Course Title: Environmental Sustainability online

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Environmental Sustainability online

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007

Course Coordinator: Peter Obendorf

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7136

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Availability: Please email for appointment if necessary

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

Humanity and the natural world are colliding, and the Earth’s systems cannot sustain human activities at the current level. This course is designed for students in all undergraduate programs, and helps students develop the key capability of environmental awareness and to learn about threats to environmental sustainability and responses to these threats. 
This fully online course is offered via RMIT’s distributed learning system (DLS) and may be undertaken anywhere in the world with internet connection. Throughout the course, most student work is available to other students in the class and there is extensive on-line interaction between students. Three modules based on current developments, a set book, and a research project, are undertaken sequentially following a weekly timetable. Considerable choice will be available in each module.
This course is a combination of previously offered 6 credit point courses Environmental issues online and Environmental book club online. International students studying in Australia may only take this course if additional to full (that is 100%) enrolment load but may enrol in a similar course Environmental sustainability online plus at either Bundoora or City.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development


This course is offered as a ’student elective’ solely, and is open to students of all undergraduate programs.

This course is relevant to the development of the following program capabilities:

Environmental awareness / environmental perspective;
Ethical behaviour and responsibility in relation to environmental sustainability;
Global imagination/ international perspective

The main objective of this course is to develop awareness and knowledge of environmental sustainability issues, including problems and solutions. The course provides situations that will encourage students to develop their personal stance towards the importance of environmental sustainability and how to achieve it.

The course will help to develop an international perspective, through study of global and international environmental sustainability issues as well as local and regional issues within Australia.

This course helps to develop a variety of learning skills arising from the use of online discussion forums and online resources, as well as independent learning including the designing and carrying out of a research project.

After completing this course students should have:

Increased knowledge and understanding of human impacts on the natural environment;
Increased awareness of different viewpoints (including cross-professional) on environmental issues;
Developed their own values in relation to the need for environmental protection and sustainability;
Increased ability to find, evaluate and use Internet documents related to environmental issues;
Increased ability to undertake and report research, especially in the context of online communication.
Increased abilities for lifelong and independent learning.

Overview of Learning Activities

There are three modules in this course.

Module A is an introduction to current environmental sustainability issues. Each student selects from recently published internet documents and discusses them online with other students.

Module B provides a choice of books whose primary theme is related to environmental sustainability. The books for study will be recently published or recently re-printed, moderately priced, and written for an educated general readership. These books are discussed online and reviewed.

In Module C each student undertakes more detailed investigations into a nominated environmental issue facilitated by a stepwise interactive process with a tutor. Project reports are presented online and students select two reports to review.

In all these modules student work is available to other students in the class and there is extensive on-line interaction between students, including required responses and reviews of research projects.

Overview of Learning Resources

The major resource is the DLS site through which all materials are presented and all assignments lodged. Learning resources include set online documents and a set book. Project resources can include local organisations and people as well as online and printed publications.

Overview of Assessment

All assessment is of written work submitted to the DLS through the Learning Hub.
Total written work is 6000 words - 2000 words in each of 3 modules. There is no examination.