ALPECOLe aims at providing an interdisciplinary introduction to the ecology of high elevation biota.
It cross-links current education programs in

  • biology,
  • geography,
  • ecology, and
  • climatology,
  • including aspects of human land use (see topics).

Students can zoom into particular issues covered by the course and explore them at a more detailed level (supplements), links are provided to related topics across disciplinary boundaries.
Zooming and linking allow the user to side-track and return to the main path quickly. Communication over space and time is the key to understanding how mountain ecosystems function and how they might develop under certain conditions.

We use the inherent strength of the web-based media to create interactive simulations within virtual landscapes. The use of data from existing research stations gives you the feeling of being involved in authentic scientific projects.

The 27 lessons accompany you through different subjects related to alpine ecology and environments.
Lessons can be used independently or be combined depending on your interests.

The course contains as well “virtual walks”, online excursions where students can prepare under “realistic” conditions for field courses and link from a particular context to background information within course lessons.
The part “Visit the alpine” shows illustrated examples from all over the world and facilitates comparisons.

Didactic Structure

For the lesson structure we used the 5 E instructional design model and an adapted version of the 7 E model with the following phases: with the following phases:

Phase Engage Explore Explain Elaborate Evaluate
Function Initiates the learning task. The activity should make connections between past and present learning experiences, and anticipate activities and organize students' thinking toward the learning outcomes of current activities. Provide students with a common base of experiences which current concepts, processes, and skills are identified and developed. Focus students' attention on a particular aspect of their engagement and exploration experiences, and provide opportunities to demonstrate their conceptual understanding, process skills, or behaviors. This phase also provides opportunities for teachers to introduce a concept, process, or skill. Challenge and extend students' conceptual understanding and skills. Through new experiences, the students develop deeper and broader understanding, more information, and adequate skills. Encourage students to assess their understanding and abilities and provide opportunities for teachers to evaluate student progress.

These phases are unapparent in the navigation but help originators to create lessons and build the background structure of the lessons.

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