Universitat Politècnica de València (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2021 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 5577-5586
ISBN: 978-84-09-27666-0
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2021.1126
Conference name: 15th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-9 March, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Fieldwork (or field-based learning), design by research, and in situ data collection are essential in researching and working with architectural heritage. They are a fundamental part of the academic programs of specialization in postgraduate Architectural Heritage Conservation and Management studies at the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV). Due to the health emergency caused by the COVID-19 in March 2020, face-to-face teaching-learning had to urgent and unexpectedly switch to online mode. This involved particular challenges for the subject “Heritage Management Workshop” because its practical performance was based on visiting locations and heritage assets that are themselves the object of study.

The use of the UPV teaching-learning institutional platform (PoliformaT) combined with the Microsoft Teams videoconferencing application have been proved effective to address the online regular theoretical lessons; however, hands-on practical experiences of the workshop have been more difficult to solve. Thus, it was necessary to adapt the learning method to the context, design new alternative tasks and identify available virtual tools and means in order to solve the practical teaching and, at the same time, fit in with the quality requirements of the Master course. Live streaming activities such as collaborative international engaging webinars, online interviews with experts or invited lectures with heritage managers were conducted as part of the instructional offer, but also videos, documentaries and virtual tours were used to get to know the heritage sites analysed.

In addition, the teaching staff adopted several measures in order to mitigate the social distancing constraints, by encouraging collaboration and relationships among the students through the development of teamwork, and by ensuring social virtual interaction between teachers and students to assist students in their commitments and to provide them emotional and motivational support.

This work describes how the course was adapted and analyses the challenges and opportunities that online teaching-learning presents for the future in the specific field of Built Heritage Management. It highlights the existing shortcomings in the availability of digitised information on this topic, which made it difficult for students to conduct their research and management projects. It also discusses the opportunity provided by the situation to address new issues in Heritage Management, such as safety and health in cultural visits, virtual access to heritage or strategies to reconnect heritage with the public, from which very innovative student projects emerged.
Built Heritage Management, Architectural Heritage, Online Teaching-Learning, Heritage Digitalization, COVID-19 Pandemic, Higher Education Institutions.