Cognitive capacity and conceptual change in chemistry lesson with virtual reality

Research focus: To explore the relation between student cognitive capacity and conceptual change in tertiary education in two different learning design settings (student groups solving assignments with virtual reality glasses and student groups solving assignments using other means (videos, figures); to explore students’ experience with the learning design, group work and occurred challenges in groups.
Theoretical concepts/frameworks: Conceptual change, cognitive capacity, group dynamics, student experience
Research design & instruments: Experiment with control group (learning instruction with and without virtual reality glasses), pre- and post knowledge test, semi-structured questionnaire (student learning experience, group work and challenges), lesson observation regarding group dynamics
Technological solutions: virtual reality glasses
Outcome: not available yet
Team: Linda Helene Sillat, Kairit Tammets, Katrin Soika, Terje Väljataga
Partners: Futuclass OÜ

Relations between students’ cognitive capacity, conceptual change and transformative experience in outdoor technology-enhanced collaborative inquiry-based learning 

Research focus: To explore in secondary educationa to what extent outdoor technology-enhanced collaborative inquiry-based learning supports students transformative experience, relation between cognitive capacity, conceptual change and group work influence on students knowledge building
Theoretical concepts/frameworks: cognitive capacity, conceptual change, transformative experience, mobile learning, technology-enhanced collaborative inquiry-based learning
Research design & instruments: experiment with learning design, pre- and post knowledge test, semi structured questionnaire (students’ experiences related to group work, challenges), Stroop cognitive capacity test
Technological solutions: Avastusrada, Vernier sensors, personal smartphones
Outcome: preliminary results: outdoor technology-enhanced collaborative inquiry-based learning doesn’t have a considerable impact on students’ transformative experience
Team: Õnne Uus, Kadri Mettis, Terje Väljataga
Partners: Järveotsa Gümnaasium, Keila Gümnaasium

Phenomenon-based learning through integrated natural sciences

Research focus: To explore phenomenon-based learning through integrated natural sciences, in which a match concept “integral” is acquired through experimental tasks in biology, chemistry, geography and physics; to understand pre-services teachers pedagogical content knowledge and misconceptions
Theoretical concepts/frameworks: integrated science, pre-service teacher pedagogical content knowledge, misconceptions
Research design & instruments: learning design experiment, semi-structured focus group interview; pre-service teachers interview, Desmos data
Technological solutions: Desmos, audio-video recording, group-work detection software
Outcome: not available yet
Team: Neeme Lumi, Katrin Soika, Erkki Soika, Reimo Rivis, Kati Aus, Kairit Tammets, Jüri Kurvits, Elle Rajandu, Terje Väljataga

Globisens Labdisc for Citizen Science Projects

Research focus: Firstly, to investigate teachers’ experiences and perceptions of using Globisens Labdisc for citizen science projects and to improve teacher training so that teachers will adopt the citizen science paradigm more effectively. Secondly, to investigate how teachers start implementing citizen science approach in their teaching. Thirdly, to investigate how the system of storing, sharing and using the new Globisens devices will start working in schools.
Theoretical concepts/frameworks: Citizen science, inquiry-based learning, inquiry cycle, citizen science outcome expectations, diffusion of innovation theory, knowledge appropriation model
Research design & instruments: Teachers answered a questionnaire about their experiences and perceptions during each training (the questionnaire was based on inquiry cycle and citizen science outcome expectations scale). A questionnaire with open-ended questions was used to investigate how the system of storing, sharing and using the new Globisens devices will start working in schools. In addition, observations of lessons where teachers used Globisens Labdisc took place between the training days.
Technological solutions: Globisens Labdisc and Globilab software
Outcome: The number of teachers who started using Globisens Labdisc in their lessons increased training by training. It was difficult to use the new technology at first but teachers’ technical skills improved during the training. However, less teachers became comfortable with using the Globilab software. Teachers started using Globisens Labdisc mostly for inquiry based activities and only few teachers implemented some level of citizen science approach in their lessons. Also, teachers evaluated highest that Globisens Labdisc and citizen science approach help to develop students inquiry skills. All the schools found an initial system of storing and sharing the Globisens devices.
Team: Külli Kori, Kai Pata
Link to the project:
Partners: Pelgulinna Gümnaasium, Tallinna Saksa Gümnaasium, Tallinna Kunstigümnaasium, Tallinna Laagna Gümnaasium
Links to materials: can be found here

Robots to youth centers

Research focus: Methods with tutorials for youth workers for using robots in developing key competencies of young people
Theoretical concepts/frameworks: 8 key competencies in lifelong learning; youth work and youth engagement; design thinking and designing process; method design; robotics, and using robots in education.
Research design & instruments: Design thinking and design process of how to create a tool or method.
Technological solutions: AskObot - board game with Ozobot robots to develop key competencies like personal, social and learning competence for young people in age 8 to 10 years. Beebotanics - board game with Bee-bot robots to develop key competencies of math, science, technology and inseneria for young people from age 9.
Outcome: Two methods, table games with robots to develop concrete key competencies of lifelong learning in youth centers, complemented with tutorials and instructions. 12 students from 8 curriculum participated during one semester.
Team: Lianne Teder, teacher of youth work and non-formal education; Mai Pitsner, 3rd year student of youth work at professional higher education level, and teacher of robotics at Laagri Hobby School and other schools
Link to the project:
Partners: Laagri Hobby School - their teacher was co-trainer in LIFE project.
Järvakandi Youth Center, which was used as a testing environment for one method. 

Sustainable learning of natural sciences on the basis of a new learning approach

An integrated natural subjects didactics laboratory is created to improve the study, teaching and research activities in the context of both general education and higher education through various activities.

The establishment of the laboratory is necessitated by the need to increase the cognitive involvement of young people in natural sciences and thus the interest that would continue at the level of higher education, including in the fields related to teacher education.

In addition to the above, it is important to update the development of university didactics: Raise the level of teacher education by developing student-centred learning scenarios, where the student focuses on better knowledge and consideration of the cognitive processes, studying, problem-based and phenomenal learning, along with modern technological solutions. In addition to supplement the competences of active teachers in creating integrated learning scenarios through innovation laboratory-type training. The didactical laboratory created in cooperation with the institutions helps to strengthen science education in Estonia through various activities.

Financer: Tallinn University Research Foundation
Period: 2020-2023
Link to project: ETIS

Establishment of an Eduspace interdisciplinary research group to develop research methods and tools for learning and teaching supported by technology.

The project maintains the activities of the focus area of education innovation of the TLU, where learning and teaching at all levels of education should support the implementation of the changed learning concept and adaptation to the new and rapidly changing information environment. The creation of an interdisciplinary research group contributes to reaching and implementing educational innovations enriched with evidence-based technology. The effective application of technology-enriched learning methods will have an important impact on meeting the needs of the future labour market.

Financer: Tallinn University Research Foundation
Period: 2020-2021
Link to project: ETIS



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