Aligning the Design of Educational Robotics Tools With Classroom Activities

Aligning the Design of Educational Robotics Tools With Classroom Activities

Christian Giang, Alberto Piatti, Francesco Mondada
Copyright: © 2022 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-7443-0.ch001
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This chapter addresses the alignment of educational robotics (ER) tools with classroom activities. To this end, it first introduces a conceptualization of ER activities describing the relevant cognitive artifacts and the learning theories underlying such activities. Based on this conceptual framework, a set of design and evaluation heuristics are presented, aimed at supporting developers and educators in aligning ER tools with classroom activities and vice versa. The heuristics were elaborated in several focus groups with 35 developers and educators experienced in the domain. To evaluate the methodology in authentic contexts, two case studies with groups of developers will be presented. Moreover, to illustrate the usefulness from an educator's point of view, another example will be presented in which the devised methodology was used to guide the design of an ER classroom activity.
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Scope And Main Focus Of The Chapter

The main focus of this chapter is to introduce a conceptual framework, that can support developers in the design of ER tools as well as educators in the preparation and implementation of ER classrooms activities. The next section presents the model for Educational Robotics Learning Systems (ERLS), which represents the fundamental theoretical framework of this chapter. Subsequently, a set of design heuristics will be introduced, aimed at supporting developers and educators in operationalizing the ideas of the ERLS model. To illustrate the usefulness of the proposed methodology, this chapter will finally present case studies in which it was applied to guide the development of two different ER tools as well as the design of an ER classroom activity. Specifically, the findings of this chapter aim to address the following research questions:

Key Terms in this Chapter

Heuristic Evaluation: An evaluation method based on a list of specifications for an ideal system (i.e., the heuristics).

Instructional Alignment: The idea of aligning intended outcomes, instruction and assessment to enhance the teaching and learning experience.

Focus Groups: A research method that aims at gaining new insights through moderated discussions in small groups of participants.

Tangible Programming: The concept of using physical tiles/blocks to program educational robots and/or virtual agents.

Educational Robotics Learning System: The entirety of elements involved in educational robotics activities, i.e., intended objectives, instruction, assessment, and educational robotics artifacts.

Educational Robotics: The use of robots as cognitive artifacts in formal and informal learning activities.

Identified Issues: Weak points of a system identified by evaluators using the list of heuristics provided to them.

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