Over a third of teachers reported that most of their class failed to participate regularly in the online learning that replaced regular teaching during the Covid-19 pandemic in a survey carried out by the Education Ministry.
The main findings of the survey were provided by Education Minister Owen Bonnici in response to a parliamentary question by the Nationalist Party’s education spokesman Clyde Puli.
The survey, undertaken by the Directorate for Digital Literacy, was carried out last May among all schools in Malta and Gozo, and was answered by 1,910 educators, including heads and assistant heads of school, heads of department, teachers, kindergarten educators and learning support educators.
Student engagement lowest in secondary school
The findings confirmed that maintaining student engagement through online learning was a key challenge. 37% of respondents said that most of their students failed to engage in online learning and participate regularly, the same proportion as those who reported that nearly all of their students did.
On average, the survey suggests that 63% of classes saw at least half of their students participate regularly in online learning, but the situation is more problematic when it comes to older students.
The majority of students participated in online learning in around three quarters of primary school classes. Broken down further, 73% of Year 1 and 2 educators, 79% of Year 3 and 4 educators and 74% of Year 5 and 6 educators stated that the majority of their students participated in online learning.
But only 55% of middle school educators and 50% of secondary school students could count on most of their students keeping up with online learning.
According to the survey 70% of respondents had covered almost the entire syllabus, while 13% covered more than half. Only 5% said that they had covered less than half, though 12% did not give a definite answers.
72% of educators said that they reviewed students’ work and sent feedback to them at least three times a week, with 40% doing so almost daily.
61% sent video explanations of lessons at least three times a week, while 76% sent worksheets and handouts just as regularly. 38% conducted live sessions with real-time interaction at least thrice weekly, with a further 17.8% doing so less regularly.