Articles about the Virtual Environmental Challenge (VEC):

Rennes 2 launches the First Edition of the VEC Challenge for the Promotion of Sustainable and Connected Campuses

On October 1st, Rennes 2 and partnering institutions are kicking off a new innovative open online course, the Virtual Classroom Environmental Challenge.

To read more click here…


Interview with the Editor-in-Chief:

We spoke with you at the beginning of the course, how did this first edition of the class and competition go?

Christine Evain: It’s been truly rewarding working to put this first edition together! The Challenge became very concrete for the students. I thought all of the teams did a really good job of putting their minds to the task and working together from a distance, and it’s been exciting to follow each of them in this process. I was also happy to see that the students and coaches were able to create a social bond throughout the past 2 months. We did run into a few small issues over the course of the semester, but overall I’m pleased with our results. We’re already working on preparing the 2nd edition for the start of the 2021 school year and seeing how we can improve the system.

To read more click here…


As a transnational project, the Virtual Environmental Challenge or VEC (original project name) has many stakeholders involved from university International departments to lecturers, researchers and students. In general, a university will host an edition of the VEC and take on the organisation of the project; this includes recruiting of other universities (international and national), recruiting of country coordinators who in turn recruit students from their home university. 

To find out more about the structure and methodologies involved, please see a training session we gave in November 2022:

The organisation and running of the challenge aside, on the ground level of the VEC we have ‘Teamchers’ (team-teachers) and participants. Teamchers, who are university students, take on a role where they guide participants through the challenge (for the VEC we use an eight week model – see below). The participants are the students that have been recruited by the country coordinators, as mentioned above. The teamcher-participant relationship can be viewed as a kind of facilitator-student relationship. However, the important thing to remember is that it is a ‘peer’ relationship as Teamchers and participants are students in their respective institutions.

In turn, Teamchers are guided by ‘Mentors.’ Mentors are students who have participated in the VEC in the past as Teamchers. Mentors also help with the general organisation of the VEC.

In the VEC, the participant groups come up with a ‘big idea’ for their at home campus–the big idea relates to topics, for example: sustainability, gender, discrimination, race, inclusion. What is the big idea? There is no limit – but the best ideas are ones that can be implemented on campus (and applied at other partner university campuses – although this is not the aim)  – so no ideas that cost millions of euros, would be difficult to implement, etc. Once participant teams have come up with their idea, the challenge is to create productions related to the idea: present (on Zoom) the idea to a panel of judges and peers; create a film trailer of the idea; do a final presentation in a professional style (e.g. Ted Talk format) again with the panel of judges and peers. Teams also create a logo.

The teamcher and participant team relationship falls within the methodology of Challenge-based Learning (CBL); read more:

  1. Challenge-based Learning: A Classroom Guide https://www.apple.com/br/education/docs/CBL_Classroom_Guide_Jan_2011.pdf

  2. CBL toolkit https://www.challengebasedlearning.org/

  3.  ‘Teamcher’ https://www.eciu.org/news/the-growing-eciu-community-of-teamchers


VEC Teamcher/participant cycle:

EXAMPLE 8 week timetable:

EXAMPLE human structure

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