March 2020 changed the learning situation rapidly like a Tsunami. Schools were closed all over Europe, “Homeschooling” started and challenged learners, teachers and parents. Many teachers and schools started completely unprepared to care for their students with distance learning, more experienced teachers were challenged as well with the new situation.
Different subjects require different approaches. In any case the use of interactive and/or multimedia-based learning tools is an advantage. Learning with multimedia material makes more fun for the students staying at home isolated from their peer mates and friends. Active learning is well-known to increase the learning outcomes.
The learning tools, developed in the frame of the TEST (Technology Enhanced Science Teaching), are providing exactly what was mentioned above: They are based on multimedia material and expect some activity of the learners. They can be combined with short assignments that keep involved the learners and work as a feedback for the teachers.
The accompanying documentation and supplementary material provided together with the developed tool guides teachers to use the tool properly and efficiently. To keep contact with the project group you may subscribe the project’s newsletter.
The figure demonstrated the use of the developed Learning Tools:
- The teacher fetches the tool from the OER-Commons platform. He gets a package consisting of the
- Tool itself (either a video or a web-based application)
- The guidelines for the implementation
- Additional information or material (for examples an assignment)
- The teacher provides the tool (using a learning platform or some other repositories like Google Scholar
- The students works with the material. The assignments are based on active learning approach and “force” the student to active involvement with the learning material
- The student gives feedback to the teacher
Benefits and added value of the use of these tools
- Tools can be easily used in Distance learning and support the teacher in situations like the current Covid-19 crises in teaching.
- Tools can be used especially for flipped learning.
- The learning tool draws on familiar things in order to awaken an understanding of something new (or something complex). This makes learning in individual space(1) easier
(1) The “Individual space” means the learning situation, where the learner is alone as an individuum.
About the Author: Peter Mazohl is teacher, teachers’ trainer and researcher in the frame of modern and technology enhanced learning and teaching methods. Currently he is the head of the EBI, the Austrian partner in the project.