Methodology

Methodology

Program level approach

The work we are undertaking identifies how units within a program have sustainability connections, and what this picture looks like at the program level for a holistic overview.

What's involved?

A large concern for many academics is the time required to be involved in this initiative.  We have ensured the impact to you and your workload is minimal.  As a guide, the following suggestions will assist you in planning your involvement around your current workload.

Pre: Set-up
 
Time required:
  • 30 minute meeting with Executive Dean and Associate Dean Learning and Teaching
  • 30 minute meeting with Program Director
 
Approach:
  • Macquarie Sustainability representatives meet with the Executive Dean and Associate Dean Learning and Teaching (AD L&T) to gain support and identify a program to undergo mapping
  • AD L&T to approach the relevant Program Director to ask if they are happy to be involved 
  • Macquarie Sustainability then contact the Program Director directly.
 
Comments:

It is essential to gain executive buy-in, and have the AD L&T make initial contact with the Program Director, so that the Director has the right to veto without direct contact with the Macquarie Sustainability team.  Initial discussions between the Program Director and Macquarie Sustainability include an outline of the methodology.

1. Preliminary mapping
 
Time required:
  • Time for Program Directors to advise of core/other unit conveners
  • Dependent on up-to-date information at hand for Program Director
 
Approach:
  • With input from the Program Directors, Macquarie Sustainability identify core and other units from the program, as these will be the units focused on
 
Comments:

The Program Director initiates communications to unit conveners from the program to advise of their involvement in this process. Once contact with unit conveners has been made, Macquarie Sustainability make contact with them directly.

2. Convener mapping
 
Time required:
  • Approximately 1 hour with unit convener/s, if no previous discussion to explain the process has occurred.
 
Approach:
  • Macquarie Sustainability facilitate workshops or one-on-one discussions with unit conveners to assist them in completing a matrix template to map where conveners feel they have connections with the sustainability framework.
 
Comments:

Having unit conveners undertake the mapping exercise themselves allows a deeper understanding of sustainability to be developed.  It also provides a way to understand the breadth of program connections to sustainability learning.  To gain insight into how the framework was assessed, conveners identify how they are addressing the framework using the following coding:

Framework coding image

3. Levels of learning
 
Time requirements:
  • Approximately 1 hour maximum with unit convener/s
  • This usually occurs at the same time as step two
 
Approach:
  • The authors facilitate workshops or one-on-one discussions with unit conveners to assist them in providing details against levels of learning occurring in the mapping
 
Comments:

A rudimentary tick system is used to capture levels of learning, providing a better understanding of depth of learning at the program level:

Tick system

4. Supporting documentation 
 
Time requirements:
  • Macquarie Sustainability staff work with the unit convener to understand the most suitable path for documentation contained in iLearn.
 
Approach:
  • Macquarie Sustainability staff gather supporting documentation against levels of learning and convener mapping.
  • This predominantly involves getting access to the online system used by conveners to disseminate information to their students (iLearn) to bring together 'evidence' to support stated claims.
 
Comments:

Early enrolment into iLearn is an essential first step to make the process of collating supporting documentation as simple as possible.

Post:  Continued development 
 
Time requirements:
  • Dependent on unit convener and their interest for further development and resources
 
Approach:
  • Driven by unit conveners and their interest in further developing their unit to align with sustainability learning
 
Comments:

Macquarie Sustainability staff continue to work with unit conveners to develop appropriate teaching resources, while also assisting to bring identified connections to the fore.  The post phase is a critical element in maintaining sustainability-learning connections.

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