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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2016

Carol A. Hurney, Carole Nash, Christie-Joy B. Hartman and Edward J. Brantmeier

Key elements of a curriculum are presented for a faculty development program that integrated sustainability content with effective course design methodology across a…

Abstract

Purpose

Key elements of a curriculum are presented for a faculty development program that integrated sustainability content with effective course design methodology across a variety of disciplines. The study aims to present self-reported impacts for a small number of faculty participants and their courses.

Design/methodology/approach

A yearlong faculty development program to introduce content and effective course design for teaching about sustainability was created through a content-driven, backward design approach. Faculty participants from two cohorts were surveyed electronically to evaluate their perceptions of the impact of the program on their courses and professional development either one or two years after completing the program.

Findings

The theoretical model, curriculum and assignments for the sustainability-enhanced program are presented and discussed. Faculty participant responses to a survey (n = 14) following completion of the program indicated that the process changed pedagogical approaches, created a sense of community and raised awareness of campus resources. Faculty perceived that sustainability content enhanced their course redesign by providing “real-world” relevance, awareness and engagement. More than half of the respondents reported using tools they learned in the program to redesign elements of other courses. Three respondents indicated that integrating sustainability content into their courses had little to no benefit.

Research limitations/implications

The study did not explore the impact of the program on faculty and student learning.

Practical implications

The tools presented are practice-ready.

Originality/value

This study can inform the design and evaluation of other sustainability-related faculty development programs.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 17 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 May 2017

Christie-Joy Brodrick Hartman, Christine E. DeMars, Heather Peckham Griscom and Harold Martin Butner

The purpose of this paper is to present a public university’s design and implementation of an assessment approach that measures the change in undergraduate students…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a public university’s design and implementation of an assessment approach that measures the change in undergraduate students’ environmental stewardship reasoning and knowledge abilities over time.

Design/methodology/approach

In support of a university’s strategic emphasis on environmental stewardship, members of a university committee developed environmental stewardship learning outcomes for undergraduate students. The learning outcomes were not required in specific academic courses or in general education. Subsequently, volunteers from a variety of roles, in cooperation with committee members, developed a corresponding assessment test that focused on reasoning and knowledge. The instrument was revised between Spring 2011 and Spring 2014, and its validity was evaluated. An exploratory analysis of student learning over time was conducted using 22 items shared by different test forms.

Findings

A series of implementations and revisions resulted in a 50-question test, the Environmental Stewardship Reasoning and Knowledge Assessment (ESRKA), which showed good reliability (0.83). A comparative analysis provided evidence of the validity of the instrument. Results from a small sample of students showed that second-year students generally performed better on the 22 items than incoming first-year students. Those taking the assessment as second-year students, 18 months after their initial assessment, scored significantly higher on the 22 items by about 10.4 percentage points (0.61 standard deviation units, t68 = 6.23, p < 0.0001).

Research limitations/implications

Because of the small sample size and revision of the items, the analysis of student learning is only exploratory.

Originality/value

The learning outcomes and validated assessment instrument may be used either in whole or part by other institutions. The approach to measure changes in students’ environmental stewardship reasoning and knowledge abilities as cohorts over time could assist universities in tracking environmental stewardship learning and could inform strategic implementation of learning opportunities through the curriculum, as well as through other student learning experiences.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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