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Practice guide by GSD researcher demonstrates how the University of Warwick is innovating in sustainability within education – University of Warwick

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Dr Alastair Smith, Senior Teaching Fellow in the Global Sustainable Development Department and Education for Sustainable Development Officer for the School for Cross-faculty Studies, has contributed one of a series of new guides published by Advance HE and QAA to help universities embed sustainable development into their curriculums.
Dr Smith’s guide – Education for Sustainable Development within the core curriculum and beyond: A living lab approach – demonstrates how the University of Warwick is innovating in sustainability within education through projects which enable students to enjoy practical engagement with real-world climate change issues, developing their own knowledge and understanding in the process.
The series of 18 practice guides have been written by contributors from across the HE sector to provide practical ideas and examples for UK higher education institutions that want to incorporate Education for Sustainable Development into their curricula, as recommended by guidance issued in March 2021. The guides cover a range of activities in terms of scale, scope and audience from single staff development workshops through to longer-term community engagement projects.
Dr Smith’s practice guide draws on the Global Sustainable Development Department’s Certificate of Sustainability Consulting (Auditing) and one of its new Masters practice-based projects as examples to show the Department’s commitment to creating learning opportunities for students that offer real-life challenges, developing competencies and skills which prepare students for projects beyond their studies.
Students undertaking these projects are partnered with an operational area within the University to undertake a real-life sustainability audit, including presenting recommendations to decision-makers. Examples since the Certificate’s introduction include using light meters to check whether teaching and learning areas are too brightly lit, saving energy by reducing the wattage of overhead lighting; or getting hands-on with the recycling bins to test whether better signage helps users dump their rubbish in the right bin.
Students working towards their Masters can undertake an audit within the University or to partner with an external organisation.
Alastair explains: "The guide showcases our philosophy of treating learners with respect, beginning with thinking about what active contribution that they can make to the creation of collective knowledge, while at the same time learning themselves; rather than being primarily concerned with what knowledge can do for them, as the more traditional individualistic approach to education goes.
“This chimes with wider research-led teaching on the value of collective organisation, coordination and action, necessary for transformational change in our world. The Certificate of Sustainability Consultancy (Auditing) and the MASc Practice-Based Project are used as examples to highlight how we have used this philosophy as part of a living laboratory pedagogy."
Alastair hopes that his guide will not only be of use in other universities but will also be helpful to Warwick colleagues in other departments as they work to embed sustainable development in their own teaching and learning, one of the five pathways of the university’s new Way to Sustainable programme.
The Way to Sustainable commits the University to leading by example in the fight against climate change. As part of that aim, Warwick is working to embed sustainability as a core skill across all subjects so that students from all disciplines will develop knowledge and experience of sustainability and be inspired to become global citizens with a vested interest in creating a more sustainable world.
12 January 2022
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Realm Scans: Navigating the Uncharted Territories of Digital Discovery

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In the expansive landscape of digital exploration, there exists a realm where information becomes an adventure—Realm Scans. Beyond a mere scanning service, this digital haven is where curiosity converges with innovation, and the uncharted territories of digital discovery come to life. Join us as we embark on a journey to unravel the unique dynamics of Realm Scans, navigating through the realms where information is not just scanned but transformed into a digital odyssey.

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At the core of Realm Scans lies a commitment to redefining how we interact with information. “Digital Horizons” delves into the innovative features and functionalities that make Realm Scans more than just a scanning service. It’s a digital gateway where documents become gateways to exploration, and information is a portal to new discoveries.

A standout feature is the user-centric approach that defines the Realm Scans experience. “Digital Horizons” explores how user interface design, accessibility, and intuitive navigation are seamlessly integrated to create an environment where users don’t just scan documents—they embark on a digital journey of discovery.

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As we navigate through the digital horizons of Realm Scans, the article becomes a celebration of the fusion between technology and user experience. It is a recognition that in the world of digital services, there are realms where functionality meets innovation, and where information is a gateway to new digital frontiers.

“Digital Horizons: Exploring the Essence of Realm Scans” is not just an article; it’s an ode to the tech enthusiasts, the information seekers, and the digital explorers who recognize the profound impact of a scanning service that goes beyond the surface. It’s an acknowledgment that in the realms of digital discovery, Realm Scans stands as a beacon, inviting users to embrace the transformative power of information in the digital age.

As Realm Scans continues to redefine the digital scanning landscape, “Digital Horizons” invites us to appreciate the nuances of a service that transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary—an exploration where every scan is not just a document but a digital adventure waiting to be unfolded.

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