Context of the STEAMER project – Aim of the Module
STEAMER project starts from an important consideration based on official research and analysis: current STEAM education has proven insufficient for our fast-paced society.
According to the PISA results (Program for International Student Assessment – 2018), 22.2% of European 15-year-olds present an underachievement in math and 20.6% in science, which shows a critical need for improvement.
The main objective of the project is to boost STEAM education by creating a methodology, tools and practical examples of Escape Rooms adapted for school education on STEAM, directed at the teachers and educators of secondary education in order to give them access to a new range of possibilities to teach this specific topic and potentially others.
The methodology will take its roots in Game-Based-Learning that has been studied to help students approach school subjects with greater enthusiasm and effectiveness.
Additionally, starting from the premises of the Escape Room and its entanglements with logical applications, this project also aims at raising learners’ awareness on the European cultural aspects of STEAM and on positive scientific role models.
The methodology will also integrate inclusive elements for disadvantaged learners, especially the ones with Specific Learning Disorders (for instance, dyslexia or dyscalculia). The results of these learners tend to be lower than average in STEAM, not due to a lack of capacity but due to their difficulties with some aspects of the formal approach to education (especially in mathematics).
The purpose of the E-learning module is to:
- Teach secondary education teachers how to create a complete « step-by-step » Escape Room
- Train the digital skills of the teachers in order for them to create their own content from scratch, including all the digital and multimedia resources
- Cater for a) elementary users and b) advanced users
The target group of the E-learning Module is the teachers.
Digital skills of the general population are insufficient. According to a factsheet released in September 2017 by the European Commission (“A Digital Europe needs Digital Skills”), only 56% of Europeans aged from 16 to 75 have at least basic digital skills, which is also the case for the teachers. Many projects and initiatives do exist on the development of those skills, but new technologies are always coming, and the level is still insufficient. But in many cases, it is not needed to train the teachers to code and fully design digital tools but simply to use them and to create content with them.
We intend to train the digital skills of the teachers in order for them to create their own content from scratch, including all the digital and multimedia resources. Based on the module content and the practical exercises through worksheets, by the end of the course, the learners will have created a complete Escape Room.
Clarifications about ECVET
The European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training, often referred to as ECVET, is a technical framework for the transfer, recognition and (where possible) accumulation of learners’ learning outcomes for the purpose of acquiring qualifications. In line with the recommendation at European level, ECVET tools and methodology include a description of qualifications in terms of units of learning outcomes, the process of transfer and accumulation of points and a number of additional documents such as training contracts, name references and user guides. ECVET is designed to facilitate the recognition of learning outcomes in accordance with national law, in the framework of mobility, in order to acquire a qualification.
The aim of the European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) is:
- To make it easier for people to recognize work-related skills and knowledge acquired in different systems and countries so that they can be added to their professional qualifications;
- To improve the compatibility between the various existing vocational education and training (VET) systems in Europe and the qualifications they offer;
- To increase the employability of graduates of vocational education and training and the confidence of employers that each qualification within VET requires specific skills and knowledge.
The E-learning module is worth 1 ECVET point => 25 educational hours.
Explanation of the Module structure and components
The Module is structured in six units and the units are subdivided into grains. Each unit is composed of multiple grains. The number of grains is 25.
The units are:
Introduction of the Module
The unit presents general information about the E-Learning Module before explaining the basic concept of Escape Rooms: the aim of the module, the target groups, clarification of ECVET, the module structure and components
Defining the needs of the participants
The unit presents how the needs of the participants can be defined in terms of their age, background and learning specificities, how the time and difficulty can be managed and what the game mode should be.
Establishing the educational objectives of your Escape Room
The unit includes the importance of educational objectives and outcomes, ensuring the acquisition of STEM skills, preparing the briefing and de-briefing processes, preparing the game-master and play-testing and assessment.
Designing the theme and narrative
The unit presents theoretical aspects of theme and narative creation. It focuses on using cultural heritage as a theme. Advice for a good theme and narrative and online tools is also provided.
Designing the puzzles
The unit presents the components of puzzle structure and hints. It gives detailed information on the types of puzzles – mental (locks, codes, written clues, patterns) and physical. Tips for puzzle design and advice for adaptation of puzzles for inclusive learning are also provided.
Designing the equipment and atmosphere
The unit explain how to create props – red herrings, physical props, technical props (videos, basic AR, basic VR). It also provides information how to create the atmosphere – music, ambient sounds/background noise.
Brief summary of the grains content
The grains correspond to 1 learning hour. Each grain is structured as follows
- Title of grain
- General Aim – Objective
- Instructions (Step-by-Step Process)
- Material and Resources
- Infographic – describing visually something important
- Interactive presentation – summing up the grain/ adding a new element
- Media and Techniques
- Desirable Outcomes and Competences
- Debriefing and Quiz/ Questions for Self-Evaluation
- Video tutorial and worksheet links and exercises