Design: assign a research task on Europe in the early Middle Ages, defining the topics of analysis, such as the chronology of major historical events; the change of the landscape, economy and institutions; society and daily life.
Give precise instructions for carrying out the activity. The more detailed the instructions are, the lower the age of the students involved can be.
Share with the students criteria for the formation of working groups, the topic, the methods and the website for the research, the tools to be used, the methods of sharing documents. Also share the evaluation criteria. Send the instructions via the virtual class.
Organisation: divide the students into small heterogeneous groups each of which develops the topic in a cooperative learning mode, using online educational resources (Google Maps, Open Street Map and Google Earth to study specific places), building conceptual maps (for example with Cmap Tools ) to reprocess information and using spreadsheets to produce graphs with data processing.
Realisation and development: during distance learning each group meets in a special “room” created by yourself (you can use Google Meet) and performs the work on one or more document(s) shared between the individual elements of the group and you (Google Drive).
Since Google Meet is a tool that students do not use in their everyday life (after school), you can also choose to leave them the freedom to use the media they prefer. This may help improve participation and collaboration. At the end of the activities (8 hours), each group presents the work to the whole class in videoconference (Google Meet). After the presentation of the students, each group can prepare a test for the audience using digital learning tools such as Kahoot, Quizizz, Socrative to check if their classmates followed the presentation or if they understood it.
Notice that the total amount of hours and consequently of lessons may vary, depending on the level of the students.
With an assessment of the students’ tasks, carried out as project work and exposed to the class, you can check how the activity develops both disciplinary and transversal skills. In fact, by following your indications and suggestions, the students will have built their knowledge by finding information and solving problems. Furthermore, they will have actively collaborated with each other and will have come to original solutions also through their personal initiatives.
Communicate with students using shared documents and face-to-face during video lessons. Students can communicate with each other using the instant messaging service in video calls, shared documents and Social Networks (WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, etc).