Questions received from stakeholders interested in SUSTAIN course material:
- Is it a must to have the course included in the curricula of the university?
That depends on the rules applied to your university. If you plan to use the full material developed for the course, then most probably yes. For instance, in the University of Macedonia, in Thessaloniki, Greece, the course was included in the official program of studies as an elective (7th semester).
- Should this course be included in the curricula as compulsory or optional?
The course is optional (elective) only. It includes a game part, and that means that it can be taught to 20-24 students simultaneously at the most, by one instructor. Each game table has 6 students, so the instructor can usually moderate up to 4 tables.
- My background is in economy. Do I need other people with other backgrounds to teach this course?
Most probably yes. It includes a strong element of Operations Research and System Dynamics, but these parts can perhaps be omitted. The instructor can choose which parts to teach, depending on the available time, his/her background and his/her focus. Check also the answer in question 7.
- Is there a training course for professors from different backgrounds who wish to teach this course in their universities in case they don’t feel able to convey accurately to their students the information in SUSTAIN course?
No, but the projects partners are willing to help in any way they can. Check also the answer in question 7.
- What faculties/departments could teach this course?
Any department that is interested in sustainable development and practical decision making. In the case of the University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki, Greece, the department was that of Business Administration, where the course was adopted as an elective. Other departments can be departments of Environmental Sciences, Environmental Management, Public Administration, Civil Engineering, etc.
- Is it possible to invite the developers of course modules as guest speakers/visiting professors to teach the specific module?
Of course. The project partners would all be very glad to participate. You could also exploit the possibility to use video conferencing software and of Erasmus funding to supports the visits. All partners are fully devoted to the course.
- When do we have to start the course? Can we start it next year?
That is up to you and rules applied to your University. The material is ready!
- How many hours do we need to facilitate the course? Do we need the same amount of hours as in the pilot course?
The course is flexible enough so you can choose which parts of the available material to implement. For instance, in the University of Macedonia, in Thessaloniki, Greece, the course used 39 academic hours (3 hours per week for 13 weeks, including exams) and the instructors used most of the material, not all.
- How should we share the effects of the course with you? Is there any surveys we should fill? Feedback forms? ; What do you expect from me as a person facilitating the course?
There is an optional questionnaire we could send you to fill in and offer to the students as well. You could also send your comments directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to have your feedback in order to improve the material. During the implementation of the course, it would be good if the instructor would have a frequent communication with the partners.
- Can we use only some elements of the course, or share the course with other departments?
Please check the answer in question 9. In the University of Macedonia, in Thessaloniki, Greece, the course students were not limited to the department of Business Administration, but students from other departments participated as well. This depends on the rules applied on your institution.
- Do we have to sign the MOI letter to use the course? I cannot legally sign anything as an employee of my organization without involvement from my higher-ups.
Not really. Anyone can use the material of the course, so long they are interested. However we would strongly encourage a MOI letter from interested parties and recommending the course to academic colleagues.
- When will the course be available online in its entirety?
It is online already. If you contact the project coordinator at email@example.com he can sent it to you as well.
- How many students could participate in the course at once? Is there any optimal number of students (especially for the game part).
Yes, please check the answer in question 2.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.