Getting started

If you are a current UNB student, please visit the MyUNB Intranet to complete these modules.

Before beginning the modules, please take a few minutes to complete the UNB Sustainability Literacy Assessment.

Take the assessment now

About the learning modules

The sustainability modules can be completed in any order. Each module is made up of 5 sections:

  1. An introduction to the module topic
  2. A set of definitions for the module
  3. Information about the topic
  4. An interactive activity to help you practice your understanding of the topic
  5. Suggested reflection prompts to help you connect the information in these modules to your past experiences, learning, or goals

To get the most from these modules, we recommend that you take the time to engage with the reflection questions in depth, and consider keeping a notebook with your reflections so you can review and add to them later. 

We also recommend that you follow our tips for taking good notes.

Reflections in learning

Reflecting on your experiences and the information you have learned can help you get the most from your learning and work experiences. For this reason, every module in the Sustainability series provides you with an opportunity to reflect.

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Reflections and reflective activities are learning activities which ask the learner to think about experiences they have had and content they have learned.

Learners may be asked to make connections between new material and their prior knowledge or experiences, make connections between ideas or concepts presented in the material, or create a summary of the new concepts they have learned.

Reflective activities are important in learning as they help learners to “consolidate knowledge” (the process of taking new information and combining it with things you already know) and “construct knowledge” (the process of forming new ideas and making connections between them).

Reflective activities can include:

Journal prompts – these are usually short writing exercises based on a question or short series of questions

Concept maps – sometimes called mind maps, these are usually a web-like drawing that connects ideas, examples, etc.

Visual diagramming – this can take many different forms, but usually involves the learner creating some sort of visual representation of the content they have learned or experiences they have had. This can include: Venn diagrams, tables, flow charts, process diagrams, scientific diagrams, etc.

Reflection also benefits from sharing. Feedback, peer observation and discussion, and other social activities that encourage sharing, comparing, and developing reflections and reflective thoughts about experiences and ideas have been shown through research to increase the effectiveness of reflection on learning. To help support this, after each module’s reflection activity, we’ve included a bank of peer reflections you can compare your reflection with.

Tips for taking good notes

Taking your own notes is an important part of learning. Taking your own notes goes beyond writing down every word on a page, video, or lecture and focuses on identifying the main ideas or concepts and writing those down in your own words. Good notes include your personal thoughts, questions and connections to other ideas or concepts you have learned.

When you write notes, try using a variety of strategies. Instead of just writing point-form notes or blocks of text, try including diagrams, charts, and webs that show how information and ideas are connected. Consider keeping a free column on your page for jotting down questions or ideas you might have as you write and when you review your notes later.

Once you know how to take helpful notes, you may wonder whether you should take your notes by hand or on the computer. Ultimately, this will depend on your preference.

Studies have shown that writing notes by hand on paper is better for learning and memorizing; however, using a computer for notes might be more convenient for speed, storage, and access. Notes written with a stylus or on a touch screen may combine the benefits of both worlds, especially if you are taking your notes in software that allows you to draw diagrams, arrows to show connections between notes, highlight important information, and flag questions, such as OneNote

Other strategies for note taking:

Write your own flashcards

Use mind mapping

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