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Digital support for Inquiry, Collaboration, and Reflection on Socio-Scientific Debates

Final Report Summary - COREFLECT (Digital support for Inquiry, Collaboration, and Reflection on Socio-Scientific Debates)

Four main objectives were outlined at the outset of the CoReflect project:

1. Develop and empirically test a multi‐lingual and multimodal web‐based library of inquiry learning environments, integrating reflection as part of the learning process.
2. Contribute to fostering participating students’ interest in, and understanding of, socio‐scientific issues that preoccupy modern societies.
3. Develop a mechanism for spreading the crucial attributes that make the design of interactive learning environments about socio‐scientific topics and their classroom implementation effective in existing isolated pockets of practice, taking enough care to overcome the systemic, cultural, organizational and language barriers that impede transfer of educational programs from one educational system to another.
4. Engage a network of university‐school‐educational authority Local Working Groups in a series of research studies on specific aspects of the classroom implementation of web‐based inquiry‐ oriented science teaching and learning environments, such as the role of student reflection in facilitating inquiry processes and the importance of collaboration in investigating hypotheses using actual scientific data.

The above goals were addressed successfully by the work conducted by the CoReflect Consortium. The work of the project was organized around eight WorkPackages (WP), with WP1 being the Project Managament WorkPackage. WP2 supported the project members in building common ground on the important concepts that unify the work conducted by each partner separately: learning in science, inquiry, scaffolding, motivation, understanding, reflection, socio‐scientific issues, and collaboration. In the context of the work conducted in this WorkPackage, the Local Working Groups came together, exchanged ideas, and received peer feedback on their work. Three such Knowledge‐Sharing occasions were planned and executed, one during each year of the project. These Knowledge Sharing Workshops provided the forum for exploring relationships between teachers and researchers.

WP3 supported the development of the web‐based, inquiry learning environments. The STOCHASMOS platform was used to support the development and hosting of these pedagogical content modules for inquiry‐based teaching and learning. STOCHASMOS was localized to support the authoring of web‐based learning environments in the local languages of the partners; the platform is now fully available in seven languages (Arabic, Dutch, English, German, Greek, Hebrew, and Swedish). With the exception of one partner, who assumed a dissemination coordination role, linking practicing teachers outside of the Local Working Groups with the project, each partner engaged in design‐based research to support learning by inquiry.