Natural Europe Educational Pathway Handbook

Natural Europe
Educational Pathway
Handbook
Natura l E u r o p e
Educati o n a l Pa t h wa y
Ha n d b o o k
Natural Europe Educational Pathway Handbook
Table of Contents
T able of figures
Table of Tables
1 Introduction
2 What Is An Educational Pathway?
2.1 The Natural Europe Educational Pathway
3 The Natural Europe Educational Pathway Template For Guided Pathways
4 The Natural Europe Educational Pathway Template For Open Pathways
5 Natural Europe Educational Pathway Authoring Tool
5.2 Dashboard
5.3 Resources
5.4 Pathway
6 Design Your Educational Pathway
6.1 How To Upload A Resource
6.2 How To Ingest A Resource
6.3 How To Create A Pathway
6.3.1 Pathway Sections
6.3.2 Editing And Formatting
6.3.3 How To Fill In A Page
6.3.4 Quality Criteria For Natural Europe Pathways
6.3.5 Pathway Metadata
6.3.6 Finalizing And Validating Your Pathway
7 Educational Pathway - Step By Step Tutorial
8 Explore A Guided Natural Europe Educational Pathway - Completed
9 Explore An Open Natural Europe Educational Pathway - Completed
10 References
Project co-funded by the European Commission within the ICT Policy Support Programme
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Table of figures
Figure 2.1: Steps of guided Natural Europe Educational Pathway
Figure 5.1: Main page of Natural Europe Authoring tool
Figure 5.2: Dashboard
Figure 5.3: Resources Management
Figure 5.4: Detailed view
Figure 5.5: Pathways
Figure 6.1: Add a resource
Figure 6.2: Make a resource public
Figure 6.3: how to ingest a resource
Figure 6.4: How to create a new pathway
Figure 6.5: Pathway sections explained
Figure 6.6: HTML source editor
Figure 6.7: remove an item from your pathway
Figure 6.8: add a resource to your pathway
Figure 6.9: Add supporting materials
Figure 6.10: search and insert support materials
Figure 6.11: save options
Figure 6.12: Quality Criteria
Figure 6.13: Add pathway metadata
Figure 6.14: Fi nalizing and validating a pathway
Figure 7.1: Pathway starting point
Figure 7.2: Pathway sections in Edit mode
Figure 7.3: Pathway sections in Visit mode
Figure 7.4: Introduction in Edit Mode
Figure 7.5: Introduction in Visit Mode
Figure 7.6: Pre-visit Phase in Edit mode
Figure 7.7: Pre-visit in Visit mode
Figure 7.8: Visit phases in Edit mode
Figure 7.9: Visit phases in Visit mode
Figure 7.10: Add resources in Edit mode
Figure 7.11: Resources in Visit mode
Figure 8.1: Pathway starting point
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Figure 8.2:
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Introduction
Pre-visit Phase –Provoke curiosity
Pre-visit Phase– Define questions
Pre-visit Phase– Propose explanations
Pre-visit Phase - Plan investigation
Visit Phase – Gather evidence
Visit Phase – Explanation based on evidence
Visit Phase - Other explanation
Post-visit Phase - Communicate explanation
Post-visit Phase - Follow-up
Pathway starting point
Introductory Section
Engagement Phase - Curiosity Provocation
Engagement Phase - Abstract Conceptualization
Game Phase - Active Experimentation (1)
Game Phase - Active Experimentation (2)
Game Phase - Active Experimentation (3)
Game Phase - Active Experimentation (4)
Game Phase - Active Experimentation (5)
Game Phase - Active Experimentation (6)
Game Phase - Active Experimentation (7)
Game Phase - Active Experimentation (8)
Reflection - Communicate Explanation
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Table of Tables
Table 2.1: Natural Europe Guided Educational Pathway steps
Table 2.2: Natural Europe Open Educational Pathway steps
Table 3.1: the guided Educational Pathway template
Table 4.1: the open Educational Pathway template
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1. Introduction
“Place museum visitors in the centre of an exhibition that is both physical & virtual using technology,
services and learning content to provide personalized, appealing educational experiences;
changing the way museum education is perceived and conducted, worldwide.”
Natural Europe project vision
Curiosity, discovery, interaction ...
Is what usually attracts visitors to museums. But besides entertaining the visitor, cultural institutions have great educational potential by creating the ideal setting for experimentation, explanation and exchange of social, cultural and
scientific information. Engaging in educational activities outside the classroom helps students understand and familiarize themselves with the concepts introduced in the classroom, thus consolidating their knowledge. At the same
time, families and individual adults visiting a museum can benefit from playful structured activities that allow them
to experiment, be entertained and learn. In order to respond to the educational needs of the learners, collaboration
between school teachers and museum educators is necessary. To make the most of a museum visit, either physical
“or virtual with the use of digital exhibits, importance needs to be given to the careful planning of the visit, as well as
to the activities preceding and following the visit.
The Natural Europe Educational Pathways Handbook aims to guide teachers and museum educators in making
the leap between the classroom and the museum, by clarifying issues such as:
How can teachers benefit from a learning activity that includes a visit to the museum?
How can teachers and museum educators design a learning activity that includes a museum visit?
What is an Educational Pathway and how can it be created?
How can lifelong learners benefit from the Natural Europe project?
