- Lea's Blog
Lea in the Box
03/24/16

LEA's strong in the Czech Republic!

Scio cooperates with many schools and teachers all around the Czech Republic and therefore, it is possible for us analyse what Czech teachers and pupils really need. Using focus groups, questionnaires and informal meetings, we found that what teachers and pupils miss most are tools facilitating the assessment of the 21 century skills and tools for self-assessment.

Taking this into account, we developed a mind-mapping tool which enables teachers to draft a mind map of a skill of interest and describe what behaviour pupils should display in order to show they have mastered this skill. The tool was developed by TU Graz and piloted by Scio in Czech classrooms. Teachers found the mind-mapping tool particularly useful for skills and competences of the 21 century skills, an example of such a skill being the reading literacy. Teachers agreed this tool helps them to better assess pupils’ strengths and weaknesses in “complex” skills, because it helps them structure the skill and thus decide where in particular their pupils might be struggling.

 

Another problem frequently mentioned by Czech teachers and pupils alike is the lack of self‑assessment in the learning process. Sometimes, the opinion of a pupil’s performance may considerably differ between the teacher, an external source of assessment (such as a standardized test) and the pupil him/herself. If this is the case, it is very important to find the causes of this discrepancy.

As teachers currently struggle to get information of this kind, we developed another tool, called the “flower tool”. The tool was proposed by Scio based on teachers’ suggestions and developed in cooperation with TU Graz. This tool combines three sources of information about pupils’ performance: the teacher’s opinion, the pupils’ opinion and the results of an external test. Moreover, it takes into consideration another common complaint – the lack of tools assessing motivation, effort and other factors which might influence pupils’ performance. We put a lot of effort into making the tool user-friendly and interesting for pupils. The resulting tool looks like a flower: the leaves represent skills measurable by external tests (such as reading skills in English), and the petals represent motivation and other performance-related factors.

 

In summary, schools are going to benefit from both the tools described above, as the tools respect teachers’ and pupils’ real needs and concerns. We are going to keep improving the tools based on teachers’ and pupils’ feedback.

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Lea's Learning Analytics Blog

Learning analytics, educational data mining, formative assessment - all recent buzz words in educational research. In principle, the idea is to find theoretical frameworks, models, procedures, and smart tools to collect, aggregate, analyze, reason on and visualize large scale educational data. LEA’s BOX is a research and development project funded by the European Commission. The project aims at (a) making educational assessment and appraisal more goal-oriented, proactive, and beneficial for students, and (b) at enabling formative support of teachers and other educational stakeholders on a solid basis of a wide range of information about learners. That means, LEA’s BOX is a learning analytics toolbox that is intended to enable educators to perform competence-centered, multi-source learning analytics. More info at http://www.leas-box.eu!

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