The innovative blended learning concept for resour..
The innovative blended learning concept for resource efficiency
Start date: Sep 1, 2014,
End date: Aug 31, 2016
The European Union has set ambitious objectives on climate and energy to be reached by 2020. The EU's Sixth Environment Action Programme identifies waste prevention and management as one of the top priorities. By increasing resource efficiency EU can fight against climate change, meet the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and diminish the environmental impacts of resource use. Increasing resource efficiency is the key factor to gain sustainable growth and jobs in the EU.
There are many ways to tackle the challenges of resource efficiency, like technical innovations, public regulations and human behaviour. Education plays crucial role in enhancing the knowledge and increasing the motivation of people. We should in all levels educate tomorrow’s professionals who have right competencies to help EU member states to reached settled objectives. However, at the moment most of the higher education related to resource efficiency is still far too traditional and based on classroom teaching. Therefore there is a huge demand for resource efficiency education that more holistically serves the needs of society.
In this project we shall create an interactive blended learning concept that innovatively combines the elements of group-based learning, university-company cooperation, international cooperation, flipped classroom and e-learning. Our tangible output will be a 15 ECTS Resource efficiency/ Circular economy higher education module, consisting of three 5 ECTS study units: Food-spill; Chemical waste; Waste treatment: Biogasification and composting. During the project we shall create and test this concept in 5 European countries. During the project novel module will be integrated into the curricula of partner universities and after the project more study units may be added to the concept.
The learning approach applied in this project is Innovation pedagogy. It can be defined as a learning approach that defines in a new way how knowledge is assimilated, produced and used in a manner that can create innovations. Thus the question regarding the nature of knowledge behind innovations becomes essential. Naturally, the model for innovation pedagogy was constructed based on previous studies on pedagogy and innovation research. The core elements of Innovation pedagogy are interdisciplinarity, internationalization, active university-company cooperation and flexible curriculum.
The ReLeCo project will have positive and constructive impacts on all target groups, especially the students. The blended learning concept is planned to be exceptionally heavily learner-oriented and already throughout the project students will be directly or indirectly involved in all main activities. According to the principles of Innovation pedagogy, students are not only absorbing the existing knowledge but they are also producing new information and knowledge, even new innovations. We aim at building up students' motivation and knowhow in resource efficiency by establishing International Resource Efficiency Hatcheries – groups of students from several countries - that will implement real-life assignments coming from companies and other organization that are willing to improve their resource efficiency. Added value for students is three-fold: substance-related knowledge on resource efficiency, enhanced innovation competences and valuable contacts to companies and other stakeholders in the field of resource efficiency.
Existing curricula of participating universities are modernized with our novel concept. Thus universities are able to serve their students with higher quality education and attract new students. Thanks to our open and active communication policy, all interested European universities are able to utilize our concept. In the project there are universities and resource efficiency expert organizations from 5 countries. After the project period we are aiming to widen this cooperation to other interested countries, at the first place in Europe but also having a global perspective on mind.
Our concept gains undeniable positive impacts also to a wide range of stakeholders outside of the academia. Companies and other actors may get direct added value to their businesses through the work of international Hatcheries. We also aim at offering an example of better dissemination of information regarding resource efficiency, so that anybody can raise his or her awareness in environmental issues. Enriching traditional classroom-based learning with e-learning – served as an Open Educational Resource – and active stakeholder cooperation, we can speed up the transition from waste management towards resource efficiency. International challenges require international solutions and our concept is one step in the preparation of our future generation with the knowledge necessary for building a cleaner and more sustainable environment that enhances the quality of human life.
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