I do, I understand: engaging distance and campus students in sustainability through active learning

  • Sarah J. Wakes Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Otago, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand
  • Linda A. Dunn Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Otago, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand
Keywords: learning technologies, online, asynchronous learning, learning resources, distance teaching, sustainability


Distance online learning connects students to education opportunities without having to be present at the institution offering the learning module. This case study involved development of a dual on-campus and distance course into a fully online course. It required a student-focused approach and an innovative application of learning technologies, additional resources and learning frameworks to encourage student engagement, independent learning and growth of critical-thinking skills. Changes to the design of the teaching approach and the use of technology improved the quality and quantity of interaction and communication between staff–students and students–students and facilitated a hands-on learning experience for online students interacting asynchronously. Student engagement with the course material, other students and teachers increased compared to previous years. Additional resource videos, learning and assessment guides (written and video), and online field trips helped develop critical-thinking skills and connectedness of learning to real-world applications. Recommendations are provided of learning approaches that could be used by other educators in different subject courses.


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How to Cite
Wakes S. J., & Dunn L. A. (2023). I do, I understand: engaging distance and campus students in sustainability through active learning. Research in Learning Technology, 31. https://doi.org/10.25304/rlt.v31.2823
Original Research Articles