Pedagogical Manuscript for Landscape Ecology Course
Jaakkola, Lotta (2010)
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The objective of this work was to construct a problem based, CMC landscape ecology course for higher education. This is an advanced course for ecology, environmental and forest science students. The purpose of this course is to provide students with an introduction to the discipline of landscape ecology that could be defined best by its focus on the interplay between spatial pattern and process - specifically, how to characterize spatial pattern, where it comes from, why it matters, and how it changes through time. The course is a student-centred instructional strategy in which students collaboratively solve problems and reflect on their experiences. In the PBL environment, students are responsible for solving a particular problem. In the beginning of each phase a discipline map is developed in order to outline principles and concepts students are expected to learn. The PBL process is such that students must identify, acquire, and synthesize relevant data, and then test hypotheses with the collection of new data in a cycle of analysis-research-report. In the science curriculum the pedagogical perspective has been and still is that the students require a sound body of knowledge and sufficient detailed skills before they are knowledgeable enough to engage with problem-based learning.