Content & goals
The SUSTAINICUM COLLECTION is a project lead by the BOKU (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna). The platform aims to advance topics in University teaching that are relevant to Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), and the 3 pillars of sustainability (ecological, economical and social topics) from the perspective of different disciplines.
A variety of different types of teaching resources can be collected and searched for. These resources aim to support teachers both in terms of content and through the practical application of innovative teaching methods, as well as promote systemic and holistic thinking. University lecturers can use these resources for free and even submit their own resources in order to make them available to other colleagues. For further information please see Your Contribution.The starting project "Sustainicum" (2012/2013), a cooperation between BOKU, University of Graz and Graz University of Technology, was funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Science and Research within the framework of the call "Projekt MINT- Massenfächer" (2011). This project phase resulted in more than 100 teaching resources with focus on MINT topics. Within the follow-up project "CONSUS - connecting science society collaborations for sustainability innovations" (funded by TEMPUS by the European Union), another 100 teaching resources with the focus on science-society collaboration were developed.
The main task of the platform is the provision of an open pool of teaching resources. The visitor can choose between following types of resources:
- A teaching material is the combination of a tool (text, book, picture, video, computer game, real game, experiment, experimental equipment, measurement device, computer program file, powerpoint file, pdf File, ...) and an innovative teaching method, completed with teaching instructions and students handouts. They are topically limited units (such as experiments, computer simulations, games and small projects for students) that aim to make terms, processes and interrelationships that are relevant for sustainability more tangible and understandable. The main focus here is on tools that are easy to understand and only require a small amount of time, in combination with innovative learning methods that foster participation of the students. The lecture time required for each material ranges from 15 minutes up 7 lecture units, but the platform is also open for modules and other didactically and methodologically mature teaching concepts for the communication of sustainability-relevant content and skills, such as teaching units, courses, course blocks, comprehensive curricula modules, and concepts for summer schools. Each material provides a description how to implement the material in the existing lecture, as well as handouts if required.
- Participative teaching methods provide information on modern ways to activate the participation of students, integrate innovative forms of teaching and, in so doing, help students to develop and anchor their knowledge as well as to acquire skills. Since ex-cathedra teaching (a lecturer talking in front without any interaction by the students) is very boring and not effective at all, we prefer using exciting teaching methods to strengthen the learning effect, such as World Cafe and many others.
The resources on this platform are freely available for use in teaching and planning. University lecturers (and also school teachers if suitable) can on one hand utilize the existing resources or on the other hand also create their own materials, methods and concepts regarding sustainability-related topics.