Every year, the Netherlands Initiative for Education Research (NRO) awards Comenius grants to renewal projects in education. Constant Swinkels and Wilco Verberk (Plant Ecology and Physiology) developed a biodiversity expedition app as learning material. They are also renewing the study programme and developing new lesson materials such as ‘biodiversity challenges’, short educational videos, and self-tests.
Reason for the project
More and more students are pursuing biodiversity education. Although field excursions are the core of this type of education, logistically it becomes increasingly more difficult as the groups of students grow larger. The biodiversity excursion app offers a solution. The digital tools of today offer unique possibilities for new learning material. In addition, educational knowledge has grown over the last decades.
Nature and communicating about nature are part of Constants life. Transferring knowledge about nature is one of the things that gives his life meaning. The app gives him the chance to let students get to know nature in a meaningful way. In addition, educational development is valuable to the lecturer. By developing your own material, you can compliment your own style of education.
Approach within the project
In this Comenius project, students use educational videos and the biodiversity excursion app. Using the app, students can go on an excursion by themselves. The app uses augmented reality to showcase ecological processes in a way that gives students new insight. Students are also challenged to discover these processes in the field themselves. As a final product, students create their own route, which is then used as course material in the following study year. In addition, the app is public, which means other educational institutions can use it as well.