Evaluating educational robotics laboratories: a study of a participatory approach
The paper provides a brief overview of the project “Robotics laboratories at the EXPLORA Museum: assessment of methods and learning” carried out by the two authors in collaboration with Explora - Museo del Bambino of Rome. In particular, the results of a qualitative evaluation study focus on two main aspects: 1) students’ learning self-assessment (Rolheiser, 1996); 2) the comparison between the objectives planned by Explora operators (educational managers, designers and conductors), the expectations of the teachers and students’ self-assessment. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews conducted before the laboratories, video recordings made during the activities and interviews with the children at the end of the experience. Results show discrepancies between the representations of adults and the goals reported by children. The goal for adults is the performances connected to the ability to use robotic devices, whereas in children the programming has fostered the ability to understand problems, logical reasoning and metacognitive reflexion.
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