The first experience of Campus EcoSur

sm_campus As a result of the seminar "constructions with earth", in Havana, Cuba in November 2005, EcoSur assumed the commitment to create the "virtual campus of EcoMaterials", as a medium to develop events and programs of formal and informal learning. The reflections of the participants in the aforementioned event clearly indicated that development of earth construction technologies and its becoming more mainstream requires implementation of an investigative and scientific process, as well as an aggressive system of capacitation at all levels: university, secondary and local population. 

Immediately EcoSur collaborators began to design and construct "Campus EcoSur". The first step consisted in analyzing various alternatives and selecting a platform of virtual education that fulfilled their interests, opting for the free access platform "Moodle". A course on virtual education for the "teachers" was organized to familiarize with them with the Moodle system and to design the educational courses. This was carried out by a technical administrator in charge of corporate design and the adjustment of the virtual platform and an academic administrator for the pedagogic and teaching component of the campus.

Once the course "introduction to the science and technologies of earth constructions" was designed, the teachers prepared the material needed for the content. At the same time an open subscription through the EcoSur website was launched and invitations were sent to persons and institutions interested in the theme. On the April 10, 2006 there were 199 participants from throughout Latin America, as well as Spain, Portugal, EEUU, Belgium, Austria and France.

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This new experience in the area of EcoMaterials occurred through the internet direction course was 80 hours and held over a period of eight weeks. Its main objective was to provide the basic principles of the science and technology of earth construction, from the perspective of use of alternative materials, denominated EcoMaterials, revealing the interrelations and interdependence of environmental, social-cultural and economical aspects, as well as the scientific-technological character implicated. In the methodological part the course five thematic modules were developed: 1) the use of earth in ecological and development aspects; 2) building with earth: social and cultural implications; 3) economy in earth walls; 4) science and technologies in earth walls; 5) laboratory tests and analysis of earth.

The program included study and guided work, suggested feedback activities and participation of the "students" in five forums in which they had the opportunity to interchange criteria, amplify explanations and offer alternatives on the themes discussed.

For all those involved in campus EcoSur this has been a enriching experience, in educative as well as scientific-technological aspects. They discover that this is an opportunity to amplify the possibilities of post degree studies. The great number of participants has indicated the next task: create a similar course at the level of a higher diploma, recognized by a prestige University in Latin America.

Campus EcoSur is preparing for this... Caricaturas por

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