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OPTIMUM 2006 Powered By Docstoc
					                                                                             Projects presented in this paper are funded with
                                                                             support from the European Commission through
                                                                             Socrates / Grundtvig 2 program. This publication
                                                                             reflects the views only of the authors, and the
                                                                             Commission cannot be held responsible for any
                                                                             use which may be made of the information
                                                                             contained therein.



IMPROVING LEARNING MOTIVATION OF PEOPLE TROUGH NEW
  TECHNOLOGIES AND PARTICIPATIVE SCENARIOS ABOUT
                     THEIR USE


ILEANA HAMBURG                           ADINA IONESCU                          DOINA DINCA

Institut Arbeit und Technik               Octav Onicescu" National                "Octav Onicescu" National
Wissenschaftszentrum                     College, 29, Trivale Street               College, 29, Trivale Street
Nordrein-Westfalen                       Bucharest, 4, Romania                     Bucharest, 4, Romania
Munscheidstr. 14,                        adi_2301@yahoo.com                       octavonicescu@b.astral.ro
Gelsenkirchen, Germany
hamburg@iatge.de


Abstract: In this paper, we present some modalities of increasing learning motivation of people, especially of
people with disabilities, through new information and communication technologies. In a modern society,
information technologies should have a big impact in disabled peoples lives, implying institutional, structural
and functional transformations in all aspects of economical and social life. Some Grundtvig projects developed
in the framework of Socrates Programme, which offer to the people new learning facilities and working
perspectives by knowing and using the new technologies, are also presented.



1. Introduction
It is known that the school achievements                    in using new technologies and making
and the chances on the labour market are                    vocational decisions and they feel
dependent of the success in school, but in                  frustrated if doesn't exist enough
many schools as well as in vocational                       alternatives for them. Often they can not
education institutions this motivation is                   articulate their wishes because they do not
missing to many pupils. This problem                        know      alternatives,   particularly   in
appears particularly in schools with many                   connection      with    new     information
immigrants and/or young people with                         technologies (IT) and corresponding
disabilities (Hamburg et al., 2003; 2004).                  learning methods like e-Learning.
There is no equality of chances for the
pupils. Pupils who are not advantaged by                    The      two     EU-Grundtvig        projects
birth have more often problems with their                   IECUVADVLA (Ionescu et al., 2006) and
intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and use                  BASKI (Hamburg et al., 2006) that we
less often additional non-formal forms of                   present in this paper, are different in their
learning.                                                   clientele, content and organization but one
                                                            of their aims is to give people new
Often young people show a clear desire to                   learning/working perspectives by knowing
have the possibility to express their wishes                new technologies and letting them
participate in shaping their vocational         occurred in education during the last
trajectories. To find a suitable strategy for   decades.
their further vocational development is the
first turning point in their learning/working   Integration of new technologies in
career therefore events were organized          educational system from Romania as an
which should help them to find these            instrument of teaching and learning,
strategies. These events uses, amongst          determines not only a technological
others, an interactive method called            challenge, but also a pedagogical,
“scenario building” based on common             organizational and human challenge.
knowledge of the young people to discover       Learning motivation of people in using
a way of problem solving for themselves         training programmes on the computer
by combining the individual knowledge           increased due to the advantages that
with experts knowledge under the                training programmes offer to the learners,
guidance of a moderator. In the following,      such as:
we present the participative development
of scenarios for knowing and using new                a big volume of data
technologies as a method used in our                  an individualized training
projects.                                             complex sequential training, in
                                                       small steps, adapted to the learners
Scenarios are depictions of possible future            needs,
built upon variables selected for their high          efficient feedback;
degree of importance and low degree of                possibility of some processes
certainty. Scenarios are descriptive rather            simulation
than predictive. Scenarios serve as a                 stocking and revising a big quantity
communication tool for opening a                       of information
discussion among different stakeholders
(Floréen et al., 2003).                         In education, virtual reality used as a
                                                training instrument creates a multi-
In the IECUVADVLA project we focused            sensorial environment, being also an
on older people who do not know how to          instrument     of    communication      and
apply new technologies for learning and         collaboration, which offers to the learners
making the life easier. In BASKI we             information presented in 3 D dimension,
would like to motivate people with              allowing also to the learners to become
learning disabilities to express their wishes   active, not only to be simple observers in a
about learning modes and a flexible             virtual three-dimensional environment.
curriculum and if is possible to use new
technologies.                                   At present, idea of multifunctional
                                                interfaces development in description of
In this presentation we describe scenarios      the user interfaces is very popular. This
we began to build within some events            idea appeared as a reaction against the
organized within the two projects.              traditional concept of virtual reality. In
                                                fact, both types of interfaces have different
                                                aims and are complementary.
2. Improving learning motivation
of   people   by    using   new                 The tendency in the domain of virtual
technologies                                    reality as a rule is to unify both types of
                                                interfaces and to create a total
Integration of new information and              collaboration and a combined experience
communication        technologies       in      for users. By means of interfaces, abstract
educational systems of developed countries      concepts can be presented in a creative and
is one of the most important changes that       accessible way and also can be created
simulations which allow learners to have a     factors and how they may affect
role in this virtual environment. The most     operations. Scenarios attempt to explore
interesting characteristic of the virtual      the effect of changing several variables at
reality is the feeling of total "immersion",   once with objective analysis and subjective
the learners "existence" in the virtual        interpretations” (Wikipedia 2005).
environment created by technology.
                                               “Scenarios are narratives of alternative
Obviously, the Internet network became         environments in which today’s decisions
already a support of the virtual reality. In   may be played out. They are not
educational environment, the space of the      predictions. Nor are they strategies.”
virtual reality can assist learners in their   (Ogilvy et al., 2004).
training process, by promotion of learning
by sequences, in a particular way, by open     Scenario technique connects quantitative
and distance learning. In addition, virtual    data and information with qualitative
reality represents a way of communication,     information, estimations and opinions
which can promote learning by                  resulting in a detailed description of one or
cooperation, becoming a cooperative            more possible future situations under a
platform for any kind of group                 holistic view.
cooperation.
                                               The developers of the scenarios have the
E-learning systems increases learning          possibilities to:
motivation of people, by offering learning
materials in a variety of formats and a              think about questions, problems
sequential structure of on-line courses, in           and visions without fear and with
accordance with the learners needs.                   unbound fantasy,
                                                     develop impulse, ideas, suggestions
3. Scenarios                                          or social inventions,
                                                     use creative potential to develop
Scenario planning has a long tradition in             demands and solutions,
military strategy development, since                 overcome        the    feeling   of
1970s, starting with a study of Royal                 powerlessness against “mighty”
Dutch/Shell; scenario technique is spread             institutions, persons or forces,
in the world of economy and social                   strengthen the capacity to act and
sciences. During the last years the scenario          the power of judgment.
technique found its way to the educational
aims. In nowadays scenario technique is        The scenario technique can be used in
used for example in universities and           single workshops as well as in regular
schools for teaching and learning. One of      lessons. The methods to build up the
the most remarkable points is the              scenarios must be customised to the time
interactivities of the scenario technique      frame, aim and target group. It is possible
which is a major difference compared to        to design scenarios in a more formal way
traditional classroom teaching. Traditional    e.g. by a stringent phase based design, this
classroom teaching is often “teacher-          could be done in the following way:
centred” while the use of scenario
technique leads to “learner-centred”. The            Decide on the key question to be
scenario technique enables the creators of            answered by the analysis,
the scenarios to build up a holistic picture         Set the time and scope of the
of a possible future development based on             analysis,
