ITCOLE raises the current level of pedagogical use of network tools by researching, building, testing and disseminating a learning environment for collaborative knowledge building in European schools. Based on the strength of existing knowledge and tools of the participants, the project aims to raise the quality and quantity of the use of educational network tools in Europe. Results of the project will be a freely distributable web-based software application to enable collaborative knowledge building and a set of related pedagogical practices to enable institutions and users to take advantage of the application. Together these two parts form a learning environment that pulls together best pedagogical practices and help schools to integrate them into their daily operations. Finished environment (tools and practices) will be freely distributed within the European educational landscape in order to support continued excellence in the field.
The project has three key scientific and technical objectives:
1) Develop pedagogical models of collaborative knowledge building for European education;
2) Develop a modular knowledge-building environment to support collaborative learning;
3) Evaluate, test and disseminate the environment in European schools in order to build meaningful pedagogical practices and to advance the use of collaborative learning technology. The project focuses on developing innovative pedagogical models, design principles and technology for collaborative knowledge building to be used in European education. The models and technology will be tested and disseminated throughout the European education landscape free of charge in order to help in building a coherent and unified network of participants that supports sharing of expertise, content, practices and tools. The ultimate goal is to build a network spearheading the use of collaborative learning technology by utilising pedagogical best practices.
DESCRIPTION OF WORK
The main work of the project consists of creating software tools and pedagogical best practices, testing and refining them and eventually disseminating them throughout European education landscape. First stage tasks include reviewing the state of the art in CSCL practices and tools, generating practical pedagogical models for the use of CSCL tools (to overcome current obstacles) and refining them into a set of best practices. Second stage work will implement a working prototype for a next generation CSCL system that enables collaborative knowledge building according to the best practices. This prototype will be tested, evaluated and improved through several development cycles in order to arrive at a highly usable, robust and scalable multi-user knowledge building environment to be used on the web. Third stage work consists of evaluating the tool and pedagogical practices on a large scale in various schools in order to find the best match between innovative local practices and designed environment and pedagogical models. This phase will result in further refinement and development of the learning environment (the software and related practices) fusing it with the findings of the evaluation and benchmarking phase. Final stage work aims at disseminating the software and practices widely and free of charge throughout European schools. This work aims at enabling local centres of expertise to be formed around common tools and practices that together will tie these into a Europe-wide learning network. The goal is to build a self-sustaining network of participants that will continue to use, develop and disseminate the built tools and practices with the aim of managing continued educational excellence in the field of collaborative knowledge building and information technology.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
00014 Helsingin Yliopisto
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