The GBU bioepistemological educational model project (BEEMP)®
1 Our GBU Bioepistemological Educational Model Project (BEEMP) ® CONTENT •Our theoretical starting point •Theoretical Foundation of our Educational Model •Educational Foundations of the Giordano Bruno GlobalShift University I. Technopedagogy I Online Pedagogical Model II. The Collaborative Virtual Education. WEB 2.0 III. Processes for implementing the GBU Pedagogical Model IV. Steps towards the Technopedagogical Design of a 100% virtual learning environment a. Content Development b. Periodical Content Updating c. Instructional and Multimedia Design d. Tutorial Design e. Platform User Support V. Giordano Bruno GlobalShift University Diagram VI. About the Academic Professionals VII. The Modules, The Units VIII. Synthesis, as a conclusion about the structure of a course
2Our theoretical starting point Behind the foundation of our higher education global Project ‐the Giordano Bruno University‐ underlies a major revolutionary bio‐epistemological, philosophical and pedagogical model of thought. This model springs from new research and understanding of the phenomenal processes of the biological acquisition of human knowledge, carried out by the neurosciences1 and confronted with cultural objectionable outcomes produced throughout the millenarian construction of our history. Scholarly based, our project emerges, first, from the evolution of intertwined philosophical, cultural and biological contemporary research concerning the final “state of our World”. Second, from a very serious critique of the perceptible present cultural models and organizational realities. And third, from our commitment to construct a better future based in the foreseeable possibilities of our cognitive, cultural and biological human condition. Theoretical Foundation of our Educational Model The new bio‐epistemological perspective of our understanding, and the ulterior model of administration and distribution of knowledge built through a frame of time and space ‐defined as civilization2‐ created behind the manifestations of our recorded human history, a silent form of human software, recorded into the archetypical specifics of our neuro‐physiology. The above has happened more or less in a scientific and identifiable way oscillating in the different eras and places of our history; either, as the primitive holistic and symbolic appreciation of reality, evident in the mythical, sacred and heroic narratives (stone, clay or paper) or ‐in more recent times‐ in the scientific achievement of our bioepistemological development present in the rational linear processes of a logical construction of knowledge that highlights the lack of a holistic approach.3 In summary, and for the sake of underlining the academic tools of the technopedagogy built to support our GBU educational Project, we assume that our “present symbolic thinking era” was created by the holistic capabilities and perception of our brain giving birth to a complex World. In parallel, our multiple forms of social and economic organization created our primitive and (still) theocratic civilizations, expressed in their religious, political and economic structures. This opened the door to a modern scientific and technological environment, that today, enters schizophrenically in conflict with the ancient 1 New neuroscientific research transforming neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry, psychology, education- is openinginexhaustible topics to improve human life not only about health and curing brain diseases alzheimer, parkinson,autism, effects of stress, etc. - but also about the promising possibilities of a different functioning of the brain to findcreative solutions to human problems.2 Cfr. Braudel, Fernand (1995), El as, Norberto (1987), Wolf, Eric (2001, 1999, 1982), for a deep understanding of thehistorical development of mankind from a vision of a long scale of time.3 Cfr. Gibbons et al.
3structural leftovers of our primal and phenomenally created contents of consciousness. The famous bicameral mind hypothesis (Julian Janes, 1990:84) versus the debate about left and right cerebral dominance over linear –abstract‐ and holistic ‐evident and spatial‐ thinking of our species, in conjunction with the last one hundred years of intense neuroscience investigation, teaches us that the human perception of the World has gone through this primitive process from spatial (possibly right brain dominance) to logical‐mathematical (still hypothetical left brain dominance), for the construction of a subjective truth. Neither one of these theories, has achieved an epistemological grand synthesis of the whole or the particular. This theoretical and still hypothetical knowledge of our human thinking and the processes of acquisition and distribution of knowledge, give us an educated hint about the brain’s structure and functioning. In the same way that the bilateral anatomy of our eyes (vision) and ears (dimensional perception) perform the function of the respective stereoscopic and stereophonic capabilities to perceive the World in a multidimensional reality, our brain has been similarly configured. This is evident in its bilateral hemispheric structure. Ears and eyes are anatomically and apparently constructed to interact among them through the corpus callosum to naturally synthesize the perception of the whole with the particular, the abstract with the evident, the linear with the spatial, and so on, creating not a new lateralized or partial thinking, but a holistic perception of reality which, if not blocked by our cultural linear preconceptions, will naturally exponentiate the possibilities of our human potentials and understanding. The cognitive synthesis in this line of thinking, will be our “stereo cognition” (as stereophonic or stereoscopic), the brain’s simultaneous and conscious perception of reality as a totality. Taking this into the field of education and distribution of the commodity of knowledge will necessarily change our conventional vision of classical pedagogy. One very often based in the hierarchical transmission of accumulated, culturally subjective information, structured using a mixture of sources found in the preeminence of logic and the dogmatic principles of our metaphysical tradition (or even worse), grounded in the neural records of our short term historical memory, product of the left or right dominance of our brain. This is the anachronistic pedagogy which actually teaches us how to survive and be aware of our immediate perceptible reality, and the one we have to overcome. With this set of scientific data and the cultural synthesis of our abstract introspection, we firmly believe that the time has come to revise our pedagogical tradition from a bio‐epistemological perspective, which will necessarily lead us to propose a new post‐modern “stereo cognitive” holistic education. This idea implies a revolutionary revision of the theoretical framework of our classical methodologies of teaching and learning, as well as, the traditional administrative foundation of higher education institutions.
4Much of this has to do with the perception and comprehension of the interaction that occurs between the whole and the particular, in the sense that institutional education has evolved, amongst others, from the culturally biased frame of the particular (notwithstanding its religious, political or economic roots) to the universal, very often systemic and scientifically based frame. In a general analysis of our history, this still postulates an incomplete vision of the world and impoverishes our educational and cognitive realities. The above is even more complicated when we realize that in the field of education, from medieval times to present, the main actors have been the religious, political or economic power holders, who throughout the centuries have declared their universities as open spaces to promote the “universality of knowledge”, these were founded and are operating to self‐preserve their meta‐educational privileges. The challenge of our age is to overcome this ancient and stubborn instructional paradigm by going beyond the foundational power of traditional institutions, by designing new forms of education with a supra‐religious, supranational and supra‐economic scope and with a new holistic pedagogical methodology that could help us to break away from the prisons of our instructional heritage and take a step forward in the awakening of a new evolutionary consciousness for humanity. With these ideas in mind we postulate a major deconstructive exercise in the ontological, epistemological and axiological thinking chapters of our civilization. We propose to essentially change our negative self‐conscious human archetype inspired in our imperfect, still religious‐oriented narratives to a new positive ontological self‐image. Our consciousness, in its turn, will impact the deconstruction of the epistemological and axiological contents of civilization. So we, the contemporary humans, inspired in a new axiology consistent with the most recent insights from neurosciences, could gradually proceed, to the intellectual deconstruction of the self‐fulfilling prophecy of subordination, unconsciousness and insecurity we have unconsciously self imposed and mirrored in our deterministic fate and repetitive historical human development. Educational Foundations of the Giordano Bruno GlobalShift University Once deconstruction is accepted in the notion of “the World of our making”, and no longer in the fatal predetermined outcomes of our metaphysical tradition, we categorically establish the three pedagogical foundations of our educational project: nonsubordinative, intercultural and transdisciplinary. The latter foundations are necessary for the holistic understanding of our World by our students, in consistence with the stereo‐cognitive capacity to link the whole with the particular and achieve a full grasp of the intercultural and trans‐disciplinarian knowledge. From this conception, our challenge was to translate these philosophical and pedagogical principles into a concrete techno‐pedagogy and bio‐epistemological
5instructional tools that could be, in the pragmatic field of education, transmitted and factually experienced by our multicultural students. We enter in a brick by brick conceptual construction of our instructional design, by structuring the tools to foster stereo‐cognitive thinking of our students, by linking in every step of the student’s compulsory reflective work and the permanent association of the whole with the particular, specially in the confluential areas of the transcultural and trans‐disciplinary fields of our academic programs and contents of study. The emergent outcome was a collaborative intercultural and interdisciplinary system of virtual interaction among students of all nationalities, creeds and cultural backgrounds in a custom made “WholeLife experience" educational techno‐pedagogical proprietary system.
6 TECHNOPEDAGOGY I Online Pedagogical Model
7 Educational Online Model Not many years ago, traditional pedagogical models were centered in teaching and most of them used the presential modality. They presupposed that the teacher was the exclusive owner of knowledge and students should passively receive knowledge by memorizing it. However, two decades ago, the scientific advances on Pedagogy, reoriented education towards a new pedagogical model, which asserts, in order to educate, that teaching processes must be conceived bounded to a learning process. Although these are recent changes, there’s no doubt that the model is still changing while finding that students should obtain knowledge to enable specific skills as future professionals. Therefore, in the present context of a society of information and knowledge, learning to build skills comes in strict closeness with the use of new technology to boost its development. Today, the new information and communication technologies progress aligned to WEB 2.0, that allows networking in social and virtual environments for learning. This system enables the creation of collaborative and flexible spaces of teaching‐learning, that provide students with a bigger autonomy, making teacher accompaniment possible, as well as the frequent, permanent counseling and communication with his mates. Promoted by modern pedagogy since the eighties, the teacher has assumed the role of a learning facilitator who gives the student the opportunity to build his own knowledge. The possibility to drive teaching‐learning as an interaction between the teacher and the student, evolving in parallel with the boosting of technological development, is an ambitious promise. It offers us the certainty that UNs Educative Millennium Goal can be fulfilled with the current technological tools.
8 II VIRTUAL COLLABORATIVE EDUCATION - WEB 2.0
9 Virtual Collaborative Education – WEB 2.0 Virtual education uses tools from the new communication and information technologies to support and modernize the new process of teaching‐learning with more effectiveness. It allows the student to work in an independent, collaborative and multicultural way, in rhythm with his capabilities and possibilities. The system holds the next advantages: • Increases the capacity of critical thinking, self‐management and the abilities for solving general and specific practical problems. • Uses WEB 2.0 capacities together with the resources of electronic communication networks. • Uses synchronous and asynchronous communication tools. • Promotes de‐centralized knowledge: professors and students located in different places with Internet access and information available at the time it is required, distributed by the thousands of servers around the world. In our system, learning can happen and be facilitated regardless of place and time. • The student can move forward, backward, review or deepen in the information and learning process according to his rhythm and achievements. • There are virtual simulation systems between students and professors which provide important experimental learning. • All accessible information can be reviewed and updated to fulfill the needs, creativity and inventiveness of each student, and be reused and shared with all the educative community. • Motivates long distance communication giving the bases to create multicultural environments. • Collaboration between students with different cultures creates a multicultural learning environment, as students, academic tutors and professors coexist within a course environment and beyond.
10 III. Processes for implementing the GBU model
11 Processes for implementing the GBU Model The implementation of the GBU techno‐pedagogical model, in the context of Virtual Education, is one of the capital challenges of our educational proposal. It aims to guarantee excellence and go beyond the conventional international standards. Our techno‐pedagogical model constitutes the main strategy for achieving active student participation and meaningful learning, by the interaction of the educative community of the Giordano Bruno GlobalShift University. The model focuses on the following points: • Incorporating the pedagogical, didactic and technological strategies of the WholeLife Platform providing autonomous, cooperative and collaborative knowledge, and, most of all, a knowledge oriented towards the development of creativity. • The teaching‐learning process seeks to create personal interaction between tutor‐student, student‐student, and student‐educative complements. • Resources and WEB 2.0 elements are addressed for adequate communication, facilitating synchronous and asynchronous communication. • Learning assessments will be based on best practices of conventional evaluation methods, but will add new assessment and peer‐assessment techniques, which have proved important and effective in learning evaluation. • Tutorships will be a complementary space for reflection on the praxis and contents by the educative community, centered in the interaction between the student and professor, students among themselves and other virtual social networks. Considering the previous characteristics, we propose a number of processes and tools that compose the GBGU Techno‐pedagogical Model. This will make accreditation supported by 100% virtual learning environments possible.
12 IV STAGES FOR THE TECHNOPEDAGOGICAL DESIGN
13 Stages for the Technopedagogical Design of 100% Virtual Learning Environments. Content Development The content of GBGU programs has been developed by specialists in each discipline to meet higher academic and quality standards. The programmatic part of the content, has been design by Doctors, all standing specialists in their disciplines. The development of the programs comprised four phases: a. Curricular Design b. Content Production c. Bibliography selection d. Selection of Electronic Bibliographic Resources Periodical updating of contents To keep the validity of our contents, we will keep current through a process that includes specific and new needs for each course. The academic office will develop a master plan according to the proper requisites of each specialty. Instructional Design and Multimedia Instructional Design The Instructional Design of the pedagogical process followed by students covers the following stages: 1. Analysis of the educational material 2. Analysis of User’s typology
14 3. Instructional Plan 4. Educational Techniques 5. On‐line and educational situations and activities Multimedia Design Multimedia Design is about adapting the content and educational activities for their delivery in Multimedia resources that appeal to students for its quality, creativity and richness. Tutorial Design The GBGU educational model incorporates academic tutors in a strategic place of the teaching‐learning process. The role of tutors is to accompany, guide and advise the student throughout the learning process. A tutor monitors the students process. His main functions are: • Supervise the learning process. • Keep student motivation, establishing a relation of continuous trust and communication, promoting his participation and supervising his performance until the end of the course. • The tutor is mainly responsible for logistic support and triggering the students’ perseverance within the online system. • Provide students with different learning resources within the technological model, links, documents, network resources, etc. • Encourage students to efficiently use the systemss communicative tools for collaborative learning and interaction (chat, forum, blogs, wikis, etc). • Assess individual homework and chair teamwork. The tutor is not the author of the didactic material, but becomes a consultant‐professor for the themes developed in a course. This is why, the tutor’s formation and training is a fundamental element of GBGUs techno‐pedagogical structure addressed to facilitate the adaptation of professors to a new role as online teachers. The training of tutors is essentially practical, and will be delivered through the same multimedia resources than students. The majority online tutorship will be basically delivered in written format, so they involve working time. As long as tutorships are recorded as texts in an intelligent knowledge base, they become interactive learning materials for future generations. Students will receive answers to their questions and arguments in no more than 18 hours in labor days and 36 hours on weekends.
15 We consider that the success of this 100% online education rests in two essential elements: . The quality of the contents, and the continuous updating and validity in their multimedia delivery. . The strategic presenter and motivating role of the tutor in the online academic processes. It is necessary then, to establish the order, parameters and specific rules that will allow tutors the correct attention in the follow up of each of the students. It is also important to clearly outline the scope of their functions, as well as generating the figure of tutor Coordinators to supervise and advise tutors. GBGU is responsible for providing periodical updating related to best tutorial practices. Instructional Design will deliver a Training Course for Tutors that considers the following questions: 1. Introduction to the GBGU Techno‐pedagogical Model. 2. Activities to keep Student motivation. 3. Handbook for Tutors. 4. Guide and parameters for content engagement. 5. Consulting and orientation on the multimedia platform and tools. 6. Effective learning activities. 7. Conventional and critical monitoring. 8. Assessment. User platform support In practice, online systems work efficiently when they rely on a team of collaborators in charge of giving technical support to users. This team is responsible for tracking applications and ranking of the cases that need technical support and concrete resolutions of problems. It is very important to have an optimum communication cycle between the supportive technical team and the users, which should be completed in a reasonable timeframe. If GBU does not comply with this, there will very probably be a high risk of creating disappointment and frustration in users, increasing desertion level. Our supportive system will follow each of the cases thoroughly through applications controlled by support‐tickets and attended in no more than 18 hours and 36 in weekends.
16 V GIORDANO BRUNO GLOBALSHIFT UNIVERSITY DIAGRAM
17 GIORDANO BRUNO GLOBALSHIFT UNIVERSITY DIAGRAM The next diagram presents the form and fundamental principles for the delivery of our online education model. It anticipates the standard format containing the philosophy and the central purpose of our university. This purpose is, in essence, to liberate the student from the fears, trends and ancestral complexes of the human being arising from the ontological and epistemological perception of ourselves and from the limitations that come from the monocultural, disciplinary and unidimensional scope of the traditional educational institutions. The technology by itself will not motivate or make the difference in the student’s educational process. The intelligence of the programs, processes and training of teachers and tutors, together with the conviction of spreading the enthusiasm and the humanistic philosophy of our university, will mark, from the beginning, the purpose of forming a new generation of young people ready to really transform the world where we live. The previous statement is strengthened with the idea that a good technique and well designed pedagogy is critically important. Once the student enters the platform, he will find the following components in the courses: a. A handbook (guide) with the steps to follow in each course, and an introductory video to identify each of the stages to complete the basic requirements of a course. b. In his virtual classroom, he will find a Syllabus and the subjects ‐divided in modules‐ to help him follow the adequate flux of each course. Subjects will contain specific information, general bibliography and complementary materials. c. He will select the module that follows according to his program and find the module’s break down. e. Students can access modules in accordance to their personal rhythm of studying. Here, we present a brief example: Module1) Epistemological history of the human being (bibliography, complementary materials, links and specific activities). Module 2) Neurotheology, Neuropolitics and Neuroeconomy (bibliography, complementary materials, links and specific activities)
18Module 3) Neurosubordination, civilization and stereo‐cognitive education of the third millennium (bibliography, complementary materials, links and specific activities). Module 4) Neurorenaissance (bibliography, complementary material, links and specific activities). Course structure
19 a. Each course will consist of 6 modules delivered in 6 sessions (60 mins) of video‐lectures transmitted by the teacher and 7 sessions (9 hours) of multimedia activities. So, each module will be delivered in a total of 14 online sessions, albeit the online sessions in which students interact between each other (see Technopedagogy Chart). b. The total of online directed activities for each module is 42.
20 a. Each module will be assessed with a quiz which when approved opens the next module of the course. d. To finish each module, the student must pass a final auto‐delivered multiple choice quiz previously elaborated by the teacher. e. The system will randomly create different exams for each student. f. Whole Life: The process of WholeLife works with two vertebral columns, one philosophical and another educational: I. Inwards (introspective): contains and holds the basis of pedagogical, institutional, organic, bioepistemological, traditional perception vs introspection towards the individual and his structures, to enter in a constant process of autoevaluation, real evolution and avant‐garde growing, boosted by our online system of knowledge. II. Outwards (facing the world): supports the formative basis ‐ historical, dialectic, identitary and critical‐ present in the design of the professional and preparatory studies of W1, W2 and W3. The first approaches issues around the educational process since the transformation of the traditional vertical relation of authority and subordination between the teacher and the student and institution versus student corps, to include, in the renovated educational system, the horizontal and multidisciplinary relation of the student with his generation classmates, and inclusive,
21transgenerational interactions. In this same manner, we question the bioepistemic relation of the renowned cerebral lateralization or linear logical processes versus neuronal holistic processes facing the potential capability of spatial and multidimensional perception of the traditionally dormant right hemisphere. The second point, outwards, approaches the alienated relationship of the individual with the specifically religious, political and economic cultures surrounding the world. Here, the historical‐philosophical infrastructure of our educational platform centers in the origin of the human phenomena of subordination, authority, power, affiliation, identity, stratification, discrimination and conflict. The purpose is to construct an initial self‐knowing perspective, upon which, the student can develop a critical judgment in the process of acquiring knowledge. The latter is implemented through the technological and original instrumentation of our educational system, which is called WholeLife. WholeLife will constitute, for certain, the central function of the operative system that distinguishes us, because it is precisely, the system which allows unification and synthesis in only one educational basis consisting in: a. General knowledge acquisition b. Formation c. Methodology d. Professionalization e. Specialization It also contemplates the aforementioned avant‐garde paradigms, parallel to the vertical relation with the teacher and the institution: the horizontal interaction between students and their companions, and finally, the promotion of interdisciplinarity through the exercise of multidimensional analysis of the subjects of study with a critical vision frame of totality.
22 Notwithstanding its complexity, WholeLife deploys in only three stages: a. First Stage: The essay presentation page including the basic function of the student´s personal data (photograph and general biographical data), the thesis resuming the essence of the students academic work, a space containing most of the drafts
23 and the final essay, as well as the graphic and audiovisual resources (photographs, diagrams, videos) which allows the exponent to enrich his presentation. As soon as the presentation is edited, the student can submit it to the transversal scrutiny of his companions, under the option of personalized invitation to a minimum number of five students, or the option of opening without limits, that, among other things, will be the basis for the parallel possibility to access a transcultural experience of inter‐universitary socialization.
24 b. Second Stage: Discussion of the student’s work, from the dialogue columns of argumentation and counter argumentation, while personally "meeting" the participants in the discussion with the photograph and biographical data, offering the possibility of transporting the GBWL experience to other social networks, if students decide to meet outside the closed environment of their specific scholar environment. The system is designed for the student to decide which personal information he makes publicly available. One elemental function of this page is the expiration date of the discussion, restricted to three days from the publishing of his essay. Once exhausted, the system will automatically close entries, and proceed with the assessment, the next stage in the process.
25 c. Final stage: evaluation and collective grading of the essay. In this stage participants must deliver assessment on their companions essay in no more than 24 hours, explaining his grade in a special box designed for this purpose. The system has the automatic capacity to average the assessments of all participants and estimate a final grade. Once obtained, this result will be averaged with the grade of the multiple choice exam and the partial exams presented after each module. WholeLife is digitally integrated by the following components: i. One page for essay publication with the following fields: 1. Title of the essay 2. Thesis 3. Content with a minimum and maximum of characters. 4. Complementary materials (Links, files, videos). 5. Essay classification in themes, key words, courses, degrees, etc. 6. Saving essay drafts for later submission. 7. Publishing. ii. A page for the student’s discussion. iii. A page where students can grade an essay. iv. A space where the student will see the essays for grading (includes boxes to determine the status of the essays already graded and the essays waiting to be graded), and deadline warnings. These spaces must accomplish the following requirements: a. Essays will have a deadline for their online publication. b. In the discussion space, the student has access to the photograph of the person commenting on his essay. Likewise, the one who comments can see the basic data and photograph of the schoolmate that wrote the essay. c. The essays can be seen by any member of the educational community in a catalogue of essays with diverse classifications. All the members can
26 comment the essays, but students must only grade essays assigned to them. d. Essays can only be graded by students of advanced semesters. e. Each essay will be graded by four students randomly. f. Comments to essays will have a three to five day timeframe to be posted. g. Essays will be saved in the student’s portfolio, after the process is finished. Therefore, there are five boxes for essay grading and status: 1. PUBLICATION 2. DISCUSSION 3. GRADING 4. FILE 5. PUBLIC CATALOG, where the student finds the essays for grading and their status. The "cafeteria" is a permanent space for social interaction to exchange ideas, propositions and impressions. It will be a space to create interaction with tutors, teachers and other GBU members. This structure will be standardized for all courses, anticipating that audiovisual material (videos, movies, presentations, conferences, didactic activities) will be provided by the teacher in the page available for this purpose. Finally, we highlight that WholeLife concentrates 90% of our educational approach because it entails the three most important elements of distinction in our vision: multidimensionality, trans‐disciplinarity and multicultural approach.
27 VI About the Academic Professionals
28 About the academic professionals In GBGU, teachers are responsible for creating the fundamental contents of each course to be delivered by diverse multimedia resources. Therefore, he must provide the text, the complementary materials and the links, as well as the corresponding videos. The professor will be responsible for delivering the videotaped lecture, and supplying the references and orientational elements to be adopted by tutors for the correct accompaniment of the student. Our online courses use prerecorded video sessions. The teachers participation in front of the camera, as well as the quality of the final edition of his class, become the critical factors of course success. Additionally, chat sessions and emails can reasonably replace delivery hours for the lecture. In these cases, the ability of the professor and of the tutors to communicate in a written way becomes a cardinal point for their assessment. Following, we present some important points for the hiring and periodical evaluation of lecturers: a. Image: It is important to consider that grammar and orthography, as well as typography selection and presentation skills will be crucial image indicators for lecturers and tutors. b. Constant Communication: It is important for teachers and tutors to constantly check their email, to be able to follow up and support students in a timely manner. c. Tracking: The teacher must look after the organization for the tracking of his course, a vital characteristic in the online experience of our lecturers. d. Professional design of materials and complementary contents that should be standardized: A team of supportive professionals will be employed for the design and operation of the materials. We will support teachers in this matter to assure they concentrate in the creation of quality content. e. Interaction with tutors who should track and solve operative problems and questions (about deadlines, electronic signature, etc.) considering that teachers must not spend time that does not add value to the material. There must be a technical supportive area to solve connection and access issues. f. FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions: All public communications –questions and answers‐ will be presented in this division in an accumulative format since more than one student can have the same doubt, creating and intelligent knowledge base.
29Teachers and tutors These are the main guidelines to consider for the hiring of teachers and tutors: a) Professional formation and teaching experience. We must assure that teachers have a profound knowledge of their discipline. This task will be fulfilled by reviewing the teachers academic experience, and requesting at least two reference letters from their previous institutions. b) Direct and online communication capacity. We will make sure that teachers are skilled in the use of main digital tools for direct communication with his students. We will test teachers in three different mock‐up lecture sessions. c) Grammar and orthography are basic skills for the hiring of teachers and tutors. d) Constant communication. As mentioned above, teachers and tutors must continually check their emails and forum participation. e) The system should provide a tool to score teacher activities. Tutor Coordinators: 1. Coordinators are preferably PhDs with high proficiency in the disciplines they coordinate, and are involved in the subjects main discussions. They must prove sufficient experience as tutor coordinators in their previous engagements. 2. Coordinators will supervise the tutors’ work. 3. Each coordinator will be responsible for 15 tutors within their discipline. 4. The coordinator is the link between the teacher, the tutors and the technicians that give technical support to the platform. 5. The coordinators supervise materials prepared by teachers previous to delivery, caring that they fulfill the necessary requirements of quality and institutional and technical specifications. 6. The coordinators are responsible for the elaboration of the partial module assessments of the courses and the final multiple choice assessment. Tutors: They should track and solve operative questions and problems. Digital designers: They are responsible for the standardized professional design of the material and complementary contents.
30 VII THE MODULES
31 The Modules The courses are structured in different modules. Each one of them consists in different working materials, activities, support activities, self‐assessment, partial and final assessments, in such a way, that each student studies at his own rhythm, advised by the tutor, whom can suggest an order and an ideal length for each process. At the end of the course, it will be important to gather opinions about the course format and user experience to enters into process of continuous improvement. In each module, students will access the following resources: • Basic material for reading, study and practice. • Discussion Forum • FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) • Library • Glossary • Tutor Communication • Discussion Panel • Readings and complementary activities • Self‐assessment and autodidactic exercises
32 VIII SYNTHESIS
33 Synthesis, as a conclusion on the structure of the course The design of each one of the online courses will require the active participation of a professional group of technicians to support the instructor in the creation of a technologically viable, visually attractive and pedagogically coherent course. A 16 week course can include one or more weekly activities from the following pool of examples: . Analysis of a series of readings (text book and supportive materials) . Reviewing of presentations, videos and links. . Participation in forum, chats, questionnaires, WholeLife, etc. . Discussion boards for themes and cases that require individual or collective virtual investigation within a restricted length of time. . Solving a test for each module concerning assigned readings.
34 STUDENT MANUAL GIORDANO BRUNO UNIVERSITY Presentation The present manual is for you, student of the Giordano Bruno University. It is a general introduction, in seven points, to your participation in your GBU virtual university. Likewise, it will help you understand the main ideas of our philosophy, pedagogy, online navigation in your virtual campus, local and international academic tutoring and above all, your active participation in our educational social network: the WholeLife Experience, one of the most innovative and important components of your University. We summarize the most relevant aspects of your online life in GBU in seven main chapters: 1. Introduction. Synthesis of the philosophy and emphasis of our educational system. 2. Our schools, Programs of study, Techno‐pedagogical model and the standard instructional structure of our academic contents. 3. Our Web‐Site, Login platform, critical navigation into your online courses, Contact with Tutors and Academic advisors, WholeLife experience and the 25 steps to pursue and approve a prototipical GBU course. 4. Your “Generation” and our Global Educational Social Network. 5. The Club of Budapest and the CAS (Center for Advanced Studies) 6. Local and International Tutoring. 7. Towards the Future. Introduction. The Giordano Bruno Online University was created with the purpose of offering a revolutionary educational model, accessible to practically any person in the world, interested and qualified to complete a degree in Higher Education. Ours is a hybrid educational system with profound online work combined with the assistance of physical high school institutions which will, not only facilitate a physical point of reference, tutorship and permanent consulting, but will also grant students the possibility of a dual accreditation (national and international) and acquisition of the best professional skills for employability.
35 Our philosophy is based on the cutting edge idea of helping our students understand the world we live in. We are committed to create in them the seed of a critical, non‐subordinate and innovative mind‐frame to question civilization in its structural organization and its particular process of acquisition of knowledge, regardless of the student’s area of specialization. This is why all of our programs of study require as part of the General Education mandatory courses within the first three trimester, the World 1, World 2 & World 3 courses, which ‐in essence‐ teach the student the origin of our civilization –past‐, the state of our world today –present‐, and the possible outcomes and transformational opportunities for the future. 1. Pedagogy Our model of transmission and acquisition of knowledge is a result of a serious and current educational trends review, which is built over three fundamental pillars: a. Transcultural (cross‐cultural) education. b. Interdisciplinary Education c. Holistic Vision (stereo‐cognition). Basically, the first one promotes the plurality and openness of diverging thought, reflected in the cultural differences that exist in our world. Here, the teaching of openness, tolerance, otherness and the right to be different are essential. Therefore, as a student, your first experience is to form part of a multicultural and multidisciplinary group ‐My Generation‐ that will constitute your generation ‐21 people‐ from all the available regions of the world. This group will interact with you through your college. They are also your Graduation Generation. They will be your friends and students from other programs, cities and backgrounds you can consult. You will also meet with your classmates, with whom you will work all along your courses. Each time you choose a course, you will have the opportunity to meet new classmates. GBU programs will give you the experience to create new international and intercultural relationships with each course you take. Interdisciplinary education is based on the idea of overstep limitations of education constrained to the frame of disciplinary specialization, and provide you with an amplified vision of reality that aims to holistic understanding of it, that, by definition, is not isolated but forms part of a larger system. The group work generated within “the WholeLife Experience” will allow you, not only to bring forward and put into practice and share your personal criteria and acquired knowledge, but also to participate in a serious dialogue and constructive
36criticism of our environment and your personal enrichment implicit from teamwork which this pedagogical technique especially fosters. Stereocognition. As the human being has two eyes to see in stereoscope, two ears to listen in stereophony, he also has two brain hemispheres that interact among them through the callous body to make possible the different biological functions, some of logical nature –linear‐ and other of perception and spatial characteristics, such as the necessary imagination to create an idea in 3D like architecture, literature or music. Our educational emphasis is placed on developing this capacity in our students; to increase their understanding not only of the courses of study in their uniqueness, but in the context of the totality of reality and the relationships between its parts. So, the understanding of the past, the present and the future possibilities for our world ‐World 1, World 2 and World 3‐, the non‐subordination to any preconceived truth, the critical attitude in face of the acquisition of knowledge, crossculturality, transdisciplinarity, and stereo‐cognition approaches implicit in our didactical processes are, in sum, the formative guidelines that distinguish the Giordano Bruno University. 2Our Schools Giordano Bruno University has twenty nine academic programs (Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate), courses and certificates delivered within our five Schools. You can consult our schools and their constantly growing programs’ offer in our Website: http://www.gbgu.org Bachelors and Masters are organized in General Education courses, Blocks of mandatory courses for the first, second and third year and Elective Courses. They are taught by trimesters in which you can register up to three regular courses per term. Our Institute of Continuing Education offers unique courses of different current topics, with potential credit towards our accredited degrees and certificates. You may choose your preferred program of study after posting your exam in our application menu, and, as you enroll as a GBU student, you will have the possibility to choose from the mandatory and elective courses of your program. Our tutors and mentors will optionally help you with a basic vocational exam recognizing your skills and suitable and personal choice of study, as our system allows you to tailor your academic track with a variety of minors and majors.
37 3. Our technopedagogical model. Each course of study is structured in six modules, outlined in the syllabus, that contains six videolectures, its bibliography, online links, activities, practical cases, quizzes and a Bank of Topics for essays. At the completion of the six modules, there will be a Final exam and the requirement to write an essay which encourages your interaction through with your generation. In the space called “WholeLife”, you will work together with your generation and “grade” two essays of your classmates ‐the system will randomly select them for you‐, through a “star rating” tool. These grades will be verified by the local tutor in your geographical area. It is important to point out that, even if you could have access to external help throughout your academic cycle in essays and examinations, it is highly recommended that you rely on your personal effort and pedagogical process to truly acquire scientific knowledge. For graduation and obtaining of the professional degree, you must be aware that the final examination is NOT online, but in a controlled physical environment. 4. Our Website, login platform & the Basic Elements for Navigation. In the section of our website Pre‐login, you will find general information about GBU totally open to the public. In a subsection of the pre‐login you will find a questionnaire and an application form for enrollment with all the necessary steps for this process. Submit transcripts of your High School records or University credits, if any. You will receive an email answer of acceptance with your personal password or rejection in the next 48 hours. In case of rejection, an explanation and instructions for a second application will be included. Once officially accepted you will have access to the Login section through your personal password. The first element you will see in this section is a Welcome video from our Chancellor, Professor Ervin Laszlo. Here you will be able to select your courses and get acquainted with your generation’s fellow students, which will constitute the basis for your team work and a permanent source of consultation. 5. Brief and easy application for admission: 1. ‐ After you power up your computer, enter our Website: http://www.gbgu.org 2. If you have not read the general information about the university, its mission, the programs and the courses, we invite you to take a closer look. 3. Fill out the application form and send it to the university.
384. Submit transcripts: high school record and college/university credits. 5. 6. Wait for the institutional response and your admission to the university. Upon admission, you will be issued your student ID and password. UPON ADMISSION: 7. YOU ARE NOW IN THE LOGIN PAGE, ACCESIBLE ONLY TO REGISTERED STUDENTS. THIS IS YOUR VIRTUAL CAMPUS. Through YOUR GBU DASHBOARD, ON THE UPPER PART OF THE SCREEN YOU HAVE A SELECTION OF TABS WHERE YOU WILL FIND EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO COMPLETE YOUR ACADEMIC CYCLE. 8. Once you are officially admitted to your program, you may register for 3 courses PER TERM going to “My Student Page” in the Student Information System. 9. After registration, proceed to the financial section and pay for your selection of courses. In “My Student Page” there is a link to “My Financial Account”. You will have clear instructions for your payment options in that link. 10. Check your academic and financial page to verify that all the information is accurate. (My Student Page and My Financial Account). 11. Proceed to the virtual campus and greet your cohort in the “My Generation” tab. This is the group you will be interacting with throughout your selected courses per term. 12. For each course, complete the 6 modules ‐six videolectures, its bibliography, online links, activities, practical cases, quizzes and the writing and editing of an Essay. The link within “My Courses” section on the left menu “How to Navigate” is an explanation of how to navigate throughout your course. Also, you will have tutors to assist you in every course. The explanation on how to contact them will be explained further down in this manual. 13. At the end of each term, obtain your final grades and then proceed to register for the next term. You may see your grades in each course and have a general transcript within the “Student Page”. To enroll in new courses each time, just repeat the process. 6. Course Structure It is very important to know that each module is generally structured in the same format, to allow a congruent flow of your work throughout your academic cycle. These are its parts: 1. Video lecture 2. Reading Material and bibliography 3. Online Activities and Links 4. Partial Quiz (multiple option, fulfill the paragraph, etc.) 5. Practical and updated Cases.
39 6. Final Quiz 7. Essay and grading process. The “Whole Life” experience. 7. General Recommendations. The video lecture is an introduction given by the professor to the topic of study. . We recommend you to pay special attention to the professor and remind you that you can see this video as many times as necessary to gain deeper understanding. We also recommend you to write personal notes while going through your bibliography and reading materials, not only trying to summarize the key ideas of the texts, but also ‐and especially‐ your pertinent commentaries, reflections, ideas, refutations and debatable issues written in the text, that will later on help you construct the thesis and argumentation of your essay. In this chapter, particularly recommended, is to try out a comparative analysis and with your own experience and knowledge to form a personal and critical opinion towards the relevant subjects of the course at hand. We highly encourage you to indulge your personal research concerns. The Online Activities and Links must also be studied taking notes of the relevant themes, as well as your critical reaction to them, in order to continue enriching the formation of criteria in conjunction with the comparative analysis of the different materials. The examination ‐multiple options, matching of columns, fill the missing words, etc should be covered in due form and time in the corresponding section. We recommend you take this examination when you feel self‐confident with your capacity to master the study material within your course. Once you have completed the six modules, in each of its parts, you may proceed to interact with your classmates (21 generational members) and construct a final essay to be developed in a dialogue‐fostering mode within the “Agora” space designed for this specific function. The Course Head, besides specifying the specific subjects for the essay and the thesis to prove or disapprove, will also specify the diverse components of the latter that in consensus, and in agreement with the interests of the group, the students must develop. Peer review will be confirmed or modified by the local tutor (within the Associate Licensee) of our institution. It is important to note that the essay must contain and reflect four fundamental virtues of the student’s knowledge about the subject: a. Mastery of the academic content of the course b. Critical and comparative analysis capacity
40 c. Openness to cross‐cultural interaction d. Interdisciplinary contribution to the subject in development Once the essay is completed by the group, there will be a collective grading to average this grade with your other grades within the modules. This will provide you the final grade to the course. 8. Your Generation Your generation constitutes your group of team‐mates of different nationalities and disciplines. They will accompany you throughout your academic three month cycle in the online activities –blogs, chats, etc.‐ and discussions and writing of the essays. You will have the opportunity to meet many new classmates and GBU students as you go forward to your courses. This group dynamics intends to create long lasting international, inter‐cultural and trans‐disciplinary bonds, which enrich the process of knowledge acquisition and fortify the exercise of teamwork, dialogue, deliberation and academic debate converging the different perspectives of the group members. We recommend you to establish contact with your classmates as soon as you enroll, so that your relationships will help you create mutual support, a constant consulting blog, friendships and teamwork. The system is designed to establish contact within the GBU environment or through diverse social networking tools such as Facebook, Twitter, MSN Messenger, MySpace, etc. Once a year, GBU will organize events to foster physical encounters where you can meet your fellow classmates and establish conversation about special GBGU projects for extra credits towards your programs. 9. The Club of Budapest The new pedagogy that inspired the creation of Giordano Bruno GlobalShift University found in The Club of Budapest, its suitable academic and philosophical associate, for their shared academic, pedagogical and philosophical principles and goals. As a result, they submitted as their joint purpose to provide the students a humanistic, universal and holistic vision, as the foundational basis of a new consciousness to create a critical mind frame that will distinguish them. To achieve this, The Club of Budapest fully participates in the development and counseling of our GBU academic programs and is committed to its future teaching. The Club of Budapest is an informal international association dedicated to developing a new way of thinking and ethics that will help resolve the social, political, economic, and ecological challenges of the 21st century. With its list of internationally renowned members, the Club initiates a dialogue between different
41belief systems and world views in order to co‐create and develop effective strategies for responsible and sustainable action with a global focus. The idea of the Club of Budapest was developed in 1978 in a discussion between Aurelio Peccei, founder and first president of the Club of Rome, and Ervin Laszlo, systems philosopher and also member of the Club of Rome at that time. They were convinced that the enormous challenges to humanity can only be dealt with through the development of a cultural and cosmopolitan consciousness. Based on these ideas, the Club of Budapest was founded by Dr. Laszlo in 1993. The founding city and namesake of the Club lies at the heart of Europe and is spread out over both banks of the Danube River. The successful merging of the two cities Buda and Pest is achieved and symbolized by the famous Chain Bridge, which, metaphorically represents our ambition to build bridges between generations, disciplines and cultures. Therefore, it was selected as the logo and signet of the Club. The main essence of the global efforts lies in the initiation of this multicultural and transgenerational dialogue. The Mission of the Club of Budapest is to be a catalyst for the transformation to a sustainable world through: • Promoting the emergence of planetary consciousness • Interconnecting generations and cultures • Integrating spirituality, science, and arts • Fostering learning communities worldwide The philosophy of the Club of Budapest is based on the conviction that the enormous challenges that humanity is currently facing can only be overcome through the development of a global cultural consciousness. The view of the Club of Budapest is focused on a cultural consciousness with a global perspective. Like Greenpeace fights for ecological issues, UNICEF for children, and Amnesty International for human rights, the Club of Budapest stands for global consciousness. The Club perceives itself as a builder of bridges between science and art, ethics and economy, between cognition and action, between old and young, as well as between the different cultures of the world. 10. TUTORING Student tutoring will be delivered in two formats: Local tutorship – provided by the closest Associate Licensee. The contact information you will find it in the general information tab for each course. Any query related to the general subjects of the course, such as methodology, instructions and navigational processes will be solved by this local tutoring option. More specialized queries in academic or administrative matters will be directed to the “Master Tutors”, specialized subject experts for each school, who will be based in Washington.
42 You will also find this information in the General Information page of your course at hand. 11. TOWARDS THE FUTURE It is noteworthy to say that the flow of the process here presented ‐step by step‐, constitutes, in a way, a certain guideline for each of your courses. By going through a course you will be familiar with GBU navigation process and able to concentrate on achieving the acquisition of knowledge and the professional skills necessary for your professional activity. We invite you to start you educational adventure in your future Alma Mater, The Giordano Bruno University. Finally we proceed to create the prototype course of study ( World I ) to be tested by what we called our GBGU first generation. http://www.gbgu.org/world/worldI/ Conclusion: The two and a half years of development of our bioepistemological research and deconstructivist acquisition of the ontological, epistemological and axiological knowledge of our civilization and the instructional design of our pedagogical model of nonsubordinative, interculturalcultural, interdisciplinary and sterecognitive of our GBGU technopedagogy platform, built, in its holistic integration, a new and peculiar teaching and learning virtual and global oriented environment, that, for its originality, can be considered an intellectual property of our Giordano Bruno GlobalShift Institution. Bibliography Braudel, Fernand, 1995, A history of civilizations. NY: Penguin Books, pp. 600. Elías, Norbert, 1987, El proceso de la civilización: investigaciones sociogenéticas y psicogenéticas. Madrid: FCE, pp. 581. Gibbons, Michael, Limoges, Camilla, Nowotny, Helga, Schwartzaman, Simon, Scott, Peter u Trow, Martin (1997). La nueva producción del Conocimiento. La dinámica de la ciencia y la investigación en las sociedades contemporáneas. Barcelona: Pomares‐Corredor. Janes, Julian, 1990 (1976), The origin of Consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind. USA: Mariner Books, pp. 475.
43Wolf Eric R., 2001, Pathways of power : building an anthropology of the modern world. Berkeley: University of California Press, pp. 463. ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐. 1999, Envisioning power: ideologies of dominance and crisis. Berkeley: University of California Press, pp. 339. ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐, 1982. Europe and the people without history. Berkeley: University of California Press, pp. 503.