|Submission Date||Feb. 17, 2023|
University of Massachusetts Amherst
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment
|4.00 / 4.00||
Project Manager, Sustainability Programming
Does the institution conduct an assessment of the sustainability literacy of its students?:
Which of the following best describes the literacy assessment? The assessment is administered to::
Which of the following best describes the structure of the assessment? The assessment is administered as a::
A copy of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment(s):
A list or sample of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment or the website URL where the assessment tool may be found:
Uploaded copy of our original survey. Literacy questions are on pages 1-4.
A brief description of how the literacy assessment was developed and/or when it was adopted:
For the first survey, the School of Earth and Sustainability collaborated with the Office of Academic Planning and Assessment to develop the survey after reviewing several surveys conducted by other institutions.
The survey employed the United Nations’ definition of sustainability (“meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”), and included 15-questions. The survey will be implemented every three years in order to assess whether the courses, information and trainings delivered to students are resulting in improved sustainability literacy as indicated by their score on this survey. The survey was only administered to undergraduates.
Currently, representatives from the School of Earth and Sustainability are working with the Office of Academic Planning and Assessment to develop the post-assessment survey that will be disseminated in October 2023.
The survey employs the United Nations’ definition of sustainability (“meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”). The expectation was to circulate the survey this past fall, but due to COVID, the university had to push back its release and prioritized public-health and wellness surveys. The survey will be implemented approximately every three years to assess whether the courses, information and trainings delivered to students result in improved sustainability literacy.
A brief description of how a representative sample was reached (if applicable) and how the assessment(s) were administered :
A random sample of 4981 students were invited to complete the online, confidential survey and 34.9% (n=1736) participated. Students for the sample were selected to reflect the student body make up in key demographic areas (male/female and college/school enrolled in).
The post assessment survey will provide longitudinal data on student performance of the quiz and will be administered next fall (Oct 2023).
A random sample of students will be invited to complete the online, confidential survey. This survey is being conducted by the Office of Academic Assessment, which is led by highly trained social scientists. The last sustainability survey had a 35% response rate. Students for the sample will be selected to reflect the student body make up in key demographic areas (male/female and college/school enrolled in).
A brief summary of results from the literacy assessment(s):
* Mean # of questions answered correctly = 7.6 (sd =3.2)
* 8.7% of students answered 12 or more questions correctly
* Mean # of correct answers was highest for College of Humanities and Fine Arts (8.2) and College of Natural Sciences (7.9) majors
For the post assessment, the results will be available in November 2023.
Website URL where information about the sustainability literacy assessment is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
Submitted item by item responses.
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 or simply email your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.