Learning Intentions and Educational Robots

Setting Up Successful educational Robots Activities

Constructionism 2016 Bangkok, Thailand, 1st – 5th February, 2016. Some teachers run excellent lessons with educational robots. Others fail. Good teaching practise, is the key to success and prevails despite diverse and difficult challenges. What is good practice? How can we make sure teachers apply it to educational robots? Constructivism underpins the use of robots, but putting theory in to practise has met with difficulties. The increased focus on curriculum and high-stakes testing makes matters worse. Most teachers I meet feel bullied into “teaching to test” and feel forced into abandoning constructivism for more direct teaching methods. Can teachers deliver lessons that meet their curriculum duties and keep the constructivism spirit alive? These practical questions concern the educational robotic community1. This paper is one of a series that looks at these issues.

In previous work, I proposed Assessment for Learning (AfL) answered these questions. AfL summarises good practice and provides a way to improve the success of educational robots. In later papers I looked in more detail how AfL (Success Criteria and Peer Assessment) might work with robots. In this paper, I continue this effort by exploring issues to do with educational robots and another AfL strand – Learning Intentions. I review teacher and expert opinion on this topic and develop a definition that works with robots. Finally, I use these ideas with selected Roamer® activities2 to highlight some of the application issues.



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