Australian school leaders and teachers will find it easier than ever to access the latest global evidence on education after Evidence for Learning (E4L) launched a new version of its Teaching & Learning Toolkit (the Toolkit).
The Toolkit is designed to support busy school leaders and teachers who are looking to improve learning outcomes for their students. It summarises the international and Australian research evidence on 30 educational approaches – everything from extending school time to behaviour interventions – and gives an assessment of the average cost, the evidence security, and the estimated months’ impact each approach will have on student learning.
First launched in 2015, shortly after E4L was established by Social Ventures Australia, the Teaching & Learning Toolkit has steadily grown to have more than 18,000 unique page views every month.
The latest version of the Toolkit is its biggest upgrade in six years. Evidence for Learning Director Danielle Toon says it gives Australian school leaders and teachers the opportunity to explore a wider array of insights into the different approaches schools can use to improve student outcomes.
“Evidence for Learning’s mission is to help busy educators – especially educational leaders – increase learning for Australian children by improving the quality, availability, and use of evidence in education,” Toon says.
“It’s been a challenging few years in schools and educators are more conscious than ever of needing to have the most impact on student learning with the time and resources available.
“While our Toolkit does not make definitive claims as to what will work to improve outcomes in a given setting, it does provide high quality information about what is likely to be beneficial based on existing evidence.
“It is a resource designed to provide an introduction to the research evidence and help inform educators’ thinking, planning and decision making.”
The new Teaching & Learning Toolkit, which includes evidence that has been assessed to ensure it is relevant to the Australian context, enables educators to dig into more nuanced research evidence on applications and approaches, closing the disadvantage gap, and implementation considerations. It also includes sections which describe variation by phase of schooling and by subject area. This helps schools be more informed about how an approach could help in a specific subject and where to prioritise their time and effort.
“For example, while feedback in general has a large impact on learning, the impact of oral feedback is higher, on average, than the impact of written feedback,” adds Toon.
The updated Toolkit launches alongside a new website, which organises E4L’s resources by theme. Educators can browse the evidence, and guidance on how to implement the evidence, on a wide range of topics, from literacy to assessment and feedback.
“We’re pleased to be able to provide access to free evidence summaries and guidance that will help make educators’ decision-making processes a little easier,” Toon says.