Part 1: Introduction to Sustainable Societies

6. Sustainable Societies – Africa Preview

Instructor previews Sustainable Societies in Africa: Modules on Education for Sustainable Development, the course schedule, requirements, and expectations and explains how this course will be using a learner-centered approach as opposed to a traditional lecture format


      • Students instructed to review Sustainable Societies in Africa: Modules on Education for Sustainable Development

In Class

As the class will be discussion-based, students should understand that their in-class participation is a crucial part of the learning process and see their fellow students as “team-mates” in the course. You should clearly explain that consistent preparation and class participation are expected, in addition to notifying students of the university and/or instructor policies related to attendance, homework, and grades.

Inform students that they are expected to allocate one to three hours of time preparing for every class. Typically, student preparation for each class activity will take one hour outside of class for Core Readings, or, in Part 2, a minimum of one hour for Core Readings and Sustainability Strategies. If you assign all of the Supplemental Readings—only available in the CD and Internet versions of the course—in addition, the outside class time will approach three hours. Be sure to keep this in mind if you are adding or substituting local materials.

You should confirm that the students generally understand how the course is organized and what is involved in each part. (Part 4 will be explained in detail in Activity 10: Explanation of Final Student Project.)

Remind the students of the structure of the Pre-Test they took. Explain that Part 2 of the course will cover regional as well as some national and global level issue information in addition to strategies for the twenty-five sustainability issues.

Advise the students that taking notes in the same form as the Pre-Test will be helpful later on as they add to their understanding of the issues. This method of note taking will allow them to create a personal study guide (which will be helpful in preparing for the Final Examination at the end of the course). Refer them to the Issues Notes Template available in their course materials—if you are using the CD or Internet version. When they compare their class notes with their Pre-Test, returned after your review in Part 1, they will be able to clearly compare what they have learned during the course to what they knew when they started it.

Multiple options for grading

Other than the final issues exam, it is up to the instructor to decide what assignments, activities, and tests will be graded and the chosen system for assessment should be made known to all students.

Options for assessment include:

      • Assignment questions during Part 2 (These can be used as assigned homework to be turned in and graded or can be adapted and used in quizzes.)
      • An individual student’s presentation of one of the Sustainability Strategies during Part 2
      • Sustainability Strategy Analysis and Application Sheets during each class of Part 2 (quizzes where the students are recording what they have learned from the presentation described in b. above)
      • Community application projects and their presentations in Part 4 (This is a major gradable activity which should carry the most individual weight in the course.)
      • Sustainability Strategy Analysis and Application Sheets during presentations in Part 4 (an assignment for the students who are reviewing the projects presented by other students in d. above)
      • Final Examination (this examination is the second most important gradable activity)
      • Class discussion participation

Suggested grading would be as follows:

      • Part 1, 2, and 3 Class Participation and Activities (including quizzes, in-class presentations and out-of class assignments) 30%
      • Student Application Project in Part 4 (including project outline developed in Part 2 and refined in Part 3) 40%
      • Final Examination 30%