Project digiSTAR – digital augmented Science Teaching and Research
This paper introduces the digiSTAR project, whose primary focus is on bridging the digital gap in undergraduate studies, which arises between the now digitalized schools and the technology-driven master`s programs at universities when undergraduate courses are taught in a more traditional and less digitalized way, by providing teaching-learning modules and digital resources. The second goal is to provide pre-service science teachers with authentic learning opportunities for designing and testing lessons and (peer) feedback on their own developments, in accordance with the DiKoLAN framework, which characterizes digital competencies for teaching in science education. Initial results of the first design based research cycle, based on a survey of first-year chemistry students, showed that chemistry students have difficulty understanding the physical fundamentals of quantum chemistry needed to understand topics such as molecular orbital theory. These challenges can potentially be eased through the implementation of innovative digital modules, which have been and will be created by teacher students enrolled in the Master of Education program. The project digiSTAR aims to establish a collection of digital modules designed for first-year science courses, with the long term vision of extending this endeavour to encompassing a broader range of academic disciplines to address and reduce the digital gap.