The direct stakeholders of SMARTEN are higher education students and teachers. On a high level, student needs revolve around the seamless and uninhibited continuation of the learning process in the pandemic era. Student learning needs include:
(i) Having access to rich, digitally enabled educational resources;
(ii) Continuing to participate in lectures either in the classroom or from a distance;
(iii) Receiving effective feedback and
(iv) Collaborating in groups either in the classroom or from a distance by sharing ideas in highly expressive ways that involve multimedia content, brainstorming, building on each other’s proposals, jointly synthesizing solutions, prioritizing and monitoring implementation tasks, and more.
An educator needs revolve around the development of their capacity to integrate into learning practices emerging digital tools that allow the continuation of learning delivery in the pandemic era.
More specifically, educators needs include:
(i) Building their capacity to integrate emerging learning design that builds desirable skills among students, including problem- and project-based learning;
(ii) Building their capacity to exploit digital tools for enriching student interaction both in the classroom and from a distance.
The above are addressed by the proposed SMARTEN project and augmented collaboration toolkit that will implement virtual presence and group work anywhere, anytime in a manner that closely simulates face-to-face communication.The target groups are university students and teachers, who are usually well-trained when it comes to the technical issues but lack the knowledge of the system complexity formed in a social system with conflicting interests and different resource use patterns.
Target groups also include citizens, policymakers and young professionals who may be involved in lifelong learning programs. Educated citizens are an important asset in today’s societies where individual behaviour affects our sustainability for generations to come.
Serious games as learning methods have been used since the 2000s mainly in higher and continuing education. In contrast, today, they are used in different contexts, such as human resources management and knowledge management or innovation. Even though they have been used before for providing an immersive experience to the user, in SMARTEN, the Serious Game can also be used as a data-sharing platform, since it will incorporate data from different domains. It is also innovative to use gaming and other platforms, such as miro to model policy interventions and bring together stakeholders for interacting in a format that is achieved in the digital gamifying workshops.
The strength of SMARTEN is that it produces educational material that develops a better understanding of the nexus, including advanced and robust scientific understanding from major research projects, representing the most advanced knowledge in resource modelling. Additionally, SMARTEN’s impact on a scientific level is that it will use the latest technological developments in learning methods, with high-quality tools that offer immersion of the user in the learning environment, making it easily accessible to the interested public. Through the case studies that it will introduce, SMARTEN will deliver data and information on updating SDGs at both European and global level, while bringing advanced scientific data on the Nexus under the influence of climate change to the general public, on each citizen’s computer raising their awareness of these important issues and inviting them all to be involved in this process.
SMARTEN will deliver an innovative product that deals with the SDGs and will interact with a range of interested citizens-scientists, researchers and students.The material created will be highly transferrable, as it will be digital and will be tested in various settings and countries facing different realities. All modules will be designed in a way that will take into account cultural differences in order to make them transferrable.Please describe the division of work, the tasks leading to the production of the intellectual output and the applied methodology
The SMARTEN learning design will be implemented through the following steps:
- Creating a stakeholder map of groups that stand to gain directly or indirectly from digital collaborative learning services in higher education.
- Analyzing the current situation in higher education in terms of delivering learning through virtual and traditional channels. This includes the analysis of best practices, strategies, projects, and more.
- Establishing the learning needs of students in terms of receiving seamless learning in the pandemic age. At the same time, in this Task, we establish the needs of educators for being able to adopt emerging, digitally-enabled collaborative learning models. In this process, all partners will participate in order to record the needs of students and educators in different settings, geographical locations, contexts, etc. This way, the project ensures transferability, since diversity in the needs and tools to be developed is ensured.
- Designing the SMARTEN methodological learning approach for promoting seamless learning through virtual in addition to face-to-face learning delivery based on problem- and project-based approaches. Different formats that stimulate the interest and active participation of students, such as serious games, videos and slide presentations for compiling information will be designed. Different communication platforms will be used that will allow direct message exchange, video talks, SMS and hangouts. Presentations will be made using specialized software (e.g. Prezi, ThingLink) that support movement and various audio-visual effects, which are elements that maintain the interest in the subject that is being taught. Self-evaluation material in the form of multiple-choice quizzes of variable difficulty will be developed and will be available digitally through the toolkit.