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Assessing "Wicked Sustainability Problem" - Literacy in Engineering Education
Chalmers University of Technology. (Engineering education research)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9667-2044
Chalmers University of Technology.
2015 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Environmental and sustainability problems are not purely technical problems. Many of the most pressing issues, such as climate change, resource scarcity, and pollution, require holistic approaches that go beyond technical systems analysis and optimization. Such problems have been called wicked sustainability problems (WSPs) because they are highly complex, contested, and lack definite solutions1,2.

Engineering education has the potential to play an important role in preparing students to contribute to deal with problems such as WSP3,4. To be able to contribute in this way, students need to develop an ability to holistically and integratively understand and address WSPs while considering the normative context of sustainable development (here called WSP literacy). However, common practice in engineering education more commonly prepares students to address well-structured and tame rather than wicked problems5,6 . One reason may be that working together to develop complex competencies such as WSP literacy is challenging for students as well as educators. Wiek, Withycombe, and Redman suggest that formulating and operationalizing intended learning outcomes (ILOs) for complex competencies can facilitate this difficult process and thus improve engineering education practice4.

In this paper, we provide a preliminary matrix of 22 concrete ILOs for WSP literacy, as well as two different approaches to assessing (some of) them in engineering education. We expect that engineering educators will find these ILOs and assessment strategies valuable for adopting a constructive alignment approach for WSP literacy in their teaching.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Society for Engineering Education , 2015.
Keywords [en]
wicked problem, assessment, engineering education, literacy, learning outcomes
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
didactics of natural science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-158215OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-158215DiVA, id: diva2:1305360
Conference
122nd ASEE Annual Conference & Exhibition. Seattle, USA, 14-17 June, 2015
Available from: 2019-04-16 Created: 2019-04-16 Last updated: 2019-04-24Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1.
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Lönngren, Johanna

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
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Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • asciidoc
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