Implementing Research-Based Digital Learning Practices

  • Chapter 1: Designing Effective and Engaging Digital Learning
  • Chapter 2: Assessing Student Achievement in Digital Learning
  • Chapter 3: Fostering Healthy, Equitable, and Inclusive Digital Communities

Chapter 1 explores how to best ensure equity and access for all students, especially those who are affected by structural and institutional injustices during health and economic crises (PACE, 2020), including students with disabilities, students who are English learners, foster youth, and students experiencing homelessness (Repetto, Spitler, & Cox, 2018). Chapter 1 also includes a subsection on Preparing and Supporting Teachers for Digital Teaching, as pedagogical approaches and strategies for online and hybrid environments are vastly different than those used in a traditional setting (Archambault & Kennedy, 2018). Therefore, effectively incorporating technology into learning experiences requires strategic professional learning (Kolb & Carter, 2020) that is ongoing, practice-based, culturally relevant, content-specific, and context-specific. Designing Meaningful Online and Blended Learning Experiences is the final topic addressed in Chapter 1. This area provides practical guidance for educators who are designing online and hybrid learning experiences, including key considerations for aggregating time for synchronous and asynchronous learning.

Chapter 2 focuses on the importance of assessments in a digital environment. Specifically, the chapter focuses on suggestions for implementing formative, summative, interim, and diagnostic assessments in online and blended learning environments. These assessments are essential in order to determine effectiveness of pedagogical strategies, understand individual students’ needs and supports, and inform and individualize instruction to accelerate learning.

Chapter 3 focuses on fostering healthy, equitable, and inclusive digital communities, including Infusing Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and Cultivating Educator and Student Well-being. By emphasizing SEL and well-being, schools can create virtual learning environments that are safe and inclusive that support equitable student outcomes.