background image
possible group sizes, and provides guide-
lines on available time and resources and
how research should be reported. S/he
informs pupils about monitoring proce-
dures, safety instructions (if needed) and
other relevant guidelines. A set of que-
stionnaires, specifically designed for the
experimentation, will be assigned and
completed during the major phases of
the experiment. Its main scope is to
gather feedback on infrastructure quality,
usability, acceptance and structure. It is
expected that pupils will achieve an
overall (majority) consensus on their
results for the final report and that
minority reports will be incorporated as
notes, remarks or comments.This is part
of the learning process related to co-
operative work. After completing the
previous steps the tutor can assign the
actual research.
4. Discuss the theme and organise work.
This phase is expected to be open and
informal. Much of it will take place
without the tutor's supervision, although
some planning may be done during class
work just prior to the experimentation.
The tutor can monitor pupils' decision
processes, methods and achieved results
(especially as the pupils must respect the
given set of rules).
5. Collect evidence before entering the
. Pupils will exploit available
sources (e.g. text books, library sources,
newspapers, magazines, documentaries
and other audiovisual materials). It is
expected that the collection process will
also involve access to other sources like
the Internet, friends and parents, while
the pupil is at home, resulting in a set of
raw reference sources. It will be necessary
to agree on a policy (that will have to
be followed in the whole experiment)
so that collected data will be available to
the entire group. Content provided
could comprise quizzes, descriptions,
images and other information on the
@playground objects. Quizzes will be
focused to assess current knowledge on
the subject and raise questions and
6. Access the playground and collect
further evidence
.We assume that expe-
riments take place in a specific environment
(e.g. a science museum is the overall
location specifically two neighbouring
rooms where objects related to measures:
time, space, volumes, weights, are exhibi-
ted) even if this is not at present connec-
ted to a real playground. A set of objects
within the exhibition are available in
this environment.Workstations will be
present as a support facility and
pupils/visitors will be equipped with
Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs).
A logical path to maximise experiment
gain is sketched (see Fig. 4 Xs represent
expected interaction points); however,
Operations carried out by pupils will be
tracked. Data collected will be evaluated
according to `behaviour' (by teachers) and
`knowledge assessment' (multiple-choi-
ce questionnaires). It is assumed that seve-
ral classes and teachers will be involved
along with the psychological support from
Steps within this learning scenario could
be detailed as follows:
1. Define research work, groups and
co-operation rules
.The class tutor will
devise possible experiments to carry
out, main topics, and reference material,
relevant to the students' overall state
and special needs (if applicable). S/he
will organise groups or encourage pupils
to set up their own groups depending
on their ages.The tutor will also assign
a set of framework rules for the co-
operative work.
2. Liaise with `playground' staff on
content, logistics, activity schedule
and overall planning
.The tutor agrees
details of the experiment with playground
staff, gives any special instructions to
pupils and sets up a working environment
based on what is available at the play-
ground plus what is available to pupils in
terms of sources of information (e.g. books,
articles, documentaries and the Web).
3. Assign pupils the research work and
.The tutor assigns the rules, defines
Museum Research Example
Measures (measurements of space and time throughout history)
Pupils should compare acquired knowledge in the science field with acquired knowledge in history and find out the
present state of the measuring environment with particular focus on space and time.
The research work will be organised in conjunction with science and history professors. Pupils will be granted basic
knowledge on measures (names, values, correspondences).They will be acquiring information on relevant measure-
ment systems adopted in certain time periods and their basic structures and characteristics.They will collect infor-
mation on relationships between systems and civilisations. Students must discover how systems were managed, what
kinds of object were used and so on in the experimental phase (when they can actually access models and physical
objects used for measuring). It is expected that in the science course they will see the various systems still in use and
their interrelation but not the historic background. In the history course they will learn about old measurements
and their equivalence to modern systems. Students must identify relations hips between past and present systems,
equivalences between values, and links between names and objects used for the purpose.
Pupils should have completed several units dealing with science and history.Visits to the playground cannot be
organised before completion of the aforementioned units. Pupils must report (in written form) after the experiment.
It is expected to have cross co-operation between science and history teachers.