Learning and teaching sustainable business in the digital era: a connectivism theory approach

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Higher education institutions may adopt various approaches to the pedagogic principles and methods used in teaching sustainable development in business and marketing courses. These methods can include the utilisation of digital technologies and online communication to facilitate distance learning and fast access to relevant information. Changes towards the digitalisation of the learning environment especially gained popularity during the Covid-19 pandemic. In the post-pandemic period, digitalisation continues to facilitate the learning and teaching processes. However, the implementation of digital technologies, besides technological expertise, requires appropriate theoretical frameworks for understanding how learning is developed. This study explores connectivism theory applied to the pedagogic practices of knowledge dissemination concerning sustainable development in the fields of business and marketing. Connectivism embraces knowledge as a network where the learner, with the help of digital technologies, develops mental connections between pieces of information during interaction with various information sources. This qualitative research empirically explores the principles of connectivism embedded in the learning and teaching of a university course conducted online. The research findings indicate that connectivism may be a suitable conceptual framework that motivates learners to develop knowledge through digital enablers, discussions and social networking and to make connections to sustainability concepts. The principles of connectivism may help instructors to develop a learning environment where learners add understandings to their previous knowledge on sustainability through online interactions and by accessing digital knowledge sources. This study makes several interdisciplinary contributions by deepening the insights into digital pedagogic methods and approaches for the facilitation of learning, which may be of interest to academic and other pedagogic practitioners.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • connectivism theory
  • Higher education institution
  • learning environment
  • Digital technologies
  • Sustainable development
  • Sustainable business


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