Talk:Sustainable practice 1

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Reflection on the course with Travel and Tourism students Term 2 09

Well the course has finished, though hopefully there is still a short film to come (and be posted on this site for your viewing pleasure!).

There are a number of things I would do differently next time:

  • As this is the second year of study for these students, my ideal would be to integrate the process of this course into a first year paper at a modular level.
  • These students seems to lack a strong ability to work as a group. They also lacked enthusiasm and motivation for their studies in general and more ownership of their work with consequences for lack of ownership through assessment and a stronger student directed element to their studies may help this, with a good practical understanding of reflective practice and self/peer feedback.
  • Also stronger experiential learning, making things relevant, meaningful and real for these students would set them up for really taking on the 'student driven' process of this course. Having not worked with these students or on this programme before I don't know what educational experience they have received prior to this course. However, what they lacked was evident to me.
  • Failing the ability to implement the above suggestion I would spend more time on these basics at the start of the course.
  • More time on group work and what is required.
  • Writing a 'living' contract (though not calling it that as it was evident that they have negative feelings associated with this concept), that is referred to every day or at least every week and adapted by the students as necessary.
  • Smallish group activities that allow for a self and peer feedback following the activity. At least 2 'in person' feedback sessions would have helped clarify what feedback involves, how to give it effectively and how to accept it!
  • More 'out of class' social, yet education related sessions - this is difficult to arrange as students have busy schedules - social and part time work, but the one thing we did do - dinner out together got great feedback and helped to bring the class together more. Activities such as viewing a movie together - An Inconvenient Truth or Home would be something I'd do next time.
  • I would also develop (and may do so, so keep an eye on the main page!) a list of people and organisation who maybe willing to give lectures and/or assist students with a chosen project.
  • If I was to do it again I would not use the wiki as a teaching tool. At least, not until I'd got to know the students better. It seemed that because the wiki was there they didn't have to come to class, yet they still didn't use the wiki to stay up to date with what was going on. Possibly because it's not structured as an online course as such, but also possibly because there is just not enough understanding of the use of a wiki from my (a teachers perspective) and a students perspective. I don't know the answer to this.
  • The following is an email conversation with one of the students about the Self and Peer Feedback assessment. My final response to this student is what I would DEFINITELY do next time. I kept putting it off as there was never everyone there and there was always soooo much to do. More contact hours were needed for this particular class and being 15 credits at Level 5 there should have been more. A well facilitated feedback session with prepared feedback from each person for themselves and others would have helped them to understand the idea and realise that we all come from different perspectives so we're never all going to agree with (or even like, in some cases) what we're told. Here is the email conversation:

Hello Anna

You have said "Disregard what you don't agree with (after having a good think about it!) and take on the feedback that you know is true, both positive and constructive", and I find one of my feed back with grade 1 and 2 seem to be too far off reality. The fact that the comment part was so poor (the person only said that i made little commitment without any explaination), just proves that the person did not pay any effort to actually make a fair feed back. I don't want to be hating here, but it is just blatantly awkward how one of my feed back can be so different from the rest. You have also said that you have taken off one person's feedback because it was too far off the mark, and even though my final result is a pass, I still think that you should take this part of as well, not because I don't accept low mark, it is just the fact that it was way too negative, compared to my actual effort. Thanks - student.


There will always be feedback that is ‘off the mark’ in this kind of process. I can’t get rid of the ones that I (or you) don’t agree with in every case as that would defeat the purpose. I think what I would do next time is make people sign their name to their feedback so that people can approach them directly with any questions they have about the feedback. The important thing in this case Giang is that you know this feedback is ‘off the mark!’ This is what receiving feedback is all about. The persons feedback I disregarded was sooo off the mark for everyone. That is different. Thought this part of the process would be controversial, I just hope it has been valuable on the whole too. Cheers. Anna

Hello Anna,

Thanks for making this clear for me, just a suggestion that I thought would be useful for your future courses. If someone was to give peer feedback, keeping his name anonymously would be a better idea, considering our previous class, right after I got my feed back I got some messages from other who strongly disagreed with their feed backs. If the feed back wasn't anonymous, it could be a reason to tear the class apart. Regarding the sustainable perspective, maintaining strong relationship among our society is what we need in order to preserve the Earth, then having the feed back person signing their names would not be a good idea. However, this is not up to me to decide, but after realising the importance of sustainability, I just want to contribute some thoughts toward this course. Regards - student.


I do appreciate this feedback. I think if I had made the time to do what I meant to, which was at least 1 if not 2 face to face feedback sessions in class (hard when there were always people missing from class), then people would have been a bit more comfortable with giving and also receiving feedback. It probably would have given people more perspective too – hearing what others say to each other, e.g. if a couple who know each other quite well gave each other feedback, others listening may get more insight into those people. Face to face feedback would also give opportunity for clarification (not justification!!!) thanks again. I’ll be in touch next week to see where we’re at with the film. Anna

Annah (talk)15:23, 14 July 2009

Reflection on the week of sustainability

Well we are now at the end of the week of living according to a theme of sustainability. The students seemed to have got into the project more as the week went on. It is unclear how much people actually put themselves out there to live according to the theme.

Video diary entries weren't great. They still don't seem to really connect the actions with benefits to society, environment and economy. Some were focused on supplying facts as to what 'we are doing wrong' rather than talk about their experiences and how they understand the benefits to the society, environment and economy from their actions and others just talked about what they did with little connection to the issues of sustainability. An example is saving power - 'It's important to save power, to save power.' Missing the societial, environmenal and economic impacts that generating power has and how saving it will lessen these impacts.

I think next time I would put more emphasis on 'researching' the topics and do some of this with them at first so they see what it is that is important to know - what to actually do to be sustainable and why we need to do it - basically!

Final diary entries and reflection is still to come and this might be the most telling time as to what the students have learnt from the project. Filming in order to produce a short film was great incentive to get out there and show themselves in action. We are currently experiencing a problem downloading the footage and this could make or break the 'film production' part of the assignment. However, as students are assessed on their diary entries this won't fail everyone! This will be a good test to see if those responsible for this part of the project really put some effort in to work through the problem and make it happen. It will be disappointing for all if this doesn't happen.

Keep you posted... :)

Annah (talk)16:25, 16 June 2009

Session 13: Presenting their research

Again a poor attendance rate today and of those who did attend 40% hadn't done any research, even with the Friday off class to do it. I would not let them take classes off in the future. In this situation they could have researched from within the class or gone across to the library from class. In some situations I'm sure the students who take on the responsibility and could be trusted to work in their own time. Unfortunately not in this situation for some.

60% of those in attendance did do some form of 'research.' If everyone does their best the collaborative research maybe enough to help them speak with some level of knowledge to their video diary, however stand alone none of the individual research was ideal to know:

1. What it is that needs to happen in our lives to change the current unsustainable practices that occur every day?
2. What are the effects of unsustainable practice on our society, economy and environment?
3. What are the benefits of practicing sustainability on our society, economy and environment?
4. What are the benefits to individuals of practicing sustainability?

See students blogs to read what they came up with.

Annah (talk)16:11, 3 June 2009

Session 12: Using a video camera

Wayne Johnson from the Media section of the University of Otago's Information Technology department gave a lesson on basic video camera use, including framing, sequencing shots, allowing time before and after the 'action' etc. It was a useful lesson for those who turned up!

Unfortunately attendance is still an issue and is making life harder for those who are trying to make the project work. It will work, though if attendance rates are still poor individuals are risking failure of the course. Strange since the students choose this project for themselves, yet still aren't committed to come along and work together to get the best result. Not sure what else can be done about this. Attendance or lack of will be reflected in their grade through the self and peer feedback and also through lack of understanding when it comes to sharing their knowledge and experience in each video diary. Anyway...???

Annah (talk)16:06, 3 June 2009

Session 11: Students researching their topics in their own time

This was pretty disappointing. I'll explain in Session 13 when they presented their research.

Annah (talk)15:59, 3 June 2009

Session 10: 1 1/2 hrs. Student directed 27.5.09

Completed timetable of what needs to happen.

I (tutor) doing the assessment schedule for assignment. I need to write the self and peer feedback.

Tutor reflection on the last few sessions:

The last few session have been very busy. Things are picking up speed and the students are getting into the small details of the project. Most people are turning up to class and are involved in discussion - not all but most.

There is still a lot of focus on 'doing things for the camera' rather than attempting to live according to the theme they have choosen for each day as best they can. Doing this will produce the best outcome for the movie!

The google timetable is looking very full and this has proven to be a good way to communicate with everyone as everyone has access to editing it.

Those in class have agreed to check their email every day and a list of cell phone numbers has been created.

The idea of a class contract was discussed last time and there are quite negative connatations around this concept. There was a geering of 'no put downs' somewhere in the discussion. That's OK. It doesn't seem necessary as agreements, guidelines are being made by the class as necessary, such as checking their email every day.

There has been concern about the 'group' work in terms of assessment and a few people doing most of the work. Attendence, the self and peer feedback and performance in Task 2 should reflect the work done by individuals. There was a brief discussion around that fact that this is a common phenomeon in society, e.g. there will always be people who work the system and don't do their share. At the end of the day if you want something you do it and you get out what you put in, therefore those who don't do their share won't get much out.

This is a way of thinking that students today have that does need to be considered. Group work is increasingly important as people inability to work in groups is evident in all areas of society. This is where a lot of the issues are in society - including the social aspect of sustinability. Transparent communication and collaboration is what the world needs! This project will inadvertently show this.

Personally I am excited at the way the students have taken this opportunity. The idea they have come up with is fantastic and their motivation and input is ever increasing. I am looking forward to the week that we all live sustainably (according to the theme of the day)! The creation of the movie will also be fun!

Annah (talk)10:59, 27 May 2009

Session 8: 1 1/2 hrs. Student directed 20.5.09

Edited by 2 users.
Last edit: 10:07, 27 May 2009

Continue the brainstorm from yesterday.

DocDrama - Students slice of sustainable life!

- Create a movie showing how (in pairs) you have made changes in your own life, the barriers you met in making the changes and how successful you were in doing so. Having a topic a day.

Everyone attempts to follow the theme each day and does a video diary entry etc day. The people named below have 2 cameras between them and film them doing their thing each day.

Monday: Re-used clothing - Mandy, Paolo, Bex, Joseph

Tuesday: Car-less day - Steph, Nuu, Rebecca, Joseph

Wednesday: Power saving day - Miki, Steph, Giang, Paolo

Thursday: Help someone else day/Supporting community - Mandy, Paolo, Giang, Nuu

Friday: No packaging day - Bex, Mandy, Miki, Rebecca

Saturday: Eating lower on the food chain/Low energy food - Everyone

Sunday: rubbish/recycling day - Joseph, Bex, Nuu, Giang

Topics: Pre-loved clothes, car pooling/bus use, power, plastic bags, waste, food and composting

Shortened version of the Story of Stuff, leading onto the 7 days of living sustainably

Create the assessment - this also means designing a marking guide

Create a class contract

Look at self and peer feedback model

Annah (talk)17:35, 19 May 2009

Session 9: 1 1/4 hrs. Student directed 26.5.09

Today's class! Feedback from Paolo and Nuu on 'Hands Up'

Look at the Self and Peer feedback models

Then consider the following:

Tutor ideas on what needs to be done before the week of 'sustainability'

1. Write the assessment for pre-modernation:
Use this task as a way to set your goals for your project. This needs to be done asap. State how the movie will cover the first 2 learning outcomes and write a written assessment to reflect on your project, including 'an understanding of the science and systems of sustainability'.
2. Secure the use of camera's and get familiar with how to use them. Wayne is available next Tues afternoon to do a tutorial on using a camera and standing in front of it!
3. Research each topic for the week of sustainbility, in terms of:
  • What is the effect of not living this way on our environment, society and economy?
  • What are the benefits of operating this way on our environment, society and economy?
  • What are the benefits to each of us personally in living/operating this way?

Each of you need to be able to answer these questions as fully as possible in order to 'Demonstrate an understanding of the sustainable management of our environment, society and economy' - learning outcome 1 and to show understanding of an issue (internationally and locally) - learning outcome 2.

Use the resources on the wiki that have not been used yet.

4. What other research or 'preping' needs to happen before the week of sustainability happens? E.g. going op-shopping with the camera (4 people who are down for this), collecting your packaging on one day in order to compare it the day you attempt to minimise or have no packaging, book in your class vegetarian dinner - make sure you have the money and time off work - I'd like to come with my family!
5. Brainstorm all other actions that need to happen and when they need to be done. Don't feel you are constrained to 'class time'. You can pick your meeting times and places knowing that I am available on Tues pm, Wed am and Frid am negotiable.
6. Use the timetable (Anna will need to 'invite' those who have not been invited to use the timetable) to ensure that everything that needs doing is going to happen when it needs to.
Annah (talk)15:27, 26 May 2009

Session 9: 1 1/2 hrs Student directed. 22.5.09

Discussed the rest of the topics for each day of the week of sustainability

Talked about what planning needs to happen before this week.

Planning included: Research on each topic, writing a script, booking cameras, learning how to use the camera and editing software, what needs to be 'set up' before the day, e.g. op-shopping, who is doing what and by when, when and where meetings are taking place to check in and make sure things are on track.

Design the assessment for Learning Outcome 3! which includes a reflection on the project. Anna to design self and peer assessment part of assessment.

Annah (talk)11:14, 22 May 2009

Session 7: 1 1/4 hrs. Travel and tourism. Start of Student directed learning 19.5.09

Slide show on Maori connection to the land.

Brainstorming session on the form their action will take and what they might do.

Show the HandsUp advertisement for the youth gathering this Monday on issues of sustainability. Push this as a forum worth attending as a group to share your knowledge and gather ideas on implementing your action.

Two students (and there maybe more) have signed up for the HandsUp gathering on Monday.

Brainstorm: - Actions

1. Indirect: stall outside OPSA, educating on issues of sustainability, sausage sizzle etc... Free vegies. OPSA advertises it and fronts up with the $$ towards it. Email list for those who want to know more about an issue. This seemed to be the most popular option. The group talked about coinciding this with World Environment Day, but it would be a huge push as it's only a couple of weeks away. There was a suggestion that it's done 2 weeks later under the banner of World Environment Day is not the only day we need to consider our world environment!

2. Direct: Recycling paper in the workplace and here at the Polytech - bins for recycling paper - getting bins in place, education through posters etc with a survey, bins are recycled already. Save the paper everyday and look at how much is saved. No recycling bins currently in student computer labs.

3. Direct - Saving ink - IT change all the printers to 'ink save' mode. Re-using cartridges.

4. Indirect - Mondays in Green Campaign: Focus on student flats - clean up.

5. Direct - Recycling - Working with council to address the issue of recycling bins in studentville.

6. Create a 'carbon off-setting' area in the LivingCampus for people to plant trees to off-set their travel.

7. Vegie garden in the LivingCampus - start a plot and create a LivingCampus

8. Walking bus for Primary Schools

9. Create a movie around sustainability - educating students on how they might live more sustainably. Video diary, story of changes you're attempting to make in your own lives.

Brainstorm on how they might be assessed (if they have enough from the last brainstorm to do this).

None of the following were covered today:

Go through the 'feedback session' idea so they understand how it works and it's relevance to the self and peer feedback part of the assessment.

Class contract

Put forward that Tuesdays will be 'tutorial' days run by me. I don't I'll do this now as they are running going to run with their ideas. I'll put all the DvD's and other resources forward as resources available for their action.

Annah (talk)16:35, 17 May 2009

Session 6: Tutor feedback

Things seem to consolidate today. We talked more indepth about a number of concepts that we touched on and things seem to come together for the group. There was more discussion and openness with thoughts and opinions people had and there seemed to be more motivation and enthusiasm from the group.

There was an obvious gap in knowledge and understanding between those who had been coming to class and those who hadn't. I still had to work quite hard to get information out of some people, but the majority of people are getting into it.

We reflected on and shared opinions on The Story of Stuff which seemed to have a substantial and positive impact on people's understanding! We talked about the Fish game and the learning that came from that practical experience.

Looking at the System conditions, practical examples of the Laws of Thermodynamics and Photosynthesis really helped understanding and it was good to have done this a number times.

We then looked at the models for EfS. The best one was the Action Competence models as we made the association between how this class was to operate and the techniques for teaching EfS as far as developing action competence. We looked at the learning outcomes on the Course outline, then the students made comments on their blogs on the form (type and process) of action they thought would be best for the rest of this class. Have a look at their blogs (course participants blogs). The link for this is at the end of the first section on the wiki.

Annah (talk)16:07, 17 May 2009

Session 6: 3 hrs, Travel and Tourism Yr 2, Otago Polytechnic, 15.5.09

Reflection on the Fish Game. What is some of the learning that people took from the game? How has it increased your understanding of sustainability in practice?

Story of Stuff - share some of the thoughts recorded on your blog after watching this.

Ecofootprint - what were the results for people, e.g. how many planets does your lifestyle need? What are some of the ways that you are already living sustainably? How can you increase the amount of sustainable living you do?

Look at the Laws of Thermodynamics and Photosynthesis - get them to come up with practical examples of how these laws work in the world. Do this in smaller groups and report back to the class.

Look at the Systems slideshow. Discuss as we go.

Look at the models for EfS. Relate these to what we already know and show how we have used or are going to use some of these ideas in this class.

Annah (talk)14:38, 13 May 2009

Session 5: Tutor feedback

Ran the fish game with 6 of them that came to class. Could have facilitated it better, but did OK considering it was the first time I had facilitated it. Possibly should have lead them a little more, but the learning and outcome worked so as I will be handing over some of the responsibility to them it was probably the best way to do it.

It is very hard to get information out of them and they are particularly unenthusiastic. Could be a tough handover week next week.

Annah (talk)12:55, 13 May 2009

Session 3 - Tutor feedback

Bit of a boring class today. Me talking to slides. I would split this up will an activity or two if i was to do it again. Some kind of discussion activity as the 'issues' are emotive or something else that is short. It was important for me to move through the issues, on NZ specific and most importantly cover the Positive Responses as I wanted to move people on from the 'Issues'.

Some people obviously struggled with the format of todays lessons, but others found the issues interesting and stimulating.

Annah (talk)13:31, 8 May 2009

Would put a case study in here - and maybe trim down or replace some of the slides so that there are not so many statistics. Buffer the videos within the slideshare.

Hillarypjenkins (talk)09:40, 13 May 2009

Session 5: 1 1/2 hrs. Travel and Tourism students, Otago Polytech. 13.5.09

Play the fish game in person!

Use the slide show on my pen drive. This is a face to face version of the Cloud Institutes Fish Game that you can also play on their website.

Mention that students all need to start coming to class if they want a say in how the rest of the course is shaped. If they are not there they don't have a voice!

Annah (talk)17:42, 12 May 2009

Session 4: Tutor feedback

Going through the 10 Myths of Sustainability was valuable, but took some time. It was good to look at real examples and have a discussion about some points. It made me realise that I had covered a lot of those things already and it helped people to see that they had learnt a bit about what Sustainability is and isn't.

The Story of Stuff was good, but took ages to buffer each section. I opened up multiple sections on Youtube as well and we moved through it quickly after that. Didn't have time to discuss it as a class so they will do it on their blogs. Not as ideal as discussing it in person straight after the fact would have been better. However I mentioned that we would talk about it on Friday.

Went through the Ecofootprint slideshow to just show it too them. Asked them to do this for themselves and publish it or write about it on their blogs and comment on someone else's blog.

One student had done it already. This was good modelling for the others I think!

Annah (talk)17:39, 12 May 2009

Session 4: 1 1/4 hrs Travel and Tourism students 12.5.09

1. Start with reading a few quotes

2. Then look at the 10 Myths of Sustainability

3. Look at the Story of Stuff and get them to do the activity on their blog using the framework for a small reflection.

4. Do an activity - even just an ABL one that has some meaning - 4 sides of the square one.

5. Go through the Ecological Footprint slideshow

Annah (talk)13:33, 8 May 2009

Session 3: 3 hrs - Travel and Tourism, Otago Polytechnic 8.5.09

1. Look at definitions again and give examples. Show some new models (added to wiki page) and possibly a case study.

2. Read some quotes from the wiki - what do they mean in terms of sustainability?

3. Look at 'The Issues' slideshow - discussion as we go.

4. Question class on why we would change the way we currently do things to be more sustainable. Use the idea of picturing your grandparents in the position you are now!

Break here!

5. Look at the NZ slideshow - discuss as we go.

6. Look at Positive responses slideshow - discuss as we go.

7. Direct them to the To do in your own time activities.

Annah (talk)13:11, 6 May 2009

Session 2: Tutor feedback

We started by the picture activity. A number of random pictures are put in front of the students, they choose one and say what it says to them about sustainability. A couple of students couldn't do this as they didn't understand sustainability. That was Ok. We moved on.

Next they had to brainstorm sustainability and come up with a class definition:

Definition: "The connection between two or a number of things where everything benefits to preserve or conserve a resource."

Looked at the slideshow of the Journey the Polytech is on. Skipped a number of slides here.

Looked at the reflective framework and decided it was too complex for smaller reflections so developed another for this purpose. Added this to the Reflection link.

Played Zoom.

Found that some students were still not 'getting' sustainability so will add a few more models and some science for the start of next session. Found it difficult to engage them, but remaining silent for a looonnnngggg time encouraged someone to break the silent with an answer - a spot on one in fact! Will have to use this more until the get the hang of interacting!

Good session, though it is taking longer than expected to get through the material. Will have to prioritise what is left!

Annah (talk)10:00, 6 May 2009

Session 2: 1 1/2 hrs - Travel and Tourism Students, Otago Polytechnic 8.5.09

1. Do the 'What is sustainability' activity - slide show wiki link

2. Look at slideshow of The Journey the Polytechnic is on

3. Go through the reflection framework. Do brainstorm on thoughts and feelings on the class so far - on blog. Say as much or as little as you like - use the reflective framework as a tool to do this.

4. Play Zoom

Annah (talk)13:04, 1 May 2009
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