OLAREX: Open Learning Approach with Remote Experiments
OLAREX supports the use of ICT-based learning materials, remote experiments and e-didactic methods in teaching and learning STEM.
The specific aims of the project are:
• to identify teachers' training needs in using ICT in STEM education;
• to help teachers, students and museum professionals to develop e-didactic competences in STEM education;
• to develop practically-oriented learning modules with remote experiments accessible through a dedicated e-learning portal;
• to enhance teaching and learning tools and methods for formal and informal lifelong learning institutions;
• to support school-business collaboration.
ORALEX plans to organise five pilot training courses for teachers and museum explainers on e-didactics in STEM education, using its own learning modules and classroom activities as examples of good practice in ICT-based science teaching. The OLAREX learning modules are based on remote-control experiments and are ready-to-use in the classroom.
Both the teacher courses and the learning modules are available via the OLAREX Moodle platform: http://www.olarex.eu/moodle/
The teachers taking part in the courses will implement and test the learning modules in their classrooms.
The remote-control experiments also form part of the OLAREX museum exhibition; the goals is to highlight hands-on experience and context-based learning in informal lifelong learning.
Country: Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Spain
Coordinator: University of Deusto, Spain,www.deusto.es
Target groups: secondary school students, teachers, university students, other
Topic: Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Maths, Physics, Technology
Start year: 2011
End year: 2013
Contact person: Olga Dziabenko, University of Deusto, olga.dziabenko (at) deusto.es
To gather a knowledge base for the development and implementation of the teacher training and the learning modules, ORALEX conducted an analysis of the education needs of different target groups:
• students at secondary school and university;
• secondary school teachers;
• managing and administration staff of secondary schools
• managing staff in the business and industry sector
Each partner of the project consortium carried out a national survey in their country and produced a national analysis report. The final outcome – meta-analysis of the national reports – provides a foundation for the conceptual design of the learning modules and training courses as well as for defining the structure and workflow of the online education methods used.
The OLAREX teacher training courses are accessible online via the OLAREX Moodle platform (http://www.olarex.eu/moodle/) They are designed for upper secondary school science teachers and museum explainers. The content of the courses focuses on:
• how to use learning modules and remote experiments in the classroom
• how to design new courses for their students
• how to run the experiments for their students, using new and already prepared learning materials; how to use social media in teaching,
• how to establish or improve in-school e-learning methods by using ORALEX tools and functionalities.
The average learning time of the OLAREX training course is around 10 hours: 4 hours of theory, 2 hours of practical exercises, tests or experiments. The final project (4 hours) involves implementation of the learning modules developed and presented by the OLAREX team in the classroom.
There are five training courses available:
• Designing curricula for the Moodle virtual learning environment
• Empowering education: how to choose ICT instruments and applications for the purpose of your curriculum.
• Using ICT for presentational and educational purposes in the museum
• Transforming the curriculum with remote experimentation: how to integrate it in the secondary school classroom
• ICT – enhanced research and professional development
More information about the courses: http://www.olarex.eu/web/index.php/en/teacher-en/training-courses
The project has developed six learning modules for students in upper secondary schools:
• Black body radiation of common light sources;
• Farm Experiment: From an egg to a chick, step by step;
• Working as a computer – Logic gates;
• Analogue circuit measurements;
• How does current flow?
• Easy Java Simulation for Physics and Sports
More information about the modules: http://www.olarex.eu/web/index.php/en/teacher-en/learning-modules