My farewell to EDINET

On a beautiful Saturday I am coming to the end of the European Project EDINET – started in this blog in January 22nd. I had dreams about deep understanding about engineering students and teachers.. I always have dreams .. but what did I learn? I had one excellent discussion with my son, he spoke honestly and I leared that ICT-students learn many languages for programming. I also had one meeting in  Bern for further planning, it was good place to learn how to collaborate.

But the Edinet project, what did I learn? I have analyzed students answers (N=128, from seven universities in seven countries). I am convinced that it is wise to open laboratories to foreign students and it happened. It is great. And more: the implementation and pedagogical principles are OK. For deeper understanding I should work more, and really collaborate with engineering teachers and laboratory workers. I participated only the last part of the project and did what I could (oh, how clever). Pedagogical principles seem very good but they work on a general level.

I was happy to begin  and I am happy to stop. I will return from Europe to global level. I have dreams again…

Experiences from Edinet

Young engineering students from Austria, Finland, Czech, Germany and Slovakia have participated in a laboratory course managed by universities in six European countries (Switzerland, too). I have been analyzing the results of student questionnaires. Pedagogical principles are my focus and my inquiry tells only about them. I do not understand anything about routing which was the main subject in labs.

I have answers from 99 university students (only five female). Main results seem very good. Students consider practical work, problem solving,  group work and discory learning most important methods of their learning. Students were very well informed about the course and they were motivated, even enthusiastic to participate. Guidance during the course was given by their own teacher or fellow students in the same university. Learning environment, manuals and guidelines and instructions helped, this is obvious and normal in labs, I suppose. Some technical problems are also normal phenomena, I suppose.

Students assessed themselves to be good listeners, good at task solving, reasoning and explaining. Sometimes they gave advices to fellow students. Other students were described as team work facilitators, knowledge builders and team cohesion builders. Only few were over-riders or lurkers or passive in group working. So they are normal and fine European nerds, aren’t they?

Transnational cooperation happened to some extent. Actually all the project was it, but concrete interaction between students was seen in two universities that I could examine more.

I am wondering what are the possibilities to use different pedagogical methods in remote laboratories environment? Participants have seen that quite similar ideas existed at the partner universities-  only implemented in a slightly different way. In the beginning of the project they had sat together and created a common concept. And now I can see the results.

The pedagogical framework is an important part of the Edinet project. Edinet will create International Semi Virtual campus, which is more complex task comparing to already existing solutions. The most interesting part will be the part regarding Learning in Edinet – Practical suggestions.

Edinet project has workpackages about competencies and so on … pedagogy is only one package. Perhaps we have to collaborate inside the project in order to plan and recommend practical solutions for future. My results from student inquiry seem very appropriate in this phase.

Partners have a meeting in Bremen in June – I would be happy about comments.

Quality in eLearning

I am gathering materials for Edinet project

In Finland we have a  Online Teaching and Learning Quality Project called Vopla with pages in English.

In Europe we have EFQUEL organisation for enhancing th quality of eLearning in Europe: quality papers

ASIIN = accreditation agency for Degree programmes in Engineering, Quality in Higher Education. ASIIN QM Handbook is only in German, but it is OK in Edinet I suppose.

In Finland we have Reflektori symposium of Engineering education, years 2007 and 2005 available. Not all presentations are in English, look at the program please.

Understanding pedagogical scripts

Dillenbourg seem to be one of experts concerning pedagogical scripts, perhaps one of creators. I got a copy of his pdf  Over-scripting CSCL The risks of blending collaborative learning with instructional design.

CSCL= Computer Supported Collaborative Learning

A copy of the abstract (2002)

Free collaboration does not systematically produce learning. One way to enhance the effectiveness of collaborative learning is to structure interactions by engaging students in well-defined scripts.

A collaboration script is a set of instructions prescribing how students should form groups, how they should interact and collaborate and how they should solve the problem. In computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL), the script is reified in the interface of the learning environment. This contribution  dismantles the concept of script. Syntactically, a script is sequence of phases and each phase can be described by five attributes. The grammatical combination of these elements may however produce any kind of pedagogical method, even those that have nothing to do with the idea of collaborative learning.

On the one hand, the definition of scripts constitutes a promising convergence between educational engineering and socio-cultural approaches but, on the other hand, it drifts away from the genuine notion of collaborative learning.

Will the fun and the richness of group interactions survive to this quest for effectiveness? The answer depends on the semantics of collaborative scripts: what is the design rationale, what is the core mechanism in the script through which the script designer expects to foster productive interaction and learning.

Prof. Pierre Dillenbourgh works in Lausanne, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

My questions:

In adult education, when students are committed to and they have intrinsic motivation, teachers or facilitators only create the circumstances for favourable learning. There is no need for pedagogical scripts?

Young students may have less motivation and they are used to clear rules and certain coercion: what I have to do for getting credits. Wise scripts are neeeded here, I suppose.

I am working with these questions in my way from CCK08 to Edinet. I don’t know  yet how motivates the students are but we need a general structure od learning and pedagogical scripts may help in this modeling.

EDINET – a project in EU

After travelling in global world with CCK08 course, this blog will continue in Europe. I will gather here information and knowledge about EDINET, not only the project itself but all the topics around it:

  • networking
  • ICT students professional growth
  • ICT teachers development in their work
  • guidance processes
  • online pedagogy

Here comes first material: Designing and investigating pedagogical scripts to facilitate computer supported collaborative learning, dissertation by Raija Hämäläinen 2008, University of Jyväskylä. You can find it as pdf opening “Julkaisun verkkoversio”. This publication was very useful when we planned a questionnaire for students in Edinet pilot.

The Elearnineuropa pages gather very much knowledge about projects and happenings in Europe. It is worth following. I must remember the possibility to publish there.

There are other Virtual Campus projects in Europe: ReViCa (Reviewing Virtual Campuses) seems very interesting. After my global virtual study experiences I wonder why it seems to be hard to develop joint courses for many universities. CCK08 was not official, perhaps it succeeded therefore? Projects also report problems in online pedagogy and want a general concept map about it. I have to collect my online pedagogy here for getting feedback.

Welcome all old and new friends who are interested in these themes.