Innovative Training Actions — Applying the EO4GEO methods & findings in case-based approaches
A series of training actions for different case-based learning scenarios in the sub-sectors ‘integrated applications’, ‘smart cities’ and ‘climate change’ are designed to test the methods developed in the EO4GEO project.
[Written by Veronika Krieger — Spatial Services GmbH]
Since EO4GEO aims to close the skills gap between the supply and demand of education and training in the space/geodata sector, the methods developed in the project should of course also be tested in practical training. An analysis of the training actions then will show whether the learning objectives have been achieved and thus whether the EO4GEO method is effective.
Targets, training actions and providers
There are different tools and analyses from the EO4GEO project that support the development of training actions. The analysis of the occupational profiles and curricula showed different groups to which a training course can be addressed. The designated target group of training actions includes students, academic teachers, data experts, technicians, public authorities, city planners, managers, and decision-makers. Depending on the target group, different training actions are appropriate. Program course, Short course, Workshop, Project work, Internship, Summer school or short intensive programme, Webinar, MOOC, and Thesis have been identified. Finally, there are different training providers, i.e. Authorities, Industry, and Academia/VET are considered (Fig. 1).
The Body of Knowledge (BoK) and its concepts provide the opportunity to clearly define the requirements and objectives of the training action. This is important in order to communicate the content of the action to the target group and to assure that the expectations are met.
Each training action should be complete in terms of learning objectives and content and thus be independent of other training actions. Nonetheless, the different training modules should be combinable to provide learning paths. They can be chosen individually according to the trainee’s interests. One opportunity could be to combine the training actions using the same software. Or, to choose the same scenario, but different approaches.
The case-based approach
Within a case-based training action, a specific scenario is dealt with. To specify a scenario means that ‘real-world’ problems are identified and described, which will be solved by using GI and EO techniques during the learning process. Class-takers learn to analyse a problem and explore how GI and EO techniques can be used to solve the problem. In order to successfully complete the task, the following questions must be answered:
- What is the problem?
- What is the best strategy to provide a solution? Only one or more?
- What are the outputs/results to be achieved for the selected solution?
- What are the activities/tasks to be carried out to achieve the outputs/results?
The selection of the scenarios for the three subsectors (integrated applications, smart cities and climate change) was guided by several criteria. First and foremost, the task lead and the contributors proposed scenarios based on previous or on-going activities, so that they feel confident to access the relevant data and to involve known stakeholders. In the second evaluation phase, the optimal spread of involved actors — occupational profiles: managers, EO/GI experts, technicians, data analysts, assistants — offered by the selected scenarios were considered to enable the use of relevant training measures based on scientific as well as VET curricula. A specification of an exemplary training action according to these points can be seen in Fig. 2.
Environmental policies drive the choice of topics
During the third round of evaluations, the relation of the scenarios to higher political objectives was considered. Problem-based learning requires understanding the context of planned actions or development interventions. These contexts are generally defined by policy objectives either in the form of acts to be implemented or to monitor the compliance to regulations.
The core topics of the selected scenarios can be attributed to three key policy objectives either in the EU (Green Deal) or globally (Paris Agreement, Sendai Framework) (see Fig. 3). In total, 11 scenarios have been selected.
Starting from autumn 2020 they are implemented in different training actions that are announced on the EO4GEO website. We invite you to participate!
Finally, the training actions are evaluated within the project. The testing and validation are performed by involving the training providers, the space/geospatial industry and public sector players, the end-users and other relevant stakeholders. The feedback of the testing and validation during the training actions will provide the necessary input to help to define the Action Plan.