From ECER 2019 to ECER 2020?

In September the European educational researchers met in Hamburg to spend four days with papers on the latest research results and discussions about “education in an era of risk” (conference motto) and many more topics from the 33 EERA networks. Our symposium with the title “Higher education for Sustainable Development: Video-based Student Crowd Research” was part of the programme provided by network 22 Research in Higher Education in cooperation with network 3 Curriculum Innovation.

Since the symposium was directly related to our project, Dr. Vanessa Jänsch from the SCoRe team started with a short introduction to SCoRe. Afterwards, our first contribution about a critical view on video-based student crowd research was presented by Prof. Dr. Peter Tremp from the University of Education in Lucerne via video. Peter focused on research-based learning and identified some major challenges for the SCoRe team: How can the important role of the lecturer be fulfilled in a crowd environment? How is research made visible? 

The second paper presented by André Kopischke and Alexa Brase from the SCoRe team shared some insights into a design phase within SCoRe’s Design-Based Research framework. The presenters asked how research-based learning can be combined with 360° video technology. They gave an impression on how this might work by showing the viewing path of a video recipient as well as video annotation within a 360° video. They also illustrated the potential of research-based learning with 360° video for motivation, new skills and epistemic practices.

In the third paper, SCoRe team member Norma Reichelt discussed the junction of education for sustainable development and crowd engagement. The outline of key characteristics of crowds as social entities led to an array of design challenges for the development of educational mass-environments, for example the notion of recruitment and motivation or social awareness, authorship and accountability. In the end the presentation gave an outlook on possible design principles for educational scenarios and educational software.  

Prof. Dr. Jan Van den Akker, emeritus at the University of Twente, curriculum researcher, consultant and an expert on Design Research, completed the programme by focusing on our methodological framework. Jan gave an introduction to Design Research (or Design-Based Research, as we call it) and gave us some advice for a successful project: He pointed to the risk of over-complexity and recommended to divide the project into different stages, test it in a small context at the beginning and don’t spread it too early. Qualitative methods are supposed to give us rich information about how to improve, so we feel more secure about the next step. And finally, he suggested that we ask the people (our students) directly how to improve.

Our discussant Prof. Dr. Mandy Schiefner-Rohs from the Technical University of Kaiserslautern tied the topics together and gave us some good questions to think about before she opened the discussion for the audience. We talked about the differences between problem-based, inquiry-based and research-based learning and the use of video data for evaluations. Mandy also asked us to expand on our idea of design as research. Many thanks to our speakers, our discussant and the brave audience who managed to get to our symposium on Friday morning.

We hope there will be an opportunity to discuss our ideas in more detail soon. As the Call for Proposals for ECER 2020 in Glasgow was published recently there are good prospects for further discussion.