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Article
Publication date: 3 July 2018

Kay Emblen-Perry

This paper aims to explore the value students place on the sustainable strategies game (SSG) which seeks to improve student engagement in business sustainability through enhanced…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the value students place on the sustainable strategies game (SSG) which seeks to improve student engagement in business sustainability through enhanced game-based learning. This game provides an alternative collaborative learning environment to the traditional instructivist approach to enrich Education for Sustainability (EfS) learning experiences and enhance student engagement.

Design/methodology/approach

Students’ reflections on their game-based learning experiences and suggestions for game development were collected through a short qualitative survey. Results are explored through three frameworks, namely, the multifaceted student value model, the dimensions of engagement framework and the UK higher education authority (HEA) framework for engagement through partnership.

Findings

Research findings suggest the SSG provides game-based learning within EfS that delivers “edutainment” within an active, collaborative and experiential learning environment that the students value. It is also able to challenge thinking and emotionally engage students with the fundamentals of business sustainability. Reflection-on-action and the students’ role as co-researchers in game development allow students to become active participants in their learning as well as knowledge producers and evaluators. These outcomes deliver the UK HEA’s core facets of student engagement through partnership.

Research limitations/implications

This practice-focused study presents the self-reported results of a one-time, small study which does not offer generalised, independently validated responses. However, the findings may be of interest to educators considering the adoption of game-based learning and those seeking new learning cultures for EfS.

Practical implications

Game-based learning and teaching approaches can achieve a learner-centred active, collaborative learning environment that enhances student engagement with business sustainability.

Originality/value

Experiences gained from this study should assist others in the implementation of game-based learning to engage students in business sustainability.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 19 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 November 2019

Kay Emblen-Perry

This paper aims to present a novel pedagogical approach to education for sustainability within the business curriculum that adopts a sustainability audit of a fictional company…

690

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present a novel pedagogical approach to education for sustainability within the business curriculum that adopts a sustainability audit of a fictional company presented as a case study as the focus of learning, teaching and assessment. It evaluates the user’s ability to provide the active learning called for in education for sustainability literature and hands-on learning that business management students prefer.

Design/methodology/approach

This study explores students’ qualitative and quantitative responses to pre- and post-module surveys and module evaluations to establish the effectiveness of focussing learning, teaching and assessment on a sustainability audit. The study, undertaken over a two-year period, adopts four indicators of learning and teaching effectiveness to synthesise, evaluate and present the findings as follows: development of sustainability knowledge and skill, employment skills, career and life skills and engagement.

Findings

The study finds that a sustainability audit can develop students’ knowledge and skills in all four indicators of learning and teaching effectiveness. In addition, the findings suggest it can raise students’ learning awareness and recognition of their role in the learning process.

Research limitations/implications

This paper reports the findings of a small scale, two-year study. As such, it presents indicative findings rather than generalised conclusions.

Practical implications

Designing a pedagogical approach to education for sustainability within the business curriculum around the completion of a sustainability audit can offer hands-on learning experiences that meet students’ preferences for interactive, experiential and collaborative learning within real-world environments, employers’ demands for employment-ready graduates and educators’ hopes for sustainability advocates.

Originality/value

This study builds on the existing pedagogic discourse of pedagogic means and methods for education for sustainability within the business curriculum. It provides insight into effective hands-on education for sustainability within the business curriculum and offers experience-based guidance to educators seeking to develop immersive, active and experiential, real-world pedagogical approaches.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 20 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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