This was the latest step in the revision process to update the BCS Core courses, being led by the UArctic Office of Undergraduate Studies in Saskatoon, Canada. The purpose of the workshop was threefold: to have the team approve the revised curriculum for three of the BCS Core courses (BCS 100, 311, and 312); to continue the important work on course evaluation; and to recommend authors for revising the other four Core courses (BCS 321, 322, 331, and 332).

The following Core Courses Revision Team members dedicated their very valuable time and expertise to this workshop:

Core Amsterdam Group 436• Alec Aitken, Department of Geography, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
• Björn Gunnarsson, School for Renewable Energy Science, University of Akureyri, Iceland
• Bjørn Sagdahl, Bodø University College, Norway
• Elena Kotyrlo, Syktyvkar State University, Russia
• Sharon McLeod, University College of the North, Manitoba, Canada
• Tuula Tuisku, University of Oulu, Finland

For BCS 100, all members of the team individually reviewed the modules and provided written feedback via the Content Editor’s Validation form. The Office of Undergraduate Studies developed this form to specify content criteria, writing criteria, and module length criteria for the Core courses. Because BCS 100 is a prerequisite course for the other six Core courses, the review ensured that the content would be relevant for all eight Circumpolar countries. For BCS 311 and 312, the team split into groups as appropriate for content to review the modules and provide written feedback. Approximately one day was spent reviewing each course.

Following the individual reviews, the Academic Leads chaired the group discussion of the feedback with the entire Core Courses Revision Team. Special thanks to Bjørn Gunnarsson for being Acting Academic Lead for BCS 100 for Karla Hardcastle who was unable to attend. Also, many thanks to Alec Aitken for his Academic Lead of both BCS 311 (in Rich Boone’s absence) and BCS 312. The strong leadership and academic expertise of these individuals resulted in a very successful workshop. Many thanks also to Emmy Neuls for recording the discussions.

The team’s feedback will be sent to the module writers to finalize the content updates. Then, the Program Officer at the UArctic Office of Undergraduate Studies Jeanette McKee will work with instructional design and media staff at the University of Saskatchewan to complete the online revisions. These courses are projected to go live with the revised curriculum in September 2009.

Pekka Silven, Oulu University, Finland, presented an update of the Core course evaluation process with Zef Solutions System. Currently, students are sent an email and are asked to click on the link to complete the survey, giving course feedback. Pekka, Emmy, and Jeanette discussed the next steps required to imbed the evaluations in the revised Core courses. Follow up will be proposed to formalize Pekka’s role and to make use of the evaluation data gathered in ongoing course delivery and curriculum updates.

Thank you to Tuula Tuisku and Elena Kotyrlo for suggesting a list of names for potential authors to revise the remaining four Core courses. As Academic Leads they will continue to work with the UArctic Office of Undergraduate Studies and the Core Courses Revision Team to do the curriculum revisions over the next two years.

Hayley Hesseln, Dean of the UArctic Office of Undergraduate Studies, will be taking on the role of Acting Academic Lead for BCS 100 while Karla Hardcastle is on leave. The workshop was organized and sponsored by the UArctic Office of Undergraduate Studies.

Jeanette McKee, Acting Program Officer