Special Issue "New Teaching Methodologies for Sustainable Development in Higher Education"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sustainability is an urgent development task in current societies. Higher education institutions should design curricular itineraries that allow the experiential study of real socioenvironmental problems, in order to foster the evaluation of information from the perspective of sustainability. Higher Education institutions should cultivate students with an open and flexible mind, able to identify truthful arguments and consider all key factors before making decisions regarding sustainability and economic viability.

Analyzing 21st century students, we find that technology is part of their lives; they live in a digital context that includes social networks, microblogging services, and instant messaging services, among others, which have changed their habits of socialization, consumption, and communication. In this context, the integration of current digital technologies in Higher Education has become an opportunity and a challenge for educators who, as learning enablers, must provide their graduates with the appropriate technological tools.

This Special Issue of Sustainability explores innovative approaches and developments in higher education, fostering theoretical and empirical research on teaching methodologies that guide students towards the creation of their own knowledge using the set of information and communication technology resources currently available. Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Higher education
  • Critical thinking
  • Business game
  • Teaching/learning strategies
  • ICT experience
  • Sustainability

Prof. Dr. Javier Sánchez-García
Guest Editor

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 semimonthly 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 1900 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.

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Job Satisfaction and Problems among Academic Staff in Higher Education
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 4865; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12124865 - 15 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1160
Abstract
The role of a scientist in society is undoubtedly extremely important. This thesis was particularly confirmed by the global events of the beginning of the third decade of the 21st century, when the spread of the COVID-19 virus revealed the helplessness of humanity [...] Read more.
The role of a scientist in society is undoubtedly extremely important. This thesis was particularly confirmed by the global events of the beginning of the third decade of the 21st century, when the spread of the COVID-19 virus revealed the helplessness of humanity in the face of a pandemic. Only intensive scientific work, having an interdisciplinary character, gives hope to stop the development of the spread of the virus. It turned out that it is scientists who are necessary to reduce mortality and morbidity, as well as the negative effects of a pandemic on the economy and public health. In this regard, it is worth discussing whether the scientific work of scientists is satisfying for them? Nowadays, the scientist is demanded for immediate effects of scientific research, implementation of inventions tailored to the emerging needs, and quick solutions to the problems of a dynamically changing society. However, along with the growing social expectations towards researchers, is their work increasingly appreciated? The aim of this article is getting to assess the level of satisfaction with scientific work among researchers and to identify the factors that influence its level. The article presents the results of research conducted on a random sample of 763 academics from Poland. The conducted scientific studies have established that: (1) The level of satisfaction of researchers concerning their own scientific work depends on employment conditions, as well as the social significance of the research carried out, (2) the level of satisfaction from work is closely correlated with the scientific opportunities of researchers (that is, the possibility of academic and didactic work, contact with students and co-workers) and negatively correlated with the necessity to carry out administrative work, and (3) the majority of Polish researchers are proud of their scientific achievements and treat their profession as a passion or vocation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sustainability, Entrepreneurship, and Disability: A New Challenge for Universities
Sustainability 2020, 12(6), 2494; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062494 - 23 Mar 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 821
Abstract
There is a considerable amount of research concerning the issue of entrepreneurial intentions, which has attained mixed findings. Integrating sustainability, in the sense of considering disabled people, into the current entrepreneurial intention research makes it possible to fill an important research gap. The [...] Read more.
There is a considerable amount of research concerning the issue of entrepreneurial intentions, which has attained mixed findings. Integrating sustainability, in the sense of considering disabled people, into the current entrepreneurial intention research makes it possible to fill an important research gap. The main objective of this paper is to clarify the contribution that education, students’ traits, and contextual factors make to an individual’s entrepreneurial intent when disabled students are incorporated into the analysis as an innovative field of study. The aim of this research is to analyze the entrepreneurial intentions of disabled people who are studying in higher education and compare them with non-disabled students while considering the main factors described in previous studies. In order to achieve this objective, we have carried out a logistic regression with a sample of Spanish students. The main findings are: Education does not influence students’ entrepreneurial intentions, which are affected by only some of the students’ traits and background conditions. Regarding the disabled students’ entrepreneurial intentions, we have found no significant differences compared with those of students who are not disabled. Initiatives such as those of the University of Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM) described in the paper should, therefore, be encouraged, keeping in mind that disabled students do not always show a lack of confidence in themselves as some studies have claimed. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Structured Feedback on Performance: the Role of Attitude and Perceived Usefulness
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2101; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12052101 - 09 Mar 2020
Viewed by 652
Abstract
In higher education, university students need to be equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills for their future workplace. Companies provide opportunities for students to participate as trainee consultants in innovation-related projects as a form of experiential learning. We designed a quasi-experimental study [...] Read more.
In higher education, university students need to be equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills for their future workplace. Companies provide opportunities for students to participate as trainee consultants in innovation-related projects as a form of experiential learning. We designed a quasi-experimental study to investigate how supervisors’ structured feedback can influence students’ learning and project performance. We recruited 28 business school final year undergraduates who formed teams of four students either by themselves or with the help of the school. We randomly assigned three teams with 12 students to the treatment group and four teams of 16 students to the control group. In the treatment group, company supervisors were asked to provide structured written feedback for the treatment group using structured feedback forms, which focus students’ attention on task level, process level, and self-regulation level at three project milestone stages. In the control group, students received feedback from company supervisors without any feedback form. At the end of this project, a survey was conducted to measure students’ attitudes toward feedback in supporting learning and their perceived usefulness of company supervisors’ feedback. The results show that company supervisors’ structured feedback positively affected students’ overall project performance in presentation and report, and students’ positive attitudes toward feedback and perceived usefulness of company supervisor’s structured feedback are positively related to students’ report performance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Smartphone Use and Academic Performance of University Students: A Mediation and Moderation Analysis
Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 439; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12010439 - 06 Jan 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3144
Abstract
The purpose of the undertaken study is to examine the influence of smartphones on the performance of university students in Pakistan. This paper also investigates the functions of a smartphone as exogenous predictors such as smartphone applications, multimedia messaging service (MMS), short message [...] Read more.
The purpose of the undertaken study is to examine the influence of smartphones on the performance of university students in Pakistan. This paper also investigates the functions of a smartphone as exogenous predictors such as smartphone applications, multimedia messaging service (MMS), short message service (SMS), warp-speed processing, and entertainment on the academic performance of a student. This paper also addresses the impact of electronic word of mouth (eWOM) and attitude as mediating variables between exogenous and endogenous variables. Finally, we incorporated technology and addiction as moderating variables between independent variables and the outcome variable to measure the influence of moderating variables. We have taken 684 responses from seven universities in Pakistan and employed the SEM-based multivariate approach for the analysis of the data. The findings of this paper demonstrate that smartphone functions have a significant influence on students’ academic performance, and moderating and mediating variables also have a significant influence on exogenous and endogenous variables. The practical implications have provided a guideline for university teachers, parents, and decision-makers of how a smartphone could be used to improve student academic performance inside and outside university campuses. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effective Teaching and Activities of Excellent Teachers for the Sustainable Development of Higher Design Education
Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12010028 - 18 Dec 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1251
Abstract
Education for sustainable development (ESD) is regarded as a key element of high-quality education. Hence, the United Nations proposed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, in an attempt to achieve the harmony and shared prosperity between humans and the Earth, and advocate [...] Read more.
Education for sustainable development (ESD) is regarded as a key element of high-quality education. Hence, the United Nations proposed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, in an attempt to achieve the harmony and shared prosperity between humans and the Earth, and advocate for fair and high-quality education. With the aim of exploring “high-quality sustainable teaching”, this study intends to probe into the idea and meaning of the high-quality design education for sustainable development and elaborate on the teaching effectiveness and sustainable teaching activities by the teachers of higher design education. According to the research results, the effectiveness of high-quality teaching is introduced in seven categories, as follows: (1) Faith in sustainability in teaching, (2) the trend of talent demand, (3) the teaching value of sustainability, (4) curriculum mapping, (5) teaching approach, (6) teaching evaluation, (7) the sustainable management of teaching development. The factors of high-quality teaching include: The teacher has passion for teaching, the teacher pays attention to the student’s independent learning ability, the teacher intrigues student’s interest in learning, the teacher places emphasis on furnishing the student with professionalism and confidence, the teacher highlights learning through doing to increase the student’s competitiveness in the job fair, the teacher reviews teaching effectiveness and makes progress in pursuing the value of high-quality ESD. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Determinants of the Effectiveness of Using Renewable Resource Management-Based Simulations in the Development of Critical Thinking: An Application of the Experiential Learning Theory
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5469; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195469 - 02 Oct 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 841
Abstract
The twenty-first century’s society experiences new challenges in being immersed in a new paradigm of the educational system. Higher education institutions should train professionals so that they are able to experience real situations in order to encourage reflection on affective, aesthetic, and ethical [...] Read more.
The twenty-first century’s society experiences new challenges in being immersed in a new paradigm of the educational system. Higher education institutions should train professionals so that they are able to experience real situations in order to encourage reflection on affective, aesthetic, and ethical dimensions of these people in their relations with the natural and sociocultural environment. Learning strategies must allow the acquisition of creative, active, and applied knowledge as well as the development of critical thinking. According to the experiential learning theory, to achieve this, higher education should use student-centered interactive and collaborative teaching methodologies and focus studies on the skills that graduates must have, promoting student know-how, initiative, and autonomous learning. Business simulations are instruments that fulfil the above characteristics, facilitating learning. The objective of this research was to provide a model that identifies the determining factors (simulation’s realism and structure, perceived usefulness, and students’ learning motivation) in the effectiveness of using these tools to develop critical thinking focused on sustainability. Three hundred and twenty-six surveys completed by undergraduate students were obtained, which used a structural equation model (SEM) to analyze the influence of realism, simulation structure, perceived usefulness, and students’ motivations to develop critical thinking. The outcomes according to the experiential learning theory showed that the game’s realism lets students perceive its usefulness and, together with an adequate simulation structure, determines the students’ learning motivations by developing critical thinking. Full article
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