Online learning: How have children fared by subject?
- In general, comprehension scores declined with age: primary pupils performed better than secondary pupils in post-lesson quizzes and young primary pupils (Key Stage 1) performed best of all.
- There was also considerable variation by subject. For example, maths and science showed relatively large declines in comprehension between primary and secondary, while geography and religious education were more consistent across age groups. We have also explored variations between different units within each subject.
- Pupils tended to score higher in post-lesson 'exit' quizzes than in the same questions posed at the start of the next lesson. This suggests a degree of (natural) forgetting between lessons and provides a putative indicator of knowledge retention.
- In contrast to comprehension, maths showed very high retention rates across all Key Stages, while history and religious education performed less well; science and geography were generally somewhere in between.
- As well as delivering valuable learning resources for pupils, online platforms such as Oak can also provide detailed, real-time insights into children's collective challenges and accomplishments as they progress through the curriculum.
Figure 1: Oak quiz questions answered
Figure 2: Exit quiz performance by Key Stage or subject
Figure 3: Exit quiz performance by subject for each Key Stage
Figure 4: Exit quiz performance by Key Stage for selected subjects
There is a lot of information here and we invite you to explore it using the menu below. But to highlight briefly the example of maths, at Key Stage 1, most units were in the 80%-90% range, by Key Stage 2 many (from an admittedly even longer list) fell below 70%, and at Key Stage 3 some units were well below 60%. A similar, if less extreme, pattern was evident for science across Key Stages 1, 2 and 3.
Figure 5: Exit quiz performance by unit
Figure 6: Distributions of mean scores for exit and intro questions
Figure 7: Change in mean score between exit and intro quizzes
- Consecutive lessons, and associated quizzes, taken in quick succession
- Other complementary study activities between Oak lessons
- Natural knowledge consolidation between lessons
- Statistical effects, especially when sample sizes are relatively small
Figure 8: Change in mean score between exit and intro quizzes, by Key Stage and subject
Figure 9: Comprehension and retention by subject