The University of Twente is a middle-sized university combining technological science and social and behavioral science with approximately 10,000 students. The Faculty of Behavioural Sciences, Management and Social Sciences houses (amongst others) the Master program of Educational Science and Technology and the Science Teacher Training program. The Department of Instructional Technology (which is a part of the faculty of Behavioural Sciences, Management and Social Sciences) participates in the Next-Lab project. With around 30 staff members it studies and designs systems and environments (human and/or machine) for the acquisition of knowledge and skills.

The Department of Instructional Technology participated and participates in many national and international projects: among others, in NATO, NWO, DFG, Ministry of Education, SENTER, Kennisnet, and SURF. In EU and NSF (NOW/NRO) funded projects it has conducted research and developed technology based learning environments that entail key characteristics of the Next-Lab ecosystem.

The University of Twente is the coordinator of the Next-Lab project.


Science Created by You (SCY)

Science Created by You (SCY) is a project on learning in science and technology domains targeting students between 12 and 18 years old. SCY uses the metaphor of the student as an engineer or scientist, who gathers knowledge in the course of working on a research or design project. Therefore, SCY missions (i. e., the SCY learning environments) are characterized by an overall research or design goal, e.g. to create a report on water quality or to create a CO2-friendly house. Along the way on creating the final product, the students produce many types of (intermediate) results. An example of such result in the CO2-friendly house mission is a set of hypotheses on the effects of measures that reduce CO2 emission. We call such products, which are created in SCY missions, Emerging Learning Objects (ELOs). Examples of ELO types include: runnable models, concept maps, data sets, hypotheses, tables, summaries, reports, and experimental procedures.

Fulfilling SCY missions requires a combination of knowledge from different content areas (e. g. physics, mathematics, biology, as well as social sciences). Learners perform several types of learning actions that can be characterised as productive (experimentation, gaming, sharing, explaining, designing, etc.). They involve multiple resources, require varying degree of collaboration with peers, and use changing constellations of tools and scaffolds. The configuration of a SCY-Lab is adaptive to the actual learning situation, advising learners on appropriate learning actions, resources, tools, and scaffolds, or peer learners that can support the learning process. Four SCY missions have been developed, each of which addresses specific science content in the context of creating a particular final product.

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