S1-STEM3-2 - Using computer data processing in school-student’s cross-cultural collaborative research

2. Research-to-Practice Full Paper
Anastasiia A. Azbel1 , Leonid S. Ilyushin1, Elena I. Kazakova1
1 Saint Petersburg State University

This Research to Practice Full Paper aims to illustrate how the introducing of basic computer-based data processing instruments to gifted school students may engage them in cross-cultural humanitarian research practice intensively. The development of scientific world view among schoolchildren is accomplished on the condition that their cognitive motivation is effected through specific practices, by working with research data. This article could be entitled “Providing schoolchildren with Experience/Understanding of Big Science”. Many scholars Vossen, T.E., (2018), Takahashi, A. (2019), Robertson A. (2007), Bjørkvold, T. (2018), Elmesky, R., (2005) note there is some difficulty in explaining schoolchildren the principles of basic research functioning. The competency-based approach in school humanitarian education involves the development of student skills for research problem solving by means of applying academic tools: ethics, observation, interviewing, questionnaires, data collection and recording, statistical processing, etc. For most students, upon the first presentation, this methodology seems to be a rather complex and unachievable task. We suggested that the use of computer technologies enables us to solve the problem of student involvement in the research methodology on a short-time basis. Thus computer data processing technologies can be transformed from a “technological barrier” into a “motivational springboard” for students performing humanitarian studies.

Our experience of studying students’ capability to use computer technologies was gained through the training module at the Sirius Educational Center (Russia), which focuses on work with gifted children. 100 schoolchildren aged 14-16 from 56 regions of Russia conducted a study on the relationship of two generations of adults to classical poetry. During the research study, each student needed to conduct 2-3 interviews with adults from the reference group (parents, grandparents etc.). The students took 214 interviews and then using Google Form transferred the data to a common database. The central project didactic line was to obtain results compiled according to a unified methodology. Also, the students had an opportunity to supplement this methodology with their own questions. The analysis of the emotional effect that arose in the process of data accumulating by individual student-researchers and quick computer visualization of statistical results should be particularly highlighted. They gained a strong “scientific impression” from the first experience how an objective scientific picture is formed from mosaic fragments of data received by each project participants, a hypothesis is specified, and grounds for competent conclusions arise.

Feedback analysis showed that for most students this was also the first experience of a joint study using computer data processing technologies. The students emphasized that they were very encouraged by the opportunity to work together using computer data processing and its effectiveness, despite the short time (10 hours). We found that in the process of fulfilling the project, the students were mostly assisted by a clear distribution of work stages, which were set by the scientific methodology and technology of computer data processing.

Thus, our assumption about the “transfer of the barrier to the springboard” was confirmed. We suggest that this methodology for cross-cultural research can be used in international teenagers’ training centres and vocational schools.