Evidence for Learning: 2022 in review

2022 in review

The most viewed approaches for the Toolkits, the most downloaded guides and tools, and key releases from E4L in 2022.

Below are the most viewed approaches for the Teaching & Learning and Early Childhood Toolkits, the most downloaded guides and tools, and the key releases from E4L in 2022.

Blog •3 minutes •
  1. Collaborative learning approaches (or cooperative learning) involve students working together on activities or learning tasks in a group small enough for everyone to participate on a collective task that has been clearly assigned. The impact of these approaches on learning is consistently positive and show that structured approaches with well-designed tasks lead to the greatest learning gains.
  2. Repeating a year typically has a negative impact on student learning outcomes. Research shows that students from disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to be asked to repeat a year which contributes to entrenched educational inequality.
  3. Feedback is information given to the learner about their performance relative to learning goals or outcomes and can be provided by teachers or peers. Feedback should aim to (and be capable of producing) improvement in students’ learning. Oral feedback, compared to written feedback, has a higher impact on student outcomes, on average.
  1. Communication and language approaches emphasise the importance of spoken language and verbal interaction for children. Approaches range from reading aloud and discussing books, to explicitly extending children’s spoken vocabulary, and developing children’s thinking and understanding through language. Studies of communication and language approaches consistently show positive benefits for children’s learning.
  2. Play based learning is broadly defined as an enjoyable activity that is pursued for pleasure or its own sake. It may be adult-guided or child-initiated. While there is a positive relationship between play and early learning outcomes, the underlying evidence base is inconsistent, suggesting that more high-quality research is needed in this area.
  3. Earlier staring age refers to the time children spend in early childhood education before they start school. This would typically mean attending kindergarten or pre-school for the two years before school begins. This approach appears to have a high positive impact on learning outcomes and there are some indications that it is particularly positive for children from low-income families.
  1. Putting evidence to work: a school’s guide to implementation was the most popular download on the E4L website in 2022. The guide aims to help school leaders understand how they can create the right conditions for implementation, as well as a structured process for planning, delivering, and sustaining change.
  2. Insights into de-implementation was only released in October this year but has clearly resonated with many of you as the second most downloaded guide. It focuses on supporting school leaders to do fewer things better.
  3. Improving literacy in secondary schools is for those who lead literacy and presents seven evidence-based recommendations that schools can use to make a significant difference to students’ learning. (We also have Improving literacy Guidance Reports for lower primary and upper primary).
  4. Making best use of Teaching Assistants. Teaching Assistants (TAs) are an invaluable resource in Australian schools. When utilised effectively and supported well, TAs can make a significant difference to the learning outcomes of students. This guide includes seven practical evidence‑based recommendations to guide schools in maximising the impact of their TAs.
  5. Effective professional development focuses on the mechanisms that are likely to make professional development most effective. It reviews the best available research to present three recommendations to support the selection and design of professional development.
  1. Implementation checklist to support Putting evidence to work: a school’s guide to implementation’
  2. Summary of recommendations poster to support Putting evidence to work: a school’s guide to implementation’
  3. Editable implementation plan to support Putting evidence to work: a school’s guide to implementation’
  4. Reflection questions for school leaders to support Insights into de-implementation’
  5. Gathering and interpreting data poster to support Putting evidence to work: a school’s guide to implementation’