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Teaching impact assessment: results of an international survey

Sánchez, L.E and Morrison-Saunders, A. (2010) Teaching impact assessment: results of an international survey. Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, 28 (3). pp. 245-250.

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University teachers of impact assessment (IA) at both undergraduate and graduate levels were surveyed during IAIA conferences in 2008 and 2009. A total of 32 questionnaires were returned, with respondents teaching in 18 countries. IA teaching encompasses both theory and practice. It is supported by textbooks — a sign the IA is a consolidated field — but also by case studies, government or legal guidance and guest lectures. A vast majority of lecturers (94%) also use peer-reviewed papers, indicating that knowledge obtained from research is an important input to teaching. Formal lectures, case studies and group discussions are favorite teaching approaches, and field visits are used by 38% of respondents. Environmental impact assessment is the most frequent type of IA taught, with strategic environmental assessment ranking second. Despite IA teaching being positioned within different university disciplines, there is a great similarity in course contents, suggesting the existence of core topics internationally relevant for IA education and potential for viable teacher and student exchanges.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental Science
Publisher: Beech Tree Publishing
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