Research into digital learning secures €1.9m grant

June 17th, 2013 by

Newcastle University researchers will coordinate an international collaboration of a €1.9 million project to transform how science and maths is taught to low-achieving learners through the use of interactive technology. 

The FP7 (Seventh Framework Programme 2007 -13 EU) grant will be used for the project ‘Improving Progress for Lower Achievers through Formative Assessment in Science and Mathematics Education’ (FaSMEd). The project aims to research the use of technology in formative assessment classroom practices, in ways that allow teachers to respond to the emerging needs of low achieving learners,  and to motivate their learning in essential subjects like mathematics and science.

The project stems from the work of iLab:learn, which has facilitated research into new ways of children’s learning by taking traditional pedagogic methods and applying them through using digital technology.  This has resulted in a number of studies including the Connected Classroom study and follows on from the success of the ‘Digital Mysteries’ programme, which encourages children to learn through a series of interactive games on a touch-screen table top.

The international project will adapt and develop existing research-informed pedagogical interventions (developed by the partners), suited to implementation at scale, for working with low attaining pupils and transforming teaching. The project will seek to report the differences in the way that systemic structures influence the trajectories of lower achieving students within the participating countries; identifying their typical pathways through the school system and revealing the educational opportunities that are open to students.

Major objectives of the project are to:

  • offer approaches for the use of new technologies to support the formative assessment of lower achieving students.
  • develop sustainable teaching practices that improve attainment in Mathematics and Science for the targeted students.
  • produce a toolkit for teachers to support the development of practice and a professional development resource to support it
  • disseminate the outcomes.

Newcastle University will coordinate the effort between nine universities based in Europe and Africa, from the University of Nottingham, Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon, National University of Ireland Maynooth, Pädagogische Hochschule FreiburgUniversita Degli Studi di TorinoUtrecht University,  the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences Schools Enrichment Centre and the African Hogskolen I Sor-Trondelag.

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