • Facilitating self-discovery
  • Exploiting “mistakes” as learning opportunities
  • Identifying and replacing negative reinforcement loops that block learning progress

ETA Online Tutoring

All our E.T.A. Online Tutoring courses are especially designed for individual student learning and are delivered from their own tutorial course page on the E.T.A. website. Each Online Tutoring course has a dedicated tutor who co-ordinates and guides the student throughout the duration of the programme. Each student has open access to their own online tutoring page throughout the duration of the programme, from which he/she can access activities to assess theoretical understanding, exercises and supporting content uploaded by the tutor such as audio and video instructions and commentaries. In addition, each student will have their own interactive learning whiteboard that is integrated into the tutoring course page. The student can log-in to their learning board anytime during their programme. And the course tutor will use this online learning whiteboard to lead live interactive sessions with the student.

Our online tutoring courses use an EIGHT-STEP PROCESS designed to get students back on track with their A-level studies and recover from the COVID learning stagnation effect.

Eight-Step Process

1. Initial Assessment

Diagnose current strengths-weaknesses, identify knowledge gaps (subject content and application of competences), and to determine how effectively students are using examination techniques such as understanding the criteria, time-management, calculator skills (if relevant), and general self-evaluation.

2. Audit of lost learning

This audit is jointly undertaken by the ETA tutor and the student, in order to prioritize and order the learning goals.

3. Clarify the tutorial aims

Based on the student’s aspirational grade and relevant school predicted grade, the ETA Tutor will then agree with the student a set of realistic and time-bound aims to be achieved by the student by the end of the online tutoring course.

4. Action Plan

Based on the above aims, an Action Plan will be drawn up by the ETA Tutor with set timelines and interim goals.

5. Ongoing formative feedback

The ETA Tutor will embed into the set homework, tasks and live lessons, regular opportunities for student feedback. As well as guide the student on the use of self-feedback techniques.

6. Use of practice papers

Created by the tutor and tailored to student need.

7. Exam simulations

It is essential that students get used to taking past papers and specimen papers under simulated exam conditions. This preparation will be carefully monitored and coordinated by the ETA Tutor.

8. Summative assessment

The online tutoring course will culminate in a final summative examination, which will be followed up by a written report and recommendations for further study.

Types of Online Tutoring Package

Our online tutoring courses are very flexible, and are currently offered in packages of 5, 20 and 50 hours. Our “booster” and “revision” online tutorial programmes are of especial relevance to students attempting to catch-up on lost learning as a result of the impact of the Corona restrictions.

A “booster” tutorial programme is designed to give the student a mid-course stimulus. It is often at this mid-way point in a course that many students start to feel a bit overwhelmed with their academic workload. Clearly, this has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 Learning Stagnation Effect. A Booster Tutorial Programme provide the student with an opportunity to experience a new, stimulating and supportive environment. In so doing, the student will be able to work intensively on a highly focused set of activities which will offer a fresh perspective tore-engage with their subject and to anchor new learning.

A “revision” tutorial programme is designed to consolidate a student’s learning to date. In so doing, it provides a check for the student on the effectiveness of their learning strategies, and of course to assist them with subject topic or unit specific examination preparation and techniques. Each Revision Tutorial Programme will use a bank of past and specimen papers, together with our own question and tasks databank and calculator technique exercises (as appropriate).  

Engage with Us

The Europe Tutorial Academy GmbH uses a secure website page to host private customer video conferences. We use these online customer consultations to offer customers the opportunity to answer questions about a course they are interested in, and to listen carefully to our customer feedback about our services and suggestions for new courses.

Please contact us if you wish to have a private customer consultation conference.

References

Hanushek, Eric A., Ludger Woessmann (2020), “The Economic Impact of Learning Losses”, EdWorkingPapers,No. 225, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/21908d74-e.

Kuhfeld, Megan, James Soland, Beth Tarasawa, Angela Johnson, Erik Ruzek, Jing Liu (2020), “Projecting the Potential Impacts of Covid-19 School Closures on Academic Achievement”, EdWorkingPapers, No. 20-226, Annenberg (May), Brown University.

The Royal Society. “Royal Society Advisory Committee on Mathematics Education (ACME) and Joint Mathematical Council (JMC) Survey with Teachers on the Impact of Covid-19 on Mathematics Education | Royal Society.” Royal Society,royalsociety.org/topics-policy/education-skills/mathematics-education/royal-society-acme/maths-education-and-covid-19.Accessed 5 Apr. 2021.

Woessmann, Ludger, Vera Freundl, Elisabeth Grewenig, Philipp Lergetporer, Katharina Werner, Larissa Zierow (2020),“Bildung in der Coronakrise: Wie haben die Schulkinder die Zeit der Schulschließungen verbracht, und welche Bildungsmaßnahmen befürworten die Deutschen? [Education in the corona crisis: How did the schoolchildren spend the time the schools were closed and which educational measures do the Germans advocate?]”, ifo Schnelldienst, Vol. 73/9.

Article written by:
Annetta Benzar
Senior Tutor