Carl Obermiller SU-UMD SSCC slides.2.19

Report
Measuring Sustainability Literacy 2.0:
Progress and Challenges
Carl Obermiller and April Atwood
Seattle University, Albers School of Business & Economics
Mark Stewart
Office of Sustainability, University of Maryland
Our interest at SU
American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment agreement:
– reduce greenhouse gas emissions
– teach sustainability
– STARS
“You can’t manage what you can’t measure….”
 how to measure learning of sustainability?
SU Goals
1. develop a measure of sustainability ‘literacy’
2. test and refine the measurement instrument
3. administer the survey
– establish baseline (summer ‘13)
– future plan: follow-up measures of students to assess literacy
development, sustainability learning
How DO you conceptualize ‘sustainability’ ?
http://computingforsustainability.wordpress.com/2009/03/15/visualising-sustainability/
http://ikan.biz/blog/sustainability-framework/the-value-web/
Conceptualizing Sustainability
multidimensional construct
– climate change
– energy
– planetary assets
– systems concepts
– effects on people / social justice
– organizations & business
Sample knowledge questions
The lives of many people living near the Pacific Ocean are threatened by the melting of glaciers in
Greenland.
Strongly disagree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly agree
On meats, the label "free range" means the animal had access to the outdoors.
Most electricity in the US is produced by burning coal.
Soil erosion peaked during the Dust Bowl (1930s); in today's world, it is no longer a problem.
The best measure of the quality of life for a society is gross national product.
Businesses have an obligation to make positive contributions to society.
Sample attitude questions
People should choose a method of transportation other than driving a car alone, even if it is less
convenient.
Strongly disagree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly agree
In general, I think social justice issues are among the most important challenges in the world
today.
Strongly disagree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly agree
Sample behavior questions
When you buy meat, you buy organic meat.
• Never
• Rarely
• Sometimes
• Often
• At every single opportunity
• Not applicable to me
Boycotted a company because of its social practices.
SU final survey
78 5-point Likert items (Strongly Agree-Strongly Disagree)
•
•
•
•
•
sustainability knowledge dimensions (6-8 questions each)
definition questions (11: knowledge)
attitude items (11)
behavior measures (16)
demographics
Contact me for copy or SU results:
[email protected]
Success of the scale
• good internal consistency
• evidence of knowledge->attitude->behavior
• excellent predictive validity
SUmmer '13 freshmen
Subscale means
1-5 Likert scales, 5=pro-sustainability
Climate change
3.73
Energy
3.41
Planetary assets
3.80
Systems concepts
4.24
Social justice
4.01
Business/organizational actions
3.93
Definitions
3.41
Attitudes
3.71
Behaviors
3.04
SU Challenges Going Forward
•
•
•
•
Modifications
Updating
Assessment
Higher level thinking
Mark Stewart
Senior Project Manager
Office of Sustainability
UNIVERSITY STRATEGIC PLAN &
CLIMATE ACTION PLAN GOALS
• Become a carbon
neutral university
by 2050
• Educate all
students about
sustainability
• Become a national
model for a Green
University
COMPREHENSIVE SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGY
Greening the…
• CAMPUS (Infrastructure and Operations)
• CULTURE (Sustainable Behaviors)
• CURRICULUM (Sustainability Education and Research)
• COMMUNITY (Enhancing Sustainability in the Greater Community)
Sustainability Advisors
• Peer educators teach a 60-minute lesson to first-year seminar classes.
• Nearly 7,000 students have participated since 2008!
Chesapeake Project
www.sustainability.umd.edu
• Two-day workshop teaches faculty how to integrate
sustainability into existing, non-environmental courses
• 115 faculty participated over the past five years.
• Faculty agree to include a sustainability assignment or theme
in their courses
• More than 120 courses revised to include sustainability!
Sustainability-Related Academic Programs
•
•
New Sustainability Studies Minor
More than 40 related majors, minors, and graduate programs.
Challenges to Meeting our Goals
 UMD students earned an average score of 66% on a recent
assessment of sustainability knowledge.
 UMD earns only 20.6 out of 40 points available in the
Academics category of the Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment and
Rating System (STARS)
 Approximately 38% of students enroll in a sustainability-focused
course while at UMD. Studies show that a student may need to take
at least one sustainability-focused course to improve his/her ability
to comprehend sustainability issues.
Assessment of Sustainability Knowledge (ASK)
Co-Developed with Ohio State University
16. What are the potential effects of global climate change?
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
Loss of habitats
Less severe weather
Loss of ozone layer
Decrease in sea level
Don’t know
58% of respondents gave the correct answer choice
Assessment of Sustainability Knowledge (ASK)
Co-Developed with Ohio State University
17. Living in Maryland, we see signs about entering the
Chesapeake Bay Watershed or about “Saving the Bay.” Which of
the following is the greatest pressure leading to the degradation
of the Bay’s ecosystem?
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
Dredging for sand
Litter that flows from streams and rivers into the Bay
Application of fertilizer on lawns and farms
Gas-powered boats
Don’t know
46% of respondents gave the correct answer choice
Assessment of Sustainability Knowledge (ASK)
Co-Developed with Ohio State University
21. Of the following, which would be considered living in the
most environmentally sustainable way?
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
Recycling all recyclable packaging
Reducing consumption of all products
Buying products labeled "eco" or "green“
Buying the newest products available
Don't know
49% of respondents gave the correct answer choice
Sustainability Learning Outcomes
Developed by the Education for Sustainability Work Group of the University Sustainability Council
… integrating sustainability into existing academic programs and campus life so that all
students earning an undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland will be able to:
1. Describe how sustainability relates to environmental issues, social justice, and
economic development.
2. Explain how natural, economic, and social systems interact to foster or prevent
sustainability.
3. Evaluate how an individual’s choices and activities impact the environment and,
as a result, affect the health and well-being of everyone.
4. State a long-term vision for individual happiness and societal well-being and
explain how existing norms contribute to or diminish this vision.
5. Demonstrate an ability to collaborate and communicate effectively across
academic disciplines and with diverse stakeholders.
6. Apply their knowledge of sustainability to their behaviors as consumers, citizens,
and/or leaders.
Implications
 Need new assessment for Sustainability
Learning Outcomes
 Assessment should measure true Literacy,
not just Knowledge.
 Is an online or paper-and-pencil survey
adequate? Qualitative assessment may be
more suitable for this sort of literacy.
Mark Stewart
[email protected]
Discussion

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