The SusTEACH PAG meeting was held on 12th December 10.00-12-30 in S2002 Venables (DDEM).
This meeting reviewed progress with the SusTEACH project progress and plans.
1. Update on OU module survey results and analysis
We have almost completed the OU analysis and carbon assessment of the environmental impacts of the 5 OU modules surveyed with a first draft based on preliminary findings written up in December 2011. A summary paper of this initial report ‘Analysis of the environmental impacts of OU modules’ was circulated for discussion. This was based on the collection of campus data for student VLE visits, module printed materials and paper, site energy consumption (including ICT-related energy consumption), and Associate Lecturer’s travel claims data, as well as the results of staff and student surveys. The analysis findings were based on the following response rates to the staff and student surveys. 565 OU students were invited to respond to the SusTEACH survey and we achieved a response rate of 11% (60 complete responses). The issues raised by this relatