Open Learning: The EcoLearnIT System

Open learning is an approach to learning that gives students flexibility and choice over what, when, at what pace, where, and how they learn, commonly using distance education and educational technology.

The EcoLearnIT Reusable Learning Object (RLO) System facilitates open learning. Dr. Grunwald is the visionary of the EcoLearnIT open learning system. She facilitated to design it and has served as the Editor of EcoLearnIT since its launch (2006 – present). EcoLearnIT hosts peer-reviewed RLOs covering topics in agriculture and life sciences, ecology, natural resources, and environmental sciences.  The learning objects are reusable and freely accessible to facilitate learning and teaching. It serves students and teachers alike. EcoLearnIT provides online tools to co-create learning material (videos, slides, audio, text, and interactive features).

Dr. Grunwald participated in the Open Agricultural Curriculum and Learning Initiative to develop an Agroecology curriculum implemented in form of learning objects. AgroCuri is an international consortium of scientists/instructors from various universities and Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) centers (U.S., Europe, south-east Asia, and Africa). AgroCuri aims to develop a global repository for comprehensive learning materials on food and agriculture.

She was member of the International Agricultural Learning Repositories Task Force (AgLR-TF), which provides guidance, standards, technologies, tools, and recommendations for development of digital repositories of e-learning materials around the globe (global consortium) (2/2008 – present)