In 2007, the LVG Heidelberg, Germany succeeded in obtaining a grant of 517.000 € by the Leonardo da Vinci programme of the European Commission for a pilot project to create an online course for arboricultural professionals (European Tree Workers/European Tree Technicians and other national arboricultural training qualifications) in Europe. The LVG Heidelberg was responsible for the project management and the programming. Project partners from Germany, the European Arboricultural Council (EAC) from Sweden as well as arboricultural training institutions in Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, Latvia, Hungary and Germany.
After a working period of two years the project group now has realized the online course “European arboriculture online”. The project product is a multimedia learning material written in the various languages of the project partners and accessible via a learning platform. The future users of the e-learning courseis confronted with different arboricultural problems - from “a” like adventitious root to “v” like v- shaped fork. He is learning interactive with the help of different tools to diagnose the tree and to decide what measures to take. Typical defects and their development on trees are discussed by simulations. The student is able to learn the subjects by himself because of the clear multimedia and practical case studies.
During the project time there was a lot of work to do. The first stage of the project consisted in training the partners in writing screenplays and handling the learning platform. The second stage was the development of English screenplays which served as a base for programming multimedia learning materials. The production of screenplays was effectively supported by the open source learning platform OLAT. After the evaluation of the screenplays by a scientific council translators translated the screenplays into 7 different languages. With the help of an especially created translation mask the different languages could be easily integrated in the online course. At the end programmers at the LVG Heidelberg coded the online course.
One of the projects’ highlights was definitely the final meeting in Arnhem. There we had a really great opportunity for dissemination of our project: together with a similar Leonardo da Vinci project called “ Forest web” the project results were presented to a lot of European arboricultural and forest institutions. The online course now is accessible via learning platforms of the partners. With Olat, the learning platform installed at LVG Heidelberg, it will be possible to create international learning groups of arboricultural students. In this way, the project will contribute to boosting the mobility of European arboricultural professionals. The door is now open for an intensive transnational exchange between European arboricultural training institutions.Licences for using the online course can be asked at any partner of the project.