Distance cooperative learning for civic education

Methodological steps

Design this activity as a multi-disciplinary activity across the different subjects and involve other teachers in carrying it out. Begin by taking into consideration the material from the civic education textbook. Explain through a PowerPoint presentation what the EU is, what its history was, how it was born and when (for a more flexible and entertaining presentation, use Prezi or Genially). Dwell especially on the institutional bodies that make up the EU and on the rights and duties of European citizens. Consider two online lessons for this first explanatory part.

By relying upon the digital version of the textbook, students can autonomously access a repository of images, visual links, interactive links and much more available on the EU site of the book’s publisher, by simply using their smartphones.

After two introductory lessons, look at the website with the students, focusing on the stories of the constituent fathers and mothers, using especially the audio resources available. Try to address their research on a particular topic, such as the first politicians who have laid the bases of the EU and about whom little is said or studied.

Divide students into groups, trying to make them as homogeneous and inclusive as possible, assigning students with reading or writing difficulties (and with other LDs), in different groups. Try to equate also the male and female presence and the presence of proactive elements in each group. You do not have to entrust roles, since in some groups the leader is going to stand up, and in others the collaboration can be spontaneously fair.

Have the students meet up online in extra school time to create a multimedia presentation about a particular politician or institution. By meeting online, they are compelled to indulge with new technologies as they sign up to web apps and learn how to use them. For this activity, they can use Prezi for the general presentation and Inshot to edit videos.

At the end of the activity, ask the students to present their work to their classmates through the video-conference tool that you have chosen (you can find a list here), as if they were to teach a lesson on the chosen topic. Assign each group a limited time (10 minutes) for their presentation.

Skills assessment

The activity helps develop both disciplinary skills for civic education and transversal skills related to the digital competence and to the personal, the citizenship, the entrepreneurial and the cultural competencies. Each teacher involved provides an evaluation which will average with the others in the final mark. To attribute this evaluation, rely on a rubric co-created beforehand.


Communicate with students using the school email, through shared documents and face-to-face during video lessons.

During the activity, students can communicate using the instant messaging service in video calls, face-to-face during video lessons and using Social Networks (WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, etc).