Innovative Sustainable Forest Management Education in the Asia-Pacific Region (Phase II)
Project title: Innovative sustainable forest management education in the Asia-Pacific region – Phase II [Project ID: 2018P3-UBC]
Supervisory agency: University of British Columbia
Executing agency: Executive Office, Asia Pacific Forest Education Coordination Mechanism (AP-FECM)
Implementing agencies: University of British Columbia (UBC), Beijing Forestry University (BFU), University of Melbourne (UM), University Putra Malaysia (UPM) and University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB)
Institutions involved: 15 institutions in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Oceania, and North America
Budget in USD (total/APFNet grant): 794,600/563,000
Duration: April 2018 to March 2021, 36 months
Target region: Asia-Pacific region
Objectives: Develop seven new online courses with an emphasis on tropical forests; Enhance the quality of forest education by integrating the world-leading edX online course platform (UBC edX Edge) with massive open online courses (MOOC) standards for all developed courses; Provide a foundation for regional universities to further develop an online masters degree programme in sustainable forest management (SFM).
Expected outputs: Establishment of an AP-FECM Sustianable Forest Management Certificate Programme; All developed courses migrated to the world’s leading online course platform (edX) and upgraded to MOOC version; Development of seven new online courses on sustainable management of tropical forests; Operations and programme administration of online courses conducted daily.
Many Asia-Pacific economies do not have a structured forestry training system and promoting and practising sustainable forest management (SFM) has been a challenge over the last few decades. To help develop a holistic and comprehensive academic programme to improve SFM capacity in the Asia-Pacific region, APFNet funded the project “Innovative sustainable forest management education” in two phases. Six SFM courses were developed during Phase I of the project, attracting over 3,300 users and 37,000 views from 91 economies. In 2016, they received the “Award of Excellence and Innovation in the Integration of Technology in Educational Practices/Collaboration”. In 2017, the second phase of the project to upgrade and further promote the courses developed in Phase I and establish a structured SFM online learning programme to benefit the Asia Pacific region and students worldwide was initiated.
Project featured topics
Improving sustainable forest management education with innovative technologies
The new online courses to be developed during Phase II have an emphasis on tropical forests, covering topics from forest measurement, planning, climate adaptation, carbon management to community forestry and providing local livelihoods. These courses provide a systematic knowledge base and skill set for learners to understand SFM in a global context. All courses will be migrated to the world’s leading online course platform edX (https://www.edx.org) and upgraded to Massive Open Online Courses version. On the edX platform, functions such as user tracking, learner surveys, learning analytics and discussion forums will be available to support student engagement and learning management. New educational technology such as lab simulation, virtual reality and artificial intelligence will be incorporated to course content and student assessment to improve learning experiences and effectiveness of evaluation. These courses will offer a wide range of subjects for an accredited online master’s programme, filling the gaps in forest education across the region.
Establishment of AP-FECM Sustainable Forest Management Certificate Programme
The AP-FECM SFM Certificate Programme will be built on a more advanced learning management platform, integrating instructor-facilitated active learning activities and authentic student assessment strategies. Completion of the certificate programme will be recognized with an AP-FECM SFM Certificate issued by the AP-FECM Executive Office. AP-FECM was initiated and funded by APFNet.