Dlouhá, J., & Burandt, S. (2015). Design and evaluation of learning processes in an international sustainability oriented study programme. In search of a new educational quality and assessment method. Journal of Cleaner Production,106, 247-258. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.09.096

Abstract:

Debates relevant to transdiciplinary and sustainability oriented teaching at the higher education level anticipate necessary transitions in curricula. This article describes an international sustainabilityoriented teaching and learning programme at the higher education level, where theoretical concepts developed over recent decades were applied in teaching practice, tested and reflected upon. The authors have operationalized conditions for learning success in a transdisciplinary learning environment, designed courses so that desirable competences were not only a by-product of sustainability oriented teaching, but its primary educational goal, developed (formative) assessment tools, observed the specifics of the environment in which particular courses have been realized (e-learning setting), and received feedback on students' perceptions of various aspects of their learning. While the content of the programme was concerned with the principles of sustainability, its methodological focus on competences was associated with a change in communication practices between teachers and students that have been gradually liberated from the traditional transmission model in favour of a more open and interactive one. Analysis of the students' perception of the learning process showed their attitudes and approaches to learning ranged from a surface approach to a deep approach; desirable approaches have been identified as core educational qualities to be preserved within curricular innovations. The article contributes to understanding the role of the learning environment which provides the opportunities for teacher interventions to support interactive and self-directed learning.

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