SHARING E-COURSES IN GI SCIENCE WITH EUROPEAN PARTNERS: EXPERIENCES WITH A GEODATA VISUALIZATION COURSE
The paper will describe our experiences in the development and execution of an e-learning course in Geodata Visualization. This course is developed in the framework of the project ‘eduGI’ that aims at re-use and sharing of e-learning courses in GI Science among the project partners. Currently, there are eight contributing partners in seven European countries. Each institute develops and executes one course for students of two or three partner institutes, and - in return - receives two or three other courses to be taken by their own students. For example: ITC executes the Geodata Visualization course for students of the Harokopio University in Athens (Greece) and Uppsala University (Sweden); it receives:
§ GeoSpatial Data Mining, from the New University of Lisbon (Portugal);
§ Data Acquisition and Integration, from the University of West Hungary;
§ Virtual Excursions, from Uppsala University (Sweden).
All the courses run on an educational platform of the New University of Lisbon. Some other common aspects are the level (M.Sc.), the study load (90 hours), and the credit for students who successfully complete the course (3 ECTS). Furthermore, the courses are evaluated by staff of the receiving institutes and by the course participants.
The project is sponsored by the European Commission (EC), Directorate-General for Education and Culture (Project’s reference: eduGI – EAC/23/05 DE 011). It started in February 2006. All the pilot courses will be completed in May 2007, Based on the evaluations, improvements will then be made, and decisions about future exploitation of the courses, beyond the end date of the EC-sponsored project (July 2007). The project’s home page is at: http://www.edugi.net/eduGI.
The paper will first describe the general project context in more detail. Then it will discuss the main underlying ideas of the Geodata Visualization course. It will describe the course structure and course components: study guide with learning instruction, e-lectures, tasks (to be executed in small teams), synchronous contact sessions, self tests and exam. Our positive and negative experiences in the design and execution of an e-learning course at a remote platform, recruiting of (in ITC’s case) remote students for the courses that we received, and the cooperation with partner institutes will be discussed. We will briefly compare our experiences in this e-learning project with other types of e-learning or blended learning projects in which ITC is involved, and end with some conclusions and recommendations.