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Innovation of Forestry Education
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The main aim of this project is innovation of forestry education through transfer the findings of a blended learning approach exploiting a problem oriented way of learning.
The general level of integration of information and communication technologies (ICT) in teaching has increased greatly over the past years. However, forestry education in many countries has been using traditional didactical approaches such as theoretical class teaching, set of lectures more or less mixed with practical field training and excursions. It has relied mainly on traditional learning tools e.g. hardcopies of various publications etc. Such education system is no more able to provide expected results. Therefore, forestry education needed to adopt modern didactical approaches and innovative learning techniques able to hold learner’s interest, and secure flexible education for effective knowledge transfer.
The main aim of this project is innovation of forestry education through transfer the findings of a blended learning approach exploiting a problem oriented way of learning. Beside the transfer of the didactical approach, the project aims also at the transfer of the requirements for a target oriented ICT environment. Thematically, the pilot implementation focuses on learning material on:
- Artificial forest regeneration in changing conditions: various methods for production of forest tree planting stock (containerized or bare-rooted), vegetative propagation, etc. Moreover, we are able to provide newest knowledge and methods about use of hydro-gel in forest regenerations to increase drought resistance of seedlings and overall success of forest plantations.
- Fire Protection and voluntarism
- Protection against flooding
- Knowledge and identification of forest animal life
- Training of trainers on how to disseminate scientific information on the wider public
- Innovative methods in forest measurement: this course introduces exploitation and use of electronic equipment in forest measurement (to measure growing stock – tree diameter, height, volume..). This equipment can be very helpful, but it is very expensive, so it is not used in forest practice in Slovakia (only in minor extent).
- Close-to-nature silvicultute: silvicultural system, which exploits natural processes in forest ecosystems (such as concurrent and symbiotic relationships) to: a) reduce human intervention in forest development, and thus reduce costs for silvicultural treatments and b) build forest structure, which is more natural and thus more resistant against various calamities and pests.
- Timber assortment and trade: within this course we have put emphasis on timber assortment and timber quality classes and timber defects which affects its quality and price. However the course contains also some materials about timber measurement, timber trade and communication in business.
Main outcomes of the project is i) the transfer of a Blended Learning approach to Greek further forestry education, ii) the adaptation and application of an e-learning platform and iii) ICT-based pedagogical materials created and tested (pilot course “forest management under changed environmental conditions”. This approach will support the innovation of ICT-based learning tools and the transfer of research outcomes to forestry practice. At the long run, these activities help to bridge the gap between educational institutions and forest practice and increase cooperation among them.