Implementing the teaching and learning activities

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Implementing the teaching and learning activities

The implementation of the online seminar within the prepared virtual learning environment includes the following aspects:

  • Defining the framework for the promised open educational resource including all the consequences of open character without limited copyrights; formulating rules for the handling of resource material, e.g., regarding referencing and citation;
  • Structuring the achieved outcome of the course according to the learning objectives with respect to the assignments and defining submission rules;
  • Structuring and organising the collaboration of the students in international and interdisciplinary working groups.

The UNESCO defines "Open Educational Resources (OERs)" as "any type of educational materials that are in the public domain or introduced with an open license. The nature of these open materials means that anyone can legally and freely copy, use, adapt and re-share them."

Coland group working process

During the three cycles of the CO-LAND seminar, the following elements had been developed and made available:

  • General information about the CO-LAND project;
  • General information (target group, goals, content etc.) and organisational details (schedule, registration etc.) about the CO-LAND Online Seminars 2018, 2019, 2020;
  • General information, organisational details and documentations of the CO-LAND Intensive Study Programmes (ISP);
  • Further project outputs such as this guidance report and the CO-LAND toolbox.
  • The CO-LAND Resources which are the heart of the CO-LAND OER, include:
  • a thematically structured reading list;
  • all lecture recordings respectively linked to the open part of the ILIAS learning platform; and
  • as the central part of the resources, the CO-LAND case studies for 2018, 2019, 2020 elaborated by the student groups based on the course template as the main assignment.

The requirements of an OER implicate a couple of consequences for all outcomes and especially the students' assignments:Students need to create all texts and visuals that are embedded in the case study template by themselves:

  • They should be willing to declare their materials creative commons (an open licensing format for the public domain), otherwise, the case study material cannot be reused by others (but it can still be part of a public wiki page);
  • Materials from other websites cannot be uploaded to the wiki unless these are also creative commons or otherwise declared public;
  • Learners are however free to refer to other resources by links and reference lists;
  • Otherwise, common rules for good scientific practice apply as in any other context (correct referencing and citation).

Against this background, the CO-LAND case study template guides participants of the CO-LAND Online Course during their learning process. This framework structure is available on the wiki from the beginning of the seminar. Working groups and individual learners complete it with their research results stepwise as they are advancing through the course along the three core phases A, B and C. The case studies are public at all times, and their subsequent development allows teachers, tutors and peers formative feedback and support during the learning process. After the course, they will remain in the public domain and contribute to the body of the CO-LAND open learning resources.

The coastal case studies based on the template consist of explanatory texts in combination with graphics, images, maps and plans. The documentation needs to follow good scientific practice and include all references and sources in one document.

Every case study needs to be elaborated by a mixed team of students with members from different partner universities. This mixture ensures a maximum of international collaboration and exchange. While local students have the opportunity to work directly on a coastal landscape, to which they have access, foreign group members can do mostly desktop research and both can learn from the exchange. Alternatively, these students can work on individual cases. Both participant types meet in an international virtual team for peer review, consultation and finally a co-design for one of the case study areas.

During the three cycles of the seminar, two different case study selection alternatives were tested:

  • Only a few case studies are in the later project area of the IP Workshop, otherwise free selection of case study areas by the students (first cycle 2018);
  • All case studies are more or less in the context of project area for the later IP workshops (second and third cycle 2019, 2020).