Activity 3 «Working with outside experts"
Students get additional or deepening knowledge from an out-of-school expert of a relevant field.
- Students practice contacting experts outside of school, present their case, ask for collaboration.
- Students learn how to argue and negotiate with teachers and experts.
- They learn to incorporate expert views into their own plans, and this way the students understand how their chosen topic relates to the activities that are happening in the wider society outside of school.
- Experts’ assessments cultivate critical thinking skills and give students new directions they may have not thought yet.
- Build collaboration with outside experts to open and link school activities to the broader society.
- Teacher is not required to know everything, but can rely on an expert of the field to support the students’ inquiries.
- Linking topics of personal interests and school activities to the wider audience is motivating for students, because they see how these topics matter in a wider range than the school ground.
- Contacting a professional is exciting and challenging.
Reasons for using technology
- Initial contact and in some cases also the follow up contact with experts by video call, chat, or email is more feasible than meeting them face-to-face.
- 15-30 minutes of class time to talk about potential experts the team could contact.
- Few hours of preparation time to find and contact potential experts. This depends on schools preparedness for such work and may reduce to minutes once the network of familiar experts has been established.
- Monitoring of student progress, keeping in touch with the experts involved.
- Prepare possible topics and connections to experts to support students while they select a topic of interest. It may be useful to discuss topics and potential experts in one lesson, and find relevant contacts for the next lesson.
Teacher and students identify experts, prepare a project introduction and possible questions for the experts.
Students contact the experts by telephone, voip call, visit, e-mail or letter.
- A good way to find experts is through LinkedIn.
- People working in academia often have a flexible schedule and find it motivating to pass on their expert knowledge to young students.
- The young student’s parents can be consulted as experts as well.
Students, teacher and expert agree on the involvement of the expert in the exercise or teamwork activity, such as that the expert is available for interviewing, giving support in form of assessment co-development, or feedback. The expert may be involved in defining the assessment criteria (see activity 5).
Students may visit the expert at his working location to gather more information (see activity 2).
The students, the teacher and the expert collaboratively decide on how their communication can happen during the project
- E-mail conversation
- Skype calls
- Online blog or wiki space documentation and feedback discussion by way of commenting functions.
- The expert’s view on student performance should be taken into account.
Skype, e-mail, regular phones, letters, LinkedIn
- Required: none
- Preferred: Skype, email
- Nice to have: phones, mobile phones
- Locations: none
- Events: none
- People: Experts relevant to the theme of the course.
experts, collaboration, voip, call, Skype