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Teacher professional development in the context of the “Open Discovery of STEM laboratories” project: Is the MOOC methodology suitable for teaching physics?

  • Authors: Dominique Persano Adorno; Nicola Pizzolato
  • Publication year: 2020
  • Type: Contributo in atti di convegno pubblicato in rivista
  • OA Link:


The "Open Discovery of STEM Laboratories" (ODL) project, funded by the European Erasmus+ KA2 program, was aimed at introducing the use of MOOCs in school curricula. In particular, it fostered teacher collaboration in creating and using micro-MOOCs for the inclusion of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) online remote or virtual laboratories in the everyday teaching practice. The project focused on teachers, educators and curriculum designers with the aim to strengthen their profile by supporting them to deliver high quality teaching practices and to adopt new methods and tools. Thanks to the project, in service and pre-service teachers had the opportunity to extend their knowledge about the inquiry-based science teaching approach, improve both digital skills and pedagogical competences, experience international collaborative work, explore attractive open education resources helpful to design creative lessons on STEM topics. In this contribution, we focus our attention on the results from the ODL teacher training in Italy, showing the valuable feedback collected by teachers on the impact of the ODL pedagogical approach on Physics education at secondary school, highlighting strengths and possible weaknesses of the proposed methodology. The feedback to the ODL experience provided by both teachers and students during the multiplier events, in the summer school and after the first pilot-studies in the classroom, was very positive. Experiencing micro-MOOCs' approach has been reported by the teachers as a very effective strategy for increasing students' motivation to learn physics more meaningfully. Thanks to the ODL methodology, student understanding of physics concepts has been achieved within a multidisciplinary learning context which also supports the development of transversal abilities, communication and reasoning skills. The ODL learning activities provided the students with the opportunity to develop a large range of complementary competencies, such as working in groups, interpreting and evaluating experimental data, designing models, facing and solving everyday problems, which are all very relevant in physics education.