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[publication] „Computer Science for all“: Concepts to engage teenagers and non-CS students in technology #research #tugraz

Our conference contribution to this year 13th European Conference on Games Based Learning about „„Computer Science for all“: Concepts to engage teenagers and non-CS students in technology“ is now online available – enjoy reading 🙂


Knowledge in Computer Science (CS) is essential, and companies have increased their demands for CS professionals. Despite this, many jobs remain unfilled. Furthermore, employees with computational thinking (CT) skills are required, even if they are not actual technicians. Moreover, the gender disparity in technology related fields is a serious problem. Even if companies want to hire women in technology, the number of women who enter these fields is remarkably low. In high schools, most teenagers acquire only low-level skills in CS. Thus, they may never understand the fundamental concepts of CS, have unrealistic expectations or preconceptions, and are influenced by stereotype-based expectations. Consequently, many teenagers exclude computing as a career path. In this research study, we present two promising concepts to overcome these challenges. First, we consider alternative paths to enter the field of CS. In 2018, a voluntary lecture „Design your own app“ at the University of Graz for students of all degree programs was introduced. In total, 202 students participated. We applied a Game Development-Based Learning (GDBL) approach with the visual coding tool Pocket Code, a mobile app developed at Graz University of Technology. The students were supposed to create simple games directly on smartphones. The course received positive evaluations and led to our second concept; In January 2019, we started to design a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) with the title „Get FIT in Computer Science“. First, this course can be used to encourage young women who have little to no previous knowledge in CS. Second, it should help all teenagers to get a more realistic picture of CS to its basic concepts. Third, teachers can use the course materials to lead high school classes (Open Educational Resources). Finally, the MOOC can be accessed by everyone interested in this topic.

[Article @ ResearchGate]

Reference: Spieler, B., Grandl, M., Ebner, M., Slany, W. (2019) „Computer Science for all“: Concepts to engage teenagers and non-CS students in technology. In: Conference Proceedings ECGBL 2019, Odense, Denmark

[publication] Setup of a Temporary Makerspace for Children at University: MAKER DAYS for Kids 2018 #tugraz #makereducation #makerdays

The conference proceeding of this year „Robotics in Education“ is online now and we contributed with a chapter about the MakerDays for Kids.


The maker movement has become a driving force for the new industrial revolution, whereby all learners should have the opportunity to engage. Makerspaces exist in different forms with different names and a variety of specializations. The MAKER DAYS for kids are a temporary open makerspace setting for children and teenagers with the goal to democratize STEAM education and social innovation and to empower young learners, especially girls, to shape their world. This publication presents the setup and results of a temporary makerspace at Graz University of Technology with more than 100 participants in four days in summer 2018 and discusses the role of new technologies as a trigger of making in education. Moreover, the MAKER DAYS implemented an innovative evaluation concept to document the participants’ activities in open and unstructured learning environments.

[article @ publisher’s Homepage]

[draft @ ResearchGate]

Reference: Grandl M., Ebner M., Strasser A. (2020) Setup of a Temporary Makerspace for Children at University: MAKER DAYS for Kids 2018. In: Merdan M., Lepuschitz W., Koppensteiner G., Balogh R., Obdržálek D. (eds) Robotics in Education. RiE 2019. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, vol 1023. Springer, Cham

[publication] Business models for Open Educational Resources: how to exploit OER after a funded project? #OER #research

Our publication about „Business models for Open Educational Resources: how to exploit OER after a funded project?“ at this year ED-Media conference in Amsterdam is online available:

Open Educational Resources (OER) projects often face the challenge of how to sustain and develop further the resources after the initial project funding comes to an end. OER are provided for free and open for anybody to re-use, modify and distribute. How than can the producers exploit the resources, are there any feasible business models, especially models which could remove or at least reduce dependence on limited and insecure funding? This article presents results of a survey of literature on OER business models and an overview of models identified in the literature. For projects which developed a learning program with OER the freemium model is being considered as a promising model.

