Making knowledge together – addressing climate change through innovative place based education and blended learning. Erasmus Project

General information for the Making knowledge together – addressing climate change through innovative place based education and blended learning. Erasmus Project

Making knowledge together – addressing climate change through innovative place based education and blended learning. Erasmus Project
July 7, 2020 12:00 am
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Project Title

Making knowledge together – addressing climate change through innovative place based education and blended learning.

Project Key Action

This project related with these key action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices

Project Action Type

This project related with this action type : Strategic Partnerships for higher education

Project Call Year

This project’s Call Year is 2017

Project Topics

This project is related with these Project Topics: Open and distance learning; Environment and climate change; New innovative curricula/educational methods/development of training courses

Project Summary

The EduChange project main focus was to innovate the way of teaching about Climate Change. There are two messages in one acronym. First, thanks to the project activities, we strived to educate young students about specific issues related to Climate Change via place-based methodologies in order to bring global problems to a local setting. The effect of seeing that „something is happening in my own town“ opened students‘ minds and raised their awareness about the specific impacts of Climate Change. Second, innovative methodological and pedagogical approaches we applied during the project activities showed the potential to disrupt then ordinary teaching and learning models and archetypes. We introduced, applied and tested more student-centred and relevant pedagogy that participants (both academics and students) can build on and spread further by their praxis; as most of the participants will be active in the education sector, mainly as (upper)secondary school teachers.
The water was chosen as the main theme interweaving all of the project activities. All of the participating countries (cities) has been facing issues connected to water – lack of fresh water on Malta, flash floods in Olomouc (Czechia), extreme precipitation and quick clay issues in Trondheim (Norway), or water management/seawater rise in Utrecht (the Netherlands). The mix of various geography-related backgrounds of participating organisations (environmental science, geography for teachers, urban geography, geoinformatics, biology, science teacher education, development studies, etc.) created an interdisciplinary environment generating new teaching concepts about Climate Change.
All objectives of the project were reached, i.e. 1) creation of innovative and effective field courses applying recent digital and pedagogical developments to stimulate deeper learning, 2) innovation of teaching, especially regarding placed-based learning, and 3) international cooperation, sharing expertise and building knowledge together with students and networks among the project participatns.
From the methodological point of view, we created a set of innovative learning methods (Location-Based Games, StoryMaps, EduClips, flipped classrooms, etc.), and with covid-19 pandemic, we also used some VR tools – VR videos, VR tours, VR lectures or 360-degree photos/videos. The “technical” methodologies were: Innovative geospatial technologies (GST) such as StoryMaps, webGIS, geosurvey apps, excursion apps offered many possibilities for studying climate change and water issues in the classroom and in the field. The underlying methodological/pedagogical framework for the whole EduChange was Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK), described in detail in our book – EduChange Methodology.
During the three project years, we organised six common events (two per cycle) during which we worked with 74 students in total (original plan was 72). On top of it, participating students switched into teachers by conducting their activities (developed between EduChange courses) at (upper)secondary school classes attended by approximately 300 pupils in total, which significantly raised the EduChange project’s outreach. Besides, more than 20 people outside the project consortium were involved during the project activities (field-courses, ScienceJams, joint training) as experts, and 49 more persons attended the final hybrid/online conference.
The major project “tangible” outcomes can be summarised as:
1. EduChange field-courses (annual ECTS credit rated course consisting of two short-term intensive mobilities)
2. Methodology of the innovative field-courses with blended learning and place-based education methods
3. EduChange learning and teaching materials
4. Significant research results (at least 10 papers+more in the preparation)
5. Popular articles and news about the EduChange project deployment and dissemination (at least 17).
6. Short educational videos (at least 20) related to EduChange fieldcourses
7. Story Maps applications (5)
8. Infrastructure for educational material (1 e-learning platform)
9. EduChange worksheets compiled into a ScienceJam compendium (3 digital compendiums)

From a long term perspective, EduChange courses are maintained in either individual subjects (in case of UPOL and NTNU) or as parts of actual curricula (in case of UU, UM). EduChange established innovative approaches bringing direct benefits for all participants with particular emphasis on practical use. Participating students extended their interdisciplinary and international skills. They were able to apply new knowledge in various tasks, which increased their chances in labour market, and the project helped them in their future careers.
The added value of the EduChange project can be seen in the successful application of the follow-up project EduChange 2.0, which started in January 2021.

EU Grant (Eur)

Funding of the project from EU: 193737 Eur

Project Coordinator

UNIVERZITA PALACKEHO V OLOMOUCI & Country: CZ

Project Partners

  • NORGES TEKNISK-NATURVITENSKAPELIGE UNIVERSITET NTNU
  • UNIVERSITEIT UTRECHT
  • UNIVERSITA TA MALTA