CALRG Vision: Learners engage enthusiastically with science learning

Scanlon, Eileen and Herodotou, Christothea (2018). CALRG Vision: Learners engage enthusiastically with science learning. In: CALRG: 40 Years Celebration, 10 Oct 2018, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK.


Since the first joint project undertaken by the Group (the evaluation of the Science Faculty’s CAL offering in 1979) many of the group’s activities such as PhD projects, major external research grants, and institutional contributions, have been directed towards a better understanding of what makes science teaching and learning better.

In this presentation we will consider our work on conceptual change in science and in the development of pedagogy and technology on personal inquiry using nQuire, and include work integrating these developments into the Open Science Laboratory. Our work has included evaluation of other innovative pedagogical supports such as the Virtual Microscope both in the UK and a number of other UK and EU universities.

Recent direction of this research has emphasized informal learning and journeys between formal and informal learning. The development of the nQuire-it project initiated a series of projects in the field of Citizen Science. It resulted in the development of the nQuire-it platform and the Sense-it app supporting the design and implementation of personally meaningful investigations outside the classroom, by citizens of all ages. Through the BBC Tomorrows World nQuire, this has developed further into a dynamic and social toolkit hosting multiple types of Citizen Science projects such as image, audio and text-based projects as well as survey-type projects with personalized feedback. The LEARN Cit Sci project is our international Citizen Science collaboration with six Natural History Museums and Universities in the US and the UK. The aim is to improve the design of existing Citizen Science projects led by museums and make science learning more enjoyable and accessible to young people.

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