About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 7472-7481
Publication year: 2019
ISBN: 978-84-09-12031-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2019.1788

Conference name: 11th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2019
Location: Palma, Spain

DESIGN FOR INCLUSION IN A LINGUISTICALLY AND CULTURALLY DIVERSE EUROPE: CHALLENGES IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF A VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

A. Mangiatordi, G. Pastori, V. Pagani, A.S. Sarcinelli, L. Menegola

University of Milano-Bicocca (ITALY)
The inclusive potential of digital technologies in educational contexts is well represented by multimodal communication: the use of different channels and strategies can lower barriers to participation and improve the overall quality of educational intervention. This presentation will focus on the issues and challenges encountered while developing a pilot multimodal learning platform in the context of the Horizon 2020 research project called ISOTIS (Inclusive Education and Social Support to Takle Inequalities in Society).

The overall aim of the ISOTIS project is to address the challenges raised by the cultural and linguistic super-diversity of European society. It tackles inequalities and educational gaps at several levels and using a variety of research methods. One specific task of the project is centered on the design and development of a pilot VLE (Virtual Learning Environment). The platform ultimate goal is to enable children, parents and teachers to participate in various online activities and to communicate using different media (i.e., text, pictures, video and audio recordings), developing skills and acquiring knowledge about multilingualism and multiculturalism.

The main theoretical underpinnings of the project are design-based research intervention (Reeves, 2012) and Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological model (Bronfenbrenner & Ceci, 1994; Bronfenbrenner & Morris, 2006). Research interventions were carried out in 8 countries (Italy, The Netherlands, England, Greece, Czech Republic, Portugal, France, Germany). They were focused on understanding and highlighting the system of relationships among the actors involved at intervention sites (educators, practitioners, children, parents…). In all those countries the VLE was presented to participants and used as a means of improving awareness about the implications of linguistic and cultural diversity.

Two of the main elements that guided the design and development process were:
1. Openness: the learning environment is based on Open Source software, in order to make it possible to reuse existing resources, to enable the release of final products to a larger community of users, and to grant full control to the developers on the various parts of the system, as well as on data management;
2. Accessibility: the platform should be inclusive, following the principles of Universal Design (Mace, 1985) and, more specifically, the guidelines of the Universal Design for Learning framework (Rose & Meyer, 2002). This requirement was dictated by the super-diversity of participants, whose age, education and socioeconomic status greatly varied from country to country.

The choice of an Open Source software platform proved to be convenient especially on the data management side, but the implementation also had to face some problems – especially when it came to the integration of multiple features into a unique framework (i.e., the possibility to record audio and video directly from the browser, or the support for multilingual content in 20+ languages). Also, the application of Universal Design principles and guidelines introduced interesting elements, but this form of inclusive design required continuous and important efforts on both technological and educational levels.
@InProceedings{MANGIATORDI2019DES,
author = {Mangiatordi, A. and Pastori, G. and Pagani, V. and Sarcinelli, A.S. and Menegola, L.},
title = {DESIGN FOR INCLUSION IN A LINGUISTICALLY AND CULTURALLY DIVERSE EUROPE: CHALLENGES IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF A VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT},
series = {11th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN19 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-12031-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2019.1788},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2019.1788},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Palma, Spain},
month = {1-3 July, 2019},
year = {2019},
pages = {7472-7481}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Mangiatordi AU - G. Pastori AU - V. Pagani AU - A.S. Sarcinelli AU - L. Menegola
TI - DESIGN FOR INCLUSION IN A LINGUISTICALLY AND CULTURALLY DIVERSE EUROPE: CHALLENGES IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF A VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
SN - 978-84-09-12031-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2019.1788
PY - 2019
Y1 - 1-3 July, 2019
CI - Palma, Spain
JO - 11th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN19 Proceedings
SP - 7472
EP - 7481
ER -
A. Mangiatordi, G. Pastori, V. Pagani, A.S. Sarcinelli, L. Menegola (2019) DESIGN FOR INCLUSION IN A LINGUISTICALLY AND CULTURALLY DIVERSE EUROPE: CHALLENGES IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF A VIRTUAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT, EDULEARN19 Proceedings, pp. 7472-7481.
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