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METAFORA: Learning to learn together: A visual language for social orchestration of educational activities

European Community, Seventh Framework Programme,
ICT-2009-5, Technology-enhanced Learning, Project No. 257872, 2010-2013


Title: METAFORA: Learning to learn together: A visual language for social orchestration of educational activities.

Funding: European Community, 7th Framework Programme, Information and Communication Technologies, ICT-2009-5, Technology-enhanced Learning, 2010-2013.

Coordinator: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJI).

Consortium: Hebrew University of Jerusalem - HUJI (Israel), University of Exeter - UNEXE (UK), National & Kapodistrian University of Athens - Educational Technology Lab - NKUA/ETL (Greece), Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt - KUEI (Germany), Saarland University- Center For E-Learning Technology - CELTECH (Germany), University of London, London Knowledge Lab - LKL (UK), Testaluna SRL (Italy).


Launched in July 2010, by the end of its 3-year duration the Metafora Project will result in the creation of a kind of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) System that integrates "domain-specific learning environments" (microworlds) to support 12 to 16-years-old students in learning science and mathematics in an effective and enjoyable way.

The students will learn how to learn to learn together (L2L2) by collaboratively addressing an assignment – the “challenge”, a relatively complex problem which they will need to address working in groups of 4 to 6 during a period of 2 to 3 weeks.

The Metafora System will offer a Planning Tool in which the students will use a visual language so as to plan their course of action, allocate roles and assign tasks to their peers in order to address the given challenge. To discuss their ideas and findings as they enact the created Plan, the students will also have at their disposal an Argumentation and Discussion Workspace. A set of Microworlds will allow them to explore notions related to science and mathematics engage in meaning making processes.

An Artificial Intelligence system will track students' action as they use the Metafora System and produce useful information and feedback for both students and teachers.

To this end, the specific objectives of the Project are:

  • to further our understanding of meta-learning within collaborative communities engaged in science and math learning

  • to design a visual language to support students’ reflection on their individual and collaborative learning

  • to implement a Platform integrating state-of-the-art argumentation tools with exploratory environments

  • to develop an adaptive analytic system utilizing AI techniques to support students and teachers during the collaboration and learning process

ETL's Activities:

In the Metafora Project, ETL leads WP3 (Activity design, classroom implementation and the assessment of learning outcomes) and mainly works in:

  1. The pedagogical design and development of the 3d Math authoring system, a 3d turtle geometry environment that allows the creation, exploration and dynamic manipulation of 3d geometrical figures.

  2. The pedagogical design and development of the 3d Juggler microworld, a digital environment that allows the simulation of phenomena such as projectile motion and collisions inside a 3d Newtonian space.

  3. The pedagogical design and development of SuS-X, an authoring system for designing and playing Sim-City like games addressing in the way concepts relate to the Environmental Education and the Education for Sustainable Development.

  4. The development of context-sensitive scenarios for mathematics, science and environmental education.

  5. The carrying out of empirical research in real classrooms for the implementation of the 3d Math, 3d Juggler and SuS-X scenarios.

  6. The synthetic analysis of the data the partners contribute to WP3 so as to:

  • validate the Metafora system both with respect to its functioning as didactical tool and the consistency of such functioning in relation to the theoretical assumptions, on which scenarios will be designed.

  • contribute to pedagogical theory on constructionist learning in collectives

  1. Contribute to the design of a visual language to support learning to learn together (L2L2)




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