1 Arquitectura La Salle-Universitat Ramon Llull (SPAIN)
2 Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit, University of Southampton (UNITED KINGDOM)
3 New Media in Education Laboratory, Università della Svizzera italiana (SWITZERLAND)
4 Faculty of Architecture, Slovak University of Technology (SLOVAKIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 665-676
ISBN: 978-84-613-5538-9
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain
OIKODOMOS (HUhttp://www.oikodomos.orgUH) is a research project financed by the Lifelong Learning programme (2007-2009) carried out by higher education institutions and research centers from Belgium, France, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The goal of the project is to create a virtual campus to promote the study of dwelling at a European scale. The goal of OIKODOMOS, a Greek word for "the builder of a house", has been to create a virtual campus to promote the study of housing at a European scale, integrating on-line and on-site activities (blended learning). With this purpose, we have developed new methods to study housing in a multidisciplinary way, interweaving on-line learning activities with off-line courses and seminars, digital repositories and on-line learning environments, cases analysis and project workshops taking place at the participating institutions. Community representatives and local authorities in the participating countries have participated in the project's activities, developed over the last two years.

This paper will present the pedagogic framework developed in the project, including the design and implementation of the learning processes and their interweaving with the web-based learning environments we have created to support the open-ended learning processes implemented in the project: OIKODOMOS Workspaces and OIKODOMOS Case Repository.

OIKODOMOS Workspaces enables groups of learners from different institutions to create and manage learning processes made up of sequences of tasks which are organized in learning activities. Learners can be grouped in multiple ways to carry out the specific tasks, individually or in teams. The outcomes of a Workspace –descriptions of learning activities and tasks, students' results– are stored in a repository to be re-used afterwards in other Workspaces.

OIKODOMOS Case Repository enables groups of learners to create and analyze housing projects collaboratively a-synchronous ways. A case study is made up of textual and graphic descriptions, which can be introduced by multiple users. Cases can be organized in groups. Repository items can be selected and stored in a personal environment. Selected items can be used to create a summary page which combines data from the repository with items from other sources.

These environments have been used to support blended learning activities both locally within partner institutions and between partner institutions. In the latter students and teachers use the environments and other Web.2 tools to work at a distance. Students and teachers also come together in face-to-face international workshops. Pre workshop activities serve to support the work at these meetings, during which students meet and work in groups with their international peers. Following theses face-to-face meetings the work is further developed back in the partner institutions via both local and collaborative activities. The final part of the paper will review the pedagogic process followed and discuss the role of such tools in supporting collaborative learning across institutional and national boundaries.
virtual campus, blended-learning, constructivism, virtual design studio.