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Research on emergency remote teaching and distance learning

A place to put research on online learning - students working from home

Jane Waite @janewaite

Created by Jane Waite @janewaite
last edited May 18 2020 by Jane Waite @janewaite

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Working with the NCCE, I have helped to write the pedagogy quick read on planning and reflecting on distance learning in the context of “emergency remote teaching” link here.

Here are some of the “core concepts” on online learning.

  • there are many different terms used to describe learning at a distance - online learning, e-learning, distance learning, distance education (Liu, 2008)
  • VIRI - Virtual, Interactive, Real-Time, Instructor-Led “VIRI class is defined as a teaching and learning experience that is led by an instructor, that takes place in the online space (over the internet), where all students participate in the experience at the same time, and where the experience involves two-way communication between student and student or student and instructor” (Francescucci & Foster, 2013, p.82)

  • Synchronous learning - real-time e.g. online classes

  • Asynchronous learning - material can be accessed at any time, e.g. videos, workbooks

  • Blended - a combination of Synchronous and Asynchronous activities.

  • “Blended synchronous learning - Learning and teaching where remote students participate in face-to-face classes by means of rich-media synchronous technologies such as video conferencing, web conferencing, or virtual worlds” (Bower, Dalgarno, Kennedy, Lee & Kenney, 2015, p1.) This includes some pupils being at school experiencing the lesson and some students being at home experiencing the same lesson at the same time - all working and collaborating together.

  • VLE - Virtual Learning Environment e.g. Moodle or Blackboard

  • LMS - Learning management system

The EEF have completed a rapid literature review of meta-reviews on distance learning to try and develop guidelines for the current context. They concluded 5 key findings that that - teaching quality is more important than how lessons are delivered - ensuring access to technology is key, particularly for disadvantaged pupils - peer interactions can provide motivation and improve learning outcomes - supporting pupils to work independently can improve learning - different approaches to remote learning suit different tasks and types of content

Ali, Uppal and Gulliver (2018) propose the TIPEC framework, of 68 barriers to implementing e-learning. TIPEC stands for Technology, Individual, Pedagogy and Enabling Conditions. The framework is based on a qualitative analysis of 250 peer-reviewed e-learning publications from 1990 and 2016. The authors suggest the framework can be used as a guide by teachers to develop e-learning experiences. However, the framework is based on literature related to teaching adults, rather than school students.


Summary of distance education pedagogies (Anderson & Dron,2020, p92)

Blended synchronous

Blended Synchronous Learning Design (Bower, Dalgarno, Kennedy, Lee & Kenney, 2015)

Research suggests participants strongly prefer instructional videos with the instructor’s face and perceived it as being more educational (Kizilcec, Papadopoulos & Sritanyaratana, 2014)


Available to everyone!

  • Ali, S., Uppal, M. A. and Gulliver, S. (2018) A conceptual framework highlighting e-learning implementation barriers. Information Technology & People, 31 (1). pp. 156-180. ISSN 0959-3845

  • Anderson, T. & Dron, J. (2011). Three Generations of Distance Education Pedagogy. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 12 (3), 80–97.

  • Bower, M., Dalgarno, B., Kennedy, G., Lee, M. & Kenney, J. ( 2015) Design and implementation factors in blended synchronous learning environments: Outcomes from a cross-case analysis, Computers & Education, Volume 86, Pages 1-17, ISSN 0360-1315,

  • Francescucci, A. & Foster, M. (2013) The VIRI (Virtual, Interactive, Real-Time, Instructor-Led) Classroom: The Impact of Blended Synchronous Online Courses on Student Performance, Engagement, and Satisfaction (2013), Canadian Journal of Higher Education, Volume 43, No. 3, 2013, pages 78 - 91 Available online

Liu, S. (2008), Student Interaction Experiences in Distance Learning Courses: A Phenomenological Study. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, v11 n1 Spr 2008 Available online

René F. Kizilcec, Kathryn Papadopoulos, and Lalida Sritanyaratana. 2014. Showing face in video instruction: effects on information retention, visual attention, and affect. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’14). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 2095–2102. DOI:

Only available with access to journal

  • Francescucci, A. and Rohani, L. (2019) ‘Exclusively Synchronous Online (VIRI) Learning: The Impact on Student Performance and Engagement Outcomes’, Journal of Marketing Education, 41(1), pp. 60–69. doi: 10.1177/0273475318818864.

  • Zhu, M., Herring, S.C., & Bonk, C .J. (2019) Exploring presence in online learning through three forms of computer-mediated discourse analysis, Distance Education, 40:2, 205-225, DOI: 10.1080/01587919.2019.1600365

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