Too little too late ' school pupils fall short of teachers' revision advice

The studies, commissioned by O2 Learn and carried out by Edcoms, show that most young people start revision, on average, four weeks or less in advance (76%) of their exams, working under 10 hours per week (9.9). This falls short of what was recommended by teachers surveyed, who suggested starting on average six weeks in advance and studying on average 8 hours per week (7.7), totalling 46.2 hours, 7 more than is currently being achieved.

The study shows that this is despite the fact that pupils are benefiting from unprecedented levels of support from their families, with well over three quarters of parents (86%) actively involved in their child’s revision. In fact, GCSE students today receive considerably more support than their parents’ generation ever did. More than half of adults (58%) had no involvement at all from their parents in their revision.

In addition, though pupils make good use of traditional approaches to revision, including notes from class (83%) and the use of practice papers (77%), too few students are taking full advantage of the wide range of revision resources now available.

According to the study, just one in three (32%) young people uses online study guides and only one in ten (12%) is turning to online video to support their study.

Experts believe that the parental support that students receive now needs to be matched by adopting a more varied mix of revision methods to be truly effective.

Sir Mark Grundy, the Executive Principal of Shireland Collegiate Academy, said: ‘There has been research for a number of years highlighting how people learn in a multi-faceted way. The multiple intelligences models have existed for some time, but the resources to support this blend of styles have not been available ‘ until now!

‘In the last few years Learning Platforms have evolved and are now capable of acting as the glue to stick resources together and as importantly to present them at precisely the right time. Most students need a framework to support their revision and resources which present the same ideas in many different ways.

‘By putting the O2Learn resources in your learning platform and delivering them to students this has to help our students to achieve at higher levels.’

Teachers surveyed considered several of the more innovative online tools and resources available to students to be especially useful for revision purposes including quizzes (56%), video lessons (40%) and audio files / podcasts (36%).

Teachers also identified a number of benefits that resources such as online videos and video clips deliver including:
‘ The ability to watch them more than once (82%)
‘ Seeing things being explained (68%)
‘ Being able to pause, rewind, fast forward (68%)
‘ The fact that they’re free (59%)

Gav Thompson, creator of O2 Learn, said: ‘As we reach the heart of the revision period, at O2 Learn we want to make sure that young people and their parents are taking advantage of the unprecedented range of online tools and resources now available to make learning easier and more efficient.

‘Teachers and experts are agreed on the value of online learning to complement more traditional methods. Whether its pupils wanting to tackle a tough question in an accessible way at all hours, or a parent looking for an easy way to help their child revise interactively, the value of digital learning is clear. Our research today shows that we are in danger of missing an opportunity to bring revision to the next level and I want O2 Learn to play as big a part as possible in helping that happen.’

O2 Learn (www.o2learn.co.uk) is an innovative education initiative designed to celebrate the UK’s finest teaching and create a lasting learning resource that can help young people achieve their ambitions. Teachers are encouraged to upload and share videos of their best lessons on the e-learning hub. The ambition is to build Britain’s biggest classroom online, giving young people everywhere, from all backgrounds, access to inspiring teaching.

O2 Learn is part of O2’s Think Big strategy which seeks to inspire young people, and those that help young people, to make a positive change to the community. O2 Learn recognises the crucial role of education and the teaching profession in young people’s lives, providing them with the skills to make their communities better places.