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Objective Earth

A planet to Discover. 1st year Earth Science Course

Project ID: 991028
Project outline
SVC Shortcut:
Project homepage:
Course platform:proprietary in house development
Technical concepts:Text is stored as XML (with metadata, title, etc.), media objects are stored as Flash. A flash user interface is generated dynamically using xsl and asp.

Project Leader

Prof. Dr. Gérard M. Stampfli
Institut de Géologie et Paléontologie
Université de Lausanne
1015 Lausanne

Project Coordinator

Nicolas Kramar
Université de Lausanne

Project Partners

CTAI, Grandevent
Business Partner
Dr. L. Moresi
CSIRO Exploration & Mining, Australia
Dr. S. Cox
CSIRO Exploration & Mining, Australia
Prof. Dr. A. O. Pfiffner
Universität Bern
Prof. Dr. J.-P. Berger
Université de Fribourg
Dr. P. Kindler
Université de Genève
Prof. Dr. D. Chapellier
Université de Lausanne
Prof. Dr. M. Marthaler
Université de Lausanne
Prof. Dr. J.Winistörfer
Université de Lausanne
LaLuna, Lausanne
Business Partner
Dr. D. Marquer
Université de Neuchâtel


This course is supported by the Coordination romande des Sciences de la Terre which links the Earth Sciences departments of the universities of Basel, Bern, Fribourg, Geneva, Lausanne and Neuchâtel, and by the Coordination romande de Géographie.

One of the major challenges for our world in the next millennium is the management of our environment. To face up to this task we have decided to develop a multilingual (French, German, English), interactive Earth Sciences course for first year university students in Geology, Geography, Biology, Civil and Rural Engineering. This course will also provide a continuing education for secondary school teachers.

The Earth Sciences are perfect subjects to teach through NICT - How better to explain Plate Tectonics than by showing an animation of the wandering continents? This course, based on new learning technologies, is designed to bring students in their first university cycle to the requisite academic standard and release time for more specific and advanced teaching in the curriculum.

The audience is estimated at 700 students (universities, HEP) and teachers who will participate in the course every year.

This course will contain sections with courses, with bibliography, exercises, corrected exercises and self-evaluation test-modules. A course using the NIT is sympathetic to individual learning rhythms. Actually, the student is no longer constrained by a rigid lecture timetable, but rather can take the time needed to build his own knowledge.

As an integral part of a university program, this course corresponds to 8 to 10 ECTS credits. It will replace a large part of the traditional frontal teaching of the first academic cycle.

The project will last 36 months including extensive field tests of 12 months. The success of the project is guaranteed by the full time appointment of the co-ordinator, by the disposal of a sabbatical semester of the project leader and a trimester of another professor of the same university, and by the commitment of the partner-professors from all the Swiss Universities.

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