Can Apps Encourage Engaged Learning in a Sustainability Course?
Previous research on sustainability education suggests that for students to change attitudes, beliefs and behaviors, learning needs to be engaged. Technology use (e.g. mobile devices) can increase student engagement when incorporated into learning activities. However, no research using mobile technologies for teaching environmental sustainability was reported in the textiles and apparel area. Therefore, this study examined the effectiveness of the Making app from Nike, which was used for a product development activity in an apparel sustainability course. Students were instructed to rank the sustainability levels of six garments and create a hypothetical garment with low environmental impact without using the app. The assignment was completed again using the app as a tool. The app allowed more students to evaluate the sustainability of existing apparel products accurately and propose creative hypothetical products with lower environmental impact. Students found the app an effective tool that they would use in their future careers.