Digital tools are synonymous with contemporary education such that we are living in a post-digital world (Fawns, 2019). These tools can support education for sustainable development (ESD), but require acquisition of key skills, thoughtful design and consideration of how to traverse the digital divide to ensure an accessible, engaging, quality learning experience for all students. ESD requires an interdisciplinary perspective encompassing the global and multicultural context of sustainability challenges, and it emphasizes action-oriented pedagogies aligned with authentic assessment approaches. Blended learning provides opportunities for learning across disciplines, institutions and international boundaries, but necessitate careful navigation of structural issues such as the allocation of FTEs and administration of novel teaching approaches. Assessment design can be reconfigured towards creative, action-oriented outputs such as advocacy podcasts/vodcasts, analysis of open data sets etc. While barriers to assessment reform exist, accrediting bodies and employers increasingly emphasise the critical role of graduates in sustainability and climate change mitigation and adaptation.
This paper shares details of a digital toolkit and open course for Higher Education staff on Learning and Teaching with the SDGs. It considers the inhibitions identified by staff in relation to their own sustainability expertise (Guiry et al, 2022), showcases practice-based examples and considers the potential for ESD to be a path of mutual exploration and learning for staff and students in support of a sustainable future.
Guiry, N., Barimo, B., Byrne, E., O’Mahony, C., Reidy, D., Dever, D., Mullally, G., Kirrane, M., and O’Mahony, M.J.(2022) Education for Sustainable Development: Co-Creating Common Areas of Need and Concern. Cork: Green Campus Network. Available online www.ucc.ie/en/media/support/greencampus/pdfs/ESDSynthesisReport-Feb2022.pdf
Fawns, T. (2019) Postdigital education in design and practice. Postdigital Science and Education, 1(1), pp 132-145. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42438-018-0021-8