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Evaluation and results
iTEC classrooom pilots: final evaluation results
Evaluating the impact of iTEC Learning Activities in schools
How did the iTEC approach impact on learners and learning
How did the iTEC approach impact on teachers and teaching?
What is the potential of the iTEC approach for system-wide adoption in schools?
Download the FULL EVALUATION REPORT here (in English, PDF).
A summary of the evaluation report is available in various languages (PDF file):
The following deliverables are currently available:
Evaluation findings so far
July 2013 - Cycle 1-2-3
During the past three years the iTEC project has developed effective mechanisms for ensuring that the advancement of schools, and of teaching practice keeps pace with changes in society and technology.
A detailed meta-analysis of the evaluation data over the first three cycles of iTEC pilots shows that the process has had a positive impact on students’ knowledge, skills and understanding – in particular on their 21st century skills, motivation, engagement, attitudes, and learning practices. iTEC has also had a beneficial effect on teachers, impacting positively on their technology-supported pedagogy, digital competence, and their motivation and attitudes. Moreover, iTEC is seen as scalable, having the potential to support pedagogical and technological innovation, to increase the effective use of ICT and to enable teachers to experiment with innovative technologies and tools.
January 2013 - Cycle 2
Cycle 2 involved 420 pilots from 15 countries. Each teacher piloted a Learning Story with at least one group of students or cohort; in some cases, teachers piloted a Learning Story with more than one cohort completing a separate questionnaire for each. Responses were received for 298 cohorts in Cycle 1 (an overall response rate of 71%) from 261 teachers.
For more results please see the presentation below and/or read the complete evaluation report.
Improving teachers’ skills
Teachers in the iTEC pilots, from the 17 countries involved in the first cycle, perceived that the learning stories had introduced a range of different pedagogical strategies. 86% of teachers reported that the learning story they piloted presented exciting opportunities to do things differently in the classroom.
“Here there are people who come into the class... people who are journalists, photographers, illustrators... I really like it because we discover lots about jobs which we didn’t really know about before.” France, student interview
iTEC Learning Scenarios are intentionally designed to introduce 21st Century skills including, for example, opportunities for collaboration and creativity. The majority of teachers (88%) agreed that the Learning Stories led to more opportunities for collaboration and 89% agreed that students had used digital tools to support collaboration.
Many specific benefits of this approach emerged from the case study data including enhanced motivation, knowledge building and development, improvements to the social dimension of learning (for example, relationships and interactions, classroom ethos). Teachers in France referred to interactions being ‘real’ and students improving their relationships with their peers with whom they had not worked before. Students found it more fun than other (traditional) approaches which, for example, a Turkish student described as ‘monotonous’.
70% of teachers agreed that participation in the cycle 1 piloting had enabled them to develop their own creative skills. 77% of teachers agreed that there was a positive impact on students’ attitude and 82% agreed that students were deeply engaged in their work.
“The iTEC project is important because it allows us to experiment with new learning scenarios so that we can develop alternative models compared with how we have traditionally worked.” Head teacher
“So the pupils have the opportunity to experiment with new ways of learning and be protagonists in changing contexts and integrating new and old resources.” Italy, head teacher interview.
The survey data suggests that teachers felt that the learning stories led to creative learning. 88% teachers felt that the learning story enabled creative activities to take place and enabled students to develop their creative skills. In addition, 87% of teachers agreed that the learning story enabled students to express themselves in new ways.
Student-centred pedagogical strategies and new methods of assessment
Through the evaluation, a range of themes emerged regarding active learning, learning to learn, knowledge building, student autonomy, drawing on students’ interests, and student choice. 88% of teachers agreed that students were actively involved whilst 70% agreed that they could work at their own pace.
“The students that were interviewed explained that the commitment and motivation they felt was due to the fact that they were given much responsibility and freedom of choice and were dominant in the preparation of materials for the lessons.” Israel, case study report
“Students feel very proud of themselves because they have worked alone, because they have been able to collaborate and because now they think that they are able to have a conversation with an expert.” Spain, teacher interview
“According to the school head teacher, experiments like this bring a positive new approach in schools, where teachers are no longer mere ‘bearers of knowledge’, and pupils ‘become partakers of the construction of their knowledge’.” Italy, case study report
“As there is task-sharing in the groups we learn to take responsibility and it becomes easier to exchange information from each other.” Turkey, student interview
In the teacher questionnaire 80% of teachers agreed that the learning story had enabled them to assess students in a new way.
“Once in our history lesson we were part of a club, everybody was some historical person and teacher asked us questions and we had to react as the person would. This was assessed and it was very interesting.” Slovakia, student interview
“A discussion forum was started on [the VLE] for the students to give positive feedback on the materials. Students were given ground rules that they should give constructive feedback and positive comments. They really enjoyed using the forum to give comments about the resources and each other’s resources.” England, teacher evaluation
The impact of technology
A variety of technological tools have been used during piloting to collect data (scientific measurement, photographic evidence), analyse data and create presentations and podcasts, and assess learning. In Belgium, the use of iPads was perceived to be ‘easy ICT’ and so seen to be an enabler. For the “Bring in the Expert” learning story, Skype and email were used to facilitate communication with experts.
Technology as such was not seen as the core focus of the project – most teachers understood that what is important is the way in which technology is integrated and the pedagogical strategies facilitated by such tools. Students and teachers reported that the technology was motivating, but they also spoke about working together and collaborating as equally important. In addition, technology was seen to make linking home and school easier.
“In cycle 2 the teachers and students worked, as part of collaboration, with SMART Bridgit conferencing software to work together or to present each other results of the pilots. The Spanish and German teachers and students are staying in contact and now multicultural aspects are part of these pilots as well. SMART Bridgit helps them as a collaborating tool to write or paint what they mean. It is easy to use and to combine with SMART solutions (e.g. SMART Board). Via camera, sound and the SMART Board they can use, present and work very intuitively on their pilots and results. The feedback was good and the pilot classes got an overview of other existing pilots in Europe. The learning aspects are positive too because the two pilot students groups present the results themselves with the assistance of SMART Bridgit”. SMART Technologies, National Coordinator.
“The teacher experienced that her pupils were very much motivated by the use of technology. [...] Pupils love the possibility to use technology and they told us that the English class is unique from this point of view: they don’t use web 2.0 tools in other classes, neither do they have online access to learning materials.” Hungary, case study report
“I did not need to use internet and computer out of curricular purposes with the application of this kind of learning. I was chatting and communicating for social purposes. Now I do not need social networking sites. Rather, I am doing school homework with my friends on the internet. Also, I’m using social networking sites to share information purposes with my classmates.” Turkey, student interview
Multiple positive impacts
The evaluation process covers several features of importance to the design of the future classroom. Whilst it is still early in the project, the evaluation results have been positive:
The teachers’ commitment to using iTEC learning stories and activities again, outside of the project, is a key indicator of their perceived value and benefit. 53% of teachers suggested that they would definitely implement the learning story they piloted again in the future, and of the remainder, 45% said that they would probably implement it. Only 3% of teachers suggested that they would not implement it again.