Pupils’ reflections on the use of a digital self-assessment tool to identify and measure development of 21st century skills during maker activities in schools
Keywords:Maker activities, self-assessment, 21st century skills
The number of makerspaces is increasing in the world, and the maker movement has started to become integrated into formal education. Maker environments and maker activities are argued as promoting Key Components for Lifelong Learning, e.g. collaboration, problem solving, creativity, life/social skills and communication. These competences are also referred to as 21st century skills. In this paper, we discuss the use of a digital self-assessment tool (DSAT) for pupils’ identification of, and reflections on, their development of these skills. The DSAT was created with gamification as the model where the pupils could reach different levels, receive badges and upload photographs. There were 114 pupils, aged 13–15 years, from six classes who worked with different maker activities in technology subject classes during the autumn of 2021, while using the DSAT. Examples of maker activities used in this study included designing a liquid-bottle, programming with Micro:bit and programming with Roblox. Data were collected through group interviews after the activities with all participating pupils and thereafter analysed thematically. The pupils found the language in the DSAT difficult considering their age and thought that the tool was time consuming and troublesome to use. However, the pupils argued that it is possible to develop 21st century skills during maker activities in school contexts and that the skills are of importance for the future. This study contributes with important knowledge about the design of digital self-assessment tools and about design of technology education, to support pupils to identify and develop 21st century skills in makerspace activities in compulsory technology education.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Susanne Walan, Helen Brink
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