The present Handbook was created in the context of the Natural Europe1 project (NE), a European funded project
with the aim to: a) facilitate the search and retrieval of digital library objects related to Natural History, Environmental
Education, and Biological Sciences; b) provide educators with the necessary software tools to design innovative online
pathways using digital collections of Natural History Museums; c) encourage visitors to follow educational pathways
and exploit high-quality digital content available in Natural History Museums. It also offers step by step instructions
on the use of the Natural Europe online software for the design of educational pathways and use of digital resources.
The online version of the present Handbook is available online at:
[http://www.natural-europe.eu/files/Natural_Europe_Educational_Pathway_Handbook_151211.pdf].
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With these in mind, the Natural Europe Educational Pathway (NE Educational Pathway) and software tool are introduced, allowing teachers and museum educators to make use of existing digital collections of museums around the world to
design online and offline educational activities that correspond to the learning needs of their students.
The Natural Europe Pathway Authoring Tool is a database of educational pathways, where educators can create their
own pathway and share it with the community, while making use of a large collection digital resources from Natural
History Museums and collections such as Europeana2. Learners can use the Tool to follow educational pathways and
play with digital resources.
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2. What is an Educational Pathway?
Educational activities outside the formal context have a great potential of engaging participants in practical activities that allow experimentation and help consolidating the theoretical background presented in more formal contexts. When these activities take place in settings such as museums, places of discovery and wonder, learners can
build their knowlegde while playing and exchanging social and scientific information.
Especially when designing teaching activities that bridge classroom and museum learning, several challenges have
to be addressed, such as ensuring the maximum possible proximity between the curriculum and teaching methods,
the learning environment (schools and Natural History Museums/Science Centres), as well as the balance between
education and entertainment, especially when it comes to lifelong learners. Learning objectives and outcomes need
to be carefully accompanied by suitable educational activities that allow visitors to achieve the maximum experience when visiting a museum, whether physically or virtually.
To support teachers and museum educators in their effort to be carefully plan and prepare a meaningful experience,
the Natural Europe Educational Pathway was introduced; that is a framework that integrates the pedagogical
requirements of a learning acitivity taking place outside the classroom.
Although typically a pathway revolves around a visit (whether physical or virtual) to a museum, the learning experience needs to be embedded in a context that encourages preparation prior to the visit and exploits the learning
outcomes of the visit through follow-up activities. To address these requirements, the Natural Europe Educational
Pathway consists of three (3) main phases: the Pre-Visit phase, the Visit phase and the Post-Visit phase. Each of
these phases includes one or more steps guiding the implementation of the teaching activities (i.e. Question Eliciting
Activities, Active Investigation, Creation, Discussion and Reflection).
Technology and digital resources also play an important role in the learning process. In order to gain more diverse
audiences and achieve greater access to learning for the public, several museums make their collections available
online. Schools that are becoming increasingly concerned with the efficient use of technology in education and
ensuring that students are technologically literate are thus offered the possibility to educate and entertain the students without having to actually plan an on-site visit to the museum, when this is not desired or feasible. This way,
the proposed learning experience can integrate resources scattered in various natural history museums/science
centres, thus achieving a more meaningful result.
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2.1 The Natural Europe Educational Pathway
At this stage, a distinction between Guided and open Pathways is useful. A Natural Europe educational pathway is described
as guided when it provides a pre-defined route through a set of science learning resources. This may be more appropriate
for formal learning contexts, such as specific curriculum references and teaching processes. As for the open Natural Europe
educational pathway, this is less formal allowing for considerable unbound user desicions, initiative and creativity in the ways
the user will explore and exploit the science learning resources. The open Educational Pathway is considered appropriate for
less formal learning contexts, addressed mainly to lifelong learners and families, and less to teachers who have decided to
involve their students in open-ended explorations of the resources.
template. Their main difference regards the suggested number of resources and activities to accompany each pathway type to ensure the best possible educational experience (for more information please see Section 6-13 Quality
Criteria for Natural Europe pathways).
Table 2-1 explains what each of the three steps consists of and the roles assigned for both teachers and students in
order to successfully complete a pathway.
Although the museum plays a central role in the design of the NE Educational Pathway as the learning activities revolve around a visit to the museum (either physical or virtual), the learning experience should be embedded in a
context that allows the preparation of the learner before the visit and follow-up activities for the exploitation of the
learning outcomes. To facilitate the entire teaching and learning process, an Educational Pathway pattern consisting
of three (3) main steps is proposed: Pre-Visit, Visit and Post-Visit. This generic pathway template regards highly structured learning experiences, addressed to school communities.
Figure 2.1: Steps of guided Natural Europe Educational Pathway
It is important to mention that the Educational Pathway needs to be prepared by the teacher before the Pre-visit phase having in
mind the educational needs of the students, in collaboration with the museum educator when possible. Preceding the Pre-visit
phase the teacher will choose the subject-matter to be discussed with the students, gather information and research on the other
pathways available for this subject. If applicable, reservations at the museum should be made at this stage.
In regards to the physical setting, the pre-visit and post-visit phases usually take place in the classroom, while the
visit phase involves a visit to a museum, whether physical or virtual; in the case of a virtual visit, the computer lab/
classroom with Internet access can be used. Computers can serve at any time throughout the pathway for making
use of digital resources. Throughout the three steps of the pathway, the students will be required to collaborate and
interact with their colleagues under the teacher’s guidance, but also to work on their own.
