Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.95
Liaison Joan Pauly
Submission Date June 14, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Berea College
AC-7: Incentives for Developing Courses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Joan Pauly
Sustainability Coordinator
Operations & Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an ongoing program or programs that offer incentives for faculty in multiple disciplines or departments to develop new sustainability courses and/or incorporate sustainability into existing courses?:

A brief description of the program(s), including positive outcomes during the previous three years (e.g. descriptions of new courses or course content resulting from the program):

Spring 2017, Ian Norris (Associate Professor of Business) will conduct research on two projects related to sustainability. One project examines the effect of message framing on electronic product upgrades that contribute to electronic waste, a major threat to environmental sustainability. Several studies have already been completed, and this new set of studies will be conducted in order to address follow-up questions. The preliminary research studies will be presented at the Society for Consumer Psychology in San Francisco, February 2017.

Another project examines the impact of beliefs about environmental sustainability on perceptions of consumer necessity. Pilot data collected with student authors (Erica Berejnoi and Joscelin HIdalgo) was presented at the Sustainability Preconference of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP). Follow-up studies will examine the extent to which consumers believe they need different kinds of consumer products (physical vs. digital goods, for instance) under conditions in which they believe environmental threats are either more or less severe.

I often discuss my product upgrading research in my consumer behavior class, when we discuss product lifecycles. I also discuss electronic waste when we talk about ethics and sustainability in my marketing class. Finally, I have previously taught a service learning course in sustainability marketing, a course that I hope to teach again and one that will make a great fit for discussion of these projects (NOTE: I do not recall any questions of this type on the call for funding, so I am not sure I have addressed this correctly).

Funds will be used to pay participants for participation in online experiments conducted using Qualtrics survey software. Participants are recruited and paid through Amazon Mechanical Turk's HIT (Human Interface Task) platform. The service connects workers with employers for microtasks, including research project participation. Funds must be loaded into an account on which Amazon draws to pay "workers" that sign up to complete the tasks (research studies, in this case). It is typical to pay workers at least $1 for their participation for a study that takes less than 10 minutes to complete. Forty percent of the the payment is charged as a fee for service by Amazon, leaving $900 available for paying participants. With sample sizes around 200 typical for a research study with 2 independent variables, the requested funds will make it possible to collect data for 4-5 research studies between the two projects. These funds will be loaded into the account for payment of participants during the Spring 2017 semester.

Results of these studies will be submitted the following year to conferences for presentation such as the Association for Consumer Research, the Sustainability Preconference at SPSP and the American Marketing Association Public Policy conference.

A brief description of the incentives that faculty members who participate in the program(s) receive:

Annual grant funding secured for next three years to help fund research projects related to sustainability in their respective fields of study.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

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