Ecologized Collaborative Online International Learning: Tackling Wicked Sustainability Problems through Education for Sustainable Development

Arinola Adefila, Osman Arrobbio, Geraldine Brown, Zoe Robinson, Gary Spolander, Ilkhom Soliev, Bret Willers, Luca Morini, Dario Padovan, Katherine Wimpenny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
103 Downloads (Pure)


Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is increasingly embedded in higher education (HE) due to the current emphasis on tackling the environmental crisis. Similarly, Civic Society Organisations are expanding their mobilization and practical action in communities. These approaches can reach almost all people on the planet and open avenues for effective global action around sustainable development. It is important to connect both learners and develop agents of change in society. In this paper, we focus on how digital resources can support democratization of knowledge production and improve equitable citizen participation in ESD and practical action at the local and global levels. The paper investigates structures, processes and components that support transnational collaboration in digital spaces, particularly, around the enhancement of sustainable environmental attitudes. We use Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) as a basis to develop EcoCOIL as a versatile model for expanding coalition building tools and principles, to promote environmental citizenship and develop multi-layered communities of practice. Stakeholders include university students and staff, technical experts, business leaders and entrepreneurs, social innovators, policy makers, Community Social Organisations (CSOs), etc. EcoCOIL focuses on co-created wisdom sharing across intercultural, intergenerational and transdisciplinary actors; it brings an innovative, participatory angle to curriculum development by integration of lifelong learning principles and practical facilitation of sustainable behavior within communities in real time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-57
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Teacher Education for Sustainability
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

© 2021 Arinola Adefila et al., published by Sciendo
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License.


  • Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL)
  • Communities of Practice
  • EcoCOIL
  • Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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