isolated expectations of single descriptors.         Identify major stakeholders,
Scenarios are “Narrative descriptions of             Identify main descriptors (factors
assumptions, risks and environmental                  of influence or driving forces),
      Identify the extremes of the            some short national studies about the
       possible outcomes of the (two)          specific needs of the target group and the
       driving forces and check the            educational assistance by electronic means
       dimensions for consistency and          were developed. These national studies
       plausibility,                           showed that in Eastern European countries
      Define the scenarios,                   the high cost of assistive technologies is
      Write out the scenarios,                the most important obstacle in their use, in
      Assess the scenarios. Are they          Romania learning being focused on
       relevant for the goal? Are the          promoting learners with disabilities into
       internally consistent?                  specific occupations, orienting them
      Identify research needs,                towards vocational field.
      Develop quantitative methods,
                                               In order to identify the level of knowledge
      Converge       towards    decision
                                               of the target group and their possibility of
       scenarios.
                                               employment, two types of questionnaires
                                               were elaborated, for the project's target
Beside such a formal way in construction
                                               group and for companies or organizations
of scenarios, it is possible to use simpler,
                                               that hire (unemployed) persons with
informal methods. The simplest method is
                                               hearing and vision impairments.
a kind of creative “brain writing”, as
though a storyline is conducted by the oral
                                               The learners' needs and the assisting and
contributions       of     the      scenario
                                               supportive technologies necessary for
designers´group.
                                               training people with visual and hearing
                                               impairments were investigated, Microsoft
In our projects we use a mix of formal and
                                               Agent software being identified as
informal methods for the development of
                                               appropriate to be used in the project, this
participative scenarios.
                                               software having the possibility of text-to-
                                               speech conversion for Romanian language.
3. Examples                                    Training modules on basic computer skills
                                               and Internet use, Soft Skills and
In the framework of Socrates Programme,        Assertiveness           Training         and
Romania initiated in 2004 the project          Communication Techniques for Getting
"Improvement of Employment Chances of          Employed were developed in different
the Unemployed and the Visual and              forms accessible for the target group, being
Auditive Disabled by using Virtual             available on web, CDs, and as hardcopies
Learning Applications" - IECUVADVLA -          and text to speech conversion. The
in collaboration with other four European      feedback obtained from learners during the
countries, namely Germany, Hungary, the        training courses and project meetings was
U.K. and the Netherlands.                      very efficient in the evaluation of the
                                               project's progress, being very useful also in
The main aim of this Grundtvig 2 project is    the development of the training modules.
to increase the chances of employment of
unemployed seniors with visual and             A "Quality Charter" elaborated by the
hearing impairments, especially of those       Romanian       Foundation      for    Quality
having a moderate level of education,          Promotion ensured a qualitative evaluation
offering them basic skills by using virtual    of the project activities and products.
application models.                            A data base on national statistics, typology
                                               and disability, learning providers and
In order to reach this aim, national studies   available jobs has been set up. The
on unemployment situation and on visual        percentage of the learners' employment,
and auditive (unemployed) disabled and
which will be identified to the end of the         group in society and elaboration of
project, represents an indicator of the            training materials for basic skills.
project's efficiency.
                                                The model includes a Curriculum for a
Another GRUNDTVIG-Project is the                Basic Skills Training for people with
project BASKI (Basic Skills for people          learning or multiple disabilities in small
with disabilities). The main aim of this        groups,    methodical/didactic     material
multinational project is to develop, test and   developed to support communication,
disseminate a Basic Skills Training Model       learning and group processes, two
(BSTM) for people with learning or              Curricula for further education addressing
multiple disabilities who are cared for in      professionals in psychosocial counselling
social institutions. This BSTM shall put        (Train the Trainer and European
disabled individuals with a high need for       Counsellor), test and evaluation reports
assistance in a position to strengthen their    received by means of pilot groups.
ability to act and therefore, shall have an
active influence on the organisation of         Different project partners test the learning
their life and surroundings. The Basic Skill    of different basic skills with different
Training Model is solely designed for           groups within pilot studies. In some target
groups and shall stimulate the process of       groups learners have to concentrate on
development that will be guided by              developing skills such as sequencing and
specially trained external counsellors. In      listening, which are essential for progress
this trans-national cooperation, specially      to basic skills. In other groups with
developed and tested methodical and             complex learning problems the acquisition
didactic materials shall particularly support   of basic skills is difficult because they may
severely disabled people in their               not speak or recognise written text. In
expression of will and needs. The               some cases E-learning methods can be
interaction between the Basic Skills            applied to transfer learning from
Training and the accompanied Coaching of        theoretical to practical.
social institutions is another aim of the
project.                                        Scenario planning was used as a method to
                                                help disabled people to express their
The BSTM is based on national studies in        wishes and plan their careers. First, an
partner countries about:                        animated scenario about a blind young user
                                                who attends Web-based training course,
   Legal Framework,                            for HTML and homepage design
   Statistics on Disability,                   especially developed for blind users, was
   Rehabilitation        (measures       for   presented to the students with different
    integration of the disabled into            disabilities from a special school from
    society),                                   Bochum, Germany. Questions about
   Facilities for living, education and        plausibility and consequences of it were
    work of the target group,                   discussed. Some students expressed that
   Needs of the target group,                  the scenario could help them to think more
   Example of measures for self-               positive about learning and future careers.
    participation of the target group in
    society,                                    The students liked the scenario methods
                                                and wanted to work themselves in groups
   Examples of national education
                                                to develop other new scenarios. The topics
    measures      for     supporting    self-
                                                they proposed were about using Web for
    participation of the target group in
                                                learning by visually impaired users with
    society,
                                                hand tremor, users with dyslexia, deaf or
   Provision of qualified trainers to
                                                hearing impaired, and users with colour
    support self-participation of the target
blindness. The key Question for that kind      References
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