ATS2020 Final Conference in Brussels

Me and my poster :)

Me and my poster ­čÖé

On Feburary 2nd 2018 the final conference of our project “ATS2020 – Assessment of Transversal Skills for 21st Century Skills” took place in Brussels. Andrea Ghoneim and I actively participated:

  • Andrea held a workshop with Nicholas Kanaris about “ePortfolios: Context and Platform
  • and I presented our poster during the ATS2020 poster session: “A Pattern Collection for Formative Feedback and Assessment” (more about it below)

There were so many impression and so many nice people I met – I try to summarize my experiences in this blogpost. But first, for those who may not know so much about ATS2020, a brief introduction:

What is ATS2020 about?

ATS2020 is an Erasmus+ project with the aim to develop and pilot a learning model, which supports transversal skills like:

  • Autonomous learning
  • Information literacy
  • Communication and collaboration
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Digital literacy

The ATS2020 learning model is based on a learner-centred ePortfolio-approach, with a focus on assessment for learning and formative assessment:

ATS2020 Learning Cycle

ATS2020 Learning Model – a Cylce

During the pilot, more than 1000 students in 10 different European countries participated. The pilot was analysed through quantitative and qualitative research methods.

The Final Conference: Showing Outcomes of the Project

Good Coffee at the Flemish Parliament :)

Good Coffee at the Flemish Parliament ­čÖé

At the final conference, we presented the outcomes of our research, experiences from teachers, students and project partner and our various project outcomes! 250 people registered for the conference, so we were quite a crowd of people. The conference took place at the Flemish Parliament and by the way, I was quite impressed by the artwork of Jan Fabre, which was hanging from the ceiling!

In the morning session of the final conference a lot of interesting presentations were held – I especially like the one by Helen Barrett, “Grandmother of ePortfolio”. She underlined the power of ePortfolios as tools for storytelling and that storytelling allows us to find ourself step by step. It’s forming our identities. Or as a good friend of mine put it: Telling story about ourselves in an ePortfolio makes us believe in ourselves. It is like a mirror (there is by the way also an ePortfolio pattern, called “My Mirror” by Baumgartner/Bauer, also a crucial aspect for the recognition of prior learning!)

I was really touched and inspired by Helen Barrett’s presentation, also about her daughter’s story she presented about her teaching experience abroad. This truly is the power of storytelling.

Policy Recommendations

Based on the research during the project, policy recommendations were formulated and presented at the final conference. I am actually quite happy about the policy recommendations, I think they really make sense and could help to improve learning experiences at school. Check them out for yourself in the twitter collection below:

What I did at the Final Conference: Presenting our Pattern Collection

Maybe you already noticed that together with my colleagues I created a pattern collection for formative assessment and feedback. I presented it at the PURPLSOC Conference 2017 in Krems, at the moment the paper is about to be peer-reviewed and hopefully (keeping fingers crossed) it will be published. Let’s see.

Caught in Action: Presenting the Pattern Collection

Caught in Action: Presenting the Pattern Collection

But I didn’t want it to be a static paper, acutally. I wanted it to be useful and easy approachable, not linear in text like in the paper. So I decided to put the pattern collection online. It is still under construction a bit, I am improving it day by day. Of course, comments, suggestions for improvement, hints what might be missing, etc are 100% welcome. This pattern collection should be a living thing.

If you haven’t heard yet about patterns in pedagogy, you can check out the poster which I presented at the ATS2020 final conference:

A Pattern Collection for Formative Feedback and Assessment

A Pattern Collection for Formative Feedback and Assessment

It was great to talk to so many people about our pattern collection and the get feedback (Thank you, Philipp! ­čÖé )

ATS2020 Pilot Teachers Talking about Experiences

What I really, really liked about the final conferences was meeting ATS2020 teachers from so many countries, talking about their experiences. This was so impressive. I felt really touched. At Rosalia Castro High School in Santiago de Compostela (Spain) they accomplished so much – they showed so many learning artefacts and they even got into the Spanish Huffpost, were interviewed at a radio station, etc! But I could name here so many impressive presentations of schools, not only Rosalia Castro High. I also had great talks to Croatian, Slovenian and Irish teachers. A few impressions here:


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