ERIC Number: EJ853287
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 25
E-Learning for the Environment: The Universidade Aberta (Portuguese Open Distance University) Experience in the Environmental Sciences Post-Graduate Courses
Bacelar-Nicolau, P.; Caeiro, S.; Martinho, A. P.; Azeiteiro, U. M.; Amador, F.
International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, v10 n4 p354-367 2009
Purpose: In recent decades, there has been an increase of public awareness about environmental problems. A simultaneous effort to increase educational course offerings in this area has been made. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the first edition of the blended learning MSc in Environmental Citizenship and Participation that is offered by Universidade Aberta, Lisbon, Portugal. This is the first and only MSc offered in the distance learning mode in Portugal in this scientific area. The Masters programme includes environmental and social sciences contents. Also the programme includes tools and methodologies designed to help the students put into practice their expanded awareness, and knowledge within educational and public participation processes, within environment projects, programs or plans. Design/methodology/approach: Evaluation is performed with the students using three data sources: a questionnaire survey, personal interviews and assessment materials produced by the students. These data are designed to evaluate course performance in terms of: student motivation, student-content interaction, student-student interaction, student-teacher interaction, learning activities, type of evaluation, and students environmental citizenship attitudes and behaviours. Findings: The qualitative analysis indicates a very high level of student motivation and satisfaction with the programme. The course contents, organisation and learning regime allow students to change their attitudes about environmental domains and to feel they will contribute to others change of attitudes and behaviours. Originality/value: E-learning brings new dimensions to traditional education when it comes to adult learning and increases the motivation to learn about environmental issues if the e-learning for environment course allows for new ways of exploring and solving environmental problems in an interactive way. Moreover, it may increase the readiness to learn if the students are allowed to move into new social roles through the course. (Contains 8 tables.
Descriptors: Environmental Education, Distance Education, Citizen Participation, Learning Modalities, Student Motivation, Learning Motivation, Blended Learning, Questionnaires, Foreign Countries, Open Universities, Masters Programs, Program Descriptions, Course Evaluation, Teacher Student Relationship, Peer Relationship, Adult Learning
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Portugal