Improving pupil outcomes in science while reducing teacher workload

Our evaluation sought to identify whether the use of LbQ in end of topic summary lessons had an impact on Progress Test in Science scores for Year 7 pupils. It also sought to find out if its use resulted in reduced teacher workload.

We were unable to ascertain the impact of LbQ on pupil progress due to the COVID-19 lockdown. However, we were able to draw some insights into the implementation and short-term use of LbQ over half a school year. Our reflections were as follows:

  • The real-time class feedback function is one of LbQ’s biggest strengths. It allows for close class monitoring and teachers felt this led to big gains in pupil understanding by highlighting areas of misunderstanding and ranking them by how many pupils have the misunderstanding. All teachers reported that they were able to provide more feedback when using LbQ than their usual teaching methods.
  • Pupils with higher and middle Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT) scores favoured LbQ more than pupils with lower CAT scores.
  • Combining questions with simple diagrams is an excellent way of encouraging dual coding and appeared to allow pupils to use LbQ more autonomously.
  • All teachers reported a reduction in planning and marking time when using LbQ.
  • All teachers would recommend LbQ to other teachers.

Our recommendations to improve LbQ are as follows:

  • Fully functional technology is essential for the effective running of LbQ. If using hardware or software is deemed to be more work than the standard method of teaching, the software will not be fully embraced.
  • A “How-to Guide” for using LbQ with lower CAT score groupings would be useful to help teachers get the most out of LbQ.
  • Many teachers may overlook the key word list when setting up question sets on LbQ. Perhaps an option for pupils to pull up key words when using the website would be useful.
  • Allow more than three question sets to run to allow high-flying pupils to be stretched.
  • Allow the option to toggle on/off strictness of spellings.

Lead school

  • Sacred Heart Catholic High School

Year levels

  • Year 7

Subject

  • Science

Findings

We were unable to ascertain the impact of LbQ on pupil progress due to the COVID-19 lockdown. However, we were able to draw some insights into the implementation and short-term use of LbQ over half a school year.

Download the protocol document