Role play in creative distance education


If we are lucky we might see new creative pedagogical ideas take form now says Cecilia Johansson, Senior Lecturer in Meteorology.

Students build an ecovillage on Väddö

In a conference room in Geocentrum, the company Water4Life is presenting their proposal for an ecovillage comprising 100 households.

Well, not really. In reality it is three teachers listening to their students presenting their project online. The teachers are Cecilia Johansson, Physicist and Senior Lecturer/Associate Professor in Meteorology, Roger Herbert Senior Lecturer/Associate Professor in hydrology and Cecilia Mark-Herbert Senior Lecturer from SLU, who researches and teaches marketing and environmental management aimed at CR, Corporate Responsibility.

The students were given the task of creating a solution for a self-sufficient eco village on Väddö, an island in the Swedish archipelago.

- The project was to be presented in the same manner as when a company presents an idea, says Cecilia Johansson, Physicist and Senior Lecturer/Associate Professor in Meteorology.

Thye students present their plan that seems to be thorough.

- The students´ mission is to present their idea in a realistic manner and come up with suggestions that are thought through. The presentation should be as when a company pitches an idea, Cecilia Johansson continues.

The last few weeks have been stressful for the teachers who all of a sudden have been forced to switch to online teaching, forced to learn new digital tools, adjusting their pedagogical approach.

- It has been quite an abrupt transition to digital teaching. Right now, I think that many teachers feel stressed but it is important that we help each other. Naturally there is some frustration but at the same time we must remember to highlight the positive elements. If we are lucky we might see new creative pedagogical ideas take form, says Cecilia Johansson.

When the students have presented their calculations regarding geothermal heating, water and sustainability, the teachers start asking questions: How will you get electricity during the winter when there is less sunlight? Have you calculated the energy consumption based on each household or as a whole? Why have you chosen to drill exactly 10 wells? Is your plan to drill for water and geothermal heating separately?
So how did Cecilia think it all went?

- I am impressed at how fast the students have learnt how to master the digital way of working. Their presentation held teh same standard as last year´s presentation when we did not work on line.

And what do the students think?

"This was a fun challenge."
"Exciting and really great to plan a big project like this, just as if it was real."
"Different and fun."
"This works really great and doing your presentation on line is no problem. There have been no problems switching to on line teaching so far."


News from the Department of Earth Sciences

Last modified: 2022-09-30