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Special Issue "The Future of Education for Sustainable Development – Between the Power of Technology and the Need for Responsible Citizenship"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Education and Approaches".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 February 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Christian Rammel

RCE Vienna, University of Business and Economics Vienna, Vienna, Austria
Website | E-Mail
Interests: education for sustainable development; transformative education; sustainability-driven entrepreneurship; change and adaptation; resilience
Guest Editor
Dr. Clemens Mader

1.Technology and Society Lab, Empa – Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, St.Gallen, Switzerland
2. Sustainability Team, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Website 1 | Website 2 | E-Mail
Interests: sustainability assessment; technology assessment; education for sustainable development; education–research–policy–practice interface

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the course of the 4th industrial revolution of digitalization, we have experienced or encountered new trends in society and technology that strongly affect the way we learn, teach, and understand knowledge and education. New technology applications, such as blockchain, machine learning, MOOCs or virtual learning environments, are being increasingly used for teaching and learning. There is, not only a high degree of expectation, but also criticism of the societal impacts these new technological applications might have. This is further echoed within the global debate of the effects of emerging technologies on education, in general, and education for sustainable development (ESD), in particular.

Beyond the power of technological applications, recent socio-economic and ecological challenges show that we do not lack sufficient knowledge for change, but we lack people who are willing and able to engage and make change. Especially in the area of climate change research, our recent problems are not derived from a lack of scientific data and technological opportunities for dissemination, but from a lack of adequate methods of teaching and knowledge exchange, which can initiate and foster active engagement and responsible citizenship.

ESD aims at new ways of learning that enable citizens to actively shape sustainable socio-ecological transformations. This Special Issues calls for cases, reviews, and research articles to discuss technological applications in the transdisciplinary light of responsible citizenship and engagement for sustainable development.

This Special Issue is open to submissions of original articles, subject to a rigorous peer review, covering the recent debate on technological applications in education and learning environments, with special attention on learnings from the application of MOOCs, blockchain, artificial intelligence, and virtual learning environments. We look forward to transdisciplinary contributions from sustainability and technology sciences, education studies and the wide range of research in ESD.

Dr. Christian Rammel
Dr. Clemens Mader
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • education for sustainable development (ESD)
  • transdisciplinary learning environment
  • responsible citizenship
  • engagement
  • technology applications
  • digitalization
  • virtual reality
  • machine learning

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle Semantic Analysis of Learners’ Emotional Tendencies on Online MOOC Education
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 1921; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10061921
Received: 2 April 2018 / Revised: 11 May 2018 / Accepted: 5 June 2018 / Published: 8 June 2018
PDF Full-text (3369 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
As a new education product in the information age, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) command momentous public attention for their unexpected rise and flexible application. However, the striking contrast between the high rate of registration and the low rate of completion has put
[...] Read more.
As a new education product in the information age, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) command momentous public attention for their unexpected rise and flexible application. However, the striking contrast between the high rate of registration and the low rate of completion has put their development into a bottleneck. In this paper, we present a semantic analysis model (SMA) to track the emotional tendencies of learners in order to analyze the acceptance of the courses based on big data from homework completion, comments, forums and other real-time update information on the MOOC platforms. Through emotional quantification and machine learning calculations, graduation probability can be predicted for different stages of learning in real time. Especially for learners with emotional tendencies, customized instruction could be made in order to improve completion and graduation rates. Furthermore, we classified the learners into four categories according to course participation time series and emotional states. In the experiments, we made a comprehensive evaluation of the students’ overall learning status by kinds of learners and emotional tendencies. Our proposed method can effectively recognize learners’ emotional tendencies by semantic analysis, providing an effective solution for MOOC personalized teaching, which can help achieve education for sustainable development. Full article

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