Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 59.88
Liaison Alex Frank
Submission Date April 14, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Wisconsin-Madison
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 4.00 Alex Frank
Sustainability Analyst
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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::
The entire (or predominate) student body, directly or by representative sample

Which of the following best describes the structure of the assessment? The assessment is administered as a::
Standalone evaluation without a follow-up assessment of the same cohort or representative samples

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:

The full instrument is attached, literacy questions begin on page 10.

A brief description of how the literacy assessment was developed and/or when it was adopted:

Dr. Asli Gocmen developed the survey based upon previous research she conducted and in consultation and collaboration with the Office of Sustainability.

A brief description of how a representative sample was reached (if applicable) and how the assessment(s) were administered :

The survey was distributed by email to a randomly selected sample of half of all undergraduate students and analysis of respondents confirmed it was representative of the undergraduate student body. In total, 1,081 responses were received with 945 being complete and included in the results analysis. The survey was distributed by email with completion of the survey rewarded by being entered into a drawing for small prizes.

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

A few important take-aways from the assessment include:
- Majority of the students indicated they were very familiar with six of the eleven issues included in the survey with the highest level of familiarity among UW-Madison undergraduates was for plastics accumulating in waterways and oceans.
- Roughly one third (34%) of the students have not had any courses on campus on environmental topics addressed in our survey, 26% have taken one course, 16% two courses, and 22% three or more courses.
- Students had the highest knowledge on decomposition of waste followed by carbon footprint of food groups; over 90% of students correctly identified a plastic bag to decompose slower than a paper bag, banana peel, or biodegradable food container and meat to have the highest carbon footprint compared to dairy, vegetables, and fruit.
- Students had the most difficulty with the question on source of greenhouse gas emissions; fewer than a quarter of the students correctly identified transportation as the sector that has the highest contribution to greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.

Website URL where information about the sustainability literacy assessment is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

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 stars@aashe.org.