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Practice-Based Program Evaluation in Higher Education for Sustainability: A Student Participatory Approach

Published inSustainability, vol. 13, no. 19, 10816
Publication date2021-09-29
First online date2021-09-29
Abstract

While learning competencies in education for sustainable development are increasingly recognized as important, few empirical studies consider competencies delivered at a program level. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how a program evaluation can be approached through a participatory approach, and what this means for learning competencies for sustainability. The innovative method chosen was to implement a student-led evaluation of the program or a form of practice-based learning whereby students engaged in a participatory evaluation of their own program. This evaluation involved a mixed-methods research design and engaging with different actors—from other students and teachers in the program to alumni, administrators and employers. Students agreed on what competencies to evaluate against, then designed their assessment to gauge how and in what way five key competencies were being delivered. The program delivers competencies for sustainable development, yet there was some discrepancy between what students experienced in the program and what teachers believed to be delivering in the classroom. The learning-by-doing approach suggests that a sixth competency—implementation skills—is relevant to teaching for sustainable development. A participatory, student-led approach to evaluating a Master program is a novel contribution to the literature, which in itself led to the development of competencies for sustainability, particularly strategic, interpersonal and implementation skills.

Citation (ISO format)
CURTIS, Helen Lee et al. Practice-Based Program Evaluation in Higher Education for Sustainability: A Student Participatory Approach. In: Sustainability, 2021, vol. 13, n° 19, p. 10816. doi: 10.3390/su131910816
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ISSN of the journal2071-1050
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Creation10/11/2021 9:21:00 AM
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