CONSTRUCTION OF A PEDAGOGICAL OPEN BADGE MODEL
1Sapienza University, Italy; 2Sapienza University, Italy
Open Digital badges are visual tokens and online records of students' achievements certified according to common criteria. They assume different functions depending on the meaning and values we ascribe to them, such as: motivator of behaviour; pedagogical tool; accreditation system (Ahn et al., 2014).
In the same way, our research project addresses different needs. The main objective was the construction of Digital Open Badges that would allow to define certified competence profiles, useful for:
- students to learn about their potential, demonstrate and build upon the skills they acquired in different places of learning, even informal ones, orient themselves professionally and build a highly individualized curriculum;
- the university to know the levels of competence acquired by students, update the summary of qualifications and competencies that are relevant to the teaching profession, plan to create complementary-skill-based courses and strengthen university preparation of teachers.
Another purpose of the project was to engage second-year students of the Degree Course in Primary Education of the University of Rome La Sapienza in the research process.
The students and professors who took part in the project identified the transversal skills that are most relevant to the teaching profession, the extracurricular learning of students that is most interesting to validate and promote. They defined sets of criteria and indicators to assess learners' performance and developed evaluation tools including three different methods of assessment designed to test hard and soft skills.
The badge candidates must demonstrate that:
- they have the necessary hard skills, assessed by a team of experts using transparent performance standards and indicators;
- they can design a teaching unit in which they use the skills they want to assess; and
- they are able to put into practice their artistic or sport skills and transversal abilities by providing a short teaching session for a group of students.
12 different Open Digital Badges, attesting technical, artistic and physical skills that follow open standards for recognising and validating learning were created. The certification body is Sapienza University, in partnership with Cineca.
The project is consistent with the 2018 Ministerial Conference on “Enhancement of Higher Education Learning and Teaching” (EHEA) that underlines the importance of transparent, secure, machine-readable and easily transmitted digital certifications; the European Recommendations on key competences for lifelong learning (2018-a; 2018-b), and the Erasmus + program Open Badge Network. Furthermore, it is compatible with the “European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning”, which is a meta-framework aiming at enabling comparability of qualifications frameworks and systems (European Commission, 2008).
Ahn, J., Pellicone, A., & Butler, B. S. (2014). Open badges for education: What are the implications at the intersection of open systems and badging?
Paris Communiqué: EHEA Ministerial Conference (2018). Retrieved from http://www.ehea2018.paris
European Commission (2008). The European Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.
European Commission (2018). New measures to boost key competences and digital skills, as well as the European dimension of education. Brussels: Press Release.
European Commission (2018). Proposal for a Council Recommendation on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning. Brussels: European Commission.
ASSESSMENT AND INCLUSION. TEACHERS' EXPERIENCE OF EMERGENCY REMOTE TEACHING DURING THE LOCKDOWN PERIOD
1Roma Tre University, Italy; 2Sapienza University of Rome, Italy
In March 2020 the emergency situation has forced the suspension of all in-presence teaching activities for all school grades in Italy. In its first operational indications, the Ministry of Education underlined that distance learning has having two meanings: keeping alive the classroom community and avoiding the interruption of the learning process.Collecting data from experience and reflecting on evidence (Lucisano, 2020) is essential to verify not only whether these results have been achieved by the schools but also what are the meanings they have acquired in different territorial and individual contexts (Save the Children, 2020). The Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT) seems to have extended the learning gap among students depending on their family and territorial socio-economic context, amplifying fragilities and raising the risk of school dropout (Save the Children, 2020). Among the major weaknesses of ERT, related to inclusive processes, are the difficulties of evaluative processes that have strongly characterized the distance learning (Batini et al., 2020; Ferritti, 2020). This paper aims to present findings from the qualitative analysis of data collected through the questionnaire used in the national research SIRD titled "A comparison of the approaches to distance learning adopted in Italian schools in the period of the COVID-19 emergency". This research aimed to detect information useful to describe and understand the ways in which teachers dealt with the distance learning during the lockdown. The questionnaire involved a sample of over 16,000 teachers distributed throughout the Italian country. We explore the regional data from Lazio (1,918 teachers) with the aim of analysing the contents of the categories related to inclusion and assessment. We take into account all answers to the open-ended questions that underline the main strengths and weaknesses of the ERT, the main difficulties encountered by the students, and the reflections of the teachers.The inclusion category emerged across the four open-ended questions of the questionnaire, with a high percentage distribution of occurrences in the experience of teachers of all school grades. The assessment category characterized the teaching difficulties related to the new learning environment, bringing out the main difficulties of teachers in the evaluation process. The study’s results show that the critical issues did not only concern the difficulties related to the network access, the possession of devices and digital skills - already known issues of the digital inequalities - but are also related to the didactic issues.
DIDACTIC STRATEGIES AND METHODS DURING THE COVID-19 EMERGENCY: A COMPARISON BETWEEN DATA OBTAINED FROM THE QUALITATIVE ANALYSES OF SIRD SURVEY
1Università di Perugia, Italy; 2Università di Firenze, Italy
The aim of this paper is to describe the results obtained from the qualitative analysis of the answers given by teachers to the open-ended questions of the SIRD national questionnaire on distance learning, widespread during the Covid-19 global lockdown. The focus of the present work is on regional data of primary and secondary schools of Tuscany and Umbria, for which the occurrences and the relative percentages by subject were calculated in order to be compared with National results. In addition, a content analysis of teachers' responses was conducted. Some categories which showed more relevant results were selected in order to compare Regional and National results in relation to the use and the effectiveness of certain didactic strategies and methods. The comparison is also made with the quantitative data of the questionnaire to analyse a possible match between different outputs.
