Educational Assessment & Evaluation in Digital Society

Francisco José García Peñalvo and María José Rodríguez Conde of the University of Salamanca presented an overview of the research of the GRIAL group on multiculturality and educational innovation at the 5th edition of the international TEEM conference Technological Ecosystems for Enhancing Multiculturality, organized by the GRIAL group this year in collaboration with the University of Cádiz and the EVALfor group.

In particular, the track on Educational Assessment & Evaluation in Digital Society chaired by researchers of the E-EVALINTO team, was the framework for the presentation of the new trends on Assessment & Evaluation to a specialized group of stakeholders.

The GRIAL group is currently working on four Erasmus+ projects focused on valorizing intercultural teaching and learning from different perspectives: the promotion of multilingualism in classroom (VALUE), the training of teachers in dealing with the inclusion of migrant students (STEMS) and more properly on topics like contemporary religious pluralism (SORAPS) and the evaluation of the impact of peer mentoring activities as a methodological approach to foster the creation of an intercultural context at school (E-EVALINTO).

The “Schools’ intercultural profile” survey: some highlights

The analysis of the results of the survey carried out in the pilot schools identified five topics to be addressed through the implementation of peer mentoring activities, which will be developed during the school year 2017-18.
9 school managers, 27 teachers, 51 parents and 113 students participated in the study providing their personal perspectives on positive impact, challenges, teaching strategies and resources relating to their school community and the inclusion of migrant pupils.

  • Personal Wellbeing / Social Skills

Developing an awareness of our mental, physical and spiritual health is an important life-skill for all people, especially the students in our care.  At different times, our students may have positive and negative experiences that have an impact on their self-image, self-esteem and how they feel about the world around them.  For students who have a migrant background, these experiences can be even more intense because of changes in family circumstances, living conditions and a degree of ‘culture shock’.  It is very important that these students be enabled to attend to their levels of self-esteem, to be aware of their feelings and thoughts and to be able to articulate them where necessary and appropriate.

  • Language / Communication Skills

Many students of migrant background find themselves in a location where the main language is new to them.  This can impact on their personal, social and academic development.  It is important to give these students specific targeted opportunities to learn the language of the country in which they now reside at a pace suitable to them.  It is also recommended that they be enabled to have additional practise in listening, speaking, reading and writing in their new language.

  • My Culture, Your Culture

In a school with a migrant student population, there is much opportunity for all students to learn from ‘real people’ with ‘real life experience’ of a culture other than their own.  Celebrating such diversity is a positive way of exploring the similarities and differences in many aspects of our cultures from language, literature and music to food, lifestyles and religions.  Encouraging students of both native and migrant backgrounds to share their cultures with each other offers them the opportunity to explore their own culture more deeply and give each other a chance to ‘taste the flavour’ of another culture.  Such activities promote inclusion and tolerance.

  • Study skills

Different countries have different approaches to education.  Students of migrant background may be adjusting to different school sizes, class levels, academic subjects, school calendars and timetables, styles of teaching and learning, and school ethos.  It is important that the students develop an understanding of these issues and refine their skills in study and time management.  They should be enabled to try different study techniques and ways to prepare for exams, both oral and written, and how to present their work well.

  • Interests and hobbies

A holistic approach to education is important to achieve a healthy balance between the academic and non-academic school experiences of students.  For their own personal wellbeing, as well as the forging of new friendships or broadening their social circles, it is recommended that students be given the opportunity to share with others their interests and hobbies and be given the chance to try out new experiences.

 

WYRED Video: “Young people should have a voice”

In this post, Sofia and Cristina, the young colleagues who made the WYRED video, talk about the ideas behind it.

Adults tend to view “youth” as a homogenous group, talking of the concerns of youth as if all of us shared the same opinions and values. We are, of course, as diverse as adults, though like adults we may share some concerns.  One of the key aims in the WYRED project is to reflect and explore this diversity, and to give young people not just one voice, but as many as possible. This was the principal concept we were asked to capture in the WYRED promotional video.

When it comes to advertising an important and innovative project like WYRED, there is a need to make something different, attractive, but at the same time functional. We wanted to create a video with a strong visual meaning, with a different look to other work of this kind, and we decided to use a metaphor to transmit the central idea of WYRED.

Of course the other vital aspect is to attract the attention of the public. The metaphor technique we chose allowed us to capture the meaning of the key idea through the use of an object, in order to make it more concrete and eye-catching, and to ensure the effect of the video as a whole would be more immediate and arresting.

During the pre-production phase, we considered a wide range of objects that might be used to represent the idea of youth metaphorically. The object chosen needed to be attractive to the eye, easily recognisable, with a range of possibilities to play with (shape, colours, movement…) to show the variety and heterogeneity of youth. It also needed to be an object in some way associated with this age group. The balloon has a range of characteristics that make it an appropriate choice. It was really just what we were looking for: it’s attractive from an visual point of view, it has a large range of different forms and colours, and movements, which provided a lot of flexibility, and most important of all, it is an object that is related with youth. Adults don’t use balloons, they no longer see them as fascinating. Not only is it associated with childhood and youth, but it has associations of lightness, play, movement, lightness, vibrancy, colour and so on.

Another very important tool that we used to represent the challenge and solution involved in WYRED is light itself. We played with it as much as possible. During the first 15-20 seconds of the video the balloons are not well lit, but as the voiceover moves to describe the potential of young people they become more and more well-lit until eventually they are freed to float in the sunlight as the WYRED solution is described.

And last but not least, another key element was the voiceover. The images were very important but the tricky part came with the sound. We didn’t want that the weight of the meaning and purpose of the video to be carried only by the images or the sound. There needed to be a balance with voice accompanying image and visa versa. Furthermore, to reinforce the notion of diversity we chose to have a combination of different voices rather than just one, We hope you like it!

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Identify the intercultural profile of your school

My school’s “intercultural profile” is a survey developed by the E-EVALINTO team with the objective to provide the schools interested in dealing with the challenge of the integration of pupils with migrant background, with a tool for the evaluation of the school context as regard to the management of intercultural issues (identification of needs and individuals potentially at risk and development of specific action plans).

It is composed by a set of questionnaires and semi-structured interviews to be applied to the different school actors, school managers, counsellors, parents or legal guardians and pupils, because we consider that in order to obtain a multi-perspective picture of the context, it is crucial to identify the “intercultural profile” of an entire school instead of taking isolated assessments oriented to single individuals or groups.

This tool has been applied during the Spring 2017 in 5 pilot schools in the project partners’ countries and the four target groups have been involved by questionnaires or semi-structured interviews depending on the target group to be addressed. The results helped the project teams to design, with the support of the schools, a specific “tailored” training for the teachers, which will be held next November in each school.

The package is composed by:

We invite other schools interested in identifying their intercultural profile to use this tool and bring back their feedback.
Further information here.

WYRED Social Dialogues

A key aim of WYRED is to engage children and young people (C&YP) in a process of social dialogue giving them a voice to share their thoughts, fears and feelings in relation to the online world and explore a range of topics and themes that interest and/or concern them

26 face to face and including 2 online social dialogue sessions took place by end of June 2017 across 8 countries involving 436 C&YP! The Dialogues engendered lively and energetic debate among the children and young people using a range of creative techniques to motivate the C&YP.

The process of social dialogue allows for engaging and building alliances and the diverse nature of the groups reflected the inclusive nature of the WYRED project. C&YP proved themselves to be active decision makers. They felt heard and listened to in the process and willing to be challenged in relation to their ideas and concepts. Sound relationships were formed between groups of young people.

The dialogues facilitated by the 9 WYRED partners provided the opportunities for C&YP to explore both the digital and physical worlds in which they live. The themes identified throughout the Delphi process provided the stimulus for the later conversations to begin and to grow. However there was room for a number of other issues and topics to be explored which were initiated by the C&YP themselves.

The results from both rounds of the Delphi show that young people consistently attribute the highest importance to the issues of “self-image and self-confidence”, “tolerance to different cultures/opinions”, and “necessary changes in education”. One issue, mental wellbeing, is also perceived as very important and emphasized in some of the initial face-to-face social dialogues with young people carried out by the project team.

A wide range of potential research areas were identified throughout this process by some of the partners and this will be explored further.

The social dialogue phase has provided a unique opportunity for a range of stakeholders and most importantly our C&YP to be fully engaged in a process that will put them at the heart of research involving the online world which is part of their everyday lives. Research questions identified lend themselves to manageable and accessible projects which we are excited to take forward in the next phase of the WYRED project using a wide variety of expertly designed innovative research tools to appeal to the broad age range of the C&YP involved in the project.

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The WYRED Delphi Study: some highlights

The objective of the Delphi study in WYRED was to identify and prioritize key areas of interest for young persons, and to provide additional insights regarding their involvement in decision making related to their concerns, attitudes and perceptions.

The Delphi method has been widely used in different areas, for the elicitation of experts’ opinions on a certain subject, by means of an iterative anonymous group interaction. It involves repeated (multi-round) polling, in each round feeding back anonymised responses from earlier rounds, so that respondents can re-consider their previous answers and submit new insights.

In the WYRED Delphi, the subject-matter experts were young people and relevant stakeholders. Therefore, we designed two surveys: one aimed at young people and one for stakeholders. Each survey was carried out in two rounds (in accordance to the Delphi method), and different questionnaires were developed for each.

The first round consisted of one closed question (rating the most important issues of concern for young people) and open questions about engagement of young people in decision making and the benefit to society of such engagement.

