Science Created by You (SCY)
Start date: 01 Mar 2008,
End date: 29 Feb 2012
The SCY system for constructive and productive learning of science and technology will be based on a flexible and adaptive pedagogical approach to learning and on learning objects created by learners.SCY's basic philosophy is that the learning of science is a process of creating knowledge by learners. The overall objective of the project is to construct and evaluate an environment that can foster such creation processes and provide learners with authentic scientific and technological missions that engage them in true investigative and constructive activities. Two concepts are central in the SCY approach. One is the representation of learners' knowledge creation processes in the form of emerging learning objects (ELOs). During activities related to science and technology, learners create elements of knowledge, for instance collections of data, models of phenomena, conjectures, visualisations, and more. The evolving collection of these objects forms a representation of the learners' growing knowledge, both individually and collectively. SCY will develop an extensive ontology of these ELOs that can be used to model the learners' developing knowledge as well as the tasks and tools that enable further growth of this knowledge. The second central concept in SCY is the development of advanced pedagogical scenarios. In SCY-Lab (the SCY learning system) students work individually and collaboratively on 'missions' which are guided by a general socio-scientific question (for example 'how can we produce healthier milk?') and require a combination of knowledge from different domains (e.g. physics and mathematics, or biology and engineering). On a SCY-mission, students perform several types of productive learning actions (experiment, game, share, explain, design, etc.). They encounter multiple resources, collaborate with varying coalitions of peers, and use changing constellations of tools and scaffolds (e.g. to design a plan, to state a hypothesis etc.). The configuration of SCY-Lab is adaptive to the actual learning situation, advising students on appropriate learning actions, resources and tools, or peer learners that can support them. Scaffolding will assist learners in all aspects of the inquiry and design processes. Scaffolds will include tools for data collection in the lab and in the field (using mobile equipment), means to create intuitive mathematical models of phenomena, visualisations of data and processes of inquiry and collaboration, and templates for reports and designs. The central unit in the SCY architecture is a broker that configures SCY-Lab to unfolding learning processes and activities. For this it uses information from pedagogical agents that exploit techniques of educational data mining to monitor information in the SCY repository that stores the ELOs as well as domain information, the log-files of student behaviour, and the recorded chats between students. A part from SCY-Lab and its missions, the SCY project will provide tools for new kinds of assessment, based on portfolios, using learners' collections of ELOs as their main ingredient and playful peer assessment in which learners evaluate their experience with each other in collaborative networks. Further, SCY will deliver a set of authoring tools that will allow teachers to configure SCY-missions for their students and support educational designers in the construction of new SCY-missions. SCY aims to be a centre of innovation of science education in Europe. Part of this ambition is the foundation of SCYCOM, an open-content community for science education in which stakeholders, publishers, teachers and learners can share and find scientific content material that can be part of existing and new missions based on the SCY approach.
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