The Water Framework Directive 2000/60 E.C. attempts to protect all waters, to assure by all Member States that all waters meet “good status” by 2015, to provoke the active participation of all stakeholders striking a balance between the interests of the environment and those who depend on it. This means that natural science graduates must have a knowledge and understanding of the approaches required to monitor, protect and manage water bodies according to the Directive. These approaches are addressed by this innovative module (currently hardly covered by the curricula of EU Universities), by an open distance-learning package (ODL)* . The module (MOD under Socrates) combines threoretical concepts with European-wide case studies about rivers. During the first year, the ODL package was assembled and analysed. During the first semester of the second year it was used on a pilot basis in every participating university. Some of the students were taught in the conventional way through direct contact and others using the ODL package; the package was assessed (by internal and external evaluators, and student feedback) in order to tune delivery during the second half of the 2nd year.
* The taught material can be found on-line, as part of the Educational Package BLACKBOARD at http://blackboard.lib.auth.gr. Select «English (United States)» down and left at the first screen. Choose «Μαθήματα» (black button next to the «Community» button). In the «Search for Course:» field give «water quality» and press «GO». The course «Water quality of running water (05U005)» should appear as the only result. Click on it to get the taught material. From the menu on the right, choose «Course Documents» and then the Course reader.