Action learning for sustainability
ARIES was funded by the Macquarie University 2010 Sustainability in Learning and Teaching Grants Scheme to investigate how action learning can be used to embed sustainability skills in teaching and learning units in the Faculty of Business and Economics.
This ARIES project enabled academics with subject matter expertise, but no prior learning in sustainability, to develop skills to embed sustainability concepts in specific teaching units within the Department of Business (Human Resources) and the Department of Accounting and Finance (Accounting and Information Systems) at Macquarie University.
Part 1: Embedding sustainability in a Recruitment and Selection teaching unit
A workshop with sustainability and human resources experts was conducted to identify sustainability practices relating to recruitment and selection processes.
- The identified practices were then categorised according to different domains of recruitment and selection and incorporated into a slide set to be used in the teaching of recruitment and selection.
- Sustainability concepts have also been incorporated into a unit outline.
- In addition, a sustainability focus topic in each week's lesson plan has been detailed in the unit outline.
Part 2: Reflecting sustainability in Accounting Information Systems education
For this part of the project the researchers conducted a pilot investigation into the national framework on sustainability education to identify potential mechanisms for building sustainability awareness into the current Accounting Information Systems curriculum subjects. In the Information Systems (IS) discipline, sustainability issues are embodied through the emerging field of ‘Green Information Systems’ or ‘Green IS’.
A literature review was conducted to investigate sustainability from three main perspectives: academic, industry and university.
- The academic perspective identified current literature on sustainability in learning and teaching, including national and published frameworks on sustainability education. The aim was to build a body of theory for developing teaching resources related to Green IS.
- The industry and university perspectives aimed to identify policies, services and practices that were in daily use, to build case material to underpin theory for inclusion in Green IS course material.
An outreach strategy was also initiated to interact with industry and the global IS academic community.
- As active members and co-founders of the Green IS Special Interest Group of the Association of Information Systems (the main body of IS academics worldwide) the researchers have been appointed as joint secretaries of the Green IS Special Interest group.
- Further connection with industry professionals has been built through Green IS seminars organised by the Australian Computer Society.
- In addition, Dr Chadi Aoun (whose PhD thesis was recognised among IS academic professions as the first Green IS thesis in the world) was invited as an expert on Green IS to deliver a seminar on this topic.