Knowing Your S-D-Gs: supporting applied learning & belonging through authentic assessment

Colin McClure*, Laura Michael

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Universities have important roles in both educating and preparing individuals to support the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, it's know that SDG-literacy is relatively low amongst Higher Education (HE) students in UK Universities. Students often find it difficult to identify how their studies can relate to the SDGs, and understand how they themselves can make an impact in the challenges facing society today.

Here we demonstrate a cross-School initiative connecting first-year urban planning and biodiversity students. Both cohorts designed and presented posters relating to the SDGs, and a peer-assessment protocol was established to enable students to learn from, and mark, presentations from each others' cohorts. Students were asked to identify specific SDGs to determine their knowledge, as well as to specify which SDGs they felt were relevant to their studies both before and after the initiatives had taken place. Focus Groups were also undertaken to determine the benefits (if any) of the events to the students. Students from both Schools identified the benefits of the authentic assessment in both their understanding as well as their communication skills. Further, SGD knowledge and awareness was shown to increase within the Biodiversity student cohort, and the importance of the event for developing learning communities was highlighted. Altogether, this study demonstrates the importance of authentic and peer-based learning in understanding, as well as the impact of peer-focused events in developing social learning.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2024
EventSHIFT 2024: Inclusive Higher Education: Myths and Realities - University of Greenwich, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 Jan 202411 Jan 2024


ConferenceSHIFT 2024: Inclusive Higher Education: Myths and Realities
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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