To read this content please select one of the options below:

Enhancing curricular integration of the SDGs: fostering active methodologies through cross-departmental collaboration in a Spanish university

Silvia Albareda-Tiana (Faculty of Education Sciences, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain and Sustainability Office, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain)
Gabriel Fernandez-Borsot (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain)
Jasmina Berbegal-Mirabent (Departament of Management, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain)
Elisa Regadera González (Faculty of Communication Sciences, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain)
Marta Mas-Machuca (Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain)
Mariona Graell (Faculty of Education Sciences, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain)
Alba Manresa (Faculty of Economic and Social Science, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain)
Mónica Fernández-Morilla (Faculty of Education Sciences, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain)
M. Teresa Fuertes-Camacho (Department of Education, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain)
Andreu Gutiérrez-Sierra (Faculty of Education Sciences, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain)
Josep M. Guardiola (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya – Campus Sant Cugat, Sant Cugat del Valles, Spain)

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Article publication date: 5 January 2024

Issue publication date: 3 June 2024

145

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to assess the effectiveness of active teaching methodologies, namely, problem-oriented learning and the case method, to develop sustainability competencies. It also analyses the advantages and challenges for teachers when implementing the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in eight undergraduate and postgraduate degrees within the framework of a cross-departmental collaboration.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed research methodology was used: a quantitative study to assess the levels of acquisition of sustainability and research competencies and the potential correlation between them, as well as a mixed study of the advantages and challenges for the teachers participating in the cross-departmental initiative. Curriculum content linked to the SDGs was worked on. Active teaching methodologies and a competency assessment rubric were used as curriculum implementation strategies in the eight courses involved.

Findings

Active teaching methodologies are suitable to implement the SDGs in university teaching and to develop both sustainability and research competencies. A synergic effect is observed between them. Coordinated work between teachers of different subjects in several degrees contributes to developing a culture of sustainability at the university.

Research limitations/implications

Although the collaboration between teachers from different disciplines was successful, this study did not promote interdisciplinary projects among students from different degrees. This promises to be highly valuable for future research.

Practical implications

Students can become present and future leaders in achieving the SDGs. This approach can be replicated in other educational institutions.

Social implications

This study bridges the gap between theoretical recommendations and the practical implementation of the SDGs in undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

Originality/value

Coordinated work between teachers of different subjects in different degrees contributes to the development of a culture of sustainability at the university.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank to Ann Swinnen for the feedback and comments and also to three anonymous reviewers for helpful comments on an earlier version of this article.

Funding: This research was carried out thanks to a grant received for the First Prize of the III Puig Scholarship in Teaching Innovation of the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC Barcelona, Spain) on 4 May, 2020, with an economic endowment of 9,580€. The project that awarded this financial support is entitled: “Active teaching methodologies to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in an interdisciplinary manner at UIC Barcelona.”

Citation

Albareda-Tiana, S., Fernandez-Borsot, G., Berbegal-Mirabent, J., Regadera González, E., Mas-Machuca, M., Graell, M., Manresa, A., Fernández-Morilla, M., Fuertes-Camacho, M.T., Gutiérrez-Sierra, A. and Guardiola, J.M. (2024), "Enhancing curricular integration of the SDGs: fostering active methodologies through cross-departmental collaboration in a Spanish university", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 25 No. 5, pp. 1024-1047. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-07-2023-0299

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles