Philippe Kobel, a High School physics teacher at the Gymnase du Bugnon, Lausanne, Switzerland shares his Go-Lab experience and how it impacted his students, teachers' community and teaching practices.
Here is what Philippe has to say:
I was introduced to Go-Lab during 2013 Go-lab & Discover the Cosmos summer school in Volos. Since the Graasp editor was developed by Prof. Denis Gillet’s group in Lausanne, I thought it was nice to be involved.
However, I only really realized the potential of Go-Lab after carrying out in class my own ILSs (I created my first ILS for the 2015 summer school contest). After these activities, some students came to me with touching reactions like: “ It was cool, different from what we used to do in school”, or “When will we do again an activity where we can understand by ourselves?”
From these reactions I knew I was touching something powerful. It was at that moment I realized that these Go-Lab activities can transform the classroom, as students are learning in an active way and thereby are more prone to understand concepts, connect concepts…and have fun!
I created ILSs both for two situations: (1) to introduce students to a new physics chapter in an inductive way (guiding them to develop the concepts by themselves) and (2) in a lab configuration (called “Practical Work” in Switzerland). In both configurations, I was always giving students laptops and grouping them by pairs to promote mutual interaction between themselves (see pictures below). I noticed that inductive ILS are useful when starting a chapter because the fact that students already grasp the concepts by themselves allow the teacher to reduce the amount of theory to present afterward. It also enhances students’ understanding.
To evaluate both the form (visual aspect, practicality, structure, apps) of the ILS and their influence on the students' learning style (therefore not the specific content of the activities), I shared with the students a google form questionnaire. Based on 77 answers, the questionnaire highlights the following general positive trends:
- Formal - A strong appreciation of the students for the digital aspect online, the integration of web resources, portability to different platforms, automatic backup with their nickname.
- Learning style - The key words "autonomy", "interaction", "learning/testing by oneself" are frequently used in the open-ended questions of the questionnaire (see wordcloud below for the keywords appearing most frequently in their answers).