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Three instructional models for remote learning

As schools prepare and plan for the physical closure of the school, there are three potential models for distance learning to consider. 

Digital Model

(suitable for 1:1 device contexts or where online software is already in use; in communities where everyone has access to internet and a device at home)

  • Instructional delivery takes place on a platform (can be whole group or small group)
  • Students log on virtually at a given time to participate in the lesson in live-time
  • Students complete follow-up work and submit assignments electronically 
  • Teacher monitors student work through the platform

Analogue Model  

(suitable school contexts with a high proportion of students without access to an internet connection or device at home) 

  •  Materials sent home for students to engage with, including books, pens and paper, work packets, games
  • Teachers make daily group or individual calls (typically phone calls) to students to check in
  • Teachers maintain records of  completion of work for individual students

Hybrid Model

(suitable when at least half of the student population has internet access)

  • A digital/video platform (i.e. Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts) used for a daily “class,” using the materials teachers are already planning to use
  • Students submit homework/classwork to their teachers through a variety of channels (texting pictures, uploading to Google Drive, OneNote, etc.)
  • Teachers track and record student completion and mastery through an electronic gradebook or student information system
  • Teachers maintain an open electronic chat function with students (i.e. private Facebook group, Google Groups) throughout the day
  • Teachers check in one-on-one with a caseload of students or students who were not able to join the class through various channels (i.e. phone, FaceTime) to review their homework, talk through hard questions, prepare them for the next set of work, and ensure they are still progressing

In all of these models, the goal is to utilise existing instructional materials where possible to ensure continuity of learning for students.


Dr Nina Hood

Nina is responsible for the strategic direction and day-to-day operations of The Education Hub. She is a trained secondary school teacher, and taught at Epsom Girls Grammar and Mt Roskill Grammar in Auckland. She undertook an MSc (with distinction) in learning and technology, and a DPhil in Education at the University of Oxford. Since returning to New Zealand in mid-2015, Nina has been employed as a lecturer at the Faculty of Education at the University of Auckland, where she specialises in new technologies in education.

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