Oak National Academy

@OakNational Academy has today (23 Jul) published data and research from its first term, sharing how the online classroom has been used during the pandemic, and to help improve the resource ahead of the new academic year. Since launching on 20th April, Oak has delivered 20 million lessons reaching 4.7 million users, with 344 years’ worth of video lessons watched and 71 million quiz questions answered. 

Oak was initially developed by teachers over the Easter holidays as a response to the covid-19 lockdown. Each week they created and shared over 200 lessons, covering reception to year 10 and specialist content. It will now stay open for all of 2020/21 as a free, optional resource to ease teacher workloads and support any remote teaching as part of contingency planning.

The End of Term report shares some initial findings around how and why teachers, parents and pupils engage with Oak’s resources, the barriers faced and efforts being taken to make the resources as useful to the widest range of schools.

The report highlights positive feedback from teachers and parents who found Oak easy-to-use, reduced teacher workload and helped improve the quality and consistency of teaching and learning for pupils. Findings within the report include:

  • 19,927,910 lessons have been accessed
  • 181 million minutes or 344 years’ worth of video lessons have been watched
  • Pupils answered over 71 million quiz questions in 12 million quiz responses
  • 86% of teachers would recommend Oak to other teachers
  • The main benefit teachers saw of using Oak was reducing workload
  • 78% of parents chose the quality lessons and teachers as their ‘favourite’ part
  • On average, around 220,000 users accessed the platform each day

The report also highlights areas where Oak can improve its flexibility and engagement with its resources. To address this for next year, Oak:

  • Has worked with a wide range of sector bodies and subject associations to develop a broad plan that teaches the most popular topics
  • Given schools increased flexibility in how to order lessons, making the majority of around 10,000 lessons available ahead of September
  • Expanded its curriculum, increasing the number of subjects, adding Year 11 and increasing the range of Specialist content
  • Wherever copyright allows, enabling teachers to download, edit and print resources to support lesson planning and help students without access to internet-enabled devices

The online classroom partnered with ImpactEd, a non-profit research and evaluation organisation, to collect and analyse website data as well as user responses from qualitative surveys, interviews and focus groups. 

Matt Hood, Principal at Oak National Academy, said:

“It’s been a term like no other. But teachers and parents have worked incredibly to support pupils during lockdown. Oak National Academy is simply a vehicle that highlights the generosity and dedication found in all teachers.

“We wanted to share what we’ve learnt so far about how people have been using Oak, and to learn from feedback to improve our offer for next year.

“Come September we hope every pupil can be reunited with their class as there is no substitute for pupils being taught by their teacher. But many uncertainties lie ahead. So Oak is staying open for 2020/21 available to support any school with contingency planning and to support both remote and in-school lesson planning.

“Based on feedback we’re making changes, including allowing our resources to be downloaded and edited. This will help both teachers’ planning and pupils without internet access. It is teachers and schools we serve, and these findings will help us keep doing that better.”

Owen Carter, Managing Director at ImpactEd, said:

“We have been delighted to support Oak National Academy over their first term in better understanding how the resources are being used and gathering feedback and insights from teachers and parents.

“Although there is a lot more to do in terms of understanding and improving the impact of Oak, we are hopeful that this provides a first step which paves the way for further research and evaluation and offers some initial insight into how the resources are being used.”

Backed by the Government, Oak National Academy is an online classroom created by teachers, for teachers. It provides high-quality video lessons and resources with over 200 hours’ worth of lessons and resources created each week for primary, secondary and specialist schools. Oak is staying open for 2020/21 offering around 10,000 lessons, the majority of which will be available by September, to act as a contingency plan for schools in case of the need for remote teaching. 

 

ImpactEd is an independent, non-profit organisation that supports schools and education organisations to evaluate their impact, learn from it, and prioritise what is working best to improve outcomes for young people. They are working as the research partner for Oak National Academy and have helped to collate the data featured in the report.

Methodology: Data was gathered via Google Analytics and analysed using Google Data Studio. Data reported covers the period from 20th April to 12th July 2020. In addition two surveys were conducted with teachers and school leaders with 1,369 respondents. One survey was conducted with 681 parents. Across both groups, one-to-one interviews and small focus groups comprising 29 schools and 15 parents were then held.

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