|Submission Date||Dec. 18, 2015|
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment
Professor & Director of Sustainability Studes
College of Arts & Sciences
The percentage of students assessed for sustainability literacy (directly or by representative sample) and for whom a follow-up assessment is conducted:
The percentage of students assessed for sustainability literacy (directly or by representative sample) without a follow-up assessment:
A copy of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment(s):
The questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment(s) :
A brief description of how the assessment(s) were developed:
The RU Sustainability Literacy Survey in the Fall of 2013 was a key part of the SUST Program's Assessment Plan for 2013-14. Based on the "Assessment of Sustainability Knowledge" survey instrument developed in July 2013 by The Environmental & Social Sustainability Lab, The Ohio State University, which was endorsed as an assessment tool by AASHE.
Goals: Determine baseline sustainability literacy of RU undergrads; compare groups of students (class, age, major, etc.); facilitate program assessment in relation to SL at other US universities; provide one means of assessing the SUST curriculum.
A brief description of how the assessment(s) were administered:
Basic design: 28 questions on environmental, economic, & equity/ethical issues;
12 demographic questions; Qualtrics survey format (online) & paper version; most students completed surveys online.
The survey was administered in September 2013 to a representative subset of undergraduate courses among several departments in the College of Professional Studies (SUST, PLS, and CJ departments). Sections of classes were randomly chosen among on-campus (daytime and night) and online classes to capture a representative sample oft the college's undergraduate student body. Total # of completed surveys: 173.
A brief summary of results from the assessment(s):
-- Sustainability Studies majors as a group score significantly higher on this sustainability literacy survey than non-SUST students at RU as a whole, or any other sub-group of undergraduate majors.
-- RU students as a whole score slightly lower than undergrads at the Ohio State University (64% vs. 69%, respectively), but their performance is comparable.
-- Overall, undergraduate students at RU are relatively illiterate about basic sustainability facts and issues, as their average score is a “D” when converted to a letter grade.
-- SUST majors scores potentially indicate the value of the curriculum at improving basic sustainability literacy at the undergraduate level, though some such students may enter RU with a higher baseline level of SL.
-- There is a real need for sustainability education across the board for all undergraduate students, regardless of major.
The website URL where information about the literacy assessment(s) is available: