In the context of the CONSTRUIT! project an additional learning activity took place that was characterized as “Blended mobility of higher education students”. It was a workshop-style training seminar that took place at University of Warwick from December 11-16 attracting the interest of 7 higher education students from the University of Eastern Finland (UEF) and the University of Edinburgh.
This seminar had two components: a short course on ‘Making Construals’ in which the emphasis was on introducing JS-EDEN as an environment for making construals followed by activities in which the participants explored the potential applications of making construals through discussion and experiment.
The exploratory activities focused on two principal themes: how construals might be used by teachers, and how construals might be most effectively deployed in the forthcoming workshop at SciFest 2015 in April 2015.
This workshop–style seminar represented the first attempt of the CONSTRUIT! team to establish a basic curriculum and infrastructure for an open online course on making construals.
The SciFest-related discussions were informed by a presentation from Carolina Islas Sedano (an educational researcher from the University of Eastern Finland), in which she highlighted the qualities of successful workshops for schoolchildren and reviewed her own experiences of staging activities at SciFest over several years. Many of the UEF students had also been involved in SciFest and they were able to share their experience directly with the team of Warwick tutors who brought complementary specialist knowledge of making construals.
Interestingly, during the short course, students with computing experience worked alongside the student from an education background in their own impromptu tutorials. Thoughts about potential applications for making construals at SciFest were initially wide-ranging but eventually focused on the possible implementation of a fishing activity to illustrate refraction of light following Snell’s law.