E-Lecture (SoSe 2016)
From April 2016 on, a first eLearning project in the academic field will be conducted as a pilot. Offered at Freie Universität Berlin (FUB), Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and University of British Columbia (UBC), the course will contribute to the nationwide goal of International Network University. As described in the introductory, the seminar's design is new to the field of academic eLearning using the virtual classroom setting as a tool of Blended Learning).
The seminar brings together students from different universities, from different disciplines, and different backgrounds. The approach therefore supports the principles of strenghtening and reforming teaching in academia as agreed on the German wide Hochschulrektorenkonferenz. As a matter of fact, eLearning is a powerful tool for international networking, joint learning, inter-disciplinary exchange, and sustainable production of knowledge.
As a detailed outline, the below imaged structure sketches the scope of an academic eLearning project as an example. Technical requirements, the academic field of the subject - here climate change and climate justice in the field of political sciences - as example, and the range of practical and theoretical learning targets are outlines as follows. The last paragraph refers to the applied production of knowledge as the opportunity in this particular case.
The following text is though the description of the above named pilot course for summer term 2016 (April to September according to the German academic calendar). Current information including the teaching evaluation and a Q methodology based analysis are planned to be conducted afterwards and uploaded here.
Teaching Method (virtual classroom) & technical requirements for participation:
This seminar is an only online course using the method of a virtual classroom setting. All meetings will be held in the virtual room and no face to face meetings in the physical room will take place. The principle requirement for successful participation is a laptop and a headset with microphone. No specific software is needed, only your browser should be up to date as we use Adobe Connect to create the virtual space, which you can open just by clicking on the link from the instruction email (see below). All technical issues will be discussed (if necessary in German) in the first meeting. All sessions will be recorded and made available for you on blackboard. Everyone who has listed on this course will receive detailed information of how to login by the course instructor.
For a first overview on the functionality and design of Adobe Connect, please watch the following classroom demo:
What is to consider:
First, you will receive an email by the instructor of how to enter the virtual classroom. This email will be sent to everyone who is listed in the blackboard 24 hours before out first meeting on April 21.
Secondly, the first session is crucial for participating in the class. This session is saved for learning the tool (Adobe Connect). Those who have not participated in this session cannot join later on because the required skills to successfully take part in the virtual course cannot be obtained later on. Additionally, the blackboard will be closed after the first session for registration.
Thirdly, a weekly consultation hour will take place Sunday from 4 pm to 6 pm in a virtual room particular designed for this purpose.
Last but not least, participants are requested to log into the classroom no later than 6.15 pm. Since every participant requires an individual approval by the instructor, this approval cannot be guaranteed when the session has already started.
What the course is about:
The impacts of climate change on human populations at a global scale are both diverse and complex. Competing definitions on climate change range from climate change mitigation, security and migration issues to questions of development (Vlassopoulos 2011). At the regional level, the perception of climate change impacts is strongly influenced by underlying social realities. In order to analyze the past and current climate change adaptation policies, it is essential to understand the relative importance of broad social conditions (e.g. political system, cultural peculiarities, national history, etc.) and localized social deprivations (income, infrastructure, public services, etc.) on the perception of climate change impacts at the community level.
As this seminar is conducted in association with the Environmental Justice Institute, we will also invite recognized researchers in the field, like professor John Dryzek from Canberra University. An overview of possible invitees can be found here. This course will also be opened to students from universities abroad.
What is to learn:
The seminar aims to deal with these questions in the context of the COP21 results as well as by looking at national, provincial, and local cases. Significant attention will also be drawn to methodological toolkits for both analyzing the existing policies and supporting policy making by critical analysis of the framework.
Additionally, participating scholars will be trained to use Adobe Connect – a leading virtual classroom software – as a participant and as a presenter. If ou wish, a confirmation of this item will be issued by the instructor upon request after successful participation in the subject.
In case of problems to enrol for that course on blackboard (if student at FUB) or if you are not a student at FUB or if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the instructor by mailing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sustainable Production of Knowledge
In the last paragraph, the richness of possibilities provided by eLearning as a tool will be portrayed.
As part of the course, every session will be recorded and made available by video. The idea is to provide the participants with the ongoing possibility to re-watch in the moment of need (LMN). The learning in the moment of need or the possibility to follow up the lecture later on also integrates asynchronous learning and synchronous learning methods. Recordings of invited lecturers will be made available not only for the audience of the participants, but - through the youtube channel of the EJI - be made available around the world and forever.
How to access the virtual classroom?
For the given project, the participants and guest lecturers of the seminar will access the virtual classroom that is hosted by Adobe Connect. How to do this through the Learning Management System (LMS) of the FU Berlin is object of the following tutorial:
A recording of our first steps in the virtual classroom environment on the given topic is here: