The University of Twente is a middle-sized University of Technology with approximately 6,000 students and 2,500 staff members. The Faculty of Behavioural Sciences houses the education programs of Educational Science and Technology, Communication Science and Psychology and the Science Teacher Training program. The Department of Instructional Technology (which is a part of the faculty of Behavioural Science) participates in the Go-Lab project. With around 30 staff members it studies and designs systems and environments (human and/or machine) for the acquisition of knowledge and skills.
The Department of Instructional Technology participates in many national and international projects: among others, in NATO, NWO, DFG, Ministry of Education, SENTER, Kennisnet, and SURF. In EU and NSF (NWO) funded projects it has conducted research and developed technology based learning environments that entail key characteristics of the Go-Lab system and of the tasks that the department will have in Go-Lab: inquiry learning (ZAP, SimQuest, KMQuest, Co-Lab, RECOIL, SCY), remote laboratories (Co-Lab), gaming (KMQuest), combination of different domains (Co-Lab, RECOIL), and modelling (Co-Lab, SCY).
In the Go-Lab project the University of Twente is involved in WP1 (Pedagogical framework), WP3 (Participatory design), WP5 (Go-Lab Portal), WP8 (Validation and Evaluation), WP9 (Dissemination and Exploitation), and WP10 (Project Coordination). UT will also act as National Coordinator of the project’s implementation in the Netherlands.
Science Created by You (SCY) is a project on learning in science and technology domains targeting students between 12 and 18 years old. SCY uses the metaphor of the student as an engineer or scientist, who gathers knowledge in the course of working on a research or design project. Therefore, SCY missions (i.e., the SCY learning environments) are characterized by an overall research or design goal, e.g. to create a report on water quality or to create a CO2-friendly house. Along the way on creating the final product, the students produce many types of (intermediate) results. An example of such result in the CO2-friendly house mission is a set of hypotheses on the effects of measures that reduce CO2 emission. We call such products, which are created in SCY missions, Emerging Learning Objects (ELOs). Examples of ELO types include: runnable models, concept maps, data sets, hypotheses, tables, summaries, reports, and experimental procedures.
Fulfilling SCY missions requires a combination of knowledge from different content areas (e.g. physics, mathematics, biology, as well as social sciences). Learners perform several types of learning actions that can be characterised as productive (experimentation, gaming, sharing, explaining, designing, etc.). They involve multiple resources, require varying degree of collaboration with peers, and use changing constellations of tools and scaffolds. The configuration of a SCY-Lab is adaptive to the actual learning situation, advising learners on appropriate learning actions, resources, tools, and scaffolds, or peer learners that can support the learning process. Four SCY missions have been developed, each of which addresses specific science content in the context of creating a particular final product.
For more info see: www.scy-lab.eu.