Tox-Oer - Learning Toxicology Through Open Educational Resources

Scientific manager: Prof. Stefano Girotti
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Sector: Higher Education

Unibo structures involved: 

  • Dipartimento di Farmacia e Biotecnologie (FaBiT)
  • Dipartimento di Scienze dell’Educazione “Giovanni Maria Bertin” (EDU)

Unibo Team: Prof. Luigi Guerra, Dott.ssa Laura Mercolini, Prof. Roberto Mandrioli, Dott. Luca Ferrari, Dott. Michele Protti, Prof.ssa Manuela Fabbri, Dott.ssa Elena Pacetti

Website: www.toxoer.com
Mooc: www.moodle.toxoer.com

Project Duration in months: 24
Start Date: 01/09/2015
End Date: 31/08/2017

Budget: 191.243 euro  
Unibo Budget: 40.536 euro

Partners

  • Coordinator: Universidad de Salamanca (Spagna)
  • Alma Mater Studiorum - Universita di Bologna (Italia)
  • Kymenlaakson ammattikorkeakoulu (Finlandia)
  • Space Research and Technology Institute (Bulgaria)
  • Universidade do Porto (Portogallo)
  • Universitatea Transilvania din Brasov (Romania)
  • Univerzita Karlova v Praze (Repubblica Ceca)

Description
In the “Bucharest Communication”, 2012, European Higher Education Area, Ministerial Conference, it was stated: “We reiterate our commitment to promote student-centred learning in higher education, characterised by innovative methods of teaching that involve students as active participants in their own learning”. This project (TOX-OER) faces this principle joining as partners Universities and research centers from 7 European States, with high level of knowledge and skills in subdisciplines of Toxicology. This is a transversal science in human and environmental health, society well-being and economy, being part of high-education curricula in Pharmacy, Human and Veterinary Medicine, Environmental Engineering, Biology, Law/Regulation and Forensic Sciences. The profile of partners are adequate to the project needs, to transfer the scientific expertise from one to the other partners, to improve their scientific knowledge and skills, and to strengthen the educational offer and quality among the participating Universities.

This project aims to enhancing digital integration in learning, teaching, training and youth work at various levels by developing scientific, pedagogical, informative and formative materials in Toxicology (ICT-BASED), in their specialized field, which will be available both to all partners and through OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES (OER). The preparation of unified studying materials by experts on different areas will increase the quality of learning. Noteworthy, in this project, it will be design an international MOOC on Toxicology. To carry out the MOOC customization & implementation we have figured out five stages: syllabus; open Source MOOC platform; OER module creation; certifications and credit recognizable; harmonization of the OERs. This MOOC will be translated in all partner-country languages (Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian, Czech, Bulgarian and Finnish) and potentially addressed to a plurality of target groups with different learning needs. Furthermore, it will be created a MOOC Collaborative Design Development Tools to guide/support partners during the creation and the implementation of the Advanced MOOC Toxicology (TOX-OER Learning Modules). It will be also created conditions to recognize and certify the learning outcomes carried out by participants through the Toxicology MOOC fruition. This makes this material available to Europeans and also to South America and Africa people. Of note, the OER could be used in the Lifelong Learning scenario, being useful in long distance teaching in diverse social, economic and cultural contexts and reaching AUDIENCES OF DISADVANTAGED BACKGROUNDS. Thus, due to the lack of European MOOCs in Toxicology, the OER and the MOOCs resulting from this project will be fundamental resources to improve the access of learning, the active learning, the virtual and blended mobility. All the material will remain available even after project end.

The different target groups that will be reached and will benefit from this project are: a) staff of the consortium, benefiting of the various tools (like distance learning); b) scholars, undergraduate students, PhD students, post-docs of programs related to pharmacy, medicine, environmental protection, food safety, and forensic; c) interested professionals in the field:  environment biologists and engineers, food and health professionals, authorities and police forces. Participation in scientific meetings and seminars and publication of the achievable tools in Toxicology journals will allow to disseminate the outcomes of the project in the academic environment. Toxicology is also important for general community as basic knowledge of the field can prevent risks associated to chemical exposure at home, in workplace and open environment, to drugs, “medicinal” plants, and drugs of abuse.

As methodology, communication between partners will be through physical meetings and virtual meetings (IT tools) will be held each three months and whenever necessary. Four full partnership meetings will be carried out, one at the beginning of the project in Salamanca for the scientific discussion of the toxicological themes, to be presented by the involved partners in workshops open to students and professors. Also intensive learning courses will enable direct contact between interested students and experts in the selected fields of Toxicology. Two other interim meetings will be held in Bologna and Králové before the final meeting in Porto to prepare the final report of the project. This final meeting will include an open session to the community in order to share the outputs of the project and to discuss the pedagogical and scientific improvements with recognized experts in the area. The results will be used to prepare a future Join Master among the partners. In fact, after this project it is expected to increase the number of students interested in the courses related with Toxicology.