UVSQ-Albion College teaching partnership to kick off in the new academic year
Professor Martin O’Connor ( Director of the International Centre for Research in Ecological Economics,Eco-Innovation & Tool Development for Sustainability, REEDS) and Frances Harrison (REEDS teaching resources officer), travelled to Albion College in Michigan, USA with two practical objectives :1. to conclude all negotiations on aspects of the inter-university agreement and 2. to determine, agree on and implement the multitude of practical considerations needed to implement the new SUST-3T programmes for launch on 27 August 2012.
The Sustainability Studies SUST-3T (Theories-Tools-Terrains) programme offers two options to Albion College students : an International Diploma (post-graduate Certificate) that can follow an Albion undergraduate degree ; or an opportunity to Major in Sustainability Studies in Albion College’s undergraduate degree. (see below for photo of official signing by Albion College President Donna Randall, accompanied by UVSQ's Professor Martin O'Connor).
Practical areas for discussion and decision-making included :how and how often the two institutions would meet, what types of communication channels and presentation materials would be needed, consideration of Award Ceremonies, online teaching resources to be developed, distance accompaniment for Albion students, what collaborative platforms would be used, what sort of practical facilities might be required such as a base camp for UVSQ teachers visiting Albion, assessment methods and timing, which staff and what sort of human resources would be needed to be supplied by each institution.
REEDS will be making use of high quality video-conferencing equipment recently installed onsite at Rambouillet to communicate with staff and students at Albion College. The Centre will also be making use of its multimedia tools to make teaching resources available online and to enhance student learning. These REEDS-based tools complement the collaborative platform used by Albion College for online learning, Moodle, a system that Albion have used for many years and which facilitates course materials distribution, news forums, quizzes, assignment announcements and submissions, syllabus outlines and teacher profiles, chapter notes and webex recordings.
Teaching contributions by UVSQ academics into the Albion College BA programme Kick off in August 2012. In the autumn of 2013 the first group of Albion College Sustainability Studies students in their third year of study will arrive in France to spend one semester at the OVSQ. This will be an opportunity for them to improve their French language capabilities and develop appreciation of French culture while studying abroad. Courses taken will be in English and will be based at the OVSQ in Guyancourt and Rambouillet.
International academic co-operations such as this one between the UVSQ and Albion College are part of the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines’ current and future strategic direction. They encourage intercultural understanding of students and staff, enrichment of scholastic experiences, as well as increasing exposure to new ways of working and new ideas.