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Systematic curriculum integration of sustainable development using life cycle approaches: The case of the Civil Engineering Department at the Université de Sherbrooke

Bastien Roure (LIRIDE-Interdisciplinary Research Laboratory on Sustainable Engineering and Ecodesign, Department of Civil Engineering, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Canada)
Chirjiv Anand (LIRIDE-Interdisciplinary Research Laboratory on Sustainable Engineering and Ecodesign, Department of Civil Engineering, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Canada)
Véronique Bisaillon (Office of the Vice-President, Sustainable Development and Government Relations, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Canada)
Ben Amor (LIRIDE-Interdisciplinary Research Laboratory on Sustainable Engineering and Ecodesign, Department of Civil Engineering, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Canada)

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Article publication date: 16 January 2018

Issue publication date: 23 February 2018

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a consistent and systematic integration framework of sustainable development (SD) in a civil engineering (CE) curriculum, given the connection between the two. Curriculum integration is a challenging project and requires the development of certain protocols to ensure success.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper thus proposes a framework for the systematic integration of SD through the lenses of life cycle approach and associated tools to attain effective curriculum integration. The proposed framework suggests the following five steps: mapping the curriculum, setting learning targets, developing an action plan for the assessed program, implementing the action plan and assessing the final performance.

Findings

This framework was applied to the CE curriculum at Sherbrooke University. To assess its success, a student satisfaction survey was conducted, and teachers’ feedback was obtained; the results showed 85 per cent positive responses. The authors show how this study allowed the CE curriculum to be properly updated and brought in line with today’s engineering profession requirements with regard to SD.

Originality/value

The integration focuses on the application of life cycle approaches and tools such as environmental life cycle assessment and life cycle costing on CE content. Additionally, the presented approach can be easily adapted to other engineering curriculums and, to a certain extent, to other non-engineering curriculums.

Keywords

Citation

Roure, B., Anand, C., Bisaillon, V. and Amor, B. (2018), "Systematic curriculum integration of sustainable development using life cycle approaches: The case of the Civil Engineering Department at the Université de Sherbrooke", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 589-607. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-07-2017-0111

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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