Helping each other teach: design and realisation of a social tutoring platform
Today a wide range of technologies exist that support learning and teaching, ranging from learning management systems (LMS) to general social media platforms, such as Facebook and blogs. However, teaching with such tools and platforms can create various obstacles for teachers. Within the Go-Lab project, we aim to engage school pupils with STEM topics by bringing online laboratory experiments into the classroom. Since it can be a hurdle for teachers to use such technical software and implement these experiments into the pedagogical flow of their lessons, we have identified the need to support and tutor teachers on using online laboratories and their pedagogical implementation in the classroom. The Go-Lab Tutoring Platform offers teachers peer assistance for expertise sharing related to online labs, pedagogy, the Go-Lab learning system and portal. Teachers, lab owners and scientists can help each other and share their skills and knowledge. To sustain this tutoring platform, we aim to build a community of practice and apply various social media techniques. This paper elaborates on the design, the first prototype and an early evaluation of the Go-Lab social tutoring platform. Furthermore, the business model is discussed and realisable via a credit system, ranging from social rating to payment mechanisms.