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As part of the Ludovia Summer University, Infobourg observes digital issues in education from a Quebec perspective. Our columns will allow you to follow part of the discussions. Today, a favorite idea to fight against dropping out.
Muriel Epstein, math teacher and researcher, is interested in the prevention of early school leaving. As part of a research project, she wanted, with her colleague, to set up an action project very different from the usual school setting.
They started from the premise that young people like to learn, but that for many, the school environment is not suitable. In addition, dropouts are not necessarily young people who do not like to learn. They therefore wanted to give them back the desire to learn by creating a socially mixed space, a space outside the institution. Indeed, the researchers consider that "we must give them the space to want to learn". This is how was born TransiMOOC.
TransiMOOC * is an online course prepared by young people for young people. “As part of this project, we ask young people from various backgrounds to create content capsules for their dropout friends, their little brothers and sisters. They are given tablets, they can use their smart phone, colored papers and pencils. With this they make videos. We break the structure of the class. Pupils are no longer obliged to work with young people of the same level, but rather by subject.
By making the videos on requested themes (we started with a course on history and geography in third - sec. 3), the pupils sometimes realize that their peers do not master certain concepts. They must then help each other to progress. "It reaches many types of learners and the lessons really speak to them", explains the teacher.
The results of the project, carried out with the assistance of the association Transapi, are interesting: young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are very favorable to this way of doing things, they say they have learned more compared to the traditional structure. On the contrary, those from privileged backgrounds find that it is more gadget and that it didn't teach them anything.
From one intervention to another in class, the researchers observed that the presence of young people increased (those who were dropping out heard about the method and came back to see ...) and that they even stayed in class longer than the time scheduled to finish their video clips.
In closing, Muriel Epstein underlines a questioning: will the wave of MOOC * creators spread or whether young people will ultimately become MOOC consumers that will have to be revived?
* A MOOC (Massive Online Open Course), or CLOM (Massive Open Online Course) is a free online course that anyone can register for. We also mean FLOT (online training open to all) to designate this trend.