Conference on mathetics

The European project "Eisweb" was set up to try out a way of learning, driven by mathetics, grounded on the ideas of reform education and carried out using a blended learning environment. By putting emphasis on mathetics a new paradigm was tested. Normally the focus is on didactics. As a result of this product findings around the didactics of e-learning/telematic enhanced learning are presented. Teachers from several European countries participated. They have to be able to take the position of innovators in their own countries.

During two years a blended learning course was followed , partially live, and partially by online learning.
A pre and posttest design made it possible to see results, with regard to the main topics: e-learning, reform education and mathetics. Evidence based research was applied, to collect a broad scope of data.

In the course the participants studied reform education, in live meetings and online using a learning environment. In order to make mathetics operant, the theory of Bloom/Anderson was taken as a starting point.

A brief summary of the main results:

  • the course showed (very)significant progress at the stages: knowledge, comprehension, analysis, synthesis and evalution (Bloom) Participants made siginificant progress in gaining higher order thinking skills.
  • the concept maps in which the participants described the content they studied, showed an increase in analysis; Starting at an elementary global level the maps were elaborated in detail and had more branches than at the beginning.
  • participants find themselves competent in applying the theory they learned, evaluating the theory as far as they are integrated in their own new concepts.
  • the electronic learning environment supported the mathetic process in several ways: by offering them an opportunity to work together on content; by communicating around the studied topics. Favorite tool was the chat option, used by all participants.
  • the course was presented according to reform educational principles (teach as you preach). It proved to be very succesfull for almost all participants.
  • In working with online groups elementary phases were followed, in which group building was a central point.
  • Participants significantly progressed in knowledge about reform education and e-learning.
  • In using chat options participants like to have structure and appreciate some coaching

More experiments and research is necessary to strengthen the conclusions from this first European pilot. Further development of a theory of mathetics, focused on learning arrangements, will be necessary as well.

Final results in detail will be published at the beginning of 2007.