Reynolds, Martin; Berardi, Andrea; Bachler, Michelle; Buckingham Shum, Simon; Bernard, Calvin; Mistry, Jay and Ulrich, Werner
ECOSENSUS: developing collaborative learning systems for stakeholding development in environmental planning.
In: OU Conference Curriculum, Teaching & Student Support Conference, The Open University, 2 May 2007, Milton Keynes, UK.
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ECOSENSUS *(Electronic/Ecological Collaborative Sensemaking Support System) investigates the socio-technological issues around developing collaboration tools for participatory environmental decision making amongst (a) marginalised natural resource users, (b) professional 'experts' from different countries, and (c) key decision makers associated with managing ecosystems. An integral activity is the production of open content learning resources to support stakeholders in facilitating distributed environmental decision making. This involves the integrated use of three open source software tools: Moodle (online course management), Compendium (dialogue mapping) and uDig (user friendly desktop/internet GIS). In the first ECOSENSUS-1 phase, the pilot collaborative effort has been focused on supporting stakeholders in developing adaptive management plans for the Rupununi Wetlands in southern Guyana, a region rich in flora and fauna but also under intense pressure to expand the exploitation of its natural resources, including timber, gold, and commercially viable fish species. Results of the ECOSENSUS-1 are briefly described along with some preliminary notes on the current ECOSENUS-2 phase of associated research in Guyana supported by an additional grant from DEFRA. The paper prompts questions on how ECOSENSUS can feed into wider open source course development using the LabSpace on the OpenLearn project.
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