School and University students studying STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) subjects often encounter barriers to their understanding of complex concepts. However, unlike in the arts, students are frequently poorly motivated to overcome these barriers. Focusing on performance JuxtaLearn will provoke student curiosity in science and technology through creative film making and editing activities. Computational identification of students’ barriers to conceptual understanding will be overcome by scaffolded creative application of concepts in activities juxtaposed to traditional understanding. State of the art technologies will support students transferable reflections focusing on two pedagogical approaches: juxtaposition performance and reflective performance.
Juxtaposition performance: JuxtaLearn ICMAs (Interactive Computer Marked Assessments) will support students’ identification of threshold concepts that are their own personal barriers to understanding. New media and learning analytics of public video resources will facilitate students’ creative inspiration and further conceptual insight and understanding.
Reflective performance: State of the art systems for automated and personalised film making and editing will support curiosity and creative expression. A deeper understanding will be reinforced through scaffolding reflections on essential elements in applying the theory. Students will, for example, be supported in instigating reflective decisions on what to film, how to film it and what and where to edit. Public displays will enable sharing and commenting of these performances thus encouraging public curiosity and a “buzz” around specific complex concepts.
The technology-enhanced learning Work Programme will profoundly contribute to the ICT goal, with regard to educational technologies for science and technology. As per the Work programme, the expected impacts are as follows:
Unlock the potential of the individual by a stronger and smarter adaptation and personalisation of educational technologies.
Juxtalearn seeks to unlock students potential through supporting their conceptual understanding.
Significantly higher levels of effective, personalised, ICT-based tutoring, leading to its wide-spread penetration in schools and at home.
A key focus of Juxtalearn is the balance between personal and collaborative reflective performance support for conceptual understanding. Juxtalearn has the potential to transform students learning progressions, through developing students understading of threshold concepts.
Higher level of engagement of youngsters in science, technology and maths, through novel educational software and opening up opportunities to access and use of laboratory equipments and virtual experiments.
This is the key focus of Juxtalearn impact as youth are the primary user group cohorts that the research, technical developments and the evaluation is focusing upon.
Emergence of new learning models, including models invoking creativity.
This is a key impact from this project as the systems developed are based upon a new learning model technically applying threshold concepts as well as models of juxtaposing learning activities.
The research conducted in this project has received funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement no. 317964 JUXTALEARN.
The main goals of JuxtaLearn are to research, develop and evaluate a pedagogical and technological framework that exploits performance to enhance science and technology learning. JuxtaLearn will encourage students to use creative activities, in particular video-making, to help them understand things they find difficult to grasp. The international project will apply to both university and school students.
We see a need for both pedagogical and technical advancements rather than one leading the other. We focused on four areas:
Personalised learning processes: Identifying personal threshold concepts and threshold components through formative assessments advancing state of the art ICMA (interactive computer marked assessments) technology. The system will: identify through formative assessment tools personalised threshold concepts that are problem for the student, detailing components of these concepts that are potentially enabling and inhibiting for the student to support reflection within learning with further activities.
Reflective Performance through Participatory Video and Editing: Traditional paper-based STEM activities will support students’ articulation of their current understanding and will be automatically captured at each stage of the students articulation / “performance” through Juxtalearn PENs turning them into pencast “performances”. This will support student, teacher and peer reflections. Juxtapose activities that initiate curiosity will then be turned into creative video “performances” where students will be encouraged to reflect on their understanding through using metaphors, similies and engaging ways to represent the knowledge. Through a usable reflective editing tool students will be supported in editing according to conceptual needs of the performance and prompted to reflect on comparisons with the previous activity. Thus allowing this activity to be tied back to mainstream assessed criteria.
School and Public Display: In-situ reflection and social networking tend to have limited technical connection. Juxtalearn will use large screen displays and mobile devices to allow in-situ communities to use social networking to participate in supported debates around the conceptual understanding presented. This will fuel curiosity within the in-situ community and a initiate deeper understanding with the students through relection and debate.
Social Media Analytics and Learning Analytics: Currently social media analytics mainly focuses on usage and interaction patterns. Learning analytics focuses on students’ personal learning needs and progression. Tagging and concept mapping will be used to span between the personal needs and web open resources providing students with cutting edge tailored support. Learning communities established for these activities will be analysed and progression in their understanding mapped back to them.
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