Focus on online sustainability courses

The Learning & Teaching Sustainability community is raising the profile of Australian sustainability online/blended learning courses.

Online learning is a sustainable alternative to purely campus-based learning. A study by The Open University found that “on average, the production and provision of distance learning courses consumed nearly 90% less energy and produced 85% fewer CO2 emissions per student than conventional campus-based university courses.” 

Blended learning creates a richer learning experience. For example, the UTS Learning.Futures initiative enables "students to engage with new ideas online before class — so that they can benefit from active and collaborative experiences in innovative learning spaces on campus". 

We are especially interested in understanding best practice in the postgraduate sustainability online/blended learning space. A recent survey finds that 90% of online courses offered by Australian univeristies are at the postgraduate level, which makes sense, considering the relative convenience of fitting in study around work and family commitments. 

The Learning & Teaching Sustainability website is well placed to advance awareness of online sustainability courses. From Nov 8 2017 – Nov 8 2018, the site had over 15,000 users with almost 40,000 page views. This represents a growth of 25% on the previous year. About 90% of visitors to the site were new users and about 65% of users are in Australia, with the rest in the US (7%) and the rest of the world. 

With high levels of overseas student engagement, Australian higher education institutions are well placed to market online learning, globally. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that Education is Australia's largest service export and third overall behind iron ore (worth $62.8 billion in 2016-17) and coal ($54.3 billion). It is larger than gas ($22.3 billion) and gold ($19 billion).

This is a great time and place to showcase your university’s online sustainability courses, to Australia and the world. 

If you would like to be part of this initiative and to have your higher education online sustainability courses featured, please get in touch