First Regional Workshop on Teaching-Learning Practice Improvement

Apr 2020

On March 30 -1 April 2020 the First Regional Workshop on Teaching-Learning Practice Improvementtook place in terms of the project Strengthening the Climate Adaptation Capacities in the South Caucasus: Enhancing regional cooperative action for the benefit of the Caucasus mountain region (SCAC) with financial support from the Swiss Co-operation Office-South Caucasus funded by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). Due to outbreak of coronavirus pandemic around the world and restricted travel conditions the meeting was organized through ZOOM videoconference.

National experts, University of Geneva (UNIGE)Team, Sustainable Caucasus members and representatives  Ilia State University of Georgia have been involved  in the meeting.

The meeting focused on evaluation of progress and further planning of the following interventions andparticularly on Study of international and local teaching-learning practices and establishment of DRM &hazard mapping module in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia: (a) In-depth assessment of national highereducation offer in DRM and hazard mapping in South Caucasus countries and (b)Distance-learning modulefor hazard mapping.

The first part of the workshop was dedicated to the In-depth assessment of national higher education offer in DRM and hazard mapping in South Caucasus countries, while the second part was devoted to the Distance-learning module for hazard mapping.

In-depth assessment of national higher education offer in DRM and hazard mapping in South Caucasus countries: The inception phase assessment of DRM and hazard mapping education at selected South Caucasus higher education institutions has served to identify a significant number of relevant courses and teaching approaches, as well as indications of the institutional environment, lecturer and administrative staff availability and competences and budgetary conditions. Participants of the meeting reviewed the assessment

report of teaching and learning practices in DRM and hazard mapping courses, identified gaps and priorities for improving the existing and for creating new courses and discussed short list of courses to be included in the possible higher education in DRM at the regional level in the South Caucasus.

Distance-learning module for hazard mapping A growing number of educational offers are in the form of distance learning. The advantages of distance learning include accessibility from anywhere in the world, affordability, self-paced learning, flexible scheduling, diversity of high-quality programmes, and value-added for employability. Based on a review of DRM teaching at selected South Caucasus universities, distance learning is not yet widely used. While distance learning can include costly techniques such as the creation of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), affordable yet effective techniques are widely deployed.

Participants of the meeting discussed two-part distance-learning module: basics (context, concepts, definitions) and mapping (concepts, tools, applications, practice). As mentioned the module consists of two parts. At the conclusion of Part One (1 ECTS: 25-30 hours of total student investment), participants will be able to identify and understand key DRM concepts and definitions as well as locate DRM in national and international institutional contexts. At the conclusion of Part Two (2 ECTS 50-60 hours of total student investment), students will be able to apply DRM concepts using GIS tools to produce risk maps. The distance-learning module will be open to a wider audience, including professionals.

At the end of the meeting participants made final remarks on above mentioned  topics and  planned  next steps for future  work.