Empar Vengut Climent / From May 27 to 31, a training seminar was held at the headquarters of the Scientific Culture and Innovation Unit of the University of Valencia, aimed at Erasmus + Persist_EU project partners, coordinated by ScienceFlows. For five days, representatives of each of the countries that form the consortium met to define the characteristics and content of the ICT tool that will allow the evaluation of changes in the knowledge, perception, beliefs and confidence in science of university students. Likewise, it was defined what kind of training activities are going to be taught so as to be able to evaluate if this teaching has had some influence on the formation of opinions or attitudes toward science on the part of university students.
The event is a key point for the evolution of the project since the correct design of the ICT tool is essential to measure the desired changes. The seminar was divided into workshops so that the members could discuss each of the topics to be dealt with in small working groups, and then share all the ideas that emerged in each of the groups. This system of work, together with the high motivation of the attendees, led to a continuous exchange of ideas, opinions and suggestions that allowed that by the end of the week all the objectives of the seminar had been reached: the content of the questionnaire that the ICT tool will include, as well as the characteristics thereof; a consensus was reached on the type of activities and their content that will be carried out jointly with the university students of the five participating countries (Spain, Portugal, Slovakia, Italy and Germany), the best recruiting system of the participating student body was established as well as the next steps to be followed for the correct development of the project.
The company Danmar Computers (Poland), partner of PERSIST_EU, has already begun to design and create the tool following the specifications agreed upon during the seminar. The other partners: University of Valencia, University of Trnava (Slovakia), Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon (Portugal) and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany), as well as Observa Science in Society (Italy), and the FyG Consultores company (Spain), organizer of the training seminar, are working on the organisation of the activities with the university students that will take place at the beginning of the year 2020.
The Erasmus + Higher Education Project PERSIST_EU (Knowledge, beliefs, Perceptions about Science of European Students) aims to quantify and measure the value of training and education of university students when making personal decisions related to science, technology, health and the environment. To this end, the PERSIST_EU partners will develop an ICT tool (information and communication technologies) to assess how the students’ opinions on the use of vaccines, complementary and alternative medicines, climate change and genetically modified organisms (transgenic), could be modified after undergoing training modules on basic scientific principles. Once the tool is available, 100 volunteer university students will be selected in each of the five participating countries, according to the characteristics of the students of their university and / or region, who will answer a questionnaire before and after receiving the training. The developed ICT tool will be able to provide the necessary information so that researchers can analyse the changes produced in the opinion of university students regarding the scientific subjects discussed.
Once the project is finished, this tool will be freely accessible and free to download for all those professionals who want to use it for the evaluation of their classes, seminars, MOOCs or other scientific activities. In addition, it will also be available and accessible the pdf of an electronic book that will include the methodology, results, analysis and discussion of the project, as well as a guide with recommendations for the correct use of the ICT tool. Both the tool and the book will be available in 6 languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese, Slovak, Italian and German).