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European Virtual Seminar (EVS) on Sustainable Development. EVS in 7 steps. An international, multidisciplinary dialogue between geographically distributed students. 1 joint course. EVS is a joint course, in two ways:

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European Virtual Seminar (EVS) on Sustainable Development


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    1. European Virtual Seminar(EVS) on Sustainable Development EVS in 7 steps An international, multidisciplinary dialogue between geographically distributed students

    2. 1 joint course EVS is a jointcourse, in two ways: • educational format: e-learning in teams of students from all over Europe • organisational model: European universities organize this course together by providing students, tutors and case study experts

    3. 2 learning objectives After participating in EVS, the student should be able to • describe and operationalise the concept of sustainable development • analyse sustainable development issues from a European perspective • link local, national and European policy-related issues to a societal shift towards sustainable development • collaborate with students of different nationalities and from different cultural and disciplinary backgrounds • use modern ICT and the Internet effectively for collaborative learning

    4. “The learning mostly is the result of exchanges with other students and the tutor. So, EVS is as good as the communication and collaboration with the other students and tutor are.” “We were collaborating together having absolutely different cultural, educational and professional backgrounds and managed to come up with common ideas and agreed solutions.” “It’s quite amazing what we achieved once we were able to focus on it.” “The added value of EVS (as compared to just reading a book) is based on the communication with others: students and tutor/expert. The combination of individual work on the one hand and discussion with others on the other hand, is what represents most of the learning.” Ivana Horáková Charles University in Prague Dmitry Savelau Charles University in Prague Kristof Debrabandere Open University of the Netherlands Student team ‘Communicating SD’, EVS 2007

    5. Requirements for student participation in EVS • interested in sustainable development issues • keen to perform group work • able to read and write English • able to spend 8-10 hours a week on the EVS • access to a computer with an internet connection • open to e-learning

    6. 3 EVS community • students learning and working in heterogeneous teams (4-6 members), fulfilling individual and group activities, and executing group research • tutors coaching student teams, and assessment of group process • experts delivering case studies, and assessment of group products • institutional coordinators at students home university for intake and formal issues (EVS compulsory or optional course, credit points, etc) • central coordinator (OUNL) for overall course management and maintaining electronic learning environment of EVS

    7. 4 learning proces Learning process in 5 stages • orientation and student selection • group forming and community-building • writing group research proposal • group members doing research on case study • writing group report and policy summary * learning process is supported by individual and group reflections

    8. 5 learning content Case study approach • case studies on sustainable development issues in Europe • case studies are open problem descriptions • student teams seek best possible solution • students use all expertise and perspectives possessed by the team • students are asked about their case study preferences • case studies are delivered by experts from partner institutions • set of writing guidelines for authors to develop case study

    9. learning content Topics case studies (examples) • Integrated Water Management in the Danube basin: Implementation of the European Water Framework Directive from an international perspective (University of Antwerp) • Sustainability Communication (University of Lüneburg) • Future of Sustainable Agriculture in Poland (University of Amsterdam) • Decoupling of Environmental Pressure from Quality of Life (Charles University in Prague)

    10. screen dump case study

    11. 6 learning technology • Internet • Electronic Learning Environment (Blackboard or Moodle) • Tools for collaboration, communication, interaction • Tools at central (EVS) level, and group level • Discussion boards, e-mail and chat facilities, file exchange, etc. • Emphasis on asynchronous communication (discussion boards) • Some real-time sessions (chat) • Additional tools (e.g. VoIP, webcams)

    12. screen dump pre-structured discussion board

    13. 7 get involved EVS network • 13 universities in 10 European countries (situation 2010) • institutions share their expertise and invest staff time • distribution of tasks and responsibilities over partners EVS partners can participate in EVS at 3 different levels • providing students and an institutional coordinator • providing one or more tutors in addition to 1) • delivering a case study and providing an expert in addition to 2)

    14. more information Information and contact • www.vcse.eu • www.ou.nl/evs • ron.corvers@ou.nl Facts about EVS • level: end bachelor – begin master • study load: 120 hours (5 ects) • run: mid October – end March • registration: institutional coordinators • central coordinator: Open Universiteit in The Netherlands