Rubric for a quality project: 2. Curricular integration

Rubric for a quality project: 2. Curricular integration

The last article on quality criteria for a project dealt with innovation and creativity in eTwinning. Click here to access the article. 

In this article we will de develop the second criterion:  the integration of the project in the school curriculum. (You can see the 6 quality criteria by clicking  here.)

eTwinning is a  flexible programme which allows partner teachers to construct a project which is adapted to the learning needs and actual circumstances of the students. There are no vetos with regard to the educational contents, but it is advisable for the development of the project to be an activity which is integrated in the learning environment; not far removed from what is happening in the classroom. A quality project is one which serves as just another learning strategy in our students’ curriculum.

It is better if the students carry out the project, or most of the project, in school time, and it should never be “solely” based on work taken home as “homework” or out-of-school activities. If the project is an extra load on the students’ school work it has the opposite effect from the one that is desired. 

As well as the use of ICTs, what competencies should I develop? This will depend on the design of the project: the contents, objectives and activities planned by the partners. The integration of different types of competencies in the same eTwinning project is another quality factor. This integration permits our students to approach the different curricular areas/subjects using different types of learning: formal learning (learning according to didactic objectives related with subjects and their school level), non- formal learning (learning through external agents who are not part of the school: specalists, professionals, members of the Community where they live…), informal learning (through their own interaction with classmates, relatives, teachers, self-learning, socialization, games…). 

Another quality factor in your eTwinning project is to facilitate interdisciplinary work. This involves incorporating different subjects from the curriculum in a single project, widening the ranges that each one offers and encouraging students to approach the object of study from different fields and points of view. Interdisciplinary work also contributes to developing a collaborative culture among the teachers of different areas, where their task is not limited to teaching in an isolated manner, but is involved in agreeing on objectives, contents and activities with the rest of the teachers in the project.

These are the  quality indicators listed from the lowest to the highest  for the criterion of “Curricular Integration” Have you thought about starting an eTwinning project? Ae you already working on one? Apply these indicators to your idea and use them as an evaluation scale. What is your level? 

0.  No aspect of the curriculum is worked on.
1.  At least one curricular competency is being worked on a little, although it may only be related to the use of ICTs.
2.  The project is being developed as an out-of-school activity with workshops and volunteer students. Curricular integration is not a priority. The objectives are more educational than pedagogical. In spite of this, it may be an excellent, creative and original project in which the students are completely involved, which would permit it to get a good score in other quality evaluation criteria.
3. It is obviously integrated into the curriculum but this is not explicitly expressed in the description of the project, nor in the activities of the students.
4. The curricular integration is very clear: the project clearly uses project-based learning  methodology, the objectives of which permit the students to develop skills and acquire curricular learning in the areas/subjects worked on.
5.  As well as the points mentioned above, the pedagogical frame-work on which the project is based is clearly explained, for example, describing the objectives pursued with the proposed activities.

“A table en Méditerranée!” coordinated by  María José Rodríguez de la Cueva, a teacher at the IES “RUIZ GIJÓN” school in Utrera, Andalucía is a clear example of quality. The project is integrated in several learning aeras, Foreign Language (French), History, Literature, Latin, Mathematics, Biology and others. Teachers from several didactic departments have participated and most of the project has been carried out in school time. The students have developed lingustic, information processing, digital, social and citizenly competencies among others. You can see an article on this project, including links to the results, by  clicking here.

Conclusión: integrate your eTwinning project into your student’s learning environment. How? With the flexibility which characterizes eTwinning and including all types of learning. Design objectives, contents and activities which encourage the development of competencies, skills and the curricular learning of the subjects at the students’ level. Remember, don’t convert it into an extra load for the teachers and students and, if possible, give your project an interdisciplinary approach. 

 Source of the images: eTwinning NSS

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