E-course on the educational pack Know Feel Act to Stop Marine Litter 10-22 May 2016

This was the fourth round of the e-course aiming to introduce the educational pack Know, Feel, Act! to Stop Marine Litter targeting formal and non formal European educators, that took place in May 2016. The course was held by MIO-ECSDE / MEdIES, this time in the framework of the DeFishGear project, with the financial assistance of the IPA Adriatic Cross-Border Cooperation Programme.

The educational material “Know, feel, act! to stop Marine Litter”

The educational pack aims to inform, sensitise and enable teachers and students from Europe and beyond to take action to tackle litter in our seas and coasts. The Pack is available online in many European languages. It contains 17 learning activities examining the characteristics, sources, effects and possible ways to tackle the problem, addressing it from an environmental, societal, cultural and economic point of view. It is designed to primarily serve youth aged 10-15 yrs, but is adjustable to other audiences as well.


The e-course that is “built” on the Educational Pack is equivalent to an intensive 2 days long face-to-face seminar with the aim to train learners on effective ways of teaching about marine litter. The workload for learners is about 16 hrs that is “stretched” over 12-14 days, so that even highly busy people can participate by devoting 1-2 hours daily. The course is asynchronous, which means learners and facilitators don’t have to be online at any specific time, they login at any time.

Within the e-course an overview of the educational pack is presented, and effective ways it could be incorporated in real life are demonstrated. Trainers and learners shape each time an interactive learning community that simulates activities of the Pack, tests their validity and appropriateness, and suggests ways to adjust and improve them. The obstacles faced in implementing such activities and how to overcome them are also discussed. A critical feature that allows this meaningful interaction amongst learners is that the course is not a MOOC in the sense that it is neither massive nor impersonal. The learners’ group is of the order of 50-100 people, which allows getting to know each other, our experiences with marine litter, and how one can benefit from another.

Another feature of this e-course is that its content is not fixed. Learners are treated as experts and are often requested to generate content. Much of what is to be “learned” comes from those who not only “receive” but also “offer” their insights on the subject. The teachers, NGO and museum staff, surfers, divers, activists, university students that usually take part in the course all share a deep love for the sea, and that could possibly explain their commitment in the course content and the high completion rates.

Last but not least, in each round taken and although the main e-course content remains the same, the learners’ comments and suggestions lead us to amend it every time in order to improve the learning experience of those that take part.


In this round, despite the similar to the previous rounds number of applications (111 from 27 countries), more than 1 one out of 3 never logged in (percentage significantly higher compared to previous rounds). The majority of participants came from the Euro-Mediterranean region and a few from far away countries (in alphabetical order: Albania, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Italy, Jordan, Latvia, Lebanon, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Palestine, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey, UK, USA). Once again women greatly outnumbered men, with a ratio 3 to 1.

As in the previous rounds, the rates of completion were considered high, compared to the global average of e-course completion. Specifically, from the 111 registrants:

a) 42 (38%) never logged in.

b) 36 (32%) completed only parts of it, while

c) 33 (30%) successfully completed the course

If one takes out the 42 applicants that never logged in, we see that 69 people benefited from the course content and about half of them completed it successfully.

The course was evaluated by an external expert using a “before and after” questionnaire. Detailed analysis is beyond the scope of this report. In the table below the average responses of the 39 trainees that kindly filled the post-course survey are presented. A 1-7 Likert type scale was used.


The e-course:

Mean scale 1-7


...was relevant and well linked to the EduPack "Know feel act! to stop marine litter"



...was the right level of complexity



...offered sufficient guidance on how to use the EduPack



…was appropriate and useful for non-formal educators



…was appropriate and useful for formal educators



…had an appropriate time allocation (~16 hrs over 13 days) in order to achieve its objectives



…gave me a good chance to voice my opinions in discussions



…offered enough opportunity to ask questions



…was well facilitated by the trainers



…contained e-tools that I may use in the



…achieved its objectives as described in the beginning



…had a satisfactory level of engagement on behalf of the learners


There is a high degree of trainees’ satisfaction as demonstrated by the average scores in all 12 questions. Only two items scored below 6, namely the time allocation (a factor mentioned in some written comments) and the opportunity to ask questions. The extra week given to complete assignments certainly helps those that are motivated, but late.

The key proposal for improvement of the e-course in the future is to deepen in the scientific aspect of marine litter (e.g. through presenting results of recent research, or up taking more experiments within the course itself).

In learners’ words ...

Informal evaluation through comments, pledges and other non quantitative indicators is equally important and useful. Here are some quotes of learners that were shared in the e-course discussion forums:

“My own vision for a “sustainable coast”  it's not about great expectations, it’s about lot of little, simple steps/actions that we should take every moment to make our local environment a little bit better.” (Afroditi, Greece)

«As a diver i understand you … the most horrific is when Ι participated in scientific trawling... oh the garbage we collected... from arm chairs to boots to old typewritters... so much we can’t see travelling into the deep sea” (Marina, Cyprus)

“I personally realized, that I found a place that makes me happy because it is THAT beautiful!” (Phillip, Germany)


“This is my vision for the future. Every year I do scuba diving in the sea, every time I see things that affect marine life. If others people can see waste that the sea throws out, I see what the sea detain." (Erald, Albania)

tl_files/marlisco/mixed-images/educational_pack/results_2016_vision_ronald.jpg“My sketch is a sea turtle coming on to a clean and quiet beach to nest. We encourage people to keep the beach clean and pick up after themselves so that nesting females and hatchlings can make it safely across the sand.” (Ronald, USA)



tl_files/marlisco/mixed-images/educational_pack/defish-logo.pngThe DeFishGear project

The course is held by MIO-ECSDE / MEdIES in the framework of the DeFishGear project, with the financial assistance of the IPA Adriatic Cross-Border Cooperation Programme.




Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture & Sustainable Development (MIO-ECSDE)

Established in 1995 MIO-ECSDE is a non-profit Federation of NGOs from the Mediterranean region working in the field of Environment and Sustainable Development. 
Contact MIO-ECSDE: www.mio-ecsde.orginfo@mio-ecsde.org



Mediterranean Education Initiative for Environment and Sustainability (MEdIES)

Launched in Johannesburg (WSSD, 2002), MEdIES is MIO-ECSDE’s primal education imitative, with the objective to provide capacity building on ESD through publications, trainings and the facilitation of an e-network of educators. 
Contact MEDIES: www.medies.netinfo@medies.net


The contents of the e-course and the views and opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of MIO-ECSDE /MEdIES and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position and views of neither the IPA Adriatic Cross-Border Cooperation Programme Authorities, nor those of the European Commission.