Evidence for Learning: 2023 in review

2023 in review

The most viewed approaches for the Toolkits, the most downloaded guides and tools, and key releases from E4L in 2023.

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 2023.

Blog •4 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. 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.
  3. Metacognition and self-regulation approaches aim to help students think about their own learning more explicitly, often by teaching them specific strategies for planning, monitoring, and evaluating their learning. These approaches are more effective when they are applied to challenging tasks rooted in the usual curriculum content.
  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. Self-regulation strategies can be defined as the ability of children to manage their own behaviour and aspects of their learning. These skills are also sometimes described as executive function capability. While the Toolkit focuses on the positive impact of self-regulation on cognitive outcomes, it is also important for other outcomes such as self-care and behaviour.
  3. 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. 
  1. Improving mathematics in the early years with children aged 3 – 7 years was the most downloaded Guidance Report this year. This guide presents five practical evidence-based recommendations and fun and easy evidence-informed ideas to support mathematics planning and practice in ECE and lower primary settings.
  2. Putting evidence to work: a school’s guide to implementation was the next most popular download on the E4L website in 2023. 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.
  3. Planning for impact 2024 was only released in September this year but has resonated with many of you. The guide is designed to support schools’ existing planning processes by bringing together the latest and most relevant E4L resources into one place.
  4. Effective behaviour supports for schools. There is a need for schools to have consistent and clear approaches to behaviour that set and maintain behaviour expectations in lessons and throughout the school environment. This guidance explores the best international research evidence on effective behaviour supports, and describes examples from Australian researchers and educators about how to put that evidence into practice.
  5. 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.
  1. Tip Sheets to support early years educators respond to challenging behaviour 
  2. Promoting high-quality talk in maths to support Improving mathematics in the early years with children aged 3 – 7 years
  3. Gathering and interpreting data poster to support Putting evidence to work: a school’s guide to implementation
  4. Insights into de-implementation to support school leaders do fewer things, better 
  5. Using data for monitoring and evaluation to support Putting evidence to work: a school’s guide to implementation

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