[Draft @ ResearchGate]

Reference: Geser, G., Schön, S. & Ebner, M. (2019). Business models for Open Educational Resources: how to exploit OER after a funded project?. In J. Theo Bastiaens (Ed.), Proceedings of EdMedia + Innovate Learning (pp. 1519-1525). Amsterdam, Netherlands: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

Fachtreffen im Rahmen der Makerdays #makerdays #tugraz

Im Rahmen der Makerdays organisieren wir auch aufgrund der vielen Rückfragen ein Fachtreffen und zwar inmitten der Veranstaltungswoche am 7.8.2019 von 10-16.00 Uhr. Dann kann man sich gleich vor Ort überzeugen (lassen) wie die Workshops aussehen und welche kleinen Projekte wir gerade umsetzen mit den Kindern.

Interessierte Studierende, Lehrende und Personen aus dem Bereich Forschung und Wirtschaft sind herzlich eingeladen, die Bedeutung von Making-Aktivitäten und Makerspaces in der Bildung (von der Primarstufe bis zur Hochschule) im Rahmen des Fachtreffens zu diskutieren.

Dabei sollte natürlich auch das „Making“ nicht zu kurz kommen. Beim Fachtreffen können Sie in die Rolle einer Teilnehmerin/eines Teilnehmers der MAKER DAYS schlüpfen und all das ausprobieren, was Sie bei der Führung durch den Makerspace begeistert hat.

Es erwarten Sie kurze Fachvorträge von Martin Ebner, Kristin Narr, Sandra Schön und Maria Grandl.

Die Veranstaltung ist kostenfrei und wir freuen uns über jede Anmeldung: [Link zum Anmeldefomular]

[publication] Experiences with a MOOC-platform — Who are our learners and what do they think about MOOCs? #research #MOOC #emoocs #imoox

Our contribution about „Experiences with a MOOC-platform — Who are our learners and what do they think about MOOCs?“ to this year eMOOCs conference in Naples got published now:

iMooX, the first and currently only Austrian MOOC platform, has been hosting xMOOCs since 2014. Directly after the start a survey of the first three MOOCs was conducted and published in 2015. In the meantime, the MOOC platform contains more than 45 courses and serves many thousands of learners. Therefore, we are investigating, if there is a change towards the learners themselves, their expectations and experiences regarding learning with MOOCs as well as with the platform. Using the exact same survey as years before it can be shown that there are little changes in the right directions or maybe it can be concluded that learning with MOOCs became more common to a broader public, at least in the academic world.

[Full article @ ResearchGate]

[Conference Proceeding eMOOCs 2019]

Reference: Leitner, P., Ebner, M. (2019) Experiences with a MOOC-platform — Who are our learners and what do they think about MOOCs?. Proceedings of Work in Progress Papers of the Research, Experience and Business Tracks at EMOOCs 2019co-located with the (European MOOCs Stakeholders Submmit 2019) Conference. pp 163-168. Naples, Italy

[interview] Der Einsatz von Technologien kann nie Selbstzweck sein #conference #swiss #elearning

Anlässlich des 10-jährigen Jubiläums der Swiss eLearning conference durfte ich ein kurzes Interview geben und man hat es mit dem Titel „Der Einsatz von Technologien kann nie Selbstzweck sein“ versehen. Zum Nachlesen steht es zusammen mit den Interviews meiner 21 Kolleginnen und Kollegen hier.

[CallForPaper] Mini Track on Gender Sensitive GBL #ECGBL19

Die „13th European Conference on Games Based Learning (ECGBL)“ findet heuer in Odense, Denmark statt und ich darf hier auf einen Mini-Track zu Gender Sensitive GBL hinweisen. Abstract ist bis zum 14.3.2019 einzureichen

[Call for the MiniTrack]

[presentation] Be creative and just Make IT! #makereducation #makerdays #tugraz

I am giving today a short introduction in our maker education activities, especially about the MakerDays for Kids, at the IMAGINE 18 conference in vienna. Here you can find the slides of the talk:

[presentation] Designing a Makerspace for Children – Let’s Do It #makerdays #making #research

Thanks a lot to Maria who did the presentation about our contribution „Designing a Makerspace for Children – Let’s Do It“ at this year edurobotics conference in Rome. Here you can find the slides:

[presentation] Introducing Augmented Reality at Secondary Colleges of Engineering

Thanks to Andreas – he gave a short presentaion of his exciting work about the use of augmented reality in classroom at an engineering school in Austria at this year International Conference on Engineering & Product Design Education (E&PDE2018).
Here you can find his slides: