Learning from Home - Managing Learning Online 

Initially for students and teachers it may seem exciting and a 'positive' challenge to learn and work from home. However the cognitive load and expectations to feel immediately comfortable in this unfamiliar environment are likely to introduce new stresses. 

Protocols and familiar classroom and learning expectations for school leaders, teachers, students and support staff will ultimately reassure everyone. 

It is important to keep to a regular schedule and include the following: 

  • Taking regular breaks.
  • Making time to exercise.
  • Keeping to a regular sleep schedules.
  • Limiting distractions when possible (turn off social media notifications, for example).
  • Setting daily and weekly goals.
  • Making time to socialise, even if it’s virtually
  • For further wellbeing advice please visit the wellbeing section of this portal.


School and Department Leaders should consider: 

  • Using platforms and online tools endorsed by the school as a consistent springboard for all remote learning. This might be the Learning Management System (Google Classroom; Canvas; School Box; Moodle; etc) or email, or school intranet. 
  • Developing basic weekly or fortnightly surveys to measure students’ level of engagement with the tasks and the platforms. Ask for feedback about what is working well and what could be better. If all teachers use a common scale it will become more consistent for students. 
  • Clarifying minimum expectations for all courses ie: course overview; syllabus links; assessment tasks; links to useful resources; discussion forums; etc. 
  • Clarifying expectations of parents and carers in relation to supervision of their child (especially if using video);   
  • Structuring department teams in rotation to develop resources in preparation for the next upcoming topic, task or area.
  • Reviewing course structure to enable cross class collaboration and equitable access to materials for all students.

Reviewing your Acceptable User Guidelines to: 

  • Include learning from home expectations.
  • Require all students to review and accept.
  • Set clear expectations of staff that reflect your remote usage arrangements.
  • Refer to useful advice from the e-Safety Commissioner in relation to COVID-19.

Changes to online policies and procedures:
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic schools are finding a need to vary their policies and procedures to address the new circumstances. Where a new policy or procedure is critical for the safe operation of the school it may be prudent when communicating it to parents or carers to seek an acknowledgment that it has been received and, where appropriate, passed on to the student. Where no acknowledgement is received the parent or carer can be followed up with a phone call.

ICT Administrators

ICT Administrators should consider: 

  • Reviewing global settings, embracing useful new tools egHapara (Google); Teams (Microsoft); Hangouts (Google); Big Blue Button (Canvas) and advise staff which features are enabled. 
  • Providing Heads of Department/Year with daily access reports to assist in determining how students are engaging with the platform.
  • Setting a process in place to enable staff to request access to third party products / sites / Apps that have not yet been endorsed by the school or faculty. Provide meaningful feedback as to why that resource will or wont work. 
  • Creating a page for each Year level providing easily accessible information about specific programs, accessing specialists, requesting curriculum or IT assistance, daily schedules, etc.  


Teachers may consider: 


  • Re-purposing and upload existing resources eg: 
    - Record brief narration over existing PowerPoint/Keynote presentations 
    - Shift task sheets to Google Suite and re-structure to enable students to collaborate and interact. 
  • Explicitly linking to work samples and collaborative texts e.g. Google Docs, Google Slides
  • Scanning past examples for students to review and critique   

Discussions and Sharing 

  • Requiring younger students to share with their parent/carer a daily overview of what they have achieved citing work samples and completed tasks. 
  • Exploring how students and teachers can give feedback about learning and engagement online. Consider using discussion forums, sharing examples in Google Docs, marking up students’ work, conversations with small groups. 
  • Embracing asynchronous discussion forums by: 
    - Establishing ice-breaker activities (see gillysalmon.com).
    - Breaking forums down into sub-groups of students and assigning a student facilitator and a student weaver to provide a summary post.
    - Modelling how you expect students to interact in this forum by using formal language, not using acronyms or emoticons and citing examples or quality interaction. 
    - Providing students with feedback in the forum itself.  
    - Requiring a specific amount of participation in the forum as part of the assessment criteria.
  • Designing tasks to provide students with as much choice as possible. e.g. 
    - Set core and optional extra tasks;
    - Apply concept X to topic X or Y;  
    - Use technologies a, b or c to demonstrate your understanding of core components.  

Giving Instructions

  • Reviewing the instructional content for stage and age suitability, for comprehension with minimal guidance and for individual learning needs. 
  • Using similar online instruction methods as those in pre-existing instructional resources eg: Mathletics; Stile; Khan Academy
  • Creating your own teacher video / audio narration to model tasks and concepts  
    - live streamed sessions 
    - collaborative tasks using online platforms (Office365 and/or Google Docs)  
    - harnessing text books  
    - setting the time needed to complete tasks digitally.


  • Embracing new ways to assess student progression through revised assessment tasks.
  • Using TurnItIn to assess originality; reviewing tools in Word such as Track Changes and Insert Comments or if you have a touch device using the drawing and annotation tools.  
  • Recording an explanation of the features of exemplar submissions, drawing out how the elements required in the task were demonstrated by the student in the example. 
  • Setting progressive assessment submission milestones and providing short more frequent constructive feedback. 
  • Enabling task submission using an upload link with clear expectations for file format, size, naming conventions, etc. 
  • Embracing useful tools for online assessment:
    Google Forms 
    - Microsoft Forms 
    - Quizlets 

Ideas for presenting from home:

  • Present using video conferencing software. This allows students who are in the classroom or connected synchronously to ask questions and interact, and also allows you to record the session for students who are not present.
  • Use screen casting applications like screencast-o-matic or Quicktime to record your screen while you provide voice over. This allows you to navigate websites, documents and other applications while you are recording.
  • Use the audio recording feature in PowerPoint to record voice over for your slides.
  • Record a podcast on your PC, Mac or phone
  • Record as you draw on your tablet device, including voice over, with an app like Show me

Ideas to support students to work collaboratively when they are learning from home?