This paper responds to a request for advice on the differential learning outcomes for online versus in-class education; factors that moderate the relative effectiveness; and distinct implications for students in metropolitan, remote, rural and Indigenous communities.
- The current remote learning arrangements have the potential to result in poorer educational outcomes for almost half of Australian primary and secondary students if continued for an extended period.
- Students at particular risk of poorer learning outcomes include those from low socioeconomic backgrounds, those with English as a second language, those with special learning needs and those in rural and remote areas.
- Factors that moderate the effectiveness of remote learning include: a) access to digital technology and the internet; b) home learning environment and family support; c) teacher and student readiness and capability.
- There is evidence to suggest that ‘blended learning’, combining face-to-face and remote learning, may be as effective as classroom learning for many students.