Home-based learning research insights

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What do parents, students and teachers really think about home-based learning? School Heads would usually be able to identify the overall feeling of their school community, but beyond that it becomes much more nuanced.

In collaboration with the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA), MMG Education conducted research with schools across Australia relating to their student, parent and staff experiences of home-based learning.

Over 12,500 people (4,300 students, 7,500 parents and 730 teaching staff) were surveyed, diving deep into the nuances of their experiences of home-based learning. While the top-level findings are unsurprising, the insights uncovered below the surface enable school Heads and their staff to fine-tune their delivery and manage the concerns of each group more directly and effectively.

Key research insights

  • Two distinct student groups were identified: those who found it difficult to remain on task and work without direct supervision from their teachers, and those who found that by working at their own pace they could work more effectively and with less distraction.
  • Teaching staff learnt new skills that can be integrated into their classroom teaching environment and this has had a positive impact on role satisfaction.
  • Challenges were experienced with effective engagement of students who need and receive learning support.
  • The ability of students to connect with friends is important, particularly with primary school students who are restricted in their use of social media.
  • Assistance and support were required for staff managing increased workloads, such as reducing meeting times and administrative tasks.
  • Opportunities were identified regarding future application of online engagement for student/parent/staff meetings and online coaching.
  • Relationships were strengthened between students and
    their parents.
  • Online lessons needed to be appropriately challenging, engaging and interesting.


Top five positive aspects


Top five negative/difficult aspects


Top five improvements that could be made


Most parents were generally very positive about the way their child’s school responded to the challenges of home-based learning, along with the care and attention provided by school leaders and teaching staff. Notwithstanding, the overwhelming response from parents, staff and students was a desire to return to the school-based learning environment whenever possible.

The importance of social interaction and personal engagement between students, and between students and staff, was clearly evident and missed during the home-based learning experience.

School Heads can receive a complimentary copy of the full report by emailing tony.pfeiffer@mmgedu.com.au.

Tony Pfeiffer is the Founding Partner of MMG Education, a leader in tailored school stakeholder research and performance benchmarking. Tony served on the board of a leading independent school for over nine years and has decades of corporate experience in senior executive roles. mmgeducation.com.au

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