Location

Smyth 146

Event Website

http://www.cpe.vt.edu/cuenr/index.html

Start Date

27-3-2010 9:30 AM

End Date

27-3-2010 10:00 AM

Description

"The Internet may be the means of realizing a forestry lecturer’s dream. Imagine being able to discuss, for example, different timber harvesting systems used internationally with a group of motivated students from different regions of the globe in one virtual classroom." (Längin, Ackerman & Lewark, 2004). The huge potential of e‐learning has not yet been fully recognized let alone realized in higher education. Over the last ten to fifteen years many e‐learning courses in the fields of natural resources management, forestry and wood sciences emerged, have been used – and often disappeared again. Much effort and money has gone into development of e‐learning courses, but sustainable examples are few in these fields – the exceptions mostly being parts of bigger e‐learning units in some universities. Reasons for short‐lived success seem to be in the first place that these courses have often been add‐ons, elective courses or self‐standing courses with little institutional and curricular anchoring. They often started with great ideas and relevant contents, but with limited long term commitment on the side of the organizers as well as of the students. As time and money needed for e‐learning courses may be a limiting factor for successful development and running them sustainably options of courses must be examined for which input is lower or at least not higher than for traditional face‐to‐face courses. This could include using share‐ ware e‐learning platforms as well as technological minimalism (Fillip, in GTZ 2005). At the same time learner oriented and activating didactical concepts should be developed, which would make the courses attractive and work against early drop‐out. Experiences and considerations will be presented. In order to make better use of the potential of e‐learning for improvement of higher education, following these ideas, the concept of WELAN has been developed by higher education specialists from IUFRO, IPFE and faculties of forestry and environmental sciences of six universities as a worldwide e‐learning academy. WELAN will explore approaches of open learning resources, i.e. courses available without tuition fees. Activities of WELAN will start with the development of recommendations for administrative regulations including course formats, course delivery, credit recognition, accreditation, tuition fees in order to allow students from different universities as well as companies to have access to e‐ learning course information and to the courses of the collaborating universities and get their credits gained easily recognized independent their affiliation. Following this the development and offering of courses and course package under the umbrella of WELAN is aimed at, for organization and funding to be divided in separate projects with defined course packages. Thus in a growing and comprehensive system essential parts of Natural Resources, Forestry and Wood Science will be covered.

Comments

Citation: Lewark, S.E. 2010. How to make e-learning courses in curricula of natural resources management more sustainable? UENR Biennial Conference, Session Distance Education, Paper Number 1. http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cuenr/Sessions/Distance/1/.

 
Mar 27th, 9:30 AM Mar 27th, 10:00 AM

How to Make E Learning Courses in Curricula of Natural Resources Management More Sustainable?

Smyth 146

"The Internet may be the means of realizing a forestry lecturer’s dream. Imagine being able to discuss, for example, different timber harvesting systems used internationally with a group of motivated students from different regions of the globe in one virtual classroom." (Längin, Ackerman & Lewark, 2004). The huge potential of e‐learning has not yet been fully recognized let alone realized in higher education. Over the last ten to fifteen years many e‐learning courses in the fields of natural resources management, forestry and wood sciences emerged, have been used – and often disappeared again. Much effort and money has gone into development of e‐learning courses, but sustainable examples are few in these fields – the exceptions mostly being parts of bigger e‐learning units in some universities. Reasons for short‐lived success seem to be in the first place that these courses have often been add‐ons, elective courses or self‐standing courses with little institutional and curricular anchoring. They often started with great ideas and relevant contents, but with limited long term commitment on the side of the organizers as well as of the students. As time and money needed for e‐learning courses may be a limiting factor for successful development and running them sustainably options of courses must be examined for which input is lower or at least not higher than for traditional face‐to‐face courses. This could include using share‐ ware e‐learning platforms as well as technological minimalism (Fillip, in GTZ 2005). At the same time learner oriented and activating didactical concepts should be developed, which would make the courses attractive and work against early drop‐out. Experiences and considerations will be presented. In order to make better use of the potential of e‐learning for improvement of higher education, following these ideas, the concept of WELAN has been developed by higher education specialists from IUFRO, IPFE and faculties of forestry and environmental sciences of six universities as a worldwide e‐learning academy. WELAN will explore approaches of open learning resources, i.e. courses available without tuition fees. Activities of WELAN will start with the development of recommendations for administrative regulations including course formats, course delivery, credit recognition, accreditation, tuition fees in order to allow students from different universities as well as companies to have access to e‐ learning course information and to the courses of the collaborating universities and get their credits gained easily recognized independent their affiliation. Following this the development and offering of courses and course package under the umbrella of WELAN is aimed at, for organization and funding to be divided in separate projects with defined course packages. Thus in a growing and comprehensive system essential parts of Natural Resources, Forestry and Wood Science will be covered.

http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cuenr/Sessions/Distance/1