The innovation in this project part is both in regard to the project design and the thematic choice which address an educational and research gap in the African continent. The basic idea in the project design center around the use of a case study based research to develop online based teaching and training. In this sense, the case study serves a “natural laboratory” which exemplifies real-life problems to be addressed by students and researchers. This approach corresponds to the general idea of enquiry- based learning and case study based learning. Such learning approaches are driven by a process of enquiry. They empower the students to pursue their own lines and enquiry using real case studies. While students use their previous knowledge to solve problems, the lecturer supports or facilitate this process of learning. The power of such approaches to teaching are in their leaner-centrality. The approach of using case studies and encouraging student-driven enquiries is thus seen as a part for lifelong learning as it prepares students to learn-on-demand and be flexible to future complex and changing research problems. The focus is thus on the student and the case study as an example for sustainability problems in similar contexts. The use of the case study in the project as a natural laboratory has also many advantages for different kinds of outputs and enhance sustainability beyond the project lifecycle.
The developed education materials and trainings will largely be offered using elearning facilities. This innovative approach ensures a wide research this materials and the upscaling of research done on the case study to other African cities. Besides, the learning units will be designed flexibly based on a building block concept. This means that certain units can be joined together to offer for different purposes, e.g. as one master-level of Ph.D.-level course or in order to organize a summer school for advanced students and practitioners. Since the project thematic focus addresses an important research and education gap in Africa as stated above, the design of a new blended learning master programme on this topic represent another important project innovation.
The challenge of resource supply sustainability in urban cities of Africa can only be addressed by linking innovative research to relevant existing educational curricula in the continent. The project contributes directly to fulfilling this need by using research results to outline targeted educational and trainings easily accessible to a wide group of students and researchers from the African continent. The measures carried out under this module of the project centres around the setup of a virtual environment to support capacity building and networking activities and development of educational resources and trainings measures on the overarching research subject of the project. Overall, the project efforts in this project part address five areas grouped in work packages.
Work packages in the capacity building component:
- Development of educational materials – eLearning courses
- Set up of the Digital Learning Environment
- Capacity Building activities and training
- Support for mobility of staff and MSc. & PhD students
- Curriculum Harmonization and Development