Teaching and remote learning from home

Victorian students, teachers and support staff have begun a staged return to on-site schooling. This follows advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer.

The return to school will take place in two stages. This will give the Victorian Chief Health Officer and Government time to monitor and evaluate the effects that the staged return to school has on the increased movement of people and transmission within the community.

Find out more about the staged return to on-site schooling.

Guidelines for remote curriculum delivery

Research and practice tell us that students are likely to learn best from home when teachers:

  • give students and parents/families information about how and when they can contact teachers
  • make regular contact with students and families
  • create and communicate a schedule or calendar that shows what’s expected of students – for example, what students will be asked to do, by when
  • give regular feedback to students and families on student learning progress
  • avoid overwhelming students by giving them too many learning activities at once – for example, a whole month's work
  • plan learning activities to address agreed goals of Individual Education Plans (IEP) for students in your class, where appropriate
  • ensure that parents are provided with materials that align with the appropriate level of the Victorian Curriculum F-10 and including A-D
  • plan for a blend of synchronous (in real time) and asynchronous (not in real time) online learning opportunities, if students have access to technologies
  • balance individual activities/tasks with collaborative ones that support students to engage with each other online – if appropriate and technologies can facilitate it
  • include a variety of activities/tasks – for example, creative, reflective, analytical, shorter and longer.

We welcome feedback from teachers about their tips and ideas for supporting learning from home. Send us an email learning.from.home@edumail.vic.gov.au

Learning resources

The Department has a range of supports available for schools. These include offline and online resources.

  • offline resources include links to sets of self-directed editable/printable learning activities you can provide to students for up to 12 weeks. These are available from FUSE.
  • online resources include platforms and applications provided by the Department, as well as links to digital learning resources aligned to Victorian Curriculum frameworks.

Offline resources

Offline resources include links to sets of self-directed learning activities you can provide to students via:

  • Word documents
  • printed workbooks.

These self-directed learning activities are available to Victorian government, Catholic and independent schools on the FUSE website

Activities are aligned to the achievement standards of the Victorian Curriculum F-10.

We encourage teachers to modify/adapt resources to suit their classroom context.

Online resources

 Online platforms and applications are available to:

  • government schools
  • non-government schools in some cases. Availability for non-government schools is dependent on licensing arrangements.

Schools that already have infrastructure, hardware and applications that support learning from home should keep using technologies if they remain fit-for-purpose.

For more information, see: Online tools for collaboration and learning

Assessment of F-10 student achievement and progress during remote learning

Schools should continue to assess student learning

During flexible and remote learning, and consistent with existing expectations for students in F-10:

  • student learning should continue to be assessed
  • assessment should be embedded within the teaching and learning cycle
  • a combination of formative and summative assessment strategies should be used to monitor progress and inform future teaching
  • teachers should provide feedback to students on their learning in accordance with the school’s communications plan.

The different nature and amount of assessment

In recognition that schools have adopted revised teaching and learning plans for Term 2 and that assessment can be more challenging in a learning from home environment, the frequency, breadth and amount of assessment and feedback may need to be reduced. Schools will need to consider:

  • how, when and how much evidence of student learning will be collected given that opportunities for direct observation, conferences and questioning may be limited
  • how and when teachers will provide feedback to students on their work and learning progress.

Suggestions for remote assessment be done

Different ways of assessing student learning in a learning from home environment include:

  • setting up regular check-ins and opportunities for students to ask questions and share work through existing school processes or protocols that have been developed for this period
  • providing students with information on how they might self-assess their skill development when setting learning activities (e.g. use of exemplars, videos of demonstrations, self-assessment rubrics or peer evaluation)
  • considering how to adapt formative assessment methods, and the ways in which evidence of student learning is collected (e.g. this may include using digitally based strategies to formatively assess and gauge student progress.

In the absence of online opportunities, using phone calls or emails to measure student’s achievement and progress).

  • considering how to adapt summative assessment activities. For example, requesting students to submit tasks (e.g. essays, tests, assignments) through existing online or offline processes.
  • continuing to use different modes and tools to provide ongoing, targeted and meaningful feedback.

Useful tools

Tools that may be useful in this process:

  • the school’s existing learning management and student/parent communication systems
  • web-based conferencing and communication tools
  • online form and survey tools
  • email
  • web-based document creation and editing suites
  • shared document systems.

More detailed advice and resources for educators will be provided in the coming weeks.

General advice on formative assessment is available on the VCAA website. More specific advice around assessment of remote learning will be published soon.

Assessment guidance for remote and flexible learning

The Department has developed a guidance document to support teachers across F-10 with maintaining ongoing assessment of each student’s performance.

Assessment will continue to be embedded into curriculum planning, however, adjustments in assessment strategies may be required to reflect the change in teaching and learning environments.

Read the assessment guidance for remote and flexible learning (login required).

Student reporting of F-10 achievement and progress for Semester 1

Schools are required to provide a Semester 1 report

During remote and flexible learning, schools must:

  • provide a written report (print or digital) in an accessible form and easy for parents/carers to understand for Semester 1, 2020
  • provide the opportunity for parents/carers and students to discuss the school report with teachers
  • include commentary on student achievement and, where possible, progress.

But the expectations differ

In recognition that schools have adopted revised teaching and learning plans for Term 2, schools must provide:

  • a description of the areas of the Victorian Curriculum F-10 taught
  • a succinct descriptive assessment of student learning achievement, based on the Achievement Standards in the Victorian Curriculum F-10
  • a comment on how the student has adjusted to the remote and flexible learning environment, with reference to the Personal and Social Capability curriculum.

If sufficient assessment evidence is available, schools can choose to use a five-point scale for relevant subjects (this is optional and not a requirement of reporting this semester).

If a five-point scale has been used, data should be uploaded to the Department in the normal way.

Communicating these changes to staff and the school community

The Department has developed a pack of supporting resources to assist schools in communicating these changes to their staff and school community. The pack includes:

Assessment guidance for returning to the classroom

As students return to the classroom, teachers are encouraged to undertake assessment to inform their teaching and learning program. Teachers may need to revisit or amend existing assessment schedules and activities.

Find out about assessment guidance for returning to the classroom.

Supporting students with additional learning needs

Some students may experience greater challenges in learning remotely and need extra support in a home learning environment.

Resources available to help schools plan remote and flexible learning experiences can be also used for students with more complex learning needs. As their teacher, you will be best placed to determine learning activities that will align with learning needs and the goals identified through their Individual Education Plan (IEP).  When planning for all learners, including those with complex needs, you may need to consider the following:

  • Level of instruction required for parents to be able to support completion of tasks, remembering that just as in the classroom, some learners need more adult support
  • Order of learning activities
  • Indicating time expected to take to complete the task
  • Ways to keep motivated or track progress

To access resources for planning remote and flexible learning, see the Resources to help run your school (edumail or education login required).

Complying with copyright during remote and flexible learning

Smartcopying’s copyright guidance for schools during coronavirus (COVID-19) includes:

  • general principles to guide remote teaching
  • responses to common questions from teachers about copyright at this time
  • tips for teachers on accessing, copying and sharing education resources in a way that complies with copyright
  • where to find free online resources and subscriptions.

Smartcopying’s advice for teachers includes directing students to view live or real time educational resources on the internet. Viewing any material in real time is not infringing copyright.

Where this is not possible, Smartcopying steps out the approach teachers should take. This includes only making resources available for students that need to access them, and only making the resources available for the time they are needed.

Other advice includes:

  • sending students links to content (instead of sending content)
  • noting new concessions such as allowing teachers to read stories to students online.

For more information, email copyright@education.vic.gov.au