DAYLIGHTING RIVERS addresses five main themes related to rivers within a broad process that fosters the use of scientific investigation, use of technologies (mobile phones and platforms for data collection, Location Based Game development) and science communication addressed to different targets.
“The Learning Units are the core of the project. They guide the students in the investigation regarding specific topics and issues and they are structured according the IBL model by Pedaste (2015). Starting from a ‘stimulating’ activity about an issue in the orientation, students formulate questions and hypotheses (how it would be/how we could solve it) that they will answer through the investigation. Final results and conclusions are discussed and further elements to investigate are found.” (For more information, see the Methodology Guidelines).
The Units available (see below) have been developed by teachers, researchers, professionals and urban planners. Although some might be strictly related to specific geographical areas, the intention is to give practical examples replicable in other places. Some Learning Units include the application of Geographic Information System (GIS) software.
HOW TO IMPLEMENT A DAYLIGHTING RIVERS PROJECT
In order to apply a DAYLIGHTING RIVERS project follow the following steps:
1A ) INTRODUCTION – GETTING TO KNOW EACH OTHER
BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE, you may want to know the initial interests and base knowledge of the “actors” (students and teachers); but also you might be interested to know how effective the learning process is and how effective is teaching with our materials.
Two questionnaires (O1 and O5) should be submitted before (and after) the implementation of the project.
- O1 aims to assess students’ interests and skills on the project themes;
- O5 aims to assess students’ attitudes toward STEM, learning process efficacy, and career-decision making.
Link to the questionnaire to survey students’ competences and interests (O1) (in English)
Link to the questionnaire on the students’ attitude toward STEM (1) and career decision making (2) (IO5) (in English)
Link to the questionnaire on the teachers’ competences and interests (O1) (in English)
Link to the questionnaire on the teachers’ teaching efficacy (1) and effectiveness (2) (in English)
1B) INTRODUCTION - ENGAGEMENT
To introduce the DAYLIGHTING RIVERS project to the students, you can start brainstorming about the local river. The presentation Introductory activity with the class can be used to this purpose. There are questions that can be posed to students to think about their town and rivers and engage them in knowing more about them.
During our project, it aimed to create a connection between European students by organizing virtual meetings in which students presented their rivers and contexts.
According to the interest shown by the students on environmental characteristics, human impacts, threats or aspects that are worth of promotion of your local river, you can choose and adapt one or more Learning Units to your context. The Learning Units developed in this project concern 5 macro-themes (https://www.daylightingrivers.com/macrothemes/):
- Water cycle
- The impacts of human intervention on river ecosystem
- The hydrogeological risk
- River management
- Climate change
You can find the full list of Learning Units in English, Italian, Greek and Spanish here: https://www.daylightingrivers.com/learning-units-list/
The Learning Units are based on the Inquiry Based Learning model and concern different topics such as the following:
- Vegetal biodiversity of river ecosystems
- Animal biodiversity of river ecosystems
- Integration of rivers into the city plan
- Artifacts in the past and in the present
- Rivers in art
- Geology and geomorphology
- Socio-economic effects
- Hydraulic aspects
- Effects of urbanization and land use
Don’t forget the final students’ and teachers evaluation of the learning process!
(use the questionnaires above!) or visit https://www.daylightingrivers.com/evaluation/
3) CREATIVE-TECH TIME!
The project fosters the use of technologies for geographical information. Location Based Games are particularly suited for creating educational experiences. Mobile media and augmented reality can fruitfully combine the advantages of educational video games with place-based learning.
Georeferenced information collected in the field, pictures, data, stories etc. during the application of the Learning Units, can be communicated to a wider public in form of a game story, by storytelling. Location Based Games (visit the webpage “technologies”) allow players to play in a real environment and access information while having fun.
Alternatively, students can design an urban project of river regeneration, even using Geographic information system software (visit the webpage “technologies”).
Promote your results and outcomes! All project outcomes should reach a wider community. This gives the opportunity to students to practice communicating to a wider public and enhance such skills.
The dissemination can be done in:
- Science fairs,
- Open days,
In addition, the community might be interested to know more about the river quality or characteristics. This information might be also useful for the local authorities and can give the chance of further collaborations with local institutions.
You may want to know how effective the learning process was and the efficacay of the project implementation.
The two main questionnaires (O1 and O5) (see above) can be re-submitted after the implementation of the project. They are also available at the webpage https://www.daylightingrivers.com/evaluation/
Development of the LBG:
The Location Based Games are games that can be played in a real environment and follow the steps of a fantasy story. Therefore, students have to design a storyboard like a cartoon or short movie scenes. They identify a main character and others that become the virtual interactive agents with the real players of a Location Based Game geolocated in the area of investigation.
Training materials on how to produce a Location Based Game is available at this link: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1TfoGQ1cpXgZ7k7f0pQ_cjeBHuQDfgFA-
Organization: Work groups with selected students.
Duration: about 4 hours
Phase A: development of the content: the storyboard.
A group of skilled students in storytelling design the ‘story of the game’. They decide the objective of the game, how the player reaches the objective. This means deciding about:
– the interaction between the player and the virtual characters and objects (quizzes, scoring, dialogues between characters, dropping or taking objects etc.);
– the route of the game based on the relevant points and gathered material (data, pictures, stories);
– the texts of the plaques (introduction, description of places/artefacts at the relevant points, etc.) and dialogues between the player and the characters;
Photos and text should be created on the basis of the experiences made during the learning units implementation.
Include in the LBG minimum 1 dialogue with a virtual character, 1 object to take into the inventory, 3 descriptions of sites/artifacts along the route.
The game might be potentially a tourist route on foot or by other transport means. It doesn’t need to be long!
Phase B: development of the game in an open-source platform.
A group of interested or skilled students in informatics build a Location Based Game in an open source platform such as TALEBLAZER/ENIGMAPP/ARIS/ACTIONBOUND with the contents made by their classmates during Phase A. They implement the actions through the mechanics of the game platform.
The games can participate to the European Competition in 2020.