2016 ICA-Edu Colloquium

e-learning in the life sciences: exploiting open source materials in the curriculum

June 16-17, 2016
Was held at the University of Helsinki, Finland

We invite you to work with e-learning innovation in your teaching and your students learning and to enjoy the northern midnight sun in Helsinki!

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The Focus and Aims

Pedagogical methods and learning possibilities are undergoing significant change as result of advances in e-learning opportunities, such as the availability of massive open online courses (MOOC), and with the ever greater focus on supporting student centred learning. The number of online courses has been increasing rapidly since 2012. There has been much promise made for MOOCS and the use of the internet in supporting students learning. Not only to envisage new pedagogical models, but also as a revenue opportunity and for lowering teaching costs (Pappano 2012, Phuong and Wang 2015). However there are also many drawbacks to be overcome (Banerjee and Duflo 2014).

However, it seems that Europe and life science education is lagging behind in the use of MOOCs and open source materials. Lecturers and universities have been struggling how to organise themselves around this new model of e-learning. It has also been recognized that there is a tightening competition for best students and simultaneously, abundance of potential teaching materials online. This is your opportunity to discuss with others how you might use MOOCs and other internet resources in your teaching for the benefit of your student's learning.

Your experience in the use of the internet will support our discussion in the use of MOOCs and open source materials. Of course if you and your students already have such experiences in your courses it will be great to share that experience in the Colloquium.

The aim of the ICA-EDU Colloquium 2016 is centred around two themes of e-learning open source courses.

  • firstly, to discuss the possibilities, challenges and benefits for the integration of open source learning approaches, such as MOOCs, in curricula, and
  • secondly business models for the development and delivery world wide of e-learning systems such as MOOCs.

The colloquium will have three keynote presentations, but is otherwise organized as a workshop to write a scientific article based on these topics. The manuscript will be written before, during and after the workshop using cloud services. The Keynote speakers in the colloquium are:

  • Ulrike Wild, Director Distance Learning, Wageningen UR
  • Päivi Tynjälä, Professor (education), University of Jyväskylä
  • Petri Parvinen, Professor (marketing), University of Helsinki

Expected Outcomes

Increased awareness of possibilities for the integration of open source learning approaches, a draft for a state-of-the-art article on e-learning in the life sciences: exploiting open source materials in the curriculum. This may include chapters e.g., examples of intended learning outcomes cases of life sciences education using open learning resources or MOOCs, pedagogical background, and versions of business models.

Target Audience

Life sciences academics, students, teachers, educational technology planning officers, academic administrators, and policy makers.

The Colloquium was promoted by

  • Mika Rekola - Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Helsinki & ICA board member
  • Hanni Muukkonen - Vice-dean Education, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Univertsity of Helsinki
  • Barbara Hinterstoisser - Chair ICA-EDU Executive Committee & Vice Rector University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU)

Download the Summary Report