Affective Learning Goals - Key for Teaching Sustainable Product Development

DS 122: Proceedings of the Design Society: 24th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED23)

Year: 2023
Editor: Kevin Otto, Boris Eisenbart, Claudia Eckert, Benoit Eynard, Dieter Krause, Josef Oehmen, Nadège Troussier
Author: Heide, Ludger (1); Syré, Anne Magdalene (1); Grahle, Alexander (1); Göhlich, Dietmar (1); Kattwinkel, Daniela (2); Bender, Beate (2)
Series: ICED
Institution: 1: TU Berlin; 2: Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Section: Design Methods
Page(s): 0485-0494
DOI number:


Sustainability in engineering sciences is of rapidly growing importance. However, its integration into engineering education is still in its infancy. This paper is based on the finding that, in addition to conventional cognitive learning outcomes, affective outcomes like mindset and attitude play a major role in teaching sustainability effectively. We present the didactical theory behind this and the evaluation of two university courses which serve as practical examples and research objects. These course puts high importance on affective learning outcomes, teaching not only design and assessment methods but also encourages students to reflect sustainability goals in broader contexts. We describe the theoretical course design following the principle of constructive alignment and conducted a quantitative and qualitative evaluation of the learning outcomes. The evaluation results confirm the importance of affective learning goals but also point out the need for further improvements to the course, which were implemented and re-evaluated.

Keywords: Sustainability, Design education, Social responsibility

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