Literature Review on the Impact of Digital Technology on Learning and Teaching

This literature review was commissioned by the Scottish Government to explore how the use of digital technology for learning and teaching can support teachers, parents, children and young people in improving outcomes and achieving our ambitions for education in Scotland

Annex 2: Assessment framework

Any literature review needs a framework to draw out the key findings of the relationships we are looking for evidence of and to provide a narrative structure for the summary and analysis. We generally use a theory of change or logic model to provide such a framework because it:

  • Clarifies the relationships we are looking for evidence of between the learning and teaching activities and the expected outputs, outcomes and impacts;
  • Shows the linkages we might expect to find evidence of between the activities and the outputs, outcomes and impacts for different beneficiaries of the digital learning and teaching (learners, parents, teachers, the school);
  • Separates the outcomes which might be considered to be immediate, medium-term and longer term.

The assessment framework is presented below: Table A2.1: Assessment framework

    Inputs: Learning/Training Activities Outputs: New knowledge, skills and competencies and positive attitudes Short term outcomes: knowledge, skills & competencies Medium term outcomes: knowledge, skills and useful competencies Impacts: Knowledge, skills and competencies applied with economic and social effects
Theory of change: gain from formal and non-formal education and training Learners Digital learning resources available for formal and non-formal learning

School platform/VLE available for learner/teacher communication
More opportunity to be active in learning and test knowledge/skills

Access to more sources of learning (more varied, wider coverage)

Gain transversal employability skills, such as collaboration and team work, following instructions/planning tasks, knowledge and understanding of pathways to employment

Gain skills in key areas of curriculum
Greater feeling of personal control over learning

More motivation and interest in learning More confidence to practise and use a skill Greater completion of homework to quality required
Increased time spent on non-formal learning Improved competences (sustained learning gains) in basic skills -key areas of literacy, numeracy, science skills and ICT - and transversal skills for life and work Faster learning Clearer understanding of how to achieve learning and work ambitions More learners achieve higher levels of attainment in literacy, numeracy, science skills and ICT skills throughout schooling More learners achieve better results in other subjects where digital learning has been used Gaps in attainment are reduced for protected groups/children from low income backgrounds Fewer learners fail to make an effective transition to higher or further education, training or employment between ages of 16 and 24
Teachers School platform/VLE available for learner/teacher communication Teacher training in use of VLE etc. Teacher training in use of digital resources and their pedagogical use Better able to use digital technologies for teaching and assessment Better able to engage some learners in learning Reduced time spent on lesson preparation of materials Better able to meet needs of learners with different learning styles/ special educational needs More frequent use of digital technologies for teaching Better able to provide individual feedback Increased capability to teach all learners effectively without decrease in class size Increase capability to narrow gaps in learning because of learner's background and learning styles/needs  
Schools Provision of teacher training and support to use digital resources etc. Provision of sufficient bandwidth etc. to use digital teaching resources etc. Better able to provide resources for teaching and learning and communication with parents Teachers encouraged to collaborate within the school and with teachers in other schools to use digital resources More frequent communication with parents Better targeted and customised communication with learners, teachers and parents Teachers sharing and reusing resources More parents actively engaged with their children's education More parents feel school keeps them informed Teachers spending more time on assessment and feedback Schools achieve more without increased resources Parents more satisfied with outcomes their children achieved at school Schools offset some costs of ICT with savings in running costs


Email: Catriona Rooke

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