EDUCATIONAL ADVANCES AND TRENDS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: A RESEARCH PROJECT ON EDUCATIONAL INNOVATION
|Title||EDUCATIONAL ADVANCES AND TRENDS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: A RESEARCH PROJECT ON EDUCATIONAL INNOVATION|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2010|
|Authors||Novo, M, Murga-Menoyo, M-Á, Bautista-Cerro, M-J|
|Journal||Journal of Baltic Science Education|
|Type of Article||Original article|
|Other Numbers||ICID: 925829|
|Keywords||educational information technology, environmental education, online collaborative learning groups, sustainable development|
Within the framework of the Bologna Process, the UNESCO Chair in Environmental Education and Sustainable Development, based at the National University of Distance Education of Spain, is developing research in the field of educational innovation with the aim of incorporating in its learning model the methodological procedures resulting from recent developments in information technology. The teaching innovation projects presented in this work have been designed for students of Environmental Education and Sustainable Development as part of their Environmental Sciences and Education Courses, who were used to test the learning potential of two teaching methodologies: a) the Cmap Tools editor for the construction of concept maps, which is particularly designed to enhance understanding of the relations that make up the conceptual structure of the topics of study; and b) online collaborative learning groups, intended to promote team work and encourage participation, dialogue and divergent thought, all of which are central to education for sustainability. Each pilot project generated material and resources specifically designed for this purpose and entailed a consistent assessment process.
The evaluative research carried out confirms that the methodology of online collaborative learning groups is of interest to the purposes of the subject. The satisfaction which students acknowledge that they feel largely supports the motivational capacity of this methodology to facilitate learning processes and encourage team work, the values of participation and dialogue for reaching consensus. As a result it may be stated that online collaborative learning groups are an appropriate instrument for encouraging the acquisition of ethical competencies. They seek assimilation of disciplinary contents, but, inevitably, by the very nature of the procedure, they require the daily application of attitudes of co-responsibility, solidarity, cooperation and negotiated settlement of conflicts. All these are directly linked to the objectives for environmental education for sustainable development to be achieved in higher education.