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Can Sustainability Audits Provide Effective, Hands-on Business Sustainability Learning, Teaching, Research and Assessment for Business Management Undergraduates?

Emblen-Perry, Kay (2018) Can Sustainability Audits Provide Effective, Hands-on Business Sustainability Learning, Teaching, Research and Assessment for Business Management Undergraduates? International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education. ISSN 1467-6370 (In Press)

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Abstract

Purpose The paper presents an innovative pedagogical approach to Education for Business Sustainability that adopts a sustainability audit of a simulated, real world case study company as the focus of learning, teaching, research and assessment. It evaluates the approaches’ ability to provide the hands-on learning that Business Management students prefer. Study methodology This study explores students’ qualitative and quantitative responses to pre- and post-module surveys and module evaluations to establish the effectiveness of focusing learning, teaching, research and assessment on a sustainability audit. The study, undertaken over a two-year period, adopts four measures of learning and teaching effectiveness to synthesise, evaluate and present the findings: 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 measures 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 Business Sustainability around the completion of a sustainability audit offers 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 existing pedagogic discourse of innovative learning and teaching means and methods. It provides insight into effective hands-on Education for Business Sustainability and offers experience based guidance to educators seeking to develop immersive, active and experiential, real world pedagogical approaches.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Keywords: education for business sustainability, sustainability audit, learning, teaching, research and assessment, business sustainability
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2361 Curriculum
Divisions: Academic Departments > Worcester Business School
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Depositing User: Kay Emblen-Perry
Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2018 12:05
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2018 12:25
URI: https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/id/eprint/7255

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