About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 8583-8591
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-3777-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2017.0598

Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain

AN INSIGHT INTO CHALLENGES OF TEACHING A BUSINESS AND SUSTAINABILITY COURSE: THE LESSONS LEARNT THE HARD WAY

M. Balzarova

University of Canterbury (NEW ZEALAND)
Sustainable development represents a frequently discussed topic in all fragments of society hence it is finding its way to the curriculum of most academic institutions. As the sustainability agenda is still evolving and becoming increasingly complex, presenting a link between business and sustainability possesses numerous challenges to design, development and delivery of such a course. This paper strives to make limited contribution to Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory (Kolb, 1984) as well as Biggs’s principles of critical reflection. This paper delivers an assessment of curricula development to teach sustainability to a cohort of commerce undergraduate students at 300 level over the period of 10 years. This reflection has been based on an empirical assessment of the author’s experiences, reflections and problems encountered as an instructor of a management elective course named Business and Sustainability. The paper also examines reflections that led to corrections over the years and reviews the effectiveness of adopted changes through student perceptions communicated via student evaluations. The study demonstrates, in keeping with Kobl’s Experiential Learning Theory, the importance to reflect critically on the instructor’s efforts to stimulate student learning experience and knowledge assimilation within and outside of the classroom. Furthermore, this paper not only draws attention towards different types of teaching pedagogies but also emphasises the importance of the instructor’s ambitions in reaching his/her higher levels of self-awareness and self-encouragement, leading to personal and (spiritual) growth.

Consistent with such aims, this paper delivers evaluations across five key dimensions that shape a Business and Sustainability course curriculum:
• An assessment of changes to the teaching and learning objectives listed in the course’s outlines and reflections on the aims this course strived to deliver to its audience;
• A conceptual assessment of changes to the breadth and depth of topics covering the three sustainability domains (environmental, social and economic) and issues, challenges and solutions available to convey learning outcomes along these domains respectively;
• An assessment of changes in the scope of course’s assessment, tested via individual and group assignments;
• An assessment of methods adopted to deliver the course’s aims to both the class and instructor’s satisfaction;
• An assessment of changes in the instructor’s perceptions and attitudes toward teaching, and reflection on amendments to instructor’s teaching style.

This paper provides a series of personal reflections and is based on the author’s observations, conversations, contemplation and notes of the author’s experiences teaching a sustainability based course, as opposed to serving as a systematic research study. Thus the research approach is qualitative and its findings are not to be generalized, but are subjective and in-depth. Based on this longitudinal exercise, this paper discusses how the course has evolved in terms of its content, teaching approach, assessment, and how it identifies both major productive and contra-productive efforts in formulating learning lessons. These learning lessons are intended to assist lecturers in order to bring their attention to the most relevant issues in teaching business and sustainability.
@InProceedings{BALZAROVA2017ANI,
author = {Balzarova, M.},
title = {AN INSIGHT INTO CHALLENGES OF TEACHING A BUSINESS AND SUSTAINABILITY COURSE: THE LESSONS LEARNT THE HARD WAY},
series = {9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN17 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-3777-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2017.0598},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2017.0598},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {3-5 July, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {8583-8591}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Balzarova
TI - AN INSIGHT INTO CHALLENGES OF TEACHING A BUSINESS AND SUSTAINABILITY COURSE: THE LESSONS LEARNT THE HARD WAY
SN - 978-84-697-3777-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2017.0598
PY - 2017
Y1 - 3-5 July, 2017
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN17 Proceedings
SP - 8583
EP - 8591
ER -
M. Balzarova (2017) AN INSIGHT INTO CHALLENGES OF TEACHING A BUSINESS AND SUSTAINABILITY COURSE: THE LESSONS LEARNT THE HARD WAY, EDULEARN17 Proceedings, pp. 8583-8591.
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