Sustainicum Collection

Consus The aim of the project is to establish a regional science-society network for sustainability innovations in Albania and Kosovo in order to strengthen the connection and collaboration of institutions in the field of higher education, research and practice.
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  • 5 to 10 students
  • up to 1 semester
  • English, Shqip

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Active learning on sustainable development - Linking economy, society and the environment(Resource ID: 331)

x Please note: module with excess length - more than
7 lecture units required!
The population is increasing dramatically and the demand for knowledge is increasing every day. There are new media for educational communication, new ideas of learning and new methods of teaching. All these new developments show the relationship between society and universities has been altering in recent years. In the process of learning it is impossible to learn any concrete issue by using only classical teaching methods. Therefore finding an adaptive way of teaching is a challenge. S.E.E. the links (a dice game to connect sustainability dimensions) is an attractive way of understanding sustainable development.

General information on the course module  

This Teaching Resource will be used on a course related to the usage of new methods to help the students within the field of Financial Markets. Using the S.E.E methods will be more easy and understandable way for the students to learn new things about sustainable development. The students will get to know systemic interactions of sustainability by throwing the dice for different terms (related to society, environment and economy), which they have to use to tell to a story. They will have the possibility to learn new things from each other and to develop their knowledge regarding society, environment and economy. 

Business companies are involved in the seminar as active partners so students will have the possibility to get in direct contact with employees in businesses and experience challenges in relations between the three sustainability dimensions. They can share their experience in this challenge and orientate the students. Since now days it is very important to think about the environment before making economic decisions, this course will be very useful for students to successfully engage in the job market. 

Suggestion for course structure and agenda  

 Following procedure is recommended: 

  1. Students individually read different information regarding the three terms (related to society, environment and economy). Then, they can discuss with the representatives from businesses who will be involved in the seminar as active partners.
  2. The students are allocated into groups (five to ten students). They are given the dice. The students throw the dice and get one term from society, environment and economy.
  3. They then have to use the three terms to tell a short story. Thereby systemic and normative thinking is encouraged and the students acquire an understanding for the relations between the three sustainability dimensions.
  4. The results are commonly discussed and the societal actors participate in the final discussion.

  

Preparation Effort for the Teaching Resource  

 Phase 1 

(1hrs. lecture) 

 In the first phase, will be the introduction of the topic “Linking economy, society, environment” to all the students. It is important that each student must be clarified on this topic. Than the students will have to identify companies whose focus is the sustainable development, and are eager to provide their company as a study case.

 

Main topics to discuss: 

  • How the economy, society and environment can be linked to each other  
  • Defining the methodology that will be used during the course
  • The role and influence of the development of the country, in the environment.

 

Phase 2 

(5 hrs. lecture) 

 After all the data is collected, there will be a selection of the best companies that will be part of the course as collaborators (1-2 companies are preferable). Selection of companies will be based on several criteria which are in accordance with the syllabus of the course.

 

Phase 3 

(2 hrs. fieldwork) 

In this phase students will visit the companies targeted. During their visit students will have the opportunity to meet and talk with employees, to see how the company operates, , what are the strengths and weakness, what are the company’s opportunities and threatens, if the company will expand in the future, etc. so, students will have the opportunity to put in practice their knowledge.  They will gather all the information they need for proceeding to the next step.  It is necessary to arrange meeting with stakeholders, who have knowledge about Finance including: 

 

  • CEO/ CFO
  • Managers of big Albanian companies
  • Sales experts            Price Experts etc.

 

 (For example we can visit EVEREST I.E, which manufactures plastic products, and meet their CEO/CFO. EVEREST I.E one of the biggest company that operates in Albania and they are very aware of sustainable development. He can talk about the development of the company, how they manage their company, how the financial market have affected their companies, their organization, if they are listed in any stock market, etc. Also he can describe the competition and how hard is to compete with other companies that operate in the same field). 

 

Students produce a list of issues to be discussed at the stakeholder meeting and they prepare many questions in order to identify the key issues they need to explore.

 

Phase 4 

(6hrs. classwork) 

 After the visit in the field is done, and students have gathered all the information they need, they’ll start working in groups. Each group will have a specific theme to work on. They have to collaborate with each other, work on their knowledge and what they have learned during their visit in the companies. They will have the same format and will prepare a material for the topic that they have been assigned.

 

Phase 5 

(6hrs. classwork) 

In this phase the students, will have to present their work in front of the class. Each group will present their work merging what they have learned in class with what they learned during their visit in the company. After each presentation, there will be a discussion with the rest of the class. This will not only develop their knowledge but will also make the lesson more attractive and more understandable for all the students.

 

Phase 6 

(3hrs. conclusions) 

 In this final phase, after all the groups have presented their work, and all the discussion are made, all the students should sit together and extract conclusions  for what they learned and make their suggestions and recommendations.  

*In the 5th and 6th phase, a representative from the companies can be present.

As mentioned above, I think that 'S.E.E. the links' is the best way for students to get to know the systemic interactions between the three sustainability dimensions – society, environment and economy.

For each sustainable dimension, we can define some terms for the students to be more concentrated for their presentation. An example as it is in the didactical description of the method 'S.E.E. the links' can be as below:

ENVIRONMENT

SOCIETY

ECONOMY

1. Water resources

1. Poverty reduction

1. Industry

2. Renewable energy 

2. Security

2. Unemployment

3. Air pollution

3. Human rights

3. Local economy

4. Waste

4. Democracy

4. Indebtedness

5. Land use

5. Culture

5. Agricultural subsidies

6. Wood clearing

6. Health

6. Organic food

 

Necessary Material

Sets of three dice each – if possible with different colours.

Pens

Paper

 

Integration of Social Stakeholders
Business companies are involved in the seminar as active partners – students have the possibility to get in direct contact with employees in businesses and experience challenges in relations between the three sustainability dimensions. They can share their experience in this challenge and orientate the students.

It is necessary to arrange meeting with stakeholders, who have knowledge about Finance including:

• CEO/ CFO
• Managers of big Albanian companies
• Sales experts
• Price Experts etc.


(For example we can visit EVEREST I.E, which manufactures plastic products, and meet their CEO/CFO. EVEREST I.E one of the biggest company that operates in Albania and they are very aware of sustainable development. He can talk about the development of the company in the world, how they manage their company, how the financial market have affected their companies, their organization, if they are listed in any stock market, etc. Also he can describe the competition and how hard is to compete with other companies that operate in the same field). We can conduct a workshop with the stakeholders from Vodafone Albania and they can share all the experience they have according to what is mentioned above.


Students produce a list of issues to be discussed at the stakeholder meeting and they prepare many questions in order to identify the key issues they need to explore.
Strength
-Students can be more active in class
-Students can improve their way of communicating and defending their opinion
-Mutual learning for students and business stakeholders
-Students will learn to work in groups and give their personal contribution
-Students will learn how the big companies cope with real challenges in the financial market
Weakness
–Stakeholder must agree to discuss about their challenges and reveal their real problems according these sustainability dimensions.
- Students must know of what the concept of sustainable development refers to so they can go further more in discussing the problems related and defend their own opinion.
Learning Outcomes
–Through this method the participants will better understand the relations between the three sustainability dimensions society, environment and economy.
-They will collaborate with each other to exchange their knowledge and information recording the three sustainability dimensions.
- They will learn new things and develop new skills for working in groups.
- The work field will help them to better understand theoretical concepts that they have learned in class, and how they are implemented in the financial market.
- This method will minimize the gap between theory and practice.
- They will work in groups and discuss the problems that the companies face from the real-world, so they can apply their knowledge and skills to these group discussions and share their own experiences with each other.
Relevance for Sustainability
-Sustainability management in businesses with a focus on society, environment and economy

- It is important that students learn how to deal with one of the most important topic worldwide as sustainable development. Experts in the world are fighting everyday with the environmental pollution, demographic changes, global warming, and are trying to find a better way to develop the economy without damaging the social and environment reports.
Related Teaching Resources
No specific previous knowledge / related resources required
Preparation Efforts
Medium
Preparation Efforts Description
- The lecturer should be well prepared for the conceptions of sustainable development in order to help the students in selecting the right companies for the case study. - The lecturer should also have some extra examples in order to help the students better understand the lesson.
Access
Free
Assessment
This method can be accessed through multiple assignments, such as presentations and contributions to discussions made in class.

The discussions in class will also show how much they have learned, what they have learned and what they can do to improve in the future.
Short stories and PowerPoint presentations are a good way to sum up what is said above.

In these presentations they can include the the title of the case study, a short summary of the case study, what the most important findings are, what questions arise, are there difficulties in understanding and applying the approach and the concluding reflection).

The students should be actively engaged in team work and defend their ideas.
Credit/Certification Description
None
Sources and Links

http://www.sustainicum.at/en/tmethods/view/28.S.E.E.-the-links-a-dice-game-to-connect-sustainability-dimensions

http://www.wwf.se/source.php/1473803/Methodologies-for-the- future-web3.pdf

www.ucm.es/data/cont/docs/302-2013-11-12-Sustainability.pdf

www.bath.ac.uk/cree/resources/scott.pdf

ajph.humanecologyreview.org/pastissues/her162/henry.pdf

Funded by
This teaching resource, realised within the project ConSus, has been funded with the support of the TEMPUS of the European Union. The contents reflect the views of the authors, and the European Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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Contact

Kestrina Ramallari
kramallari(at)uet.edu.al
This teaching resource is allocated to following University:
UET - European University of Tirana
Institution:
European University of Tirana
Date:

License

Creative Commons
BY-NC-ND

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