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Mader, Sebastian; Bry, Francois (2019): Blending Classroom, Collaborative, and Individual Learning Using Backstage 2. In: Methodologies and Intelligent Systems for Technology Enhanced Learning, Vol. 804: pp. 3-11
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Abstract

Seminars are difficult and therefore often neglected classes in STEM education even though they greatly contribute to the students' scientific maturity. Seminars are a traditional educational format blending classroom, collaborative, and individual learning: Seminar participants are tasked to discover, understand, and convey a scientific or technical issue to the other seminar attendees in an essay and in an oral presentation engaging them into a fruitful discussion. Seminars are rightly considered a cornerstone of STEM education, yet they are often frustrating experiences for both learners and teachers due to insufficient supervision and practice. This article reports on using Backstage 2, a web platform that, by offering a virtual space and tools for a fruitful communication, bridges classroom, collaborative, and individual learning activities. The contribution of this article is threefold: First, a class format aimed at boosting collaboration in seminars, second, technological tools supporting collaboration among seminar attendees, and third, an evaluation of the approach demonstrating its effectiveness.