A differentiation between gereric and specific pathways is made for Natural Europe project. In the context of generic
pathways, more than one curriculum topics can be facilitated, allowing for cross-sectional teaching, and a more unified approach to the learning process. Specific pathways, on the other side, allow for only one specific curriculum
topic to be facilitated. Both educational pathway types are addressed to the school community and follow the same
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Table 2.1: Natural Europe Guided Educational Pathway steps
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When it comes to open educational pathways, the role of the museum in the procedure is equally important, while
the preparation and following-up phases are carried out in a more loose way, whether at home or in the museum. Besides, the game phase, which corresponds to the visit phase of the guided pathway mode, regards physical or virtual
interaction with museum exhibits. As for the engagement and reflection phases, these are very flexible and may well
take place at home or in the museum. Computers/PDAs and/or smartphones can serve at any time throughout the
pathway for making use of digital resources. For this mode, the three (3) Educational Pathway steps proposed are:
Engagement, Game, Reflection.
Figure 2.2: Steps of open Natural Europe Educational Pathway
In this case, the Educational Pathway is prepared by the museum educator and made available to the wider communities through Internet. More specifically, the museum educator will choose the subject-matter, as well as the visitor
age to engage in this specific activity. No reservations at the museum need to be made by lifelong learners. When
it comes to family activities, parents and children are expected to interact with each other; the role of parents is to
chaperone, guide and assist the learning experience for their children who are welcome to lead the learning experience.
The following table (2.2) explains each of the three steps and the roles of parents and children when carrying out an
activity, in order to fully benefit from a pathway.
Table 2.2: Natural Europe Open Educational Pathway steps
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3. The Natural Europe Educational Pathway Template for
Guided Pathways
The educational model used for the Natural Europe project is the Inquiry-Based Learning Model. This is a very popular and effective
educational model that aims to place learners in the centre of the educational procedure. Using various means including technology
and resources in many forms to provoke their interest and make them pose their own inquiries, the model’s structure allows learners
to lead the procedure according to their own educational needs and thus highly benefit from it. The teacher maintains the role of the
facilitator, setting the general context, and assisting and guiding the learners. Due to its nature, the model encourages relationships
between the actors of formal and non-formal education, represented in the Natural Europe case by the connection between the
classroom and the physical or virtual visit to Natural History Museums and science centres.
The five Teaching phases of the Inquiry Based learning approach are:
teaching phase 1: Question Eliciting Activities the teacher will provoke curiosity and try to attract students’
attention by presenting or showing them appropriate material. The teacher will try to engage the students with
the help of scientifically oriented questions.
teaching phase 2: Active Investigation Students propose some possible explanations to questions that emerged
from the previous activity. The teacher identifies possible misconceptions. Students give priority to evidence, which
allows them to develop explanations to address scientifically oriented questions. The teacher acts as a facilitator.
teaching phase 3: Creation Teacher divides students in groups. Each group of students formulates and evaluates explanations from evidence to address scientifically oriented questions.
teaching phase 4: Discussion The teacher gives the correct explanation for the specific research topic. Each
group of students evaluates its explanations in light of alternative explanations, particularly those reflecting
scientific understanding.
teaching phase 5: Reflection Each group of students produces a report with its findings, presents and justifies
its proposed explanations to other groups and the teacher.
In order to facilitate the integration of NE Educational Pathways in the classroom and to encourage teaching practices built around the observation of objects or phenomena in the natural world, or, in the Natural Europe case, in Natural History Museums and science centres, a
Template with three steps (Pre-visit, Visit and Post-visit) that correspond to the five (5) stages of the Inquiry Based learning approach, is proposed. This template is also based on the highly successful model used in Open Science Resources European project3. This template aims at
successfully connecting in-class learning with museum learning through preparation, conduction and following up of a visit (whether physical
or virtual) to non-formal learning institutions. Table 3-1 presents the NE Guided Educational Pathway Template illustrating the connection between the three Pathway steps and the Teaching phases.
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Define Questions from Current Knowledge: Formation of scientifically oriented questions that the teacher
will present to the students to further enhance their engagement in thinking about the target subject matter
based on their existing knowledge. These should be digitally available and easily usable.
Propose Preliminary Explanations or Hypotheses: Description of ways in which the teacher can encourage students to propose possible explanations to the questions emerged from the previous activity, and to identify possible
misconceptions in students’ thinking. If applicable, this section should should offer them in one or more practical resources in the appropriate format (i.e. slides presentation, word document, pdf document etc.).
Plan and Conduct Simple Investigation: Description of means and material (available at the NE digital libraries/learning repositories/Europeana or elsewhere) to be used by the teacher to facilitate the students to focus
on evidence as a source of answers to scientific questions. These should be easily accessible by the interested
user with directions for retrieving them. This is the phase in which students are being prepared for the subsequent phase of evidence gathering during observation.
Table 3.1: The guided Educational Pathway template
The teaching phases of the Natural Europe guided educational pathway model are described below. Please note that
an introductory section precedes the Pre-visit section.
A) Introduction
This section includes basic introductory information about the learning experience that will allow the teacher to comprehend the scope of the educational pathway, its relevance to his/her teaching needs and goals, and provide him/
her with guidance for the preparation of the learning experience. More specifically:
Guidance for Preparation: Guidance provided by the creator of the Pathway about any necessary arrangements needed by the interested teacher before launching the activities described and/or proposed in the following sections.
Connection with Curriculum: Reference to the items of the education curriculum mainly covered by the educational pathway. This section offers information in an indirect way about the prerequisite knowledge of the
students to participate in the educational pathway.
B) Pre-visit Phase
Provoke Curiosity: Description of means and material (available at the NE digital libraries/learning repositories/Europeana or elsewhere) that the teacher will use with the students in the classroom to attract their attention to the
targeted subject matter. These should be easily accessible by the interested user with directions for retrieving them.
Possibly and if appropriate, this section should offer them into one or more practical resources in the appropriate format (i.e. slides presentation, word document, pdf document, short film etc.).
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C) Visit Phase
Gather Evidence from Observation: This is the core element of the ’Visit’ phase, and can be realized either in the
school classroom/lab, by remotely using learning resources made available by the natural history museums/science
centres on the web, or during a physical visit which will involve the use of digital resources. Locate the appropriate resource and/or the actual exhibit. Explain its use to the teacher, and provide access to any accompanying user support
materials. The selected resource, which can be in the form of an experiment, an animation, or other exhibit of similar
nature, must provide students with an opportunity to collect evidence addressing the scientific questions posed in the
previous stages through direct or indirect observation of natural phenomena. Provide guidance so that the teacher
can organize and manage the activity most effectively and efficiently. It is recommended that the teacher divides
students in groups, each of which will be facilitated by the teacher to formulate and evaluate explanations to the
scientific questions based on the collected evidence.
Explanation Based on Evidence: Guidance for the teacher to provide the correct explanation for the researched
topic. Describe ways and material (available at the NE digital libraries/learning repositories/Europeana or elsewhere) the teacher can use to this end, and give directions for finding them. If appropriate, integrate them into
one practical resource in the appropriate format (i.e. slides presentation, word document, pdf document etc.).
Consider Other Explanations: Guidance for the teacher to facilitate the student groups to evaluate their own
explanations in the light of alternative explanations, particularly those reflecting scientific understanding. Describe means and material (available at the NE digital libraries/learning repositories/Europeana or elsewhere)
that the teacher can use to this end, and give directions for finding them. If appropriate, integrate them into one
practical resource in the appropriate format (i.e. slides presentation, word document, pdf document etc.).
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D) Post-visit Phase
Communicate Explanation: Guidance for the teacher to facilitate each student group to reflect on the previous
steps and activities carried out, and to produce a report with its findings, presenting and justifying its proposed
explanations to other groups, and to the teacher. Direct to material (available at the NE digital libraries/learning
repositories/Europeana or elsewhere), which the teacher can use to familiarize themselves with and become
efficient in scientific writing.
Follow-up Activities and Materials: Describe and direct the user to any follow-up activities and material that
can be used to ’wrap-up’ the main ’Visit’ experience. These could include appropriate learning assessment and/
or reminder material in the form of quizzes, games, suggestions for further relevant ’visits’, etc.
Sustainable Contact: Describe and direct the user to any existing possibilities for maintaining contact with the
digital resource and its provider, or with other users of the same learning experience.
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4. The Natural Europe Educational Pathway Template for
Open Pathways
When it comes to Open Educational Pathway patterns, the four phases introduced for the Natural Europe project effectively
connect the more thoroughly organized educational pattern used for Guided Pathways to a playful approach, in order to
achieve an open and relaxed, yet highly educational, experience, ideal for lifelong learners and individual visitors. This approach resembles a game, which is now found to be very effective and educational for all ages.
The principal behind Game-based learning is that a game aims to educate and not just entertain; when learners are
actively engaged in such a learning environment, they work toward a goal, choosing actions and experiencing the
consequences of those actions along the way. Game-based learning, being all-inclusive and highly engaging, offers
reasons for further involvement in the learning process and through that develops practicing behaviors that can be
easily transferred from the simulated environment to real life. A design for moment-to-moment engagement would
allow players to make decisions and face the consequences of those decisions, in innovative learning environments
that take advantage of new-technologies to achieve maximum effectiveness.
The four Teaching phases of the Natural Europe Open Educational Pathways are:
teaching phase 1: Curiosity Provocation the parent/chaperone will provoke curiosity in order to attract the
children’s/ participants’ attention by setting the activity context in an appropriate way.
teaching phase 2: Abstract Conceptualization the parent/chaperone can pose initial inquiries in order to engage the children/participants.
teaching phase 3: Active Experimentation children/participants will look for evidence to develop explanations
that will address the scientifically oriented inquiries posed in this phase. The parent/chaperone acts as facilitator. Children/participants can work individually or in groups.
teaching phase 4: Communicate Explanation children/participants use their collected date to complete the
activity. The parent/chaperone gives the correct explanation for the inquiries posed in the Active Experimentation phase. Each child/participant or group of children/participants evaluates its explanations.
Table 4.1 presents the NE Open Educational Pathway Template illustrating the connection between the three Pathway
steps and Teaching phases.
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Table 4.1: Τhe open Educational Pathway template
The teaching phases of the Natural Europe guided educational pathway model are described below. Please note that
an introductory section precedes the Pre-visit section.
A) Introductory Section and Preparation
Introduction: Guidance provided by the creator of the Pathway about any necessary arrangements needed
before launching the activities described and/or proposed in the following sections. This section includes basic
introductory information about the learning experience, that will allow the parent/chaperone to comprehend
the scope of the educational pathway, and provide him/her with guidance for the carrying-out of the learning
experience.
on the web, or during a physical visit which will involve the use of digital resources. Locate the appropriate
resource(s) and/or the actual exhibit. Explain its use to the parent/chaperone, and provide access to any accompanying user support materials. The selected resource, which can be in the form of an experiment, an
animation, or other exhibit of similar nature, must provide children/participants with an opportunity to collect
evidence addressing the scientific questions posed. Provide guidance so that the parent/chaperone can organize and manage the activity most effectively and efficiently. Children/participants can either work in groups
or individually; either way, each of them will be facilitated by the parent/chaperone to formulate and evaluate
explanations to the scientific questions based on the collected evidence. This step can be repeated from eight
(8) to fourteen (14) times in different forms, according to the participants’ age. The ideal number of actions
should equal the participants’ age plus two; i.e. for a child aged 6, the most suitable number of actions would
be 6+2=8, while for older children aged 12 the equivalent number would be 12+2=14. What is really important
here, is to formulate the proposed educational activities so that they resemble a game.
D) Reflection
Communicate Explanation: Guidance for the parent/chaperone to facilitate each child/participant to reflect
on the previous steps and activities carried out, and to conclude the activity in the most effective and educational way. This section can also include suggestions for follow-up activities, in the form of quizzes, games,
suggestions for further relevant ’visits’, etc.
B) Engagement
Curiosity Provocation: Description of means that the parent/chaperone will use with the children/participants to
attract their attention to the targeted subject matter. These should be easily accessible by the interested user with
directions for retrieving them. To this end, this section should offer them into one or more practical resources in the
appropriate format (i.e. slides presentation, word document, pdf document, short film etc.).
Abstract Conceptualization: Formation of scientifically oriented questions that the parent/chaperone will
present to the children/participants to further enhance their engagement in reflecting on the targetted subject matter. Description of means to be used by the parent/chaperone to facilitate the children/participants to
focus on evidence as a source of answers to scientific questions. These should be digitally available and easily
usable. This phase will set the context for the next step, which is the core element of the entire pathway.
C) Game
Active Experimentation: This is the core element of the educational pathway, and can be realized either at
home by remotely using learning resources made available by the natural history museums/science centres
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5. Natural Europe Educational Pathway Authoring Tool
In order to help educators design innovative Educational Pathways, the Natural Europe project has created an online software
tool, the Natural Europe Pathway Authoring Tool (education.natural-europe.eu/natural_europe) that guides end-users
through each step of the pathway design. The Natural Europe Authoring tool operates also as a database of educational
pathways, where one can create his/her own pathway and share it with the community, but also make use of a large collection of and follow educational pathways, and play with and navigate through digital resources and collections of Natural
History Museums and Science Centres.
The resources hosted by the software tool can easily be searched, retrieved and integrated into your pathway, but there
is also the option to upload and store your own resources. More than being just an authoring tool for teachers and educators, the software allows visitors to follow educational pathways and play with digital resources belonging to various
museums. Students and learners can directly receive guidelines and complete educational pathways prepared by educators,
while basic familiary with computers and how to browse the Internet will be adequate for using the Natural Europe Pathway
Authoring Tool.
The following section includes a brief overview of the Natural Europe Pathway Authoring Tool. In order to access the tool,
open a browser window and type the following address:
http://education.natural-europe.eu/natural_europe/index
Figure 5-1 represents the Main page of the Natural Europe Pathway Authoring Tool. On this page the visitor can browse
GO NOW!
through the listed pathways of the Pathway Repository and access them by selecting the button.
Figure 5.1: main page of
Natural Europe Authoring tool
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5.1 Dashboard
5.2 Resources
Τhe Dashboard of the Pathway Authoring Tool provides you with an overview of what is available on the site.
The main toolbar consists of two sections: Resources, and Pathways (Figure 5-4a).
You can either access Resources and Pathway sections from the toolbar or from the links provided right below the toolbar:
Browse your resources, or Browse/ Create a pathway (Figure 5-4b).
On the right column of the Dashboard you can check the Site Overview (number of items, collections, keywords and users of
the site) (Figure 5-4c), and Guidelines (Figure 5-4d).
The Resources area consists of Resources Management options such as Ingest a Resource, Add a Hyperlink, Add a File
(5-5a). It also offers the option of Search and Advanced Search (5-5b) with additional parameters such as ID, Type, etc. A quick
filter option (5-5c) allows for a faster choice between different modes of resources (all - public – private).
Users can view the resources available either as a List or with Details (Figure 5-5d).
Figure 5.3: Resources Management
Figure 5.2: Dashboard
Figure 5.4: Detailed view
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5.3 Pathway
The Pathway area, accessible from either the Dashboard link or the toolbar, provides a list of the Pathways available on the
site. To read more about each Pathway, click on the Title link. Logged-in users can also Add their own Pathway (Figure 5-7a).
For step by step guidelines on how to create your own Pathway, go to chapter 6.3 How to create a Pathway.
Figure 5.5: Pathways
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6. Design your Educational Pathway
Before starting to develop your own Educational Pathway using the Natural Europe Authoring Tool (http://education.natural-europe.eu/natural_europe/) it is important to remember that an Educational Pathway consists of text, images and
a number of educational resources. Moreover a Pathway is structured in several sections guiding you through the visit and
teaching phases. The Authoring Tool gives you the opportunity to create your Pathway online and link it to your own uploaded
resources, but also to use the ones available on the site. Resources can include images, videos, links etc. and can be organised in collections.
Therefore, before starting the creation of your Pathway, you might want to make sure that all the images and resources
you plan to include in your Pathway are uploaded and available on the tool. However, while editing your pathway you can
continue adding new resources from your computer or other sources. This chapter will focus on a) how to Upload a resource
and b) how to Create a pathway.
At any point of your navigation, hover your mouse over the information boxes displayed next to each field and read the
instructions/guidelines available.
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6.1 How to upload a resource
Step 1:Select the Resource Type, Choose the file to be uploaded from your computer and click Next. According to the
Type of resource selected, additional fields will be displayed;
Step 2: Based on the information you have available, complete the Metadata fields, such as: Title, Subject, Description,
Source, Creator, Rights, Format etc. and click Next;
Step 3: Add tags to describe your resource and make it public.
Finalize the process by selecting Add resource
Always remember to make public each added resource that you intend to use in your pathways (Figure 6-2).
Follow the same steps to add a hyperlinck to your pool of resources.
Figure 6.1: Add a
resource
In order to upload resources on the Natural Europe Authoring Tool, follow the steps listed below:
Select Save or Save and return to pathway to complete the other pages on the sections of the pathway or Save to
continue working on this section, or Cancel to erase all alterations made since last saving your work.
Sign in at http://education.natural-europe.eu/natural_europe/; for more information check section 5-1 Log in/
Register;
Figure 6.2: Make a resource public
Go to the Resources tab and click on either of the three buttons Ingest a Resource - Add a Hyperlink - Add a File
(Figure 5 5a).; alternatively a resource to your resources throughout the pathway development;
Complete the 3 Steps:
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6.2 How to Ingest a Resource
6.3 How to create a Pathway
In order to ingest a resource from Natural Europe federation, follow the steps listed below:
In order to create a Pathway on the Natural Europe Authoring Tool, follow the steps listed below:
Go to the Resources tab and click on Ingest a Resource button (Figure 6-3a);
Log in at http://education.natural-europe.eu/natural_europe/
Type the keyword of interest in the given space;
Go to the Pathway tab and click on Add a Pathway button (Figure 5 7); alternatively select Create a pathway from
the Dashboard (Figure 5-4);
Search among the results and choose the item of your choice by clicking on the button
Add a Pathway title (Figure 6-4a) and a description (Figure 6-4b) ;
Select the Pathway language (Figure 6-4c); you can choose one of the eight given languages available in the menu.
Choose the Pathway template of your preference; you may choose to create a Guided Pathway, addressed to school communities, or a Game-based Pathway, addressed to lifelong learners and especially families (Figure 6-4d).
Click on to save your choices and create the new Pathway (Figure 6-4e).
6.3.1 Pathway Sections
Complete one by one the Pathway Sections: Introduction, Pre-visit Phase, Visit Phase and Post-visit Phase
(Figure 6.5: Pathway sections).
Each section consists of one or more pages corresponding to the teaching steps of an Educational Pathway. For each page,
select Edit to start filling it in or Save and return to Pathway after you have completed all the pages.
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Introduction section consists of two pages, namely Guidance for Preparation and Connection with Curriculum (Figure6.5a).
Figure 6.3: Ηow to ingest a resource
Figure 6.4: Pathway sections
explained
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Pre-visit section consists of four (4) pages: Provoke curiosity, Define questions from current knowledge, Pro-
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Visit phase consists of three (3) pages: Gather evidence from observation, Explanation based on evidence and
Consider other explanations (Figure 6.5c).
Post-visit phase consists of three (3) pages as well: Communicate explanation, Follow-up activities and materials and Sustainable contact (Figure 6.5d).
6.3.2 Editing and formatting
Editing text is easy, especially if you are familiar with any word processor software. If you are not sure what a button does,
you can simply hover over it and a description will appear.
6.3.3 How to fill in a page
All the pages from the different sections of the pathway have an identical structure that allows you to insert text, images and
connect supporting material and Europeana objects with just few clicks. Additionally, if you cannot find the resource that you
are looking for, you can Add a new resource.
Start by filling in the page with text. Use the Rich text editor to format your text and include links. Read section 6.5d
Editing and formatting to find out more.
Figure 6.7: Text editor
You can link your text to external pages in 4 simple steps:
a) Highlight your text, b) Select the Add link button , c) Provide the URL of the page in the new window, d) Click on Insert.
When you perform Copy – Paste from Word, but in order to avoid problems, make sure you first copy your selected text the
text from Word and paste it to Notepad. You can also use the HTML source editor option, accessed by the respective button
found at the Text editor toolbar (Figure 6.6). and then copy and paste the text from Notepad to the Rich text editor. You
can now format it using the editor.
Figure 6.6: Page structure
Figure 6.5:
HTML source editor
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Attach a Resource to your text. The image will be displayed on the corresponding pathway section after saving your
changes. To add a resource use the Attach a Resource button on the top of each text box, find the suitable item, select
it by clicking on it and then click on the ’Attach Selected Item’ button at the bottom right corner. This can be a picture,
a hyperlink or a file of any kind. Moreover, it may be a resource available on Europeana.
If you wish to remove a supporting material form the list click on the icon.
Add supporting materials (Figure 6-8); Click on the
button on the top right corner
of each section. A pop-up item will appear. In case it doesn’t, please check if you have disabled pop-ups. You
will need to temporarily activate the pop-up service to complete this step. Type one or more keywords or look
through ’all items’ and choose it from the list provided, and then click Insert. Once the item is inserted it will
be listed in the Supporting materials section of the pathway page. If you wish to remove a supporting material
form the list click on the icon.
Figure 6.7: remove an item from your pathway
Figure 6.9: Add supporting materials
Figure 6.8: add a resource to your pathway
Figure 6.10: search and insert support materials
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Select the
button to check how your Pathway will look like once published.
Select Save or Save and return to pathway to complete the other pages on the sections of the pathway or Save to
continue working on this section, or Cancel to erase all alterations made since last saving your work. 6.3.5 Pathway Metadata
In order to describe your pathway, you have four (4) metadata fields available: General, Educational, Rights and Classification.
Figure 6.11: save options
Select Save or Save and return to pathway to complete the other pages on the sections of the pathway or Save to
continue working on this section, or Cancel to erase all alterations made since last saving your work.
6.3.4. Quality Criteria for Natural Europe Pathways
Just below the
button, you may notice another button that reads:
. Clicking on it, you will come a cross a table that offers indicative numbers for resources and activities to be used at all pathway
types (for more information on different pathway types, please see Chapters 3 and 4). These indicative numbers of resources and activities derive from research and ensure a great learning experience for each learning group. If you wish to
achieve the best result possible, please follow the table’s instructions.
Figure 6.13: Add pathway metadata
In the General section, you can provide the Title and Language of the pathway and add a short Description, in one of
the eight available languages.
The Educational section focuses on the Resource Type, Intended End User, Learning context, Typical Age Range, Difficulty, and Educational level.
Provide information about Copyright and other restrictions, such as cost for users and modifications allowed, in the
Rights section. Once you provide this information, the tool will select the appropriate license (e.g. a Creative Commons
license), and make it available on the main page of the pathway.
Finally fill in the Classication section to identify the learning purposes of your educational pathway.
Save your metadata or Save and Finish if you have finalized your pathway.
Figure 6.12: Quality Criteria
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6.3.6 Finalizing and Validating your pathway
In order to finalize your pathway, you should provide a slug. The slug corresponds to the URL of the specific Pathway and
should be unique. To make your pathway public, please select the ’Pathway ready for validation’ option, by ticking the box.
Figure 6.14: Finalizing and validating a pathway
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7. Educational pathway - Step by Step Tutorial
‘Renewable, Green, Clean? Wind Energy and Solar Energy’ is an educational pathway linked to the module of science
and addressed to primary school students. In the following pages, you will explore selective sections of the educational
pathway as it appears in View Mode and in Edit Mode, accompanied by comments and descriptions.
If you wish to see the educational pathway completed, please refer to Chapter 7. Also see Chapter 8 for a completed
Game-based pathway.
Figure 7.1: Pathway starting point
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Figure 7.3: Pathway sections in Visit mode
Figure 7.2: Pathway sections in Edit modet
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On the right-hand side, the viewer can find the ’Supporting Materials’ section, which offers access to all supporting materials linked to each specific section of the pathway.
Figure 7.5: Introduction in Visit Mode
Figure 7.4: Introduction in Edit Mode
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Each pathway section displays both the guiding text and photos in an attractive way.
Figure 7.6: Pre-visit Phase in Edit mode
Figure 7.7: Pre-visit Phase in Visit mode
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Each pathway section displays both the guiding text and photos in an attractive way.
In each separate phase, the viewer can come across the equivalent different steps. To view the part desired, one
can scroll down and read the text, while also accessing the corresponding supporting material, found on the right
part of the page.
Figure 7.9: Visit phases in Visit mode
Figure 7.8: Visit phases in Edit mode
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Figure 7.10: Add resources in Edit mode
Figure 7.11: Resources in Visit mode
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8. Explore a guided Natural Europe Educational Pathway
- Completed
‘Renewable, Green, Clean? Wind Energy and Solar Energy’ is an educational pathway that aims to provoke students’
interest on renewable energy resources and urge them to examine their advantages and disadvantages. Students
engage in hands-on and minds-on activities to collect information and thus fully comprehend the science lying hehind
wind turbines and photovoltaics. The educational pathway involves a visit to and specially designed activities in a
Centre for Environmental Education. The learning experience is completed by a rich pool of resources and documents,
all offered to the teachers. In the following pages, you will navigate through the different sections of the educational
pathway.
Figure 8.1: Pathway starting point
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In the first section, the teacher comes accross some initial guidelines that will help him/her prepare the activities. These guidelines answer the teacher’s questions on the activity’s requirements, its connection to the
curriculum and the time required to complete the activity.
Commencing the activities of the pre-visit phase, the teacher aims to provoke students’ curiosity on the two
examined renewable energy sources by showing them a web-based video on traditional energy plants and
their impact on the environment. This introductory step is completed by additional resources, in the form of
photographs.
