Projected timeline, workplan & project methodology


Feb-Oct 2011: WP1 Tech design & devel; D2 Oct 2011

Feb-June 2011: WP2 Activity design & devel; D3.1 June 2011

Feb-Set 2011: WP3 Evaluation; (i) Ge0-spatial skill /iterative design – D1.1 May 2011 (ii) Geo-spatial skill /fieldwork practice – D1.2 July 2011 (iii) principles for integrating into PGCE Curriculum – D1.3 Oct 2011

Aug-Sept 2011: WP4 Teacher resource development: D3.2 Sept 2011

b) Workplan

WP1: Technical development of GeoSciTeach interface (Lead: Dr Roussos, team members: RA1, Dr Davies) Due to the relatively short period of time available for the implementation of the prototype and to make the best use of technical and human resources we will adopt an agile development process incorporating strong testing methodologies. In the earlier stages of system development, working with science PGCE tutors and trainee teachers, we will employ a participant design approach to specify the elements of interaction of the application and identify the main components of the user interface design. These will be refined through iterative development and release cycles. Testing will be carried out employing the JUnit framework and additional instrumentation of the software source code, following standard guidelines for smartphone applications. The design of the internal software system architecture including data management and communication with network services and GIS repositories, will be based on the best-practice designs developed during the Urban Tapestries and Sensory Threads projects

WP2: Design and development of science fieldwork activities using GeoSci (Lead: Dr Price, team members: RA2, Dr Davies) This WP will run in parallel with WP2. A series of workshop sessions with trainee teachers will be undertaken to inform design of application and science-based activities. Design will draw on descriptions of ‘spatial thinking’ as a foundation for activity design (e.g., location – understanding formal and informal methods of specifying “where”; distance – ability to reason from knowledge of relative position; network – understanding the importance of connections). This will inform how each of these concepts can be used to effectively integrate geo-spatial skills with scientific activity.

WP3: Evaluation (Leads: Prof Jewitt & Dr Price, team members: RA2). Evaluation will directly involve stakeholders: PGCE tutors and teacher trainees, using a number of evaluation methods. (i) Iterative evaluation of technical/ software development, and science activity development through workshops and joint design sessions with stakeholders and the research team, and prototype testing with users. (ii) Evaluation of geo-spatial skill development with participant trainee teachers, with data collected through observation, interviews and resource development by trainee teachers (e.g. number of other activities developed), to analyse user satisfaction, effectiveness, usefulness in facilitating independent designing of scientific activity. (iii) Case study of use in teacher trainee practice involving observation and interviews, and integration into teaching practice issues. (iv) Interviews with PGCE trainee teachers to evaluate the GeoSciTeach application for use PGCE teacher training; practicalities of embedding into trainee schedule.

WP4: Curriculum and teacher training resource development (Lead: Dr Davies, team members: RA2, Dr Price) This work package will focus on collating science activities or scenarios that are generated throughout the project for use with GeoSciTeach in PGCE teaching contexts, as well as in teaching practice.

c) Project management methodology

Sara Price will be responsible for overall Project Management, with members of the team leading on relevant tasks and deliverables as appropriate. Due to the nature of this project an agile management approach will be taken which is appropriate for iterative methods of software development and the science activity development process. Regular project meetings will take place to oversee activities and deliverables.

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