Remote Learning Leads to Unmotivated Students

In a recent ‘Learning in a Changing Landscape’ report, Texthelp surveyed over 11,000 UK students during lockdown. They also drew on existing evidence from ImpactEd on how COVID-19 affects student motivation in the UK, US and Australia. It aimed to understand the unprecedented impact of remote learning. They refer to the ‘Zoom Boom’ – the onslaught of online resources and 158% global surge in EdTech tool downloads in March 2020.


Pupil Motivation with Remote Learning


Pupil motivation has decreased as a result of remote learning. The study found that only 34% of surveyed UK pupils felt actively motivated whilst learning from home. The large majority suggested they felt neutral or actively disengaged. In a time where remote learning is becoming the norm, this is an issue that needs to be addressed immediately. This is especially pertinent as pupil motivation is directly linked to attainment.


Most Impacted Students 


Students from disadvantaged backgrounds reported lower levels of persistence than their peers consistently since the beginning of May. This drop in motivation is expected to continue as home and blended learning contexts become normalised. 

Additionally, school girls reflected a pattern seen in adult females; that is, females were more susceptible to the negative effects of Covid-19 on their mental health. Not only were they less motivated, the surveyed girls demonstrated a 5% lower wellbeing score than boys. 


Teachers are Working More Hours


The next statistic is hardly surprising. As the world has switched to remote working, many sectors have reported increased working hours for their employees. This is especially true for teachers, who have had to adapt their entire working and teaching style. For that reason, teacher working hours are said to have increased by 60-65% as they prepare for the “new normal” of remote learning.


Teacher Burnout


With the increased hours of work, more teachers are reporting burnout. Subsequently, this is leading to less motivated pupils. In fact, there was a direct correlation between teacher burnout and weakened motivation in pupils.




They found that research-based tools encouraging engagement through real-time feedback and gamification have a lot of merit. Additionally, giving pupils a sense of autonomy will have a positive impact on student outcomes and teacher workloads. By highlighting the more at risk groups, it means that teachers can focus on these pupils as we go forward into the future of remote learning.