Charles University Environment Centre - LLIDA
Outcomes and outputs from the Jisc LLiDA project on Learning Literacies in a Digital Age led by Glasgow Caledonian University
digital literacy, learning literacy, digital capability, literacy frameworks, learning, higher education, further education
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Charles University Environment Centre

EnviWiki – encyclopaedia & environment for active learning strategies and mutual communication (teachers, students, experts).

Type of snapshot

Provision in the curriculum: skills/literacies addressed in topic module

What was the context for this snapshot?

Charles University Environment Centre (http://cozp.cuni.cz/COZPENG-1.html)

Years of development of the Internet Encyclopaedia see projects under D.

Years of courses based on use of the Enviwiki multimedia environment (teaching is based on cooperation of 2 electronic environments: Moodle courses with basic instructions, assignments etc. and EnviWiki providing open space for independent work and communication):2007/2008– spring semester and winter semester 2008/2009

What kind of learners were involved in accessing this provision or support?

Courses made available for 5 Prague universities that have signed Agreement on Cooperation in Education for Sustainable Development (Czech Technical University, The University of Economics, Charles University in Prague, Agricultural University and The Institute of Chemical Technology, Prague); most common participants of the courses are from Pedagogical Faculty, Charles University and Institute for Environment, Charles University, also Faculty of Transport, Czech Technical University.

What skills or literacies were particularly being addressed?

Enviwiki is a knowledge base and also an interactive medium for students’ creative contributions in the field of environmental sciences and sustainable development. It is extremely useful for educational strategies based on active learning and constructivist approaches. It also supports:

  • Writing literacy: systematically described in “Reading and Writing Manuals” accessible from the Main Page; these literacies are practiced in all courses based on use of EnviWiki.
  • ICT literacy: is a byproduct of learning.

EnviWiki is based on:

  • students’ participation in creating educational resource web – they can amend:
  • internet links and available resources
  • short annotations, summaries of other materials, case studies
  • texts with some theoretical background (reviewed assignements)
  • opportunities for student-teacher/expert communication (discussion on the page)
  • team work, student-student interaction within work on the same or similar theme
  • decentralization: individual path of information enquiry and utilization

EnviWiki supports orientation in complex problems, based on an understanding of main trends and factors. Active work on discrete issues is promoted by skills for editing of basic texts; a possibility to solve practical problems is opened through access to required information. Students learn to conduct dialogue with various partners; communication between participants in the electronic space and also with the wider public is encouraged.

Who provided the support? How was support provided?

Continuously developed with support of following projects:

  • 2003 – 2005: Environmental Minimum. Teacher Education Textbook. Development Project for Universities, Ministry of Education CR 242/1c; UK/COŽP.
  • 2005: Multimedia Textbook for Environmental Teacher Education“; project of the University Development Fund – Innovation of the Study Programs.
  • 2006 – 2008: PASDEL (Practising Sustainable Development Through E-learning), FR/06/B/P/PP-152572 European Commission: Leonardo da Vinci Community Vocational Training Action Programme
  • 2008 – 2010: E-learning system of education for ESD and evaluation mechanisms for life-long education („E-V-Learn“) – Research Project funded by the Ministry of Environment

Grant schemes require extensive selection rules for applicants and also assessment of the outcomes including defense with commission of experts…

Benefits, outcomes, and lessons learned

  • Technical and writing skills are being taught together with the content (environmental science)
  • Practising ICT literacy and work with electronic information is one of the “pillars” of the course and base for thematic work
  • Space for active learning and communication is essential to attract interest of students – they experience “fun” together with hard work.
  • Contribution by students acknowledged (publishing in the publicly open environment) – important for self-esteem.
  • Further use of students’ assignments as a starting point for other courses – effect of the snow-ball.
  • Very personal relationships develop between students and teachers within the course – much more than in personal contact via lectures.
  • Negatives: very intensive for students and teachers in terms of workload.
Category
Provision in the curriculum – topic module
Tags
academic literacies, environmental studies, higher education, ICT literacies, information literacies, postgraduate students, staff development, undergraduate students, virtual learning environment, wiki