Development project

In this section, the question is about a digitization project plan/application, to be led and implemented in 2016-2017 by Christer Pursiainen, given that the project will be provided funding.

The project plan has been duly approved and evaluated by the Department of Safety and Engineering, NT faculty, UiT.

See the full document here.

Abstract:

This project plan is about  «Digitization of Societal Safety and Environment education: a pilot project focusing on a Bachelor-level course on Crisis Management (SVF-2106) and a Master-level course on Risk Assessment and Management (SVF-3204)».

One of the obvious development trends in higher education is that digitized learning environments are becoming more and more frequent. Surveys show that Norwegian students are strongly favoring this development but often the teachers lack the competences necessary to create such environments. At the UiT, the process of digitization is however in progress, actively encouraged and studied, as part of the broader goal to introduce new forms of student-active learning.

Added to this general trend, there are also highly practical reasons for why exactly the current study programme of Societal Safety and Environment should start its work to that effect. These include the challenges created by the ongoing merge of Tromsø, Harstad, Narvik campuses of the UiT, as well as increasing the availability of the study programme to specific professional groups (most notably The Norwegian Armed Forces’ regional training centre in Bardufoss) in getting access to parts of the study programme without demanding a proper participation in lectures.

The two courses, being in the focus of the current project — a Bachelor-level  course on Crisis Management  and a Master-level course on Risk Assessment and Management  — are in many ways representative of the field of societal safety and security in general. Nevertheless, they are at the same time different enough in that they provide specific challenges, both in terms of group size, education format and subject area. Through these two courses, one indeed can test the possibilities and limitations of digitization in this particular field rather broadly.

This project, and already preparing and planning it, has contributed to the courses’ responsible teacher’s understanding of the opportunities and challenges that the ongoing trend toward digitalization pose for the societal safety and security field. The implementation phase of the project, that is, writing the plan, went smoothly due to the assistance from relevant partners within the UiT and outside. During the in-house evaluation process of the project plan, the comments were altogether encouraging, expressing the need to start working in the direction the project plan envisages.