URB@N Project: Evaluation of the barriers and opportunities for wastes management distance learning courses

The School of Science and Technology, University of Northampton has funding from URB@N for three projects. URB@N stands for ‘Undergraduate Research Bursaries at Northampton’. It is a bursary scheme offering opportunities for current undergraduate students to participate in a pedagogic research project taking place at the university. Details of one of these projects is included here.

Staff Involved:
Terry Tudor
Paul Cox
Nigel Freestone
Louise Maxwell
Ruth Copeland-Phillips
Margaret Bates

In recent years there has been increasing emphasis globally on managing the
environment, particularly wastes, in a more sustainable manner. Linked to
this has been a desire to increase the competencies and skills of individuals
in the field of environmental management and more specifically wastes
management. The Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences,
at the University currently offers a range of environmental management
courses, with a growing provision of distance learning. Indeed, within the
past few months, the Department has been approached by universities in
India, Kenya, Nigeria, Iraq and China, with requests for provision of waste
management course. However, it is not possible to deliver by traditional
classroom based methods in all interested institutions. The Wastes Team is
therefore looking at a range of alternative delivery methods including, but not
limited to, blended learning, flying faculty and distance learning. We wish to
undertake research into the perception and logistics of wastes management
course delivery by distance learning so that we can better meet the student
expectations and enhance their learning experiences. The project’s main
objectives are to:

Examine the key socio-economic, cultural and logistical factors that
might influence the successful uptake of alternative delivery methods in
waste management courses
Identify possible strategies to overcome these factors which would
facilitate an enhanced student experience.

More details about URB@N can be found at: http://www.northampton.ac.uk/urban