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Despoina Schina

PhD Programme: Educational Technology
Research group: ARGET
Supervisors: Mireia Usart Rodríguez & Vanessa Esteve González


Despoina Schina holds a Bachelor's degree in English Language and Literature from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece) and a Master's in Educational Technology from Universitat of Rovira i Virgili (URV). She is a PhD student at URV and a member of the research group ARGET - Applied Research Group in Education and Technology. Despoina's research interests include: teacher training in Educational Robotics (ER), teacher perceptions of ER, teacher digital competence, gender digital divide and robotics competitions. Despoina has participated in several international and local conferences, such as VI Seminario Interuniversitario de Investigación en Tecnología Educativa (Ibiza), Jornada d'Investigadors Predoctorals Interdisciplinària (Barcelona), III Congreso Virtual Internacional de Educación, Innovación y TIC, 10th International Conference on Robotics in Education (Austria), 11th International Conference on Computer Supported Education (Greece), VII Seminario Interuniversitario de Investigación en Tecnología Educativa (Lleida), 12th International Conference on Computer Supported Education (online), 11th International Conference on Robotics in Education (online), XVIII Jornadas de Redes de Investigación en Docencia Universitaria (online) and III Jornada d'Innovació i Robòtica Educativa amb perspectiva de Gènere (online).

Project: Teacher training in educational robotics: participants' learning and perceptions

Teachers are not always capable of integrating educational robotics (ER) into their teaching as they do not often receive training in this area as part of their university degrees. This study places teacher education in ER and teacher perceptions of ER at the center of educational research as they are influencing the integration of ER into the school curriculum. The thesis uses an exploratory sequential mixed method design. It starts by examining ER in terms of teacher perceptions, its potential and integration into the curriculum, continues with a review of the literature on international teacher training programs and concludes by launching two training programs for preservice teachers and studying their perceptions of ER and the learning that has taken place. The findings of the study of teacher perceptions suggest that teachers have a positive view of student learning with ER and are in favor of it being integrated into school curricula even at early educational stages. The duration and requirements of current ER teacher training programs differ substantially, while the best practices are regarded to be collaboration, materials design, instruction in pedagogy, opportunities for practice, and feedback/support. The pilot ER training program enabled the trainees to integrate ER in educational projects on sustainable development in a variety of disciplines. The results of the main teacher training program showed that ER had a positive impact on participants' learning and opinions: i) participants integrated ER into a variety of educational projects in the area of natural sciences, ii) their acceptance of and self-efficacy towards ER improved after the program iii) they had positive views of the potential of ER, considered teacher training in ER to be useful for their teaching career and made suggestions for improving the training program such as additional training sessions/resources and time for experimentation.

Open Access publications

  • Schina, D., Esteve-González, V., & Usart, M. (2020a). An overview of teacher training programs in educational robotics: characteristics, best practices, and recommendations. Educational Information Technologies. View full-text
  • Schina, D., Esteve-González, V., Usart, M., Lázaro-Cantabrana, J.-L., & Gisbert, M. (2020b). The Integration of Sustainable Development Goals in Educational Robotics: A Teacher Education Experience. Sustainability, 12, 10085. View full-text
  • Borrull, A., Valls, C., Esteve-González, V., Schina, D., & Vallverdú, M. (2020a). INTROBOT: Diseño e implementación de una propuesta didáctica para introducir la robótica educativa en la formación de maestros de educación infantil. In R. Roig-Vila (Ed.), La docencia en la Enseñanza Superior. Nuevas aportaciones desde la investigación e innovación educativas (pp. 528-538). Octaedro. ISBN 978-84-18348-11-2. View full-text
  • Schina, D., Valls-Bautista, C., Borrull-Riera, A. et al. An associational study: preschool teachers' acceptance and self-efficacy towards Educational Robotics in a pre-service teacher training program. Int J Educ Technol High Educ 18, 28 (2021). View full-text
  • PHD THESIS: Teacher Training in Educational Robotics: participants' learning and perceptions

Outreach activities

  • European Researchers’ Night 2019: “Stemming girls: Viatge en el temps a través de la robòtica educativa”.

International secondment

  • Université Côte d'Azur, France. 3 months (2021).
Awards & Prizes
  • Finalist of the contest "Vols saber què investigo?" 2021.