This paper aims to explore the development narrative and usage of environmental sustainability tours available at universities and takes an in-depth look into the Western Kentucky University (WKU) Green Tour.
Questionnaires and interviews were conducted with sustainability leaders involved in tours at their university to discover how they were developed and used. An assessment of the WKU Green Tour used surveys and pre- and post-tests to determine the reach of the tour to the campus population, student learning and faculty use.
There is a lack of data on sustainability tours, making it difficult to design new tours and validate their status as an essential tool. In the case of WKU, the need for data was confirmed, as current practices that were assumed to be effective proved ineffective. Multiple suggestions for improved tours are provided.
The case study used in this paper is not representative of all university sustainability tours as they can vary widely. Given the lack of research on the subject, especially quantitative research, it is a valuable study.
Though sustainability tours are touted as a valuable tool for all campuses, more data are needed to validate this claim. Data suggest the tours are effective tools for increasing knowledge, but there is need for further assessment of tours and how they can be used to create a sustainably literate campus.
This study is the first to assess sustainability tours using mixed-methods.
Trahan, E.R., North, L.A., Gripshover, M.M. and Huss, J.M. (2017), "Campus sustainability tours: exploring an uncharted tool", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 18 No. 6, pp. 908-922. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-12-2015-0200
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