First, the study revealed that the Tuscan sample of teachers have identified the innovation of teaching methods as a strength of distance learning, compared to the Umbrian and Italian samples. The analysis of the content of the answers has in fact shown how distance learning has represented for teachers the opportunity to propose new activities, different from those usually carried out in classroom, and to revolutionize their teaching strategies mainly thanks to the new potential of the learning environment. The answers also highlighted teachers' intention to use these new strategies even in future.
On the other side, we have found in the Umbrian sample the perception of inadequacy of the distance learning environment for practical and group activities such as the practising of a musical instrument or laboratory subjects, as a weakness of online teaching. The aforementioned results appear to be particularly evident for upper secondary school teachers, while for primary school teachers, the data is very similar to the other two samples showing a lower perception of inadequacy of the learning environment for these grades.
Another weakness of the didactic remodulation is related to difficulties in planning and achieving objectives and it was found mainly in the answers of primary school teachers of the Umbria region. These critical issues are related mainly to the expansion of time requested for preparing and carrying out activities, to the difficulty of following all the pupils effectively and the inability of planning activities that involve also the weaker students.
Furthermore, in line with the quantitative data it was found that the percentage of primary school teachers reporting comments related to the implementation of innovative didactic strategies appears to be higher for the Umbrian sample than for the Tuscan and National samples. The percentage of answers related to education innovation that emerged for Umbrian data decreases for higher school levels. The purpose of this contribution is therefore to highlight, not only the difficulties encountered by the teachers, but also their ability to adopt new and effective teaching strategies.The use and the implementation of multimedial methods and the multiplicity of teaching tools made the learning process more innovative and engaging for students.
MEASURING THE MATHEMATICS ABILITIES OF STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL EDUCATION NEEDS THROUGH A COMPUTER-BASED MULTILEVEL ADAPTIVE TEST
University of Rome "La Sapienza", Italy
In this paper we present results on the estimation of mathematics skills of Italian grade 10 students with special educational needs. The estimation was carried out by means of a computer based multilevel adaptive test 1 - 3 - 3 (MST) constructed within the framework of a doctoral research in Social, Developmental and Educational Research Psychology. An item bank was used to construct the MST test. Verification of the unidimensionality of the bank was done through exploratory factor analyses (EFA) and analysis of model fit indices with Rasch's model (Rasch, 1960) being calibrated. Verification of the best measurement properties of the test compared to a linear test was performed by comparing information functions. It is shown that this type of test is able to provide estimates of the ability of students with a considerable level of accuracy, even at the extremes of the range of abilities and not only in a neighborhood of the mean value. In particular it was observed that the test is also suitable for students with special educational needs. Such students are distributed across all ability levels, although the majority of them are in the low ability range.
INNOVATING THE SCHOOL: COMPARING THE POINT OF VIEWS OF STUDENTS, TEACHERS AND HEAD TEACHERS
The contribution aims to reflect on the evaluation of innovation processes as an empowerment tool, with the aim of involving school actors both at class and school level, to improve the ability to report and use the results of the training to guide decision-making flows (Scheerens, 2018).
The ability to measure innovation is a fundamental improvement strategy for the educational system and evaluative research becomes fundamental as "evidence-based research" for continuous improvement (Calvani e Marzano, 2020).
This contribution illustrates the results of the evaluation research carried out in a sample of schools belonging to the Movimento Avanguardie Educative for at least two. The sample consists of 52 schools and includes 1880 students, 144 teachers, and 52 school leaders of secondary schools.
Two types of quantitative tools were used, with two main objectives.
Questionnaires about the perception of internal stakeholders relative to four dimensions of innovation that make up a framework developed by researchers INDIRE (Nardi, Rossi, Toci, 2020) starting from the main studies on the topic (Kools&stoll, 2016; OECD, 2017): "the propensity to change"; "the transformation of teaching-learning practices"; the "Leadership and organizational development"; the "openness and interrelation with the outside".
Standardized psychological tests aimed at detecting aspects of skills that are: for students, study strategies, metacognitive sensitivity, motivation, (Mori, Morini, Storai, 2020); for teachers, aspects related to teaching practices and one’s own job satisfaction.
The correlations that emerge at the school level between the different actors are reported here. There is a strong association between headteachers and teachers both on the use and sharing of good practices as a fundamental aspect for the dissemination of innovation, both on collaboration and internal sharing as central levers in defining effective leadership.
There is also a strong correlation between headteachers, teachers, and students in describing the schools as institutions with a strong attitude of openness to the outside. However, students consider their Institutes to be more efficient than innovative.
The results will be discussed as evaluation elements to stimulate the rethinking of the school in an attempt to give voice to the three main subjects of change (Oliva & Petrolino, 2019).
Main reference Bibliography
Calvani, A., & Marzano, A. (2020). Design for evidence-based improvement. What methodology?. Italian Journal of Educational Research, (24), 67–83 doi.org/10.7346/SIRD-012020-P67
Kools, M., & Stoll, L. (2016). What makes a school a learning organization? OECD Publishing. Retrieved to http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5jlwm62b3bvh-en.
Mori, S., Morini, E., Storai, F. (2020). Cambiare la scuola: l’innovazione dal punto di vista degli studenti. IUL Research. Vol. 1 n. 1. pp 37-60.
Nardi, A., Rossi, F., Toci, V. (2020). Le dimensioni dell’innovazione. Un framework per la valutazione dei processi di innovazione scolastica. IUL Research. Vol. 1 n. 1, pp 144-159.
Oliva, A., & Petrolino, A. (2019). Il coraggio di ripensare la scuola. Quaderno n. 15, TreElle.
OECD (2017). The OECD Handbook for Innovative Learning Environments. Paris: OECD Publishing.
Scheerens, J. (2018). Efficacia e inefficacia educativa: esame critico della knowledge base. Springer.