Deliverable D1 | Quality control plan
This document presents the Quality Control Plan for DIDAKTOR (POST DOCTORAL RESEARCHERS) project – POST-DOC/0916/0248 “Museum Affinity Spaces (MAS): Re- imagining Museum-School Partnerships for the 21st century through a Multiliteracies Lens ” (MAS). It is developed in the scope of the WP 1 (Quality Control Plan) of the Project in compliance with the Project description and all applicable rules & guidelines.
Quality control is an integral part of the project and aims to ensure that objectives are met in the most effective way. This Quality Control Plan (QCP) presents the general approach to quality control, internal and external evaluation and the procedures to be followed by the Host Institution for effective communication as well as production and documentation of the Project deliverables. The document outlines the strategy for ways in which the quality control mechanisms will be applied so that the operational, management and working procedures are comprehensively monitored and improved throughout the project duration.
The QCP includes a set of scheduled activities and defines the objectives, roles and responsibilities to be pursued. The QCP further includes established indicators, methodology and procedures for evaluation of project activities and results. For each task it determines the responsible team, timeframe and tools of implementation, the expected results or products, as well as the respective quality criteria.
Deliverable D6 | Dissemination and Communication Plan
MAS is a RESTART DIDAKTOR programme project entailing plans for a platform of museums/galleries and learning institutions from across Europe, such as schools and universities to connect to form partnerships in order to enrich classroom experience and overcome limitations related to physically attending a museum and other outdoor activities.
The project proposes an interdisciplinary approach using design-based research, towards the close network collaboration of museums and institutions/schools mentioned above through creating an infrastructure (the MAS Portal) which features a strategic partnership finder tool to retrieve partners based on the topic of interest and other characteristics. The MAS Portal also features a forum allowing to share and discuss the experience as well as provide mutual support; it does so by creating online museum and school hub spots.
The project thus offers a platform for staff (teachers, museum educators, librarians, etc.) and students to communicate, collaborate, develop projects, share and feel and be part of a museum learning community in Europe.
The findings from the project will be disseminated to relevant stakeholders throughout the duration of the project (the next two years). We envisage that this will be a dynamic document; that is to say that our goals, strategies and tools outlined below may be subject to change over the duration of the project and we remain open to alternative ways of publicizing and disseminating our results.
Exploitation and training activities will be separate deliverables and will therefore not be discussed in depth in this dissemination plan.
Deliverable D8 | Logo, brochure, and other promotional material
The main aim of this deliverable is to provide an overall report of the branding and all related brochures/leaflets for the MAS project. The document will follow the guideline presented in D6 towards effective outreach and sustainable impact of the MAS ecosystem within the teachers’, Teacher Training Institutes’ and policy makers’ community. More specifically, we look into the MAS communication strategy and branding and provide information on the new website. Social media and the development of MAS related dissemination material are presented.
Deliverable D12 | Specifications of the Pedagogical Framework
The current deliverable provides insights into the Pedagogical Framework of the MAS project. This framework portrayed in this document, is used as a roadmap for undertaking teaching and learning during the project. This deliverable begins with a discussion of the contributions of sociocultural theory and constructivist perspectives to the pedagogical framing of the research. The literature review builds on understanding, interpreting, and implementing past research among three areas of study: education, museology, and New Literacy Studies (NLS). Relevant contributions in each one of these areas are, therefore, presented in this chapter in order to describe the core pedagogical framework of the MAS project. These conceptualisations inform the design, implementation and evaluation of the MAS project. The deliverable concludes with a summary of the implications of the conceptual framework for the study.
The specifications are based on an overview of the relevant literature on museum-school partnerships, virtual learning environments and pedagogical approaches to culturally responsive museum learning and multiliteracies pedagogy. These specifications should be read in relation to the Curriculum and Partnerships Analyses (D.13) and Pedagogical Knowledge Scenarios (D.14) of the MAS learning environment.
Deliverable D13 | Curriculum and partnership analyses
The primary objective of this deliverable is to ensure that from a content and pedagogical point of view, the MAS Platform and the pedagogical framework can be seamlessly integrated into the curricula of European countries. Additionally, this deliverable intends to examine how museum-school partnerships make use of the curriculum and determine arising requirements for the MAS Portal, in particular the MAS-Cabinet to identify potential crossovers and interdisciplinary applications across Europe.
