|Sumár projektu:||Environmental engineering and waste management are of the most developing sectors which are becoming of strategic importance for the economy, the society and the environment. Several studies on European level show that the rates of growth environmental engineering and waste management sectors have ascended significantly and are forecasted to rise up from $285 billion in 2016 to $435 billion by 2023, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 6.2 percent. Environmental engineering management sector can make a large contribution to economic growth and job creation and contribute in the goals of the EU Lisbon agenda for the economy, the social growth and the job creation. In this context, several reports on EU level point out that the environmental engineering and waste management industry is one of the most developing sectors, which is becoming of vital importance for the economy, the society and the environment of all countries in European and worldwide level.
The environmental engineering is a very challenging domain that necessitates highly qualified professionals. However, despite of the growth and the needs of environmental engineering & waste management industry, studies highlight that the training of VET students is still mediocre and is not in line with the approaches and operations adopted by the sector. It is necessary more than ever before to ensure that the next generation of professionals and technicians have strong background, possess great skills and competences. In this context, the VR-WAMA project aims to respond to the continuing and urgent needs of the growing environmental engineering and waste management sectors to develop highly qualified VET students with great skills and competencies able to fulfill the sector needs for highly qualified and specialized professionals. In this line, the project aims to develop an innovative, state of the art, highly efficient and concrete training framework to assist VET students to better learn more and teachers to teach more efficiently the challenging domain of environmental engineering and waste management in an attractive, effective and educationally advanced way. Its objective is to enhance the students qualifications, expertise and skills and thus increase their employability and assist them to make a career in the environmental engineering industry. The project consists of three main phases which are the Design, Implementation and Evaluation. Design will take place during the first months of the project with main objective to identify the needs for environmental engineering training in VET sector, and then design suitable, state of the art curriculum and innovative course for addressing them by utilizing state of the art technologies. Specifically, several studies and roadmaps on environmental engineering and waste management on European level will be formulated and introduced. The Implementation of the courses and the 3D game-based virtual reality training environment will take place after with an aim to prepare the learning materials and integrate them in virtual environment. The final phase of the project regards extensive testing of the developed Virtual World through various pilot learning activities, evaluating it and using the results to improve and eventually finalize it.
The main results of the project are as follows:
- reports and roadmaps on VET Training on Environment engineering & waste management sector, reports on state of the art approaches & methods and specification of best practices on the use of ICT in VET training on European level.
- state of the art curricula and innovative courses on Environmental engineering & waste management based on the need analyses and taking into account the reports about the best practices.
- formulation of a in a Content Repository platform to provide all the Open Learning materials (texts, presentations, multimedia, 3D objects) for the courses and all the project deliverables and results
- a game-based 3D Virtual Reality educational environment possessing innovative learning and teaching capabilities as well as gamified learning scenarios. Various 3D games designed in the virtual environment constitute another result as well as the users' guides.
All the project results will be open available freely to public. The project will bring added value to the overall European VET educational system, enhance its attractiveness and quality and most of all students' skills. Indeed, the project can have a great impact on European level, modernize and enhance the performance and effectiveness of vocational education systems in the field of waste management and can also reinforce the international effectiveness of Europe’s vocational education with the utilization of innovative educational technologies such as virtual reality.