Urban Ecology Seminar:
Technology Enhanced
Blended Learning
Urban Ecology    (Stadtökologie, LV-Nr. 825073, SE, WS 2011/12)

    INTRODUCTION: the rules of the game

    WELCOME   (and yes, this is all in English).

    This is the plan:
    Ja, mach nur einen Plan ... (Bertold Brecht, Dreigroschenoper)

    1. We start with a first two-day block October 24/25 that introduces the "procedere" and the topic in a series of up to 12 lecture units, depending on discussion, for 12-16 hours (bring an apple ....).   Lecture notes for these are also available as on-line PPT presentations or for optional download.

    2. This first encounter is followed by a more leisurely period of "eLearning" style on-line seminar: using the seminar home page (http://www.ess.co.at/URBANECOLOGY) as a virtual classroom, together with a participants mailing list, a web-based discussion forum, and a (slowly growing) set of on-line fully interactive lectures, on-line multiple choice test(s);
      Any number of questions and specific topics will be raised in the initial "classroom" lecture and discussion block, a few suggestions and background material can also be found on-line(try: Assignments,   Topics):   now it is up to YOU:     PICK A TOPIC (or two !) and start a discussion on the web based discussion forum ! (advantage: any time, at your own pace, with or without babel fish ...)

    3. Scoring: this is how your score:   by ACTIVE PARTICIPATION. The beauty of the eLearning model is that the computer remembers you (once properly registered) whenever you do something, like post to the forum, take a test, follow an on-line lecture, send an email (to the mailing list or just to me), submit a "term paper" contribute to the on-line Glossary, write a paper review, find/submit an interesting article (with comments) to share, etc.
      The central piece of your input is a short "term paper" of a few pages beyond cut and paste, that discusses one of the topics or questions, preferably summarizing the discussion in the forum.

    4. Whenever you do something conceivably useful, you get Brownie Points that are used for a (competitive ...) "performance ranking" (on-line) that serves primarily for your information, so you get an idea how you are doing in the "virtual class".

    5. AGAIN: the idea is ACTIVE PARTICIPATION, discourse, discussion - it is a SEMINAR, albeit in a somewhat unusual format.

    6. Depending on on-line activities and progress, we may plan for a second block in January (February?) for the presentation and discussion of term papers if you feel "electronically challenged" ? All of which we will discuss on-line !

    THINGS TO DO: (for a start)

    1. Register (link "Student Registration" on the home page)
      PLEASE select a user name WITHOUT spaces and special characters ("." and "_" are ok ...),
      suggested style: FirstnameLastname   IMPORTANT: something that allows unambiguous identification, please !
      Also: please use your *@UIBK.AC.AT university mail address (consistently).

    2. Register at the web forum (as above, please use the SAME user name so we can cross-reference activities)
      REPEAT: smart move to use the same user name and password, and your university (uibk.ac.at) mail address always, else the computer will not know WHOM to talk to ?

    3. Introduce yourself (why are you here ?) - for an entree: ask a(n intelligent) question you expect to be addressed, even answered, in the seminar.
    4. Download the Questionnaire, fill it quickly (looking for first reactions ...), submit ;
    5. Take the introductory multiple choice test (as a benchmark, not "graded" !)
    6. Browse the homepage links ! Suggestions ?
    7. Pick a topic, assignment, (stake your claim, own a topic) let us know what you think, post, discuss !
    8. Keep asking questions (good questions will trigger some response !) or state your thesis, discuss !
    9. Earn Brownie points, go to the top of the class.

    10. GET INVOLVED, provide feedback;   have fun (and hopefully also learn something).


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