Figure 8.3: Pre-visit Phase –Provoke curiosity
Figure 8.2: Introduction
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Next, the students are asked to reflect on questions regarding electrical energy and renewable energy
resources. For the teacher’s guidance, documents and links with information and guidance related to the
questions asked are provided in this section.
Following that, the teacher asks his/her students specific questions to understand whether they have mixed
their knowledge on photovoltaics and wind turbines with conceptual misunderstandings. Again, documents on
the respective myths and truths are provided in this section for the teacher’s guidance. This and the previous
activity help the teacher comprehend the knowledgability of students on the examined subject-matter.
Figure 8.5: Pre-visit Phase– Propose explanations
Figure 8.4: Pre-visit Phase– Define questions
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Just before the visit phase, the teacher organizes the students in work groups, each of which is assigned to
carry out research on a specific topic and answer related questions. Students are offered some resources,
while they are also informed on the way they will be expected to present their findings; more specifically,
each group will form a card board and complete it with arguments in favor and against each form of renewable resource. An indicative card board model for each group is offered here.
The school group visits the indicated museum. The students experiment with the exhibits related to the
educational pathway and, using PDAs, they play an online interactive game. Then, working within the group
they were assigned to in the pre-visit stage, they look for information to answer their group’s questions.
Figure 8.6: Pre-visit Phase - Plan investigation
Figure 8.7: Visit Phase – Gather evidence
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When the work groups have collected the information needed, they work
together to format their card board and complete it with the information
discovered
Upon return to school, the different work groups will present their card boards with their findings to each
other. When this discussion is completed, the teacher focuses on the subject of alternative energy sources
and especially nuclear energy.
Figure 8.8: Visit Phase – Explanation based on evidence
Having concluded that, students are expected to examine the alternative
energy resources exhibited in the same wing and compare them to the
renewable source form they were asked to examine, also discussing them
with the museum educator.
Figure 8.10: Post-visit Phase - Communicate explanations
Figure 8.9: Visit Phase - Other explanations
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The educational activity is almost completed now; in the final stage students will engage in hands-on activities that will help them better understand the operation of solar energy and wind energy constructions. To
complete them, they will work in the same groups they have been cooperating with since the beginning of
the activity.
Figure 8.11: Post-visit Phase - Follow-up
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9. Explore an open Natural Europe Educational Pathway
- Completed
This educational pathway is thus formulated to resemble a game, and more specifically a treasure-hunting activity. Being looser, yet very educational, it is ideal for families that wish to visit a museum / exhibition on dinosaurs,
whether physically or virtually where applicable. Children/participants engage in role-playing to find out interesting
and entertaining facts about dinosaurs. The parent/chaperone takes on the role of facilitator. This hands-on/ mindson experience is ideal for children aged 6-12, that can either work collaboratively or turn the educational pathway to
a competition, and let only the best be declared ‘the ultimate dino-doctor’..
Figure 9.1: Pathway starting point
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As it is also the case with guided pathways, the introduction section offers guiding information for
the preparation of the activities.
The first step aims to attract the participants’ interest. This section also offers a paper-based activity trail,
should the facilitator wish to use a hard copy during the actual museum visit. This option could prove useful,
if there are more than one participants that decide to compete with each other on completing the activity.
Figure 9.3: Engagement Phase - Curiosity Provocation
Figure 9.2: Introductory Section
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The introductory phase gets both the facilitator and the participant(s) acquainted with the educational
experience, by explaining its goal, steps and simple rules.
Here is where the main part of the open educational pathway commences.
This and the following steps are questions that need to be answered by the
participant(s), who should look carefully at the (physical or virtual) exhibits to
extract the proper answers.
Figure 9.4: Engagement Phase - Abstract Conceptualization
Figure 9.5: Game Phase - Active Experimentation (1)
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Taking on the role of a doctor for dinosaurs, the participant is asked to cure a number of sick
animals, who supposedly come in the hospital suffering from various syndromes.
Figure 9.6: Game Phase - Active Experimentation (2)
Figure 9.7: Game Phase - Active Experimentation (3)
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In order to do so, the participant has to carefully examine the offered clues to understand the
dinosaur species that is requesting his/her assistance and its individual characteristics, and treat
it accordingly.
Figure 9.8: Game Phase - Active Experimentation (4)
Figure 9.9: Game Phase - Active Experimentation (5)
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Figure 9.10: Game Phase - Active Experimentation (6)
Figure 9.11: Game Phase - Active Experimentation (7)
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Have answered the eight questions of the game, thus curing sick dinosaurs and prevailing extinction of their species, participants are now declared as ‘ultimate dino-doctors’ and can pass by the
museum shop to collect their prize: a badge with their title.
Figure 9.12: Game Phase - Active Experimentation (8)
Figure 9.13: Reflection - Communicate Explanation
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10. References
Guidelines for the Design of Technology-Enhanced Educational Pathways, Educational Pathway Authoring Tool User Manual.
Open Science Resources project.
Markaki, V. and Sotiriou, S. (2011). Deliverable 3.1 Pedagogical Requirements, Natural Europe project
Natural Europe project. (2012). Retrieved June, 2012, from http://www.natural-europe.eu/
Open Science Resources project. (2012). Retrieved June, 2012, from http://www.openscienceresources.eu/
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