Collaborative ICT-supported Learning for Sustainable Development
To prepare students for an increasingly globalized and changing world, a transformative pedagogy is needed. The challenges of global warming and depletion of natural resources in combination with increasing populations and consumption demands must be met by new attitudes, creativity and new orders of thinking. Graduates need several skills in addition to specific subject knowledge in order to function well in a global workplace. Information literacy, the ability to search and assess information and use relevant and valid information in problem solving is a necessary. Competence in the fields of intercultural communication, teamwork in physical as well as virtual rooms and time management are prerequisites for many employment opportunities. The ability to confidently manage conflicts and apply various tools and heuristics in solving previously unknown problems must also be a part of the training. Postmodern, international education for sustainable development will address gender issues, inequality and resource management and distribution. Traditional methods are inadequate to meet seemingly overwhelming problems like rapid resource depletion, violent conflicts, disasters and extreme poverty. Students must be trained to be proactive, in independent activity and research as well as teamwork. ICT-supported, quality education, effective pedagogical approaches with intensive online tutor presence, collaborative learning, and training for sustainability are among the main factors for a new deal in education for sustainable development. An example of how this can be done is the MSc Development Management (DM) programme at the University of Agder. The main objective of this fulltime two-year study programme is to address the fundamental challenges of sustainable development through education and research. The study programme is internationalized, attracts students from all over the world and has gained two awards for an outstanding learning environment.
Keywords: ICT, e-learning, sustainable development