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A global problem worth solving

Summer learning loss is the loss in academic skills and knowledge over summer holidays. A common finding across numerous studies is that on average, students score lower on standardised tests at the end of the summer than they do at the beginning.

An Australian problem worth solving

A mixed method study in an Australian context which analysed achievement data, revealed decelerated learning growth during Terms 4 and 1.

Vale, C., Weaven, M., Davies, A. et al. Aust. Educ. Res. (2013) 40: 1. doi:10.1007/s13384-012-0065-9
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Our Research into the problem

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1

90% of teachers believed students forgot content knowledge over the school holidays

2

74% of teachers believed that time was spent revising content at the beginning of the school year

3

The median amount of time that teachers thought was spent on revision in Term 1 was 3 weeks.

4

The students reported that the subjects they found most difficult upon return were Maths and Science

5

The majority of teachers valued digital content that directly relates to the curriculum

The Pilot

Realising the need to support students in combatting holiday learning loss, the team at apptEDUde conducted a research study with Wilkins Public School in Marrickville, NSW

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Dec 2015: Student/teacher/parent information session.

Dec 2015: Over 100 students took part in a pre-holiday knowledge assessment test to provide a baseline level of current mathematical and science knowledge.

Dec 2015/Jan 2016: From this control group, 30 students volunteered to take home the apptEDUde app and continue their learning over the six week holiday period.

Feb 2016: On arrival back in class for the new term all 100+ students sat a post holiday knowledge assessment test to ascertain their current level of academic comprehension.

Results

The results of both tests were then compared to understand the level of holiday
learning loss experienced in both the app and non-app users.

  • Science:

    Test group: +16.43% improvement

    Control group: -6.46% decline

  • Maths:

    Test group: +8.48% improvement

    Control group: -3.94% decline

Parametric and Mann-Whitney methodology

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