Designing Tools and Activities for Educational Robotics in Online Learning

Designing Tools and Activities for Educational Robotics in Online Learning

Lucio Negrini, Christian Giang, Evgeniia Bonnet
Copyright: © 2022 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-7443-0.ch010
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The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent school closures created several challenges for teachers and students. From one day to the next, teachers had to rethink their educational activities and move to remote learning. Especially with regard to educational robotics activities, which makes large use of physical artefacts, this abrupt shift towards online learning represented a major change in how activities had to be designed and implemented. In this chapter, some experiences of online educational robotics activities carried out in compulsory schooling and teacher training are presented. The experiences are then discussed using a model for the development of educational robotics activities in order to reflect on how to design such activities that can be carried out online. The examples presented in this chapter showed there is great potential for educational robotics in online learning.
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Instructional alignment is a well-established principle that has guided curriculum planning for a significant amount of time. It considers the interplay of three components: intended outcomes, instructional and assessment processes (Cohen, 1987). Previous work has shown that consciously aligning these components can result in significant improvements of student achievement (Mitchell, 1999; Wonder-McDowell et al., 2011). By linking the ideas of instructional alignment with the learning theory of constructivism, Biggs (1996) introduced the concept of constructive alignment. He particularly emphasized the importance of considering teaching and learning as a system, in which ideally “all aspects of teaching and assessment are tuned to support high-level learning” (Biggs, 2003, p.1).

Based on the ideas of constructive alignment, the Educational Robotics Learning System (ERLS) model was devised as a conceptualization of instructional alignment in the context of ER activities in classroom education (Giang, 2020). The model consists of four main components (Figure 1): intended learning outcomes, instructional activities, assessment activities and ER artifacts (i.e., robots, interaction/programming interfaces and playgrounds). It stipulates for pedagogically meaningful ER activities, it is important the designs of the four components are well aligned with each other.

Figure 1.

Alignment model for Educational Robotics Learning Systems (ERLS)


Key Terms in this Chapter

Constructionism: A learning theory that foresees that children’s learning can be enhanced when they are involved in activities allowing them to construct artifacts.

Educational Robotics: The use of robots with educational intentions.

MOOC: A massive open online course.

Beebot: A programmable floor robot that is mainly used in primary schools.

CreroBot: A do-it-yourself educational robot.

Social Constructivism: A learning theory that foresees that children construct knowledge through their interactions with teachers and peers.

Thymio: An open-source robot that was created for education.

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