Differentiation Inside Out

Differences Between Pupils

Differentiatie Inside Out is a scientific project that examines how teachers deal with differences between VMBO (pre-vocational secondary education) students during class. Since 2014, the Dutch Adequate Education Act has ensured that all children receive an appropriate place in education. The aim here is that children with special educational needs should also attend regular education as much as possible. As a result, teachers in regular education have to deal with more differences between pupils, which makes it sometimes quite difficult to meet the needs of each individual pupil. A great demand is placed on teachers and differentiation proves to be quite difficult for many of them.

The Challenge

In order to properly respond to the differences between students in learning performance and behaviour, a lot of data has to be collected. In order to examine all experiences of teachers and students on a large scale, the choice was made to collect data by means of a diary study. In practice, this means that pupils and teachers will have to fill in a diary several times a week for a period of 20 weeks. You could do this all by hand, but this will be a lot of work and it will not benefit the quality of the research. How do you automate large scale research? How do you motivate teachers and students to consistently fill in a diary several times a week for a period of 20 weeks?

The Solution

Together with researchers from the University of Groningen, Researchable has developed an open-source platform for the collection of data within the Differentiatie Binnenstebuiten project. We have set up a platform to automatically send weekly invitations to students to fill out questionnaires. The automatic protocols are personalised and based on the schedule of the students’ subjects. The platform used in this project is based on the open source u-can-act project.

The project can be found at differentiatie.eu.

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