IMPEL FIN-2002 project

1 April – 8 December 2002

Objectives

The IMPEL FIN-2002 project was realised as part of the wider activities of the European Union Network for the Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law (IMPEL) network. The objective was to test new kinds of possibilities for the training of EU Member States’ environmental inspectors. In the IMPEL FIN-2002 project a course on the compliance monitoring of environmental permits falling under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Environment was designed and piloted for the online Discendum Optima learning platform. The pilot course “Compliance Monitoring of Environmental Permits” was designed as a first step towards developing a distance learning system that could form part of a comprehensive inspector training programme.

Partners

The project was led on behalf of Ministry of the Environment by the Northern Finland Environmental Permit Authority, which was responsible for setting the goals for the pilot course and providing the learning materials, learning tasks and content tutoring for the course. The Northern Finland Environmental Permit Authority worked together with the representatives of Ministry of the Environment, Lapland Regional Environment Centre and West Finland Regional Environment Centre. Pedagogical and technical expertise in designing, implementing and assessing the pilot course was provided by the Centre for Media Pedagogy (CMP) at the University of Lapland.

Results

Twenty environmental inspectors from different EU Member States participated in the pilot course. On the basis of the course experiences, participant activity logs in the Discendum Optima environment, participant feedback and theoretical models of meaningful learning, the course was assessed and recommendations for its further development were presented.  The project provided the partners and participants with valuable experiences of cross-cultural network-based study. Overall, the experience of the participants was positive, and the feedback indicated clearly that the respondents agreed on the need for inspector training.

The project experiences demonstrate that network-based teaching, studying and learning offer new opportunities to enhance the more traditional forms of face-to-face instruction used in the training of environmental inspectors. It enables study for larger groups of students that is independent of where the students live. In addition, network-based teaching, studying and learning provide for more intensive interaction among participants through the use of information and communications technology (e.g. web-based discussion areas, chat, video-conferencing).  The new technology can be further exploited to implement activities, such as virtual field trips, which would otherwise be impossible or difficult to carry out for the majority of participants.

For more information: Project’s final report