The second round consisted of closed questions formulated based on the results obtained in the first round.

The questionnaires were accessible online, in six languages according to the WYRED partner countries: English, Spanish, German, Italian, Hebrew and Turkish.

206 young people and 69 stakeholders from different countries took part in the 1st round. 260 young people and 89 stakeholders participated in the 2nd round.

A report with full results and detailed analysis will be published in September 2017. At the moment we briefly present some highlights:

Young people consistently attribute the highest importance to the issues of “self-image and self-confidence”, “tolerance to different cultures/opinions”, and “necessary changes in education”. One issue, mental wellbeing, which was added in the 2nd round (based on young people suggestions in the 1st round), is also perceived as very important.

 

 

 

 

The opinions of stakeholders regarding the most important issues is in general rather similar to young people, except one noticeable difference: they attribute much higher importance than young people to media literacy, namely the reliability of information on the internet and in social media. (This observation has been confirmed by some of the initial face-to-face social dialogues with young people carried out by the WYRED team).

Among potential ways to engage young people in decision making processes, the highest usefulness was attributed by young people as well as by stakeholders to “direct communication between young people and decision makers”, followed by “fostering active groups in schools/universities/workplaces and recognition of the activists”.

Most young people tend to believe that the society in the year 2030 will be better if their voice is heard by decision makers (interestingly, this tendency is significantly higher among female respondents). They believe that first and foremost it will be a fairer society (more tolerant, more equal, more open to different genders, cultures, religions, political opinions, controversial issues, etc.). Moreover, they think that the education system will improve and that young people will feel more confident, expressive and in control of their role and impact in the society they live in.

Regarding the question (only presented to stakeholders) how to ensure that decision makers take into account the views of young people, the highest usefulness was attributed to “strengthening the citizenship of young people so that they learn to exercise their right to evaluate the system and not evade it”, followed by “regular evaluation of decisions that affect young people and require their opinion”.

The results of the Delphi study provide interesting insights and valuable inputs to the subsequent stages of WYRED, in which the relevant topics will be explored further in more detail.

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WYRED Project in the 19th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction

Dr. Francisco J. García-Peñalvo, head of the research GRoup in InterAction and eLearning (GRIAL), University of Salamanca, and coordinator of H2020 WYRED Project, has organized the Special Session Emerging Interactive Systems for Education, in the scope of the 4th International Conference on Learning and Collaboration Technologies (LCT 2017) sub conference of the 19th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (HCII 2017), held in Vancouver, Canada in July 9-14, 2017.

The HCI International 2017 Conference is just about to kick off expecting around 1800 participants from 59 countries.

In this event, Dr. García-Peñalvo presented the paper entitled “Interaction design principles in WYRED platform” devoted to introduce the WYRED project and the platform to develop the most of the interactions among young people. This presentation is available at http://goo.gl/of6R3x.

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TACCLE3 Coding: Evidence shows that girls (relative to boys) start disengaging from IT and technology at age 7

Only 17% of Google’s engineers, 15% of Facebook’s, and 10% of Twitter’s are women. (Ref)

“the gender gap is not at all connected to innate ability; girls are not less likely than boys to be good at these subjects.

In fact, The Engineer reports that in the UK girls outperform boys up to GCSE level (exams taken at age 16). But after this, the further on you go, the fewer women you find pursuing these subjects.

For instance, women make up just 12% of engineering students at universities in the UK, and just 4% of those taking engineering apprenticeships.” (Ref)

+ info

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WYRED FACES

 

We are glad to introduce the faces of the winners of the WYRED Slogan competition!

In the pictures Elif Çalışkan from IB World School (Turkey), David Furtschegger from University of Innsbruck (Austria) and the youngest Vincent Lowry with the friends of Saint Macarten’s Youth Club (Northen Ireland).

Click here to read their slogans.

 

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Workshop “Evaluation Tools: training on the E-EVALINTO online environment”

Are teachers able to manage the assessment of a learning activity properly?
How to design an evaluation tool where the role of assessor can be undertaken by both teachers, mentors and students, through self-assessment or peer assessment?

Gregorio Rodríguez Gómez, Professor of Educational Research Methods at the Didactic Department of the University of Cádiz (Spain), trained the E-EVALINTO team to design, manage and implement evaluation tools by using the EVALCOMIX app for Moodle during a workshop held in Florence last 5th of July.

The workshop was performed by proposing the development of several activities to the attendees, through an active learning methodology, aimed to let them become aware of the steps required to design different learning activities with their assessment tools to be analyzed by the E-EVALINTO environment.

 

The propose of this training is to spread the skills to use the environment by turning each attendant into a trainer in their own institutions and school contexts.

To learn more about the E-EVALINTO assessment tool, have a look at the Getting Started Guide.