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D6.2: DGS publication best practice

About

This is the prelimiary text of the Deliverable 6.2 which we expect the WP6 team to elaborate. Editing is probably best done with the press of edit.

First Echoes of the Evaluation

Classification of the DGS publications

Explain the various existing methods of sharing a DGS activity, qualifying their impact on such aspects as

  • re-usability (in which contexts...)
  • applicability of reviews
-

Plain DGS files

Plain recipe

The SFODEM model

Web Exports

Interactive Exercises

Answering needs

The teacher searches the server for resources to teach in her/his classroom; once found, s/he enrolls as a user by providing an a priori assessment and scheduling the course. After an appropriation phase, the course is taught and an a posteriori evaluation is given. S/he can then be promoted to the role of tutor of the resource.

StageDescriptionTeacher needs
Teacher needs and interest in the offer of the projectAt this point, the teacher discovers that our project is offering resources, which may meet his/her needs.Between this stage and the subsequent step in which the teacher will join the project, there is a need to satisfy the information requests from the teacher, to inform him/her about the features of the resources, how to register, the necessary technology equipment, the characteristics of interactive geometry teaching
Teacher joins the projectOnce the teacher is registered, some other needs arise: At this point, it is very important that the project offers appropriate ways to meet these needs. The process of `joining' is intended to organize and control the performance of these aspects.
  • Need to inform the teacher on the use of the technology: virtual learning environments, interactive geometry, beamer technology
  • Need to set-up schedules, rules of work
  • Need to receive administrative and technical support
Teacher is ready to enroll as a user of available resourcesAt this moment the teacher has all the information and skills to start using any resource. During this and the following two stages the teacher may also need technological support, administrative support or other services
  • Need to find and obtain resources from the repository
  • Need for technical support
  • Need for administrative support
Teacher enrolls as a user of a resourceStart of the learning/teaching process
  • Need to receive learning materials, teaching materials and other resources
  • Need to receive tutoring support
  • Need to receive technical support
  • Need to receive administrative support
Teacher performs the teaching eventEnd of the teaching process
  • Need to give feedback regarding the teaching experience
  • Need to give suggestions regarding the improvement of the resource
  • Need to receive a promotion (as a tutor or author) if interested

The teacher using a resource revolves around the needs described in the previous table. But the resource itself follows a similar cyclic process, it has to be planned, designed, produced, prepared, advertised, usage has to be guided and supported, pedagogically and technically, a feedback has to be given during the appropriation stage and after the teaching event.

The author of a resource has several hats on her head to manage this cycle. In nowadays interactive geometry communities, the author is very often confused with the only role of content producer. She indeed provides the contents of the learning resource, but other roles have to be taken into account, she states the intellectual property license; planning and designing, for example, have as well several aspects, whether pedagogical or technical.

It is nevertheless true that due to its technical aspect, interactive geometry needs good learning material producers, experts of their tools and understanding the limit of interoperability. They really are the ``kings in the intergeo castle'' and even though we wish to point out that their role is multiple, the community will continue to summarize it under the term ``author''.

In order for a teacher contemplating the use of a resource to actually use it in the classroom, some motivation and guidance are required. This is the main role of the tutors. The author of a resource is its first tutor but he can be joined in this task by other teachers that used and liked the resource and who want to promote its use by helping others coping with problems they might encounter. This help is mainly done through collaborative tools such as forums and chats embedded in the platform and attached to the resource. The output of this guidance is the adoption by the teacher of a schedule for the use of the resource, both in her teaching progression throughout the year so that it will fit in the course, but as well locally the planning of the resource during the teaching event itself. This is summarized in an individual teaching plan where all the resources from the project used by this particular teacher in a given class are planned, it is a place where the learners are sent in order to retrieve the assigned activities.

The following paragraph is more or less a dream, what should we do with it, forget about it?

Just as a teacher can be promoted to the role of tutor, after a cycle, the resource does not necessarily die and can be improved by taking quality steps towards a revised version. The quality manager of a resource is going to be, at first, in a bottom-up manner, the author of that resource. More elaborate quality management of resources through their integration in subject areas managed in a top-down approach is to be encouraged but the project will not try to organize this more than providing the tools to the community for its self-organization. Before this organization process bootstraps itself, it is the responsibility of the author herself to establish the quality approach, to budget the human costs of quality steps, to establish or not training programs and optionally to take advice from the coordinator of the subject area if there is one in order for the resource to fit in a general learning plan. She will be helped in this by the feedbacks from users.

This feedback consists in assessments from the users through filled questionnaires and in forum interaction. The users who answer to questionnaires will be mainly teachers who use or plan to use the resource, or the author herself, but can be as well didactical experts contacted through the coordinator, who conduct researches on the use of the content from our project. This feedback from the user is quantifiable and statistical when it comes from the numerical values collected by the questionnaire, but consists as well in verbal exchanges, linked to the questionnaire or on the forum attached to the resource, acting as a mailing list. This is especially valuable for the author in order to take the fundamental quality step of revising the resource, whether reusing it in another context or simply producing an incremental version.

It has to be pointed out that according to the license given to the resource by the author, other users may or may not take on their own hand this quality step of revising the resource. The first authoring activity, which is often overlooked or forgot, is to choose a distributing license. The intergeo project promotes the use of open licenses such as the Creative Common Share Alike so that adaptations, whether light such as translations, or heavy such as redesigns of pedagogical goals, can be undertaken by teachers other than the author. It is specially the case of tutors, their natural role is to be promoted from a pedagogical tutor to the author of the next version. Such endorsements exist in open-source software projects where commiters feel responsible for the project. In the same manner, we think that teachers will organize in teams of tutors and that these tutors will promote improvements and will commit new versions. The project will bootstrap this approach on selected contents during the quality testing that is now happening in the third year of the project.

Didactical contract

An implicit contract binds the needs of the author and the needs of the teacher. The later needs resources of good quality and the former needs recognition for the work that was put in creating the resource.

Users are bound by interest, not interest for money, but interest for knowledge. The use of the platform, although provided for free, in the sense that you don't have to pay for it, is not provided without moral obligations. Respect for the work of others is the main pillar of our philosophy. Tokens of respect is the currency that we exchange in the intergeo project. That means that

  • if you upload an educational resource, it should have some interesting facets; half-baked resources are ok if it is explicitly labeled as an idea begging from improvement by others. It means as well to respect fellow teachers opinions on your work; if they invested time reporting on your resource, please consider it in good faith as venues for improvement for your resource. If you don't act on it, or if you disagree with the opinions of users, don't be upset if others modify them whenever the license allows them to do so. The project is here to foster your resources like growing evolving organisms.
  • if you use an educational resource in your classroom, you are expected to report on that use. We are expecting this quality report from users, in order for the project to be useful for everybody; and authors are expecting this feedback from their fellow teachers, as a sign of respect. It is especially the case for groups releasing their work. Please consider that we value your feedback and you should value it as well, not giving it lightly but giving it eagerly.
Respect for good work means as well that quality reviews are not always praises. When reporting, you should assume good faith from the author and should be constructive in your critics but weak points should be pointed out for the author to be able to iron them out.

Finding the right resource

You intend to teach in the classroom using educational resources from the intergeo project and you are planning your course, shopping around on the project platform. There are several steps to take in order to successfully find the suitable resource for you.

What are you looking for?

You know the educational level of the class you intend to teach. You should first identify the competencies you intend to train in your students by listing keywords that come to your mind. You should be aware of the type of resources that you are prepared to use, should it be ready made with pedagogical advice or do you feel confident enough to make your own interpretation of the way to conduct the teaching? The teaching mode, or ~~instructional type~~ is important, do you prefer an activity in the class room like the exploration of a concept, a homework, an exercise, to use the beamer yourself in the classroom or is it intended for individual use by students in the computers room, or for a self-study phase? The technical issues are as well to be considered, which software are you more confident with, which features of the software are you familiar with?

Of course, depending on what you will or will not find, some of these parameters can evolve.

Searching

In order to search for a resource, you should go to the intergeo website and simply type your request in the search engine and wait a second for the expansion of the query into competencies and topics to pop-up.

thalesGeoskills.png The result of the expansion of Théorème de Thalès for a French speaking user in the GeoSkills text box.

You can search for the text by clicking on the first line of the pop-up or in a much more advanced way, choose the exact competency you want to train with your students.

thales The result of the search for Théorème de Thalès for a French speaking user.

In the near future you will be able to reduce this search by adding several competencies, educational levels and preferred language.

Browsing

a-resource A very simple resource, a Cabri construction, in Czech, and its annotations within I2Geo for an English speaking user.

The display of a resource is, thus far, mostly a view of the authors, the topics, the levels, the summary of quality. For some types a more elaborate preview is possible (e.g. the wiki-page types, the picture types). We are currently working on a preview of each construction.

The set of types of resources is relatively rich, ranging from desktop documents to simple web-links and including on-site-edited videos, as well as wiki-pages.

An important type is that of resource-collection, which support users' management, for example to indicate the choices made for a particular task.

A resource collection

some other section

....