In this study, the analysis of curricula in European countries, focuses on the nine countries which participated in the first Phase of the MAS project, and the first Iterative Cycle of the Prototyping Phase which is the second Phase of the project. In general, the main analysis has shown that the developed MAS Infrastructure, appear to have integration potential into the national/local curricula. There however some obstacles to the integration process of the MAS Infrastructure. Some of these factors relate directly to the curriculum (including the teacher competences aspect and suggested activities not always matching curriculum topics), time constraints (to familiarize with new tools, preparation for the teacher and lesson duration, online registration, set up the technical logistics) and missing translations in the native language of the participating countries (problematic for young students, and increasing the needed teacher preparation time).
The MAS Infrastructure allows for substantial flexibility to allow for integration possibilities in local curricula, especially through creating a new pedagogical learning scenario and focusing on modification of the MAS Cabinet. It is crucial to enhance the use of the MAS Portal, which allows the matching of cultural heritage institutions and schools. There is provision also for support through the MAS Hub and developing a mechanism where, even in the cases where no binding curriculum exists, the MAS Infrastructure could be introduced in the curricula of private schools.
The curriculum and partnership analyses provide a set of recommendations to smooth the integration process of the MAS Infrastructure in everyday curricula. These recommendations encourage the practice of extracurricular activities and ubiquitous learning. It also addresses the issues of time constraints and possible solutions to the translation of relevant materials and the promotion of interdisciplinary activities in European curricula.
Deliverable D14 | Preliminary knowledge classroom scenarios and guidelines
This document describes an initial blueprint of how educators, whether museum educators or school teachers, and learning designers, can be supported in using the MAS Cabinet and associated Lesson Plans. The MAS Cabinet is the web software featuring the virtual environment created according to the pedagogical framework of the project. A MAS scenario describes, in a domain independent way, all the activities, materials, and interactions for educators that comprise a complete (online and offline) MAS multiliteracies learning experience. A MAS Lesson Plan includes the use of the MAS Cabinet and in addition, a description of online and offline, ideally collaborative activities that can or should be performed with the MAS Cabinet. The Lesson Plan therefore also described, next to the MAS Cabinet, the student and educator offline activities. Lesson plans in the MAS are based on scenarios.
In this deliverable, the first step is to define the basic terminology to be used in the project. This is important for both researchers and practitioners who will engage with the MAS content. The concepts “scenario” and “lesson plan”, are the key concepts to clarify. Second, the main components of a scenario, being the literacies activities and online and offline aspects of this and which activities are performed in groups or individually. Third, an initial set of scenarios is provided. These are:
This set will grow, and be enriched as the project unfolds, on the basis of the concrete lesson plans we will develop and the users will offer to the MAS platform. Fourth, a number of concrete lesson plans, being examples of how to introduce the scenarios proposed in practice, within a specific domain and context, will be developed. Fifth, we provide a first glance of the information to be include in a default Lesson Plan. The idea is that for each scenario, a default lesson plan, is created, which could be used by educators as a starting point for creating their own lesson plan around the MAS Cabinet. Finally, a proposal is presented on how educators can learn about scenarios and lesson plans and how they can be supported in creating, adapting, and sharing their version of MAS Cabinet and Lesson Plans.
Deliverable D15 | MAS Classroom Scenarios Handbook
This deliverable presents the MAS scenarios handbook. This practical guide provides an overview of the MAS Pedagogical Framework and the guidelines to incorporate eight different scenarios that are meant to help teachers design with the MAS Knowledge Processes in mind.
Each scenario represents a specific pedagogical method within the overall MAS Pedagogical approach. The eight MAS classroom scenarios are labelled as follows:
– ‘Mystery Box’
– Jigsaw and Gallery Tour
– Concept Webs
– Postcard Problems
– Story Map
– Four Corners
The intention is to enrich the pedagogical learning scenarios as the MAS project unfolds. Each scenario corresponds to one knowledge process described in the MAS Pedagogical Framework, deriving from the Learning by Design Model, proposed by Cope and Kalantzis (2000). The core knowledge processes are:
The current deliverable presents an extended description of eight scenarios, including considerations for design and background information in respect to the eight subcategories of knowledge processes identified in the MAS Framework. In that respect it can be seen as a “reference book”. The scenarios are further offered in MAS platform, the MAS project website (www.masproject.eu). The content of these descriptions from MAS Archive is also offered in this handbook.
