- Pupils speaking the same language family (romance or germanic languages in our case) must be separated in the teams as if they were from the same school. Otherwise, they tend to use explanations in their mother tongue if they fail to remember a translation.
- The ideal size of the group is 4-5 pupils when playing with a mobile device. If more, they will pay less attention and try to find out the answers in their own mobiles.
- It is good to start the learning activities days with some joint activities for both teachers and pupils to know better each other.
- Teambuilding and side social activities are core for this kind of projects, both for teachers and for students. They must know very well each other before to work in teams.
- It is better to play outdoors in the middle or the last days of the meeting, to allow pupils to team before and get to know each other.
- Hosting school’s teachers and coordinators should join their foreign fellows because informal interactions can lead to great learning opportunities and exchanges for everyone.
Gamification project development
- Pupils must participate in every stage of the design and evaluation of the lesson plans. Without pupil’s contribution, gamification can be considered by them as pointless.
- Interaction with real objects and scenery works better than only computer and 2D tests to make the learning experience more immersive and rich.
- Teachers must avoid interaction as much as possible with the pupils during the play of the game. Pupils in international projects tend to follow their own teachers and forget the same value of the whole team of teachers.
- Augmented Reality enables non-invasive interactions with environment, and better exchanges among groups, and releases teachers from heavier group management tasks.
- A good balance between indoor and outdoor activities is required to ensure student’s involvement. Too much hours in classrooms and workshops may lead to lost of motivation and focus.
- It is very important to ensure gender balance in storytelling, game development and characters to avoid girls to feel out of place, as they don’t play videogames at the same degree as boys go.
- Only one mobile should be available for each group to avoid misuse.
Language inclusion & CLIL approaches
- Whenever a native or bilingual is involved in international teams, sometimes we find a natural tendency for them to lead the team as language is not a barrier to them. We must observe and ensure all of the members of the team to have equal opportunities.
- Riddles, culture and logic games are good to involve better native/bilingual students, and to leverage skills gaps among each group.
- A written version of questions must be made available to students to ensure understanding.
- Paid hosting should be avoided even in case of shortage. Alternative hosting families, or replacement of mobilities in different countries would be carefully planned.
- English skills enough to follow directions abroad, individual soft skills and commitment to work hard and positive attitude towards project activities must be the most important factor in student’s selection. Also parental involvement with school, timely answers to coordinator’s requirement of information or contacts with partner families should be about families.
- Early prospection of families willing to host foreign students but not sending their children abroad is an asset for successful school exchange planning.