Teaching sustainable resource management using an interactive research tool
International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education
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Bajželj, B., Fenner, R., Curmi, E., & Richards, K. (2015). Teaching sustainable resource management using an interactive research tool. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 17 https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-02-2014-0022
Purpose Students were given an interactive exercise based on a research model (ForeseerTM), developed by an interdisciplinary research team, that explores the interconnectivity of water, energy and land resources. Two groups of students were involved, one of undergraduates and the other of graduates. The aim was to enhance and complement teaching about resource system feedbacks and environmental modelling. Methodology The Foreseer model represents physical flows of the three resources (water, energy and land) using an interactive visual interface. The exercise was set up by giving students short instructions about how to use the tool to create four scenarios, and an online questionnaire was used to capture their understanding, and their ability to extract information from the model. Findings The exercise proved to be a helpful way to connect research and teaching in higher education, to the benefit of both. For students, it was an interactive and engaging way to learn about these complex sustainability issues. At the same time, it provided tangible feedback to researchers working on the model about the clarity of its user interface, and its pedagogic value. Originality/value This exercise represents a novel use of a resource model as a teaching tool in the study of the water, energy and land nexus, and is relevant to sustainability educators as an example of a model centred learning approach on this topic.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-02-2014-0022
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/248879