Evolution of an Interactive Online Magazine for Students, Academics and Expert Practitioners, to Engage Students from Multiple Disciplines in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
Urgency to embed awareness of sustainability principles and practice across society, and need for digital literacy and advocacy for sustainability are reshaping ESD. These, together with developments in learning and teaching, demand new tools to support implementation of project-based learning and more interactive approaches. This investigation explores the evolution of susthingsout.com, an online magazine for students, academics and expert practitioners, developed by the University of Worcester. This comprises two parts; the first, a private site specifically for students involved in sustainability learning on-campus; the second, an open-access site developed to deliver sustainability information and good practice across campus, community and not-for-profit and commercial organisations. This paper involves only the private site i.e. the equivalent of an in-house VLE specifically designed to support the teaching of sustainability to multi-disciplinary first and second year undergraduate students. It reports on the progress of the VLE, following three years of use and initial improvements, in terms of the student support and engagement, as well as considering the practical issues affecting these. The results fall into four categories of pedagogical, operational, cultural and external factors, which are synthesised to capture and share emerging knowledge of good practice offering insights to other developers of online sustainability materials.
KeywordsEducation for sustainable development (ESD) Digital learning platform Innovative pedagogy Learning community Blackboard Social media
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