The fifth “Resource Efficient Cities” Workshop was successfully conducted in Kenya
The fifth workshop of the Interdisciplinary Master Program “Resource Efficient Cities” (IMaREC), titled Training of Trainers (ToT) on “System Theory and Higher Education Didactics”, was hosted by Kenyatta Univeresity in Nairobi, Kenya from April 24 – 28, 2017. Four partner universities of the CNRD network participated in the workshop: TH Köln, Germany; ASU, Egypt; UGM, Indonesia; and UASLP, Mexico. Additionally, a representative from the University of Ghana joined the workshop as an associated partner of CNRD. Dr. Blumbach from the regional office of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Nairobi office graced the official opening of the workshop. All the participants were able to make a courtesy call to the Vice Chancellor where they were welcomed by Prof. Frederick Gravenir, the Deputy Vice Chancellor Research, Innovation and Outreach on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor of Kenyatta University Prof. Paul K. Wainaina who was outside the county.
The ToT workshop adopted a blending learning approach with three phases between online (distant) and contact phases. First phase (online), February – April 2017, explored the background and REC related knowledge level of participants through a questionnaire. Additionally, participants were provided with preparatory reading materials regarding didactics and scientific topics. The second (contact) phase in KU, April 2017, deepened the understanding of the IMaREC concepts and teaching approaches. Topics covered were City as a complex system, its metabolism, urban dynamics and the importance of interconnected responses to face its challenges, system logic / system thinking / system approach. The ToT also included introduction and practice on Problem Based Learning (PBL), as an active learning approach. The third phase (online), May – July, is planned to deepen the participants’ understanding and to apply the learnt content through tasks and assignments, which contributes to the curriculum development of IMaREC.
The workshop took place in a constructive and friendly atmosphere on Kenyatta University’s campus. It included an excursion to Nairobi peri-urban areas and Naivasha town, giving participants an insight into the rapid development and changes of the urban and rural landscape in Kenya. The participants were able to enjoy the beautiful landscape of the Great Rift Valley in Kenya.
As a next step after the workshop, the collaborating university partners will review all IMaREC modules based on the learnt workshop content.