The lived experience of climate change: interdisciplinary e-module development and virtual mobility

This project applies principles of open content, and learning, and virtual mobility, to a...

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Gordon Wilson
3 June 2010

This project applies principles of open content, and learning, and virtual mobility, to a global challenge of great importance. It takes us back to the basic question of what open content and learning are for.

Supported by the European Union Lifelong Learning Erasmus Programme, the project brings together nine Higher Education Institutions across six EU countries, creating a community of scholars, students and citizens to make a major contribution to sustainable development education. The Open UNiversity (UK) is the coordinating partner.

We are developing online curriculum resources and virtual learning communities. These resources will support Masters dissertations in the broad area of the lived experience of climate change -- how individuals and organisations conceive and respond to its perceived local impacts, for example extreme weather or biodiversity changes. They can be used flexibly by Universities to complement existing postgraduate programmes. At the end of the project in May 2011 they will become open educational resources for any University to use.

We are also creating two virtual learning communities . One is for students undertaking dissertations in the area and their supervisors. It will comprise a virtual mobility space across Europe for interactions of students and supervisors. The second will additionally include the individuals, communities and organisations with which students are engaging in their research activities, thus contributing to an effective, informed European citizenry to complement the crucial understanding of climate change provided by the scientific community over the years.

The dissertations produced by students will form an essential knowledge base on citizen behaviour and potential to contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation.  Their key findings will be used to influence EU policy on climate change.

Conceived deliberately as an interdisciplinary project involving natural and social scientists, and technologists and engineers, we are designing the curriculum resources  to support students from any disciplinary background who wish to undertake a dissertation in the area.

Gordon Wilson, project coordinator.

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