Learning from home in a school setting

This page provides advice to schools about how they can support learning continuity for children and young people during disruption caused by coronavirus (COVID-19).

For more information on coronavirus (COVID-19), visit the Victorian Government website 

We’ll continue to update this page in the coming weeks, to assist in preparation for the commencement of Term 2.

If you are looking for advice as an early childhood educator, see: Learning from home in an early childhood setting.

On this page

Learning continuity contingency planning

All schools should be undertaking learning continuity contingency planning urgently. 

This means using or adapting important features of your school to support and enable remote curriculum delivery. This includes working out:

  • how teachers will design and plan, individual and collectively
  • what curriculum content you’ll deliver
  • how you’ll deliver curriculum content during the day and across the week(s), which may include using technologies
  • how you’ll assess student learning
  • which cohorts are likely to need additional support, and how you’ll support them
  • what school and other leaders’ roles and responsibilities will be
  • what existing structures, processes and resources in the school you might leverage
  • the relationships the school currently has that you might successfully leverage, including relationships with other schools and with community and/or industry partners.

Detailed contingency planning advice for school leaders has been directly communicated to schools. 

The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) has published more advice for students undertaking senior secondary qualifications. 

Teaching and learning from home 

The Department has a range of supports available for schools. These include offline and online options.

  • offline options include sets of up to 12 weeks of editable/printable learning activities for each level of the Victorian Curriculum F-10. This is available from FUSE.
  • online options include platforms and applications provided by the Department, as well as links to digital learning resources aligned to Victorian Curriculum frameworks.

Tips for remote curriculum delivery

Research and practice tells us that students are likely to learn best from home when teachers:

  • provide students and parents/families with information about how and when they can contact teachers
  • make regular contact with students and families
  • create and communicate a schedule or calendar that shows what’s expected of students – for example, what students will be asked to do, by when
  • give regular feedback to students and families on student learning progress often
  • avoid overwhelming students by giving them too many learning activities at once – for example, a whole month's work
  • plan for a blend of synchronous (in real time) and asynchronous (not in real time) online learning opportunities, if students have access to technologies
  • balance individual activities/tasks with collaborative ones that support students to engage with each other online – if appropriate and technologies can facilitate it
  • include a variety of activities/tasks – for example, creative, reflective, analytical, shorter and longer.

We welcome feedback from teachers about their tips and ideas for supporting learning from home. Email learning.from.home@edumail.vic.edu.au

Assessment

Schools must make sure there is ongoing assessment of each student’s performance. This assessment must be embedded in the school’s remote learning program.

General advice on formative assessment is available on the VCAA website. More specific advice around assessment of remote learning will be published soon.

Offline options

Offline options include links to sets of self-directed learning activities you can provide to students via:

  • Word documents
  • printed workbooks.

These self-directed learning activities are available to Victorian government, Catholic and independent schools on the FUSE website

Activities are aligned to the achievement standards of the Victorian Curriculum F-10.

We encourage teachers to modify/adapt resources to suit their classroom context.

Online options

 Online platforms and applications are available to:

  • Victorian government schools in all cases
  • non-government schools in some cases. Availability for non-government schools is dependent on licensing arrangements.

Schools that already have infrastructure, hardware and applications that support learning from home should keep using technologies if they remain fit-for-purpose.

For information on how to access Department-provided technologies, see:

Technical information will be provided directly to school ICT Technicians.

Collaboration and learning delivery

Department collaboration and learning delivery platforms include:

WebEx – videoconferencing

Webex is the Department’s preferred tool for video and teleconferencing. Students can attend online classes from home using any computer or mobile device with internet access, using a link provided by the teacher.

School leaders, teachers and support staff can use WebEx to:

  • attend virtual meetings
  • share documents and links.

Availability: Victorian government schools

More information and support: Professional learning for WebEx is available for teachers and school leaders. WebEx also provide Department-specific resources for teachers and tips for using WebEx.

Information on accessing and using WebEx is available on WebEx at Home.

0365 (Microsoft) – learning management

O365 supports teachers to:

  • create their own classrooms
  • share lessons
  • create learning activities
  • collaborate in real-time
  • assess student learning
  • provide personalised feedback to students.

O365 applications include OneNote, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Forms.

Availability: Victorian government schools

More information and support: Resources and a blog post are available to support remote learning with Microsoft. On demand webinars and questions/answers for schools who want to set up 0365 are also available.

More information is available on Microsoft O365 at home.

G Suite for education (Google) – learning management

Google's G Suite for Education provides tools for delivering learning, providing feedback and sharing tasks in a class-based environment. G Suite for Education supports real-time collaboration between teachers and students.

The Department-provided version of G Suite for Education has been assessed and configured for optimal privacy and security. G Suite for Education applications include:

  • Google Classroom
  • Drive
  • Documents
  • Forms
  • Hangouts
  • Sites
  • Sheets
  • Slides.

Availability: Victorian government schools

More information and support: Google provides a G Suite for Education tips sheet for enabling learning from home. Resources to support teachers to set up and use G Suite for Education resources are available on:

Schools using the Department-provided version of G Suite for Education can now use Google Hangouts for videoconferencing that complies with privacy requirements.

To enable Google Hangouts for your school, log your request with the Service Desk on 1800 641 943 or via email: servicedesk@edumail.vic.gov.au

Further information is available on G suite for Education.

Digital learning resources aligned to Victorian curriculum frameworks

Department-provided learning at home digital resources include:

FUSE

FUSE is a content repository with over 25,000 educational resources mapped to Victorian curriculum frameworks. Resources include websites, interactives, images, audio and video.

Educators have recommended and reviewed all resources. 

Availability: about half of the content is available to the public. The other half is licenced for use by Victorian government schools.

Curriculum frameworks: VEYLDF, Victorian Curriculum F-10, VCE

More information and support: visit the FUSE teacher page and learning from home page.

ClickView

ClickView hosts thousands of video resources, interactives and learning activities aligned  to the Victorian Curriculum, including popular films, documentaries and Australian-made educational videos and mini clips. ClickView is available to all Victorian government schools. Teachers can access or develop their own playlists to share with students.

Availability: Victorian government schools

Curriculum frameworks: Victorian Curriculum F-10, VCE

More information and support: ClickView has a range of webinars and video tutorials for teachers. They also provide tips for using ClickView in the event of a school closure. Email info@clickview.com.au to find out more.

For more information about ClickView, see: ClickView and Clickview at home.

Stile Education

Stile Education offers a library of online interactive science lessons with engaging content for Levels 7 – 10 of the Victorian Curriculum: Science. They were developed in collaboration with Cosmos magazine and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Students can access individual lessons or whole learning sequences that their teacher has assigned to them.

Availability: Victorian government school teachers and students in Years 7 to 10

Curriculum frameworks: Victorian Curriculum: Science

More information and support: Stile’s webinars and resources are for teachers who are teaching remotely. They also offer tailored professional learning for schools: email help@stileeducation.com

For more information, see: Stile and Stile at home.

Minecraft: Education Edition (Microsoft)

Minecraft: Education Edition can support transformative teaching and learning by engaging students in challenging and creative tasks using gamification principles.

The Minecraft: Education Edition remote learning toolkit, which includes more than 50 lessons and project-based learning activities for teachers, is now available.

Availability: Victorian government schools

Curriculum frameworks: Victorian Curriculum levels 5 – 8

More information and support: the Minecraft: Education Edition community blog has free lessons, online teacher training and a set of creative remote learning projects. More information – including information for schools and parents – is available on Minecraft:Education Edition.

Accessing Department-provided technologies

For information on how to access Department-provided technologies, see

Technical information will be provided directly to school ICT Technicians.

Requirements for using technologies to support flexible/remote teaching and learning

Schools that already have platforms and applications that support learning from home should keep using technologies if they remain fit-for-purpose and have been assessed as compliant with legislation and Department policies.

This applies whether the technologies:

  • have been provided by the Department, for example, WebEx, ClickView. (Note that all Department-provided technologies have been assessed as compliant).
  • have been separately implemented by the school, for example, Compass, SeeSaw, Caremonkey.

Schools that are not currently equipped with technologies should access Department-provided platforms and applications. Your school technician can help you to ‘onboard' these technologies, and you can use the support resources on this page to provide access to teachers and students.

School should not ‘onboard' new third-party technologies at this time, particularly those with videoconferencing functions. This is because of significant challenges associated with appropriately managing privacy, security and safety.

Ensuring compliance with legislation and Department policies

Schools must make sure that their use of technologies in all cases complies with relevant legislation and Department policies, including in relation to:

  • notifying and/or seeking parental/carer consent from parents/carers for the use of online services. Whether consent is required depends on what information is collected, used, and/or disclosed. See information and privacy for more details.
  • Privacy Impact Assessments
  • information security
  • school procurement of ICT systems
  • supervision and duty of care online
  • digital copyright.

Relevant Department polices include:

The Department has existing information packs for schools and parents for all Department-provided software available at Using Digital Technologies to Support Learning and Teaching.

If you have privacy and copyright-related questions, email privacy@education.vic.gov.au

Schools should contact digital.learning@edumail.vic.gov.au for support if they:

  • are experiencing challenges in meeting compliance requirements for existing technologies in their school
  • believe they have a technology gap that cannot be met by the technologies provided by the Department.

Parents/carers and families

We recommend that schools establish a communication approach for parents/carers. This should make clear:

  • how and when you'll communicate with them
  • how and when students and parents/carers can contact teachers and/or the school
  • preferred methods of communication. These may include mail, email, digital learning platforms, the school website, social media, telephone, videoconferencing, and using interpreters.

We also recommend that school clarify and communicate what students and parents/carers need to do during remote learning. You should note that that:

  • learning activities must be self-contained and manageable and should not rely too heavily on parents as educators
  • parents/carers may not always be available during the school day to support learning from home – many will have work, caring or other responsibilities
  • some parents/carers may experience more difficulty in supporting learning from home. For example, parents/carers with English as an additional language, low levels of literacy or a learning disability.

Tips for parents and carers

Find advice, tips and resources to help parents and carers support their child’s continuity of learning from home.

This advice includes links to literacy and numeracy resources and tips. Parents/carers can use these with their children at home without the school’s involvement.

Schools can:

  • direct parents with questions about supporting learning from home to this advice
  • create and distribute their own materials/resources.

Technologies at home

Consider the individual circumstances of students and families if you identify technologies as appropriate for supporting learning from home.

Parents/carers should make sure that their children have access to technologies to support learning from home. This includes devices, applications and the internet.

Should parents/carers be unable to do so, schools should distribute school-owned devices to students/families.

We’re currently developing advice, options and further supports for schools around technologies at home. We’ll publish more information as soon as possible.