SkillTrack!

SkillTrack! is a year three project and is still in progress, the first phase was a research project (3 months) to understand the state of the art in terms of ‘assessment’ for 21st Century Skills. The development phase is focusing on the need to both capture and assess evidence to support the development and acquisition of higher order skills.
It will attempt to create a common framework to interpret, visualise and assess evidence of learning, which comes from multiple sources of implicit and continuous assessment.
In particular, the project will focus on techniques that move away from explicit, traditional methods of assessment towards real-time, continuous assessment models incorporating multiple evidence sources.
The ‘real-time’ nature of this implicit, continuous assessment will be explored in terms of its impact on adaptive, personalised learning.

What Problem does it Solve
The focus on K-12 students to acquire ‘21st Century Skills’ is increasingly impacting on teaching practice, curriculum design and delivery. However, such higher order skills have traditionally been very difficult to assess.
At the same time, new technologies offer new and innovative learning opportunities for students which can help promote higher order skills e.g. Social, Informal, Non-Formal, Adaptive and Gamification.
This project will address the problem of ‘assessment’ for 21st Century Skills where technology can be/is being used to promote learning innovation.

Potential Application

• Commercialisation of ‘platform’ to support assessment of 21st Century Skills.
• Enabling industry partners to expand their offerings to include new forms of assessment.
• This technology has application in Irish and Global markets.

Technologies
TBC

iLearn

What is it?
iLearn is an immersive learning environment designed to identify, develop and assess problem solving, collaboration and other 21st century competencies through task-based game play. iLearn is underpinned by an innovative pedagogical framework to elicit and analyse problem solving and collaborative behaviours within the immersive learning environment. Evidence of problem solving and collaboration activity is captured and aggregated from a number of sources within the iLearn environment. This data triangulation enables more accurate assessment of these complex competencies. iLearn enables a teacher or a trainer to be present in the immersive learning environment to monitor the on-task performance of learners using real-time data and to provide real-time, targeted scaffolding when it is requested or required by learners.

What Problem does it solve?
Problem solving and collaboration have been identified as key 21st century workforce competencies but there is widespread uncertainty amongst educators and organisations as to how to effectively and efficiently leverage technology to identify, develop and assess these and other complex competencies.

Application in Commercial Learning
Organisations require multi-functional workforce management tools to align the strategies and improve the efficiencies of Learning and Development, Human Resources and Talent Management functions.
Potential Application
• Recruitment – recruit employees for specific, observable competencies
• Training – enable trainers to observe competencies in real-time and to provide targeted feedback
• Performance Management – quickly assess competency rather than knowledge
• Workforce Management – manage and plan for key 21st century workforce competencies
• Talent Management – quickly identify hidden talent and rising stars

Application in K12 Learning
In the education sector there is a Government-driven focus on the development and assessment of 21st Century skills. However there is widespread uncertainty as to how to best assess these complex skills. Educators are looking to technology to provide them with objective, reliable and robust assessment tools.
Potential Application
• Provides educators with an objective and robust assessment tool for 21st century competencies
• Enables new models of teaching, learning and assessment

Technologies
To implement the pedagogical framework, iLearn comprises a number of component technologies – the immersive learning environment itself (ILE), social search and recommender technology (SSR) and data capture technology.
ILE: The immersive learning environment is designed to enable learners to perform the task and to capture specified indicators of problem solving and collaboration activity within the context of the task. The engagement affordances of the immersive learning environment together with the game mechanics interwoven into the task are exploited to engage and motivate learners to complete the task.
SSR (Social Search and Recommender Technology) acts as a conduit for problem solving and collaboration activity in iLearn.
Data Capture Technology is integrated into iLearn to capture indicators of problem solving and collaboration competencies as learners progress through the task.

iLearn Trial
iLearn underwent a formal trial with 109 Transition Year students earlier this year. The results, contained in the iLearn Evaluation Report to which Learnovate members have access, are very promising. The next step is to trial iLearn in a corporate setting.

My Pace

My Pace comprises a suite of next-generation learning technologies that support informal learning and harnesses open content. The student portal is designed as a homework help or online study aid for students to supplement their classroom-based learning.
The student portal:
• Delivers personalised learning unique to the student’s needs, preferences and abilities
• Applies novel game-like techniques to motivate and incentivise students
• Supports and develops student problem solving and meta-cognitive skills
• Enables publishers to identify trends in open content usage and gaps in formal content

What Problem does it Solve
Students of all abilities study at different paces and in different ways. Students can range from struggling and average to fast learners. My Pace caters for these different needs scaffolding each learner in a way that best suits them.

Many educational publishers have large repositories of supporting material beyond the content of an individual book. My Pace enables content publishers to reuse and remonetise this learning content.

Students are now digitally savvy and require sophisticated presentations to keep them motivated and engaged. My Pace leverages quality open content sources to enhance the presentation of core curriculum materials.

Potential Application
• Support informal learning and provide scaffolded approach to homework activities
• Promote collaborative learning in the K12 space
• Motivating students through game-like interface

Technologies
Search: Social search functionality locates relevant publisher and open content personalised to the student’s immediate needs
Recommender: Innovative recommendation tools dynamically update results by retrieving content recommended by students of similar ability
Reflection: A novel reflection tool encourages students to develop their problem solving and meta-cognitive skills by reflecting on what and how they have learned
Community and Rating: Community networks leverage the power of the student group by sharing highly rated content – delivering quality publisher and open content to the student
Activity Ticker: An activity ticker applies novel game-like techniques to increase the student’s social capital, motivating them to participate and keep pace with their peers.

Schools Tablet

This project builds on the web-based version of our MyPace student portal by providing students with mobile touch-based access to a personalised and socially collaborative learning experience. The tablet version emphasises simplified usability and offers a quick and efficient tool to meet the informal learning needs of today’s mobile student learner.

The Opportunity
The MyPace mobile portal is designed to industry standards and is underpinned by best practice learning design and usability principles. The technologies are easily reconfigurable and can be licensed individually or as a suite of technologies that can be integrated as a complete solution.

Technologies
• Social Search: Locates relevant publisher and open content personalised to the student’s needs
• Recommender: Dynamically updates results by retrieving content recommended by students of similar ability
• Community Networks and Rating: Leverages the power of the student group by sharing highly rated content
• Activity Ticker: Applies novel game-like techniques to motivate students to participate

Curating Content for Informal Learning

The lesson curator provides organisations, instructors and learners with a powerful, easy-to-use web application for curating high quality learning resources. The application provides access to a range of publisher or public content collections, for example, general Web, Wikipedia and Khan Academy search. An intuitive, drag-and-drop user interface facilitates the rapid creation of coherent learning episodes.

The Opportunity
The lesson curator application is designed to industry standards and is underpinned by best practice learning design principles. The technologies are easily reconfigurable and can be licensed individually or as a suite of technologies that can be integrated as a complete curation solution.

Technologies
Web Curation: Enables the curation of existing and new content into structured, coherent learning episodes that can be shared across communities of learners
Social Search: Employs social search technologies to leverage the past learning experiences of the community to rank future search results