Research into Best Practice Models for the use of digital technologies in mathematics teaching and learning

In 2022, the Department commissioned dandolo partners (dandolo) to undertake research on what worked well in lifting mathematics and numeracy outcomes during COVID-19 and what key aspects could potentially be further explored and developed as enduring augmentations to mathematics teaching. Whilst the focus of this research was on maths, many of the lessons learnt can be applied to other learning areas.

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The final report focussed on three key challenges affecting students’ maths performance:

  • Teacher capacity and efficiency: Teachers reported that they are time-poor and may have insufficient capacity to complete the range of preparation, administration and classroom tasks needed for optimal student outcomes. A lot of time is spent on administrative tasks, limiting time available for high value activities improving student performance.
  • Teacher capability and confidence: Teachers and system level stakeholders reported that inexperienced or less confident maths teachers need support around content and teaching practice to build the skills needed to teach maths well.
  • The ability to differentiate for students: Teachers have significant differentiation in student level within one class and supporting all student levels can be difficult and time consuming. Teachers need support to effectively manage maths classes with a wide range of ability levels and learning styles.

The researchers found that there are a variety of technological tools that can be used to help address these challenges, which can be broadly applied to a range of contexts and unique student learning needs.

The project identified eight best practice models that reflect the most promising applications of digital technologies to address the key challenges outlined above, including:

  1. Maths lesson plan libraries
  2. Digital observation and remote coaching
  3. Remote learning delivery
  4. Online tutoring for students falling behind
  5. Fully-featured teaching and learning platforms
  6. Digital exploration, investigation and game environments
  7. Cohort-specific culturally relevant maths content and lesson plans
  8. Teacher-recorded worked examples.

dandolo also identified some key principles that teachers and policy makers can apply to inform their consideration and use of digital technologies to support maths teaching.

In addition, a series of videos are available below which explain the key findings from the report. These videos provide further information on the overall report, the academic literature review and its findings, as well as advice to support the use of digital technology in local contexts. We thank the expert panel members for their contributions:

  1. Ms Hayley Dureau, Master Teacher (Mathematics) – Assistant Principal at Mentone Girls' Secondary College
  2. Mr Michael Rosenbrock, Educational Leader – Evidence for Learning
  3. Dr Max Stephens, Professor, Melbourne Graduate School of Education.

The panel videos should be viewed in sequential order.


Overview of the report’s key findings with Mr Joe Connell, Director of dandolo

Panel discussion video 1

Panel discussion video 2

Panel discussion video 3