Report on the Participatory Engagement Activities

Abstract : This deliverable D6.4 describes the Participatory Engagement Activities (Task 6.2) that took place in the 2nd year of the project and consists of three major parts. Part 1 describes the Go-Lab contest “Teaching Through Inquiry”, which constitutes an online participation engagement activity. The contest was launched to engage teachers in Go-Lab activities and familiarise them with the Go-Lab system. Teachers were asked to create a lesson plan following the Go-Lab inquiry cycle which would include the use of at least one GoLab online lab. After National Coordinators‟ evaluation, teachers with the two winning entries from each country invited to attend the Go-Lab summer School in Marathon, Greece between the 13th and 18th of July. Part 2 describes the 2 nd Go-Lab summer school and the activities performed. During the Summer school the courses included lectures and workshops focusing on the introduction to the concepts and the idea of the Go-Lab project, lessons on preparing, uploading and sharing digital learning resources and scenarios using the Go-Lab tools, presentation of inquiry-based learning activities from the Go-Lab repository, familiarisation with the GoLab repository and its content, hands-on sessions working with the Graasp authoring environment, with Go-Lab on-line labs and other external resources. Furthermore, piloting evaluation activities and semi guided interviews took place offering significant input to the project. Specifically, during the interviews teachers had the opportunity to express their opinion-reflection about (on): a) their current teaching practices, b) the Go-Lab authoring environment, they have been presented with, and c) the potential of building communities of teachers and learners in order to nurture the upgrading of the teachers understanding about inquiry-based learning and especially their science teaching (pedagogical mentoring) skills. It was reported a) use of labs but limited use of online labs, which opens up great opportunities for Go-Lab, b) satisfaction of the Graasp authoring environment because it supports the Inquiry Based Learning method, c) belief that the opportunity to produce their own ILS can lead to better educational results and that they serve their teaching needs. As main barriers of use of the Go-Lab system in classroom identified the compatibility with the curriculum and the insufficiency of the appropriate infrastructure. In conclusion, it was expressed strong belief that a community and supporting environment should be built. Part 3 describes the methodology, the format, and the implementation of the Practice Reflection Workshops (PRWs) of the first period, the methodology of data collection and analysis, and the main outcomes of the PRWs. For the collection of teachers‟ reflection there were used both quantitative and qualitative data. The most important outcome of the analysis of teachers‟ reflection is their positive response to the Go-Lab initiative. In particular, they identify great chances for Go-Lab as the believe that the use of online labs can increase the attractiveness of education, that students can use online labs at home is attractive, that online labs will motivate students more than the current school practice and that students will learn more with online labs. Furthermore, there appear great implementation perspectives for Go-Lab as teachers appear positive almost to all the relevant statements of the questionnaire. However, some important issues are identified as crucial for the implementation of Go-Lab, such as the compatibility with the curriculum, the limited didactic knowledge of teachers on using online labs, the requirement for training for teachers so that they can use the Go-Lab portal and the fact that schools should give teachers additional time to prepare their lessons based on the online labs. According to the qualitative data, teachers reported their satisfaction with the pedagogical framework and the inquiry methodology but they think that there are misunderstandings in the implementation of the idea of the inquiry based learning approach. Teachers have also positive attitudes towards Graasp as the Inquiry Learning Spaces (ILSs) authoring environment but they think that they cannot use it without adequate training. Finally, the most common barriers of use of the Go-Lab system identified were the following: compatibility with the curriculum, lack of the adequate infrastructure (computers, strong internet connection), availability of the Go-Lab system in other languages, teachers‟ illiteracy on online lab and ICT in general and time constrains in the classroom. The main problems of the Go-Lab implementation that emerged during the PRWs will easily be solved by the tutoring platform of the project that is already designed. The aim of the platform is to provide guidance to teachers on the use of Go-Lad and that way the support to teachers will be improved.
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Rapport
[Research Report] Go-Lab Project. 2014
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Vasilis Fasoulis. Report on the Participatory Engagement Activities. [Research Report] Go-Lab Project. 2014. 〈hal-01202014〉

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