IMPORTANT NOTICE: Covid-19 impact on school education may bias results.
The project and its outcomes are considered by all of the partner schools as successful in many aspects, and far exceeding our expectations. We have early evidence of improvement of foreign language marks among participating students, motivation for learning languages among their non-participating fellows from enhanced involvement in lessons and achievement of certifications in advanced English among non-language teachers. Partner schools started to try gamification strategies in some regular classrooms not only for foreign language subjects. Anyway, covid-19 impact on school education may bias results.
- Pupils speaking the same language family (romance or germanic languages in our case) must be separated in the teams as if they were from the same school. Otherwise, they tend to use explanations in their mother tongue if they fail to remember a translation.
- The ideal size of the group is 4-5 pupils when playing with a mobile device. If more, they will pay less attention and try to find out the answers in their own mobiles.
- It is good to start the learning activity days with some joint activities for both teachers and pupils to get to know each other better.
- Team building and side social activities are core for this kind of projects, both for teachers and for students. They must know each other very well before working in teams.
- It is better to play outdoors in the middle or the last days of the meeting, to allow pupils to team before and get to know each other.
- Hosting school’s teachers and coordinators should join their foreign fellows because informal interactions can lead to great learning opportunities and exchanges for everyone.
Gamification project development
- Pupils must participate in every stage of the design and evaluation of the lesson plans. Without a pupil’s contribution, gamification can be considered by them as pointless.
- Interaction with real objects and scenery works better than only computer and 2D tests to make the learning experience more immersive and rich.
- Teachers must avoid interaction as much as possible with the pupils during the play of the game. Pupils in international projects tend to follow their own teachers and forget the same values of the whole team of teachers.
- Augmented Reality enables non-invasive interactions with the environment, and better exchanges among groups, and releases teachers from heavier group management tasks.
- A good balance between indoor and outdoor activities is required to ensure student’s involvement. Too many hours in classrooms and workshops may lead to loss of motivation and focus.
- It is very important to ensure gender balance in storytelling, game development and characters to avoid girls to feel out of place, as they don’t play videogames at the same degree as boys go.
- Only one mobile should be available for each group to avoid misuse.
Language inclusion & CLIL approaches
- Whenever a native or bilingual is involved in international teams, sometimes we find a natural tendency for them to lead the team as language is not a barrier to them. We must observe and ensure all of the members of the team have equal opportunities.
- Riddles, culture and logic games are good to involve better native/bilingual students, and to leverage skills gaps among each group.
- A written version of questions must be made available to students to ensure understanding.
- A very good, reliable video conference platform and up-to-date devices are key to avoid disengagement.
- Use a unique virtual space as reference: landing page, social media…
Successful use of innovative strategies:
Early indicators of success are general improvement of motivation and performance among students.
Improved soft and language skills:
Host families, students, teachers and schools report on evaluation improvement of soft skills, better awareness of shared European traditions, cultural common background and enhanced peer collaboration from international experience.
Better digital skills:
Digital skills among teachers and students have been increased from peer learning and implementation of augmented reality, gamified and serious games strategies based on Kahoot and Metaverse platforms.
Initial assessment about student’s language and soft skills was held by the whole team of teachers on every stage as the groups were different on each short-term exchange. Native/bilingual English speakers were teaming less proficient groups and a teacher was available for every group.
Formative assessment was held during development of activities, especially after implementation of augmented reality digital tools. The game has been designed to provide real-time feedback to reach goals and scores. If students collaborated to the task and answered a question correctly, they passed to the next one. Also constant checks on performance were held by the team of teachers during and after every stage of the project. Results were implemented, tested and refined in the following stages. We evaluated activities’ effectiveness and efficiency during and after implementation, the effect of the work plan on planned outcomes and impacts and how this was achieved.
Summative assessment was carried out from groups successful in finishing the game, quality of end products (output) and general performance of workshops.
Checks were held through direct observation, face to face interviews and questionnaires, both in a local and in a whole project’s level. Structured interviews were held both for teachers and students.
We assessed involvement of staff in project activities through frontal discussions, questionnaires, direct observation and number of students finishing the stages of the game.
Transnational meetings matching short-term exchanges/learning activities were of great value for the development of the project as coordinators had the opportunity to set guidelines and frameworks right during the development of learning activities, apply evaluation outcomes immediately and allow to arrange rules or details timely.
Local controls and evaluation meetings were held before and after short term exchanges, transnational meetings and in-between them.