The Open UniversitySkip to content

Greening Higher Education qualification programmes with online learning

Caird, Sally; Lane, Andrew and Swithenby, Edward (2014). Greening Higher Education qualification programmes with online learning. In: Leal Filho, W.; Azeiteiro, U. and Caeiro, S. eds. E-learning and sustainability. Umweltbildung, Umweltkommunikation und Nachhaltigkeit - Environmental Education, Communication and Sustainability, 35. Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien: Peter Lang Scientific Publishers, pp. 105–116.

Full text available as:
PDF (Accepted Manuscript) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (499kB) | Preview
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


Digital infrastructure and devices and computer technology-based pedagogical applications are transforming the way higher education (HE) teaching, learning and assessment is delivered, and are having varied environmental, pedagogical and economic impacts. This chapter introduces the SusTEACH Modelling Tool, developed following an investigation of the impact of computing technologies or Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) on HE teaching models together with a carbon-based environmental assessment of 30 courses, offered by 15 UK-based HE institutions. This offers lecturers a tool for modelling UK-based course and qualification programmes, and estimating their energy consumption and CO2 emissions, following an analysis of the relationship between various online and ICT-enhanced, face-to-face and print-based distance teaching models and the main sources of energy consumption in HE. Applied to the Open University’s BSc Environmental Management and Technology programme, which uses various Online and ICT-enhanced Distance teaching models, the Tool shows that compared with a wholly face-to-face taught programme, carbon reductions of 84% are achieved, although moving to a fully online programme would reduce carbon emissions by 87%. Discussion includes the role of online learning designs and pedagogical use of computer technologies for achieving carbon reduction in HE.

Item Type: Book Section
Copyright Holders: 2014 Peter Lang Scientific Publishers
ISBN: 3-631-62693-2, 978-3-631-62693-1
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
SusTEACHNot SetJisc
Extra Information: Awarded Green Gown Award (Research and Development), Finalist Certificate 2012. The SusTEACH project.
Keywords: online learning; e-learning; e-learning and sustainability; low carbon higher education; modelling qualification programmes; greening curriculum; greening computer technologies; environmental management.
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Engineering and Innovation
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Research Group: Design and Innovation
Innovation, Knowledge & Development research centre (IKD)
Related URLs:
Item ID: 39498
Depositing User: Sally Caird
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2014 09:23
Last Modified: 26 Jan 2020 05:20
Share this page:

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU