The Open University Scholarship Exchange
Martin-Braun.pptx (121.57 kB)

Poster: Engaging physics students with the key competencies for sustainability through reflective assessment tasks

Download (121.57 kB)
posted on 2024-01-12, 11:56 authored by Martin Braun

Recent news on wildfires, flooding and heatwaves illustrates the effect of climate change on humankind. Closely linked is the issue of sustainability, the wise use of resources now so that we and future generations can enjoy a reasonable standard of living. Sustainability has been the subject of UNESCO’s Global Education 2030 Agenda, which is built around the 17 UN proposed sustainable development goals (SDGs) and 8 cross-cutting key competencies for sustainability (KCsS), and this agenda urges education to foster the right type of competencies for a sustainable future.

Including sustainability may not be so obvious in non-specialist modules and educating module team chairs (MTCs) to be reasonably proficient on how to achieve this may be impractical. Therefore, this project proposes to engage physics students through reflective TMA tasks in core modules at each of the three undergraduate study levels. To achieve this, the support of three MTCs has been won to map their modules against the KCsS and SDGs with the intention of highlighting relevant material and study tasks students could use in their reflections. Simultaneously, TMA tasks will be developed supporting students’ progress up the affective domain of Bloom’s taxonomy over the three study levels. Once these TMA tasks have been completed by the students, their effectiveness will be studied through student surveys, tutor and MTCs focus groups (or interviews) and, if possible, student focus groups.

As these modules are core to the physics qualifications, close to 1500 students will be exposed to these TMA tasks. Additionally, the cross-functional research team, including members from other faculties and learning designers, will produce a tested protype of embedding sustainability through assessment and, if deemed successful, will assist in disseminating this internally and externally through conferences, workshops and email publications to, e.g., encourage OU colleagues to incorporate similar assessment tasks in their modules.





  • Public document

Authorship group

  • Academic - Regional/National (Staff Tutors and Student Experience Managers)

Institutional priority category

  • Achieving Study Goals


  • Assessment

Subject discipline

  • Science

Usage metrics



    Ref. manager