|M.Sc Student||Hershko Eyal|
|Subject||High School Graduation Projects in Robotics - Contents,|
Learning Processes, and Assessment
|Department||Department of Education in Science and Technology||Supervisor||Professor Igor Verner|
The graduation project has been introduced in high schools as an optional matriculation subject in the form of a self-directed assignment in science, technology, or humanities. Many students perform graduation projects in robotics and participate in the robot contest “Roboner” organized by the Israel Ministry of Education. The objective of this study was to examine learning through designing robots in the framework of school graduation projects and participation in the robot contest. The questions were related to the three aspects of the graduation project as an educational design experiment: content knowledge, learning process, and authentic assessment. The learning population included 56 eleventh and twelfth graders from two high schools who participated in the robot projects in 1999-2002. The field research data throughout the projects were gathered from the following main sources: the teams’ portfolios, the teacher’s logbook, and ethnographic observations of the teamwork, personal interviews, achievement tests, and contest surveys. The study indicated that the students went through all the stages of the interdisciplinary design (from the project idea to making and operating the robot). They made significant progress in a number of engineering subjects, and acquired certain technological and teamwork skills. The effect of team organization on student’s learning activities and achievements in the project was found and analyzed. The study showed that a detailed analysis of tasks, learning objectives and student behavior was crucial for effective guidance and authentic assessment of the graduation projects.