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Teaching sustainable and integrated resource management using an interactive nexus model

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Bajzelj, B 
Fenner, RA 
Curmi, E 
Richards, KS 


jats:sec <jats:title content-type="abstract-heading">Purpose</jats:title> jats:p – The purpose of this paper was to enhance and complement teaching about resource system feedbacks and environmental modelling. Students were given an interactive exercise based on a research model (ForeseerTM), developed by an inter-disciplinary 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. </jats:p> </jats:sec> jats:sec <jats:title content-type="abstract-heading">Design/methodology/approach</jats:title> jats:p – 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. </jats:p> </jats:sec> jats:sec <jats:title content-type="abstract-heading">Findings</jats:title> jats:p – 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. </jats:p> </jats:sec> jats:sec <jats:title content-type="abstract-heading">Originality/value</jats:title> jats:p – 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.</jats:p> </jats:sec>



Environmental modelling, Interactive teaching, Resource interconnectivity, Teaching system dynamics, Water, Energy and land nexus

Journal Title

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

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