Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 68.58
Liaison Mary Ellen Mallia
Submission Date Jan. 15, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University at Albany
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.00 / 4.00 Mary Ellen Mallia
Director of Environmental Sustainability
Finance and Business
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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) :

We used the Sustainability Literacy Assessment Test affliated with the UN's Higher Education Sustainability Initiative. The test randomly selects 50 multiple choice questions that are designed to assess the student's knowledge related to sustainable development. A description of the test can be found at http://www.sustainabilitytest.org/

According to sustainabilitytest.org, "2/3 [of the questions] are related to Supra/International level (ie. global warming) and 1/3 [of the questions are] linked to
national/regional level (i.e. local regulations and laws, culture and practices)."

A brief description of how the assessment(s) were developed:

From the Sustainability Test website: "[The questions] were based on the founding principles of sustainable development including basic definitions (e.g. sustainable development, corporate social responsibility, socially responsible investment, social entrepreneurship, etc.…); trends and key figures of global issues covering environmental, social and economic dimensions. (e.g. demographic, biodiversity
extinction, etc.; sources in international texts (e.g. international reports, UN conventions, etc.); and from reports and surveys from specialized national agencies. Some are structured by core subjects addressed in ISO 26000, the international standard for social
responsibility of Organisations (7 core subjects and 37 core issues)."

A brief description of how the assessment(s) were administered:

The test was administered as part of an Environmental Economics class. 45 students completed a pre-test given online at the start of the semester. The same students then completed the same test at the end of the semester.

A brief summary of results from the assessment(s):

The literacy test showed a statistically significant improvement in student test scores. The overall average of correct answers pre and post test is listed below with the difference showing a statistically significance under a comparison of the means test.
Pre-Test Post-Test
Total 51.83 58.186
The areas where the greatest improvements in scores were in environmental and economic trends. This was not surprising, given the nature of the course. Currently a freshman seminar course entitled "Visual Images of Sustainability" is completing the same assessment to see if the course yields similar results.

The website URL where information about the literacy assessment(s) is available:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.