Creating sustainable futures/Design blueprint

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  • Level: 1st year and 3rd year Bachelor Degree Level
  • Discipline(s): Sustainability, critical thinking
  • Notional learning hours: 40 hours (20 hours studying learning resources and 20 hours preparing summative assessment items.)
  • Credits: 4 credits of a 15-credit course towards a 120-credit credential at Otago Polytechnic
  • Credential(s): The following articulation pathways are available:

Intended target audience

This course is designed for people who want to learn an effective framework for creating a sustainable future where society can thrive within nature's limits.

The intended target audience for this course includes:

  • Anyone interested in studying this subject
  • Professionals/aspirant professionals in different sustainability sectors
  • Private and public sector workers where addressing sustainability is important

Prerequisite knowledge

Anyone is free to participate in this course. An internet connection and basic web browsing skills are recommended with the ability to create a blog and microblog account (instructions and self-study tutorials provided.) You are requested to keep a personal learning journal as reflection has been shown to increase learning markedly. Learners aiming to submit assessments for formal academic credit will need to meet the normal university admission requirements of the conferring institution (e.g. language proficiency and school leaving certificates). Learners aiming for the 3rd year Bachelor level are advised to have completed the majority of their 2nd year level subjects to have sufficient capability and experience for preparing assignments for 3rd year level of Bachelor study.

Course aims

This course is designed for people who want to learn an effective framework for creating a sustainable future where society can thrive within nature’s limits. It will enable you to:

  1. Learn to design projects, products and organisations that are built for lasting success and aligned with a sustainable future.
  2. Learn a common language and strategic planning framework which can operate across cultures and different industry sectors - the framework for Strategic # # # Sustainable Development, or Natural Step framework.
  3. Evaluate current practices and reflect on how to best transform them.
  4. Connect with others around the world who share your passion for creating a sustainable future.

Development and delivery approach

Creating sustainable futures will be assembled as four micro-courses of approximately 40 notional learning hours each:

  1. Inspiring challenge of sustainable development (CSF101)
  2. Designing the transition to a living future (CSF102)
  3. Strategic planning for success (CSF103)
  4. Taking action and choosing priorities (CSF104)

The course will be reconfigured from existing draft materials available in the wiki and contributions from the SMEs.

The course promotes a reflective learning approach. It will comprise a series of learning pathways designed to achieve the stated learning outcomes incorporating learning challenges for each pathway where learners demonstrate their learning and understanding through maintaining a learning journal. Where possible learners will be encouraged to share the outputs of their reflections publicly, subject to the challenges associated with disclosure of confidential corporate information.

Integrated activities for peer-learning interaction (microblogs, blog posts and discussion forum posts) are embedded in the course design. Where appropriate, interactive case studies will be used to facilitate learner-content interactions and simulated dialogue with course developers. The course will also include learning challenges for deepening knowledge and understanding of sustainable practices.

The course presumes average computer literacy using standard office applications, web-navigation and the ability to register accounts for open web services. Digital and social media literacy skills relevant to online communication are important.

Delivery options

The course will be designed to accommodate the following delivery options:

  1. Independent self-study
  2. Cohort-based OERu open online course (Learning interactions over 10 working days with independent self-directed learning to prepare assessments.)
  3. Open boundary format where OERu open online course is offered in parallel will full service online course at Otago Polytechnic.
  4. Distributed mOOC where cohort-based open courses are offered simultaneously from multiple organisations (consider OERF, Saylor Foundation and Otago Polytechnic demonstrator in the Fall of the Northern Hemisphere - tbd.)

Assessment strategy

Learners can participate out of self interest and select the activities they would like to complete. Some of these activities may be designated as part of the assignments for formal academic credit. Learners seeking formal credit must submit the required assignments for assessment:

  • Personal reflection in a learning journal
  • E-tivities in blog posts, and
  • Formal assessment for credit at Level 5 or Level 7 (See a summary here)

Interaction strategies

Student-content interactions

Each micro-course will:

  • Incorporate a short video as an introduction to the course and provide a "meet the teachers" opportunity (Comment.gif: I propose that each learning pathway incorporates a short video signpost of 2 - 3 minutes rather than a longer introduction for the micro course. --Mackiwg (talk) 23:16, 24 March 2016 (UTC))
  • Provide learners with a series of learning pathways designed for independent study. Each learning pathway to have a 2-3 minute video signpost.
  • Incorporate one or more learning challenges in each learning pathway.
  • Include learning challenges that function as building blocks for the final course assessment.

Student-student interactions

Students will be able to interact via a number of technologies which will be harvested using an aggregated timeline for the interactions:

  • WENotes is used as a technology to aggregate learner interactions including selected but designated "open forums" in the LMS where learners are advised that posting to an open forum that their posts will be published openly. (In addition to the open forums there are the normal "closed" forums where lecturers provide tutorial support for full-fee students.) OERu learners do not receive online tutorial support.
  • Discussion forum posts
  • Personal blog posts and comments
  • Personal learning journal
  • General OERu FAQs on - a community-based question and answer forum.
  • Course specific forums on

Student-support interactions

  • Students will be encouraged to use a the peer-support question and answer forum for addressing support questions.
  • Self-study help tutorials will be provided for the technologies used in the course.