OceanTraining.eu: a toolbox for digital ocean education

The International Master of Science in Marine Biological Resources (IMBRSea), is a joint Master program organized by eleven leading European universities in the field of marine sciences,
supported by the European Marine Biological Resource Centre (EMBRC). The Consortium is composed of Ghent University; University of Sorbonne; University of Algarve; University of Oviedo;
Atlantic Technological University; University of the Basque Country; Polytechnic University of Marche; University of Bergen; University of Western Brittany; University of Côte d’Azur; University
of Gothenburg.

Author: Mario Gaitan, Project Officer and PhD student at Ghent University. See contributors page

"OceanTraining.eu: a toolbox for digital ocean education" is developing a set of digital resources aimed at international education programmes in the field of Ocean Sciences.
International Joint Master degrees faced several challenges during the global pandemic. Joint degree programmes strongly depend on international mobility of students. IMBRSea, the International
Master in Marine Biological Resources is an Erasmus Mundus Master degree programme in which 11 EU universities are involved and which attracts around 100 new students every year. Because of the Covid19 Pandemic, the programme developed and experimented with several ad-hoc solutions in the past years: teachers switched from on-site teaching to remote teaching, online and blended courses were developed, new types of professional practices were developed, and thesis defenses were organized remotely. Several of these initiatives did show their added value for this master programme, although for several on-site activities still new and alternative solutions are needed. Interactions with other similar master degree programmes in marine sciences show that there is a need for a set of shared online resources in the following domains.
With a consortium of 4 universities, we are developing existing and new ideas which are supporting the targeted international education programmes like IMBRSea. In addition, we foresee that the outcomes of this project will also be usable on a broader scale (for example in the context of Life Long Learning initiatives or global capacity development in the area of Ocean Science).
The OceanTraining.eu toolbox will entail four categories of digital education instruments:

1. We will make available a set of fundamental online asynchronous courses in the field of Ocean Sciences. These courses will be unique in the sense that they are jointly developed and accepted
by a consortium of European Universities;

2. An essential result linked to the first point is a methodology for the improvement of online courses based on an internal review system. This methodology will be adapted to each of the
courses developed and hosted in the MarineTraining.eu toolbox;

3. Via the so-called "Virtual Ocean lab" we want to gather existing virtual and remote alternatives which can be implemented in order to achieve learning outcomes linked to practical and fieldwork;

4. We want to initiate the development of a central registry for online marine education resources. Currently, a lot of educational resources are being or having being developed all over the place. Many of these are not traceable because of the lack of a centralized repository in which educators can register their resources.

JPROV's Online Teaching Digital Toolbox (aalto.fi) explaines this set of shared online resources as a digital thematic network.

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