Skip to content

Paper published: Sustainable Approaches for Accelerated Learning

Sustainable education does not yet have a widely accepted definition in the literature. In this work, we start from the Sustainable Development Goal of Quality Education for All (SDG4) and interpret sustainable education as increasing the quality of learning whilst conserving the resources required to produce and deliver it. From this interpretation, we argue that one path towards realising sustainable education is through the identification of teaching practices that satisfy these conditions of increased quality whilst conserving resources. We present an overview of four case studies, where the conditions for sustainable education are demonstrated through the effective use of people, processes and technologies. Each case represents an intervention that was made to improve the quality of education within an intensive three-month project, which trained immigrants to be employable in the IT industry as junior software developers. Whilst the interventions are independent and unique, they are connected by the themes of quality improvement and resource conservation. In isolation, each specific case produced improvements for both teachers and students; however, it is by combining such approaches that we can start to realise the path towards sustainable education that will help lead to a better quality of education for all. The findings of this work suggest that quality education does not come at the cost of increased resource demands; rather, approaches exist that can be considered to satisfy the conditions for sustainable education.

Open access at

Olle Bälter is an Associate Professor in Human-Computer Interaction and head of the research group for Technology Enhanced Learning at KTH-Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. He has been running online courses since 2006 and his research interests are technology enhanced learning and interface design. Since his research visit to Stanford University 2015-2016 he has been working in cooperation with Open Learning Initiative to enable more efficient learning.