The QRcode Format as a Tool for Inclusive, Personalised, and Interdisciplinary Learning Experiences

The QRcode Format as a Tool for Inclusive, Personalised, and Interdisciplinary Learning Experiences

Sabrina Leone (Università Politecnica delle Marche, Italy)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch256
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Internationally, inclusive education is increasingly understood more broadly as a change, in a holistic approach, that supports and welcomes diversity (in race, economic status, social class, ethnicity, language, religion, gender, sexual orientation and ability) amongst all learners (UNESCO, 2009).

The ultimate aim of inclusion in education consists in an individual’s effective participation in society and achievement of his/her full potential.

Since learning takes place in many contexts, formal, non-formal and informal, inclusive and quality education become synonyms and are vital for the development of more inclusive societies.

Specifically, quality learning is characterised by two important components: the learner’s cognitive development, and the promotion of values and attitudes of active citizenship and/or of creative and emotional development.

An inclusive curriculum is based on the four pillars of education for the 21st century – learning to know, to do, to be and to live together (Delors et al., 1996). Promoting inclusion means stimulating discussion, encouraging positive attitudes and improving educational and social frameworks. This involves changes in content, approaches, structures and strategies in order to provide all learners with flexible and personalised learning to meet individual needs, abilities and learning styles.

uLearning, supported by the growing diffusion of wireless technologies and institutional policies, is becoming more and more a modality of flexible and participatory learning to be adopted in and out of the classroom exploiting smartphones, tablets, sensor network nodes, contact-less smart cards, RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) (El-Bishouty, Ogata, & Yano, 2007) and QR codes.

Thanks to this technological growth, a personal learning environment could be embedded in everyday life (Ogata & Yano, 2004) and become a Computer Supported Ubiquitous Learning (CSUL) environment, characterised by permanency, accessibility, immediacy, interactivity, situatedness and adaptability (Curtis, Luchini, Bobrowsky, Quintana, & Soloway, 2002; Leone & Leo, 2011a). Learning theories for CSUL are authentic learning (Brown, Collins, & Duguid, 1989), situated learning (Lave & Wenger, 1991) and learning by doing (Schank, 1995).

It is widely acknowledged that information and communication technologies (ICT) enrich the learning experience (UNESCO, 2012). Anyhow, the focus has to be placed on learning, rather than on technology in itself. In a technology-enhanced learning approach, the advantages arising from the integration of ICT in the learning curriculum have to be assessed within the learning experience, the usefulness of learning and its enhancements (Leone, 2008; Leone & Leo, 2011a).

Pedagogical and psychological researchers have debated for decades on a common understanding of “effective learning.” According to recent literature (Bulu & Yildirim, 2008; Calvani, 2006; Ellis, 1999; Wasson, 2007), social interaction among learners is a major element of the learning process, indeed, it can decisively impact on learning outcomes (Agostinho, Lefoe, & Hedberg, 1997).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Ubiquitous Learning: Wireless learning supported by a large number of cooperative small nodes with computing and/or communication capabilities (e.g., handheld devices, sensor network nodes, contact-less smart cards, RFID and QR codes) and characterised by high mobility and embeddedness.

Formal Learning: Hierarchically structured, chronologically graded educational system running from primary through to tertiary institutions.

Inclusive Learning: Learning that allows to meet not only special needs, but also diverse needs (e.g., different learning styles).

CSUL (Computer Supported Ubiquitous Learning) Environment: Everyday ubiquitous learning informed by the theories of authentic learning ( Brown, Collins & Duguid, 1989 ), situated learning ( Lave, & Wenger, 1991 ) and learning by doing ( Schank, 1995 ).

Format QRcode: A technology-enhanced learning format to be implemented in a learner-centred learning environment to offer inclusive, personalised (different learning styles and goals) and flexible (anytime, anywhere) learning by the integration of paper-based and digital learning materials through QR code.

Informal Learning: Unstructured learning that allows persons to acquire attitudes, values, skills and knowledge from daily experience, within the individual’s environment (i.e., family, friends, peer groups, etc.).

QR (Quick Response) Code: A bidimensional code (it displays information in both vertical and horizontal directions) that can hold larger amounts and different kinds of contents (e.g., website addresses, texts, numerical information, contact details) than a normal bar code (monodimensional). The information stored in a QR code can be readily decoded and accessed by a mobile device with an embedded camera and free code reading software installed.

Lifelong Learning: A holistic vision of learning in different contexts (formal, non-formal and informal) and throughout life, based on the evolution of provider-driven education toward personalised learning and aiming at improving knowledge, skills and competencies within a personal, civic, social and/or employment-related outlook.

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