Deliverable D16 | Agreeing a research methodology
The current deliverable provides insights into the Research Methodology to be pursued in the MAS project. Importantly, the research methodology needed to be flexible enough to allow for the participating museum staff, teachers’ and students’ own perspectives to emerge and guide the development of the partnership programme. Based on these requirements, this deliverable delves deeper into the research framework that informed the study, namely a three-phase design-based research methodology. The specific philosophical and practical features of the chosen methodology, and the proposed research strategy, are presented in detail here. A description of the research setting and target group, data collection tools and analysis techniques will be included. Finally, the chapter concludes with a discussion of the limitations of the research, issues of reliability and validity, ethics, and a brief summary.
Deliverable D17 | Pilot sample profiles
The aim of this public deliverable is to provide with a clear rationale and insight on the methodology and organisational structure of the MAS Prototyping Phase and the selection process of the participating MAS Pilot Schools and Museums. While the process was launched beginning of January 2019, collaboration with schools had started already in December 2018 in preparation of the initial project activities. At this early phase, resulting from the preparation activities, 10 schools and 4 Museums were preselected by the MAS team following the launch of a Call for MAS Pilot Schools and Museums.
The selection of Pilot Schools and Museums to participate in the MAS implementation activities, results from a carefully designed selection process. The final procedures and selection criteria for the selection of the Pilot Schools and Pilot Museums described in this document, result from a series of meetings with the top management and the research team and PEB Committee of the MAS Project. The overall consensus from the Call and interest shown was encouraging, showing how it is possible to build on existing interest for further development in the field.
Deliverable D18 | Preliminary MAS Requirements specifications
This deliverable D18 reports on the design, implementation and findings of Phase 1 “Preliminary Analysis” of the Design-Based Research for the MAS project, including observations, interviews and surveys with practitioners and students to elicit information on the current virtual museum usage habit of these professionals in their respective institutions, as well as their overall experiences with museums as physical sites for collaboration and learning. The result from this preliminary context analysis, was 97 responses from practitioners in the web-based surveys, semi- structured interviews with 7 educators and focus group interviews with 70 students. Overall, the participating museum educators, school teachers and students, had positive attitudes towards online museums and museums at large. However, it was evident that the appeal of museums was restricted to recreational or educational, one-off visits, with little collaboration or potential for synergies on a long-term scale. Another interesting finding was with regards to availability and accessibility of online museums, while also lacking confidence to teach in respect to the curriculum through these digital tools.
Deliverable D19 | The phases of the MAS project
This deliverable presents the three phases of the MAS design- based research: these are the preliminary phase with literature review and context analysis, the prototyping phase, involving the formative evaluation of the iterative cycles undertaken for the museum-school partnership and refinements to improve the programme, and finally the implementation and evaluation of assessment, with final refinements and assessment following mixed methods of data collection and analysis. The activities discussed are, in this sense, driven by the overarching research question: How can the Museum Affinity Spaces infrastructure be theoretically and practically designed and implemented to enhance the pedagogical strategies for inclusive museum multiliteracies-based teaching?
Deliverable D20 | Report on implementation activities
This report describes the implementation activities that took place during the first prototype cycle of the project. The focus at this phase is primary on offering and conducting online training for teachers covering the pedagogical and technical aspects of the MAS approach. This would help refine the next iterative cycles and lead towards a more successful implementation in the larger scale implementation prototype stages.
The first iterative Cycle of the Prototyping Phase for the project, took place in M8 and lasted until M12, which corresponds to June 2019, until October 2019.
During that 4-month period, the MAS team partners organised and conducted 3 implementation activities around the host countries. Of which, 1 was an activity with students (with 67 participants) and 1 was online training of museum educators and school teachers (with 28 participants) and 1 was training of school teachers (16 participants). In total 10 schools and 4 museums were involved in these activities.
The full list of activity reports is included in the document.
Deliverable D22 | Specifications of the MAS Portal
This deliverable presents the requirements and the specifications for the MAS Portal (WP5). The MAS Portal is the virtual workspace/project website, which will be used as the framework for developing the virtual presence for the project. The virtual platform of the project, features an infrastructure with tools and services to support the goals of the MAS team:
– The strategic partnership search (MAS-Portal tool) which will allow the creation of institutional profiles for museums/cultural organisations and schools. The intention is to match cultural organisations with schools and initiate sustainable partnerships based on the MAS framework.
– The virtual museum creator (MAS-Cabinet app) which will be the desktop application featuring the virtual environment created according to the pedagogical framework.
– Access to pedagogical learning scenarios, tutorials and webinars on how to deliver successful museum-school partnerships for developing lesson plans based on the MMP framework (MAS-Archive).
– A support mechanism for the MAS virtual community, for development, communication and collaboration on museum- related topics and solutions (MAS-Hub).
The MAS Portal enables museum educators and school teachers to search for partners, use existing and create their versions of virtual museum environments using the MAS Cabinet. Such virtual museum environments can be shared together with Learning Scenarios developed by the educators who use the MAS Platform. This report discusses the specifications for these tools of the MAS Infrastructure, with additional attention to the MAS Cabinet application.
Deliverable D23 | Formative usability report on the early and final prototype of the MAS Portal
This deliverable demonstrates the initial and final usability report of the MAS-Portal website. Providing front end solutions is important to improve usability, findability and user experience. This deliverable provides an overview of the results from usability reports, used to identify, update and integrate, continually, the requirements for developing the MAS Portal, the website of the project. The preferred methodological approach towards this end, involved participatory design (PD), grounded in established User- Centred Design (UCD) frameworks, which also involved Usability and User Experience (UX) methodologies.
The bulk of the data collection took place in the first six months since the project initiated. All strategies are mentioned explicitly in this document, and presented in relation to different specifications and design artefacts and functionalities of the MAS Portal.
Overall, the insights from educators and students significantly benefited the development of the different tools for the MAS Portal Infrastructure, and benefited the project holistically. Any feedback was incorporated into the design and were addressed by the MAS team to inform the next stage of development. The completion of this work was realised in M10, according to WP5, however improvements and user feedback is considered throughout the project life cycle.
Deliverable D26 | Specifications of the participatory engagement activities
This deliverable presents a common operational framework for activities in MAS that aim to engage different stakeholders (museum educators, teachers, teacher trainers, policy makers, etc.) with the goals and products of MAS. The main mechanisms we use are participatory activities in the form of different kinds of workshops. The project’s Pedagogical Framework and Design Based Research guidelines have constituted the basic background on which the specifications for these participatory activities have been developed, keeping in mind the need to make participatory activities coherent among themselves and integrated with other tasks in WP6, other WPs and the overall life-cycle of the project. MAS has in place an ambitious piloting scheme which will be implemented in M8 of the project, however it needs to be prepared through fine-tuning of the original project work plan, the pedagogical and organisational aspects to ensure they are applicable to variant contexts where the pilots will
During the first Phase of the project, participatory activities will run in the form of visionary workshops with a twofold aim: first to collect stakeholders’ views to inform the preliminary analysis of the context of the research, and secondary, to disseminate information of the MAS project approach. This will help recruit participants for the pilot iterative cycles and, of course, to gather early stakeholders’ feedback on the project elements.
For the second iterative cycle of the Prototyping Phase and the third Phase of research, the implementation and evaluation stage, participatory activities will have a “formative evaluation element”, as the main characteristic. Once the refinements are implemented in the design of tools and services for MAS, it will be possible to reflect on parallel piloting activities for newcomers and to policy makers, in order to consider transferability and scalability concerns in relation to the MAS approach.
More specifically, the second cycle of workshops will involve practice reflection workshops, as a fundamental source of experience and contributing factors to the project’s research achievements. Concurrently, these workshops will inform WP7 and the Validation and Evaluation activities. The intention is to consider ways to integrate use of MAS Infrastructure in school practice.
The specifications set in this document, act as guidance for WP6 team members to guarantee sufficient consistency in the organisation of activities and reporting of results. There is however flexibility to adjust according to specific needs, and particularities.
A supplementary activity to the workshops, will be an online survey set and running throughout the project duration. This will target not only stakeholders actively involved in the research, but a larger scale population and countries, to reflect and envisage the effective integration of the use of museum-school partnerships and virtual museum in daily school practice.
Deliverable D27 | Future challenges report
This report describes the results of the research activities performed during the first year of the MAS Project and represents a Milestone in WP6 – Community Building and Support. It is serving the need for the identification of the current and future challenges as it regards Museum Education and the scope and the approach of the MAS Project in order to address them in a holistic and state-of-the-art way.
Therefore, the results and the conclusions are presented as a basis for further work, depending on the participatory engagement activities and how new insights will form and inform the implementation and methodology employed for the project.
In this respect, the last chapter of this report includes a set of open questions that will remain in the agenda and drive future activities.
Deliverable D28 | Specifications for the MAS user communities support
This document is a deliverable meant to define technical specifications for the MAS Portal and community building systems in terms of satisfying different user groups’ needs and providing easy access to the projects’ tools and materials as appropriate. The deliverable is aimed primarily at the project’s technical team and national coordinators, so that their work will be guided by the results and experiences already gained by the partners both with the activities carried out so far in MAS and by the analysis of research documents from the field.
The report develops along two main topics, in particular the first half of the document focuses on the target groups of the project and their needs, while the second half focuses on recommendations, ideas and tools to ensure that those needs are met through the portal and materials provided.
Strong synergies exist between the work carried out in WP6, also in preparation for this deliverable, and WP3, WP7 and WP9. These will be pointed out in the appropriate places within the text.
Concerning the ongoing Participatory Activities and the planning phase of the new cycles of workshops, work is ongoing with the national partners to enrich the planning of the new cycle of activities so that they will better fit the needs and expectations of the target groups. I order to advance in the work and take into account the work previously carried out while soliciting higher level and more in-depth feedback, it was decided to open a discussion with the practitioners in the field, in this case the national coordinators in the project, and co-create an updated version of the Participatory Activity Planning. In this perspective, it was deemed redundant to produce a new version of the D-6.1, where these activities are described. Instead, a working model will be elaborated in the month following the delivery of this document and this will be used as a guideline for the second cycle of Participatory Workshops in the second project year. In the same way, a flexible approach will be favored in order to ensure that new information is being gained in each cycle of workshops, and better formats are being used to elicit this information.
Specifications for the MAS user communities support Deliverable 28
Deliverable D30 | Report on development of the virtual MAS user community_V1
This report presents an analysis into the type and intensity of MAS engagement, exhibited by its users, mainly museum educators and school teachers, and in a lesser degree students, during the first 12 months of the MAS project. Some important aspects to consider, include to measure and interpret the way the community of users has grown, looking into the type and degree of involvement and experience sharing in the MAS infrastructure. In this sense, we intend to look beyond user’s engagement, to consider the framework of effective community building and the support mechanism that is developed in the framework of the MAS project, in order to support large scale implementation. In the framework of the MAS project, Community Building is considered as a professional development activity which is part of WP6.
At the time of the writing, we are reporting on the major achievements of this procedure: A total of 400 unique visitors have used the MAS portal website. Around 90 of them are using the MAS Portal partnership finder tool to search for institutions to partner. Approximately 45 educators have utilised the MAS Cabinet during Phase 1 of the project and the first Iterative Cycle of the Prototyping Phase of the project (Phase 2). Almost 60 educators have used the resources in the MAS Archive to carry out lessons and activities at their museums and/or schools.
In this report we describe the process followed to monitor users’ behaviour through data combined from the MAS platform and the Google Analytics monitoring system. Data from different countries and locations are presented. Different actions are taken to support low performers, whereas we discuss their impact in this report. Our intention was to create optimum paths for the use of the Infrastructure through valid actions on the system. We then used these as points of reference to investigate the number of users who are actually using the system in such terms.
Finally, we employed a number of conditions to identify the topics and aspects of the MAS Cabinet that are most popular for use in the classroom. This analysis is in progress as we are now moving on to the main implementation phase of the project (Iterative Cycle 2 of Phase 2 begun in October 2019). The initial data suggest that there are 12 common topics/aspects of interest in the MAS Cabinet, based on use over the past 12 months. The MAS team will use these data as reference for monitoring the large scale implementation during the second year and at the same time will apply all the necessary tools to map the progress of the community development.
Finally, the MAS Support mechanism (MAS Hub), has been developed to support users of all levels as they engage in the platform and explore the outcomes of this use. The MAS Hub includes face to face training where possible, online support in the form of webinars, tutorials, guides and materials.