Learning & Teaching Sustainability website relaunches

Wednesday, 19 February, 2014

More than 200 educators and researchers from nearly 60 Australian tertiary institutions have joined Learning & Teaching Sustainability - an online project to collaborate on sustainability education.

The website was originally conceived in 2010 as a single source of information on individual courses at various institutions. Now the website is being relaunched as a portal where educators can also discuss teaching methods and collaborate on course design.

“Sustainability cuts across everything,” said Suzanne Benn, Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at UTS Business School. “Universities have come to realise that it’s such an interdisciplinary area that they need to cooperate and share across disciplines. This website now takes it one step further, so they can share nationally, across campuses and institutions.”

Professor Benn said the project moves beyond the MOOC (massive open online course) model of a single institution placing its proprietary courses online. Members of the online community can access each other’s learning and teaching materials, profile their own work and become involved in curriculum building.

The portal is also a space where academics can talk with people in other disciplines about sustainability - including architecture, creative arts, business, law and health - and where they can access reports, articles, reference points and a Twitter feed. The long-term aim of the site is to encourage collaboration across the various disciplines, for both teaching and research purposes.

“If we are going to shift to a green economy we need a workforce for that, and it is universities that will provide the people with the necessary skills,” said Professor Benn. “This requires a spirit of sharing and a community of practice, and sustainability.edu.au is all about ramping that up.”

Academics from UTS Business School and the university’s Institute for Sustainable Futures are coordinating the site, which is funded by the federal government’s Office for Learning and Teaching.

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