Learning to collaborate from diverse interactions in project-based sustainability courses

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


Project-based sustainability courses require and facilitate diverse interactions among stu-dents, instructors, stakeholders, and mentors. Most project-based courses take an instrumental approach to these interactions, so that they support the overall project deliverables. However, as courses primarily intend to build students’ key competencies in sustainability, including the competence to collaborate in teams and with stakeholders, there are opportunities to utilize these interactions more directly to build students’ interpersonal competence. This study offers insights from project-based sustainability courses at universities in Germany, the U.S., Switzerland, and Spain to empirically explore such opportunities. We investigate how students develop interpersonal competence by learning from (rather than through) their interactions with peers, instructors, stakeholders, and mentors. The findings can be used by course instructors, curriculum designers, and program administrators to more deliberately use the interactions with peers, instructors, stakeholders, and mentors in project-based sustainability courses for developing students’ competence to successfully collaborate in teams and with stakeholders.

Anzahl der Seiten15
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 02.09.2021

Bibliographische Notiz

This learning was supported by regular exchange among student groups. This means that not only the teamwork setting allows for interpersonal competence development, but the exchange among peers about their group work, too. Such exchanges took place in all three courses. The GSR and tdCS course had several groups working on one umbrella project, while the ARW course had different individual student projects. Students went through the same cycles of planning, acting, and reflecting, which constituted shared experiences and the basis for reflection and exchange.

This research was funded by Volkswagen Foundation and Niedersächsische Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur, grant number A115235.

Diese Publikation wurde gefördert durch den Open-Access-Publikationsfonds der Leuphana Universität Lüneburg.