About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3365-3372
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-05948-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2018.1748

Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain

EVALUATING THE IMPACT OF NOVEL LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES IN STEM SUBJECTS: RESULTS FROM PROJECT NEWTON AND THE GAM LAB-ITALY PILOT EXPERIENCE

J. Playfoot1, F. Di Salvadore2, C. De Nicola3

1White Loop Limited (UNITED KINGDOM)
2Qui Group (ITALY)
3Beyond SRL (ITALY)
Many European countries face a crisis amongst their younger generations in relation to the number of young people choosing to follow scientific learning pathways. The number of students specialising in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) disciplines is declining and this is leading to a real risk of a shortage of suitably qualified scientists, technicians and engineers to build the economic and innovation strength of Europe in future. We then need to find better ways to attract young people into STEM subjects and, furthermore, better mechanisms by which we can promote learning, stimulate engagement and increase interest and motivation.

To address the challenges relating to the attractiveness of STEM subjects to learners and the effectiveness of STEM teaching, the NEWTON project – funded under the Horizon2020 E.U. programme – has been conceived as a large scale initiative to develop and integrate innovative technology-enhanced tools for teaching and learning of STEM subjects. NEWTON is seeking to deploy a range of novel techniques and methodologies, such as AR/VR, Fab-Lab, Virtual Labs, user profiling, self-directed learning and Gamification – considered as the use of game mechanics, graphics and concepts – along with game-based learning contents (the use of so-called ‘serious games’) for the attraction and engagement of the student and for the enhancement of the learning (and teaching) experience, in general. The project is now into its third (and last) year of life and we are already able to see interesting results emerging from the pilots that have been run so far.

In this paper, we briefly present our evaluation model and then go on to report on our findings, trying to answer to some stimulating research questions, specifically focusing on GAM LAB-Italy Pilot, one of the most representative Large Scale Demonstration experiences, that has been run with two secondary institutions in the south of Italy.

Our ultimate aim is to understand different aspects relating to impact and to develop a deeper sense of which of the NEWTON technologies have a positive effect on learners and are, therefore, likely to be adopted in the classrooms and laboratories of our schools and colleges across Europe. The paper will report on three specific aspects of our evaluation: first, we consider knowledge and skills acquisition: what is the extent to which these new technologies have a genuine impact on the educational development of students and what is the evidence to support impact? Second, we look at student engagement and student motivation. What we know is that a more inspired, engaged, and motivated student is likely to be a better learner:to what extent have NEWTON technologies increased the level of engagement and motivation and what has the impact on learning been?. And finally, we explore the impact of the technology on teachers: how far do teachers embrace these new technologies? To what extent do these approaches make their teaching more effective? What are the barriers that might stop early adoption of these technologies within a classroom setting?

Our conclusions propose a set of ideas for how we can better use novel technologies within an educational context and, more specifically, how these technologies can be useful as a set of tools for increasing interest in STEM subjects and improving learner outcomes in these most vital of subject areas.
keywords: stem, tel, pilot results.
@InProceedings{PLAYFOOT2018EVA2,
author = {Playfoot, J. and Di Salvadore, F. and De Nicola, C.},
title = {EVALUATING THE IMPACT OF NOVEL LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES IN STEM SUBJECTS: RESULTS FROM PROJECT NEWTON AND THE GAM LAB-ITALY PILOT EXPERIENCE},
series = {11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-05948-5},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2018.1748},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2018.1748},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {12-14 November, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {3365-3372}}
TY - CONF
AU - J. Playfoot AU - F. Di Salvadore AU - C. De Nicola
TI - EVALUATING THE IMPACT OF NOVEL LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES IN STEM SUBJECTS: RESULTS FROM PROJECT NEWTON AND THE GAM LAB-ITALY PILOT EXPERIENCE
SN - 978-84-09-05948-5/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2018.1748
PY - 2018
Y1 - 12-14 November, 2018
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2018 Proceedings
SP - 3365
EP - 3372
ER -
J. Playfoot, F. Di Salvadore, C. De Nicola (2018) EVALUATING THE IMPACT OF NOVEL LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES IN STEM SUBJECTS: RESULTS FROM PROJECT NEWTON AND THE GAM LAB-ITALY PILOT EXPERIENCE, ICERI2018 Proceedings, pp. 3365-3372.
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