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Approach

A Project Management Board (PMG) that consists of the project coordinator and a senior representative from each partner institution is established. All multilateral issues are handled and resolved through mutual agreements by this body. The Work Package Leaders Board consisting of the leading expert of each WP has been also established.

An internal and external Quality Assurance Group is set up by all partners. Each partner appointed one representative for the internal group and two outside experts are appointed for the external group by the PMB.

25 teaching staff (3-4 from each partner) and 70 prospective Master students (10 from each partner) are selected to take part in the diagnostic, formative and summative analysis and the VLMS validation and the Master course curriculum.

A pedagogical framework is developed integrating four learning strategies: 1) learner-centred instructional design; 2) transformative use of ICTs; 3) problem-based learning; and 4) online student-tutor-peers interactions.

Based on the pedagogical framework, the programme of study (curriculum) is developed focusing on an interdisciplinary approach addressing the four pillars (environment, society, culture and economy) of sustainable development. It makes use of ICTs in three ways: a) provide opportunities to target groups for reflective practice; b) use open source ICT tools and ESD-related learning objects available in the Web; c) use ICTs to develop interactive, interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary ESD learning activities.

The integration of the course curriculum and the VLMS (Virtual Learning Management System) make up the VLE (Virtual Learning Environment). A three-staged approach to revision of the online content modules, using content reviewers, individuals as test cases, and a small pilot group of prospective students is established.

A pedagogically meaningful and replicable toolkit for virtual training is being developed and applied in training 25 teaching staff to function as e-tutors for the joint Master degree programme.

Selection of the 1st cohort of Master students based on set criteria will take place by the end quarter of the project. The joint Master degree will be deployed virtually and enabled through synchronous (videoconferencing, live streaming, collaborative workspaces, and computer mediated conferencing) and asynchronous modes of communication. Joint supervision will be practiced and offered virtually, using the affordances of the VLE.

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