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Systems 2014, 2(3), 243-272; doi:10.3390/systems2030243
Communication

Lessons Learnt from Educating University Students through a Trans-Disciplinary Project for Sustainable Sanitation Using a Systems Approach and Problem-Based Learning

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Received: 24 December 2013; in revised form: 5 May 2014 / Accepted: 16 May 2014 / Published: 25 June 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systems Education for a Sustainable Planet)
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Abstract: This article discusses how a Systems Thinking (ST) approach to student learning, employing Problem-Based Learning (PBL) interventions, at several different universities in Sydney, Australia was incorporated into a broader trans-disciplinary research project, the aim of which was to examine how urine diversion in an urban, institutional setting might form the basis of phosphorus collection—phosphorus being a non-renewable resource used in agricultural fertilizers. The article explores how the ST approach employed by the researchers themselves was adapted to embrace student engagement opportunities and how it permitted opportunities for Problem-Based Learning interventions. Five academics forming part of the research team consider the effectiveness of ST-styled student engagement via Problem-Based Learning in three action research cycles used in the research project. In sharing their experiences they provide an honest, “no-holds barred” review of what worked and what could be done more effectively with the benefits of hindsight.
Keywords: systems thinking; action research; systems education; legal studies; visual communication; civil and environmental engineering systems thinking; action research; systems education; legal studies; visual communication; civil and environmental engineering
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Gray, J.; Williams, J.; Hagare, P.; Lopes, A.M.; Sankaran, S. Lessons Learnt from Educating University Students through a Trans-Disciplinary Project for Sustainable Sanitation Using a Systems Approach and Problem-Based Learning. Systems 2014, 2, 243-272.

AMA Style

Gray J, Williams J, Hagare P, Lopes AM, Sankaran S. Lessons Learnt from Educating University Students through a Trans-Disciplinary Project for Sustainable Sanitation Using a Systems Approach and Problem-Based Learning. Systems. 2014; 2(3):243-272.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gray, Janice; Williams, Jennifer; Hagare, Prasanthi; Lopes, Abby M.; Sankaran, Shankar. 2014. "Lessons Learnt from Educating University Students through a Trans-Disciplinary Project for Sustainable Sanitation Using a Systems Approach and Problem-Based Learning." Systems 2, no. 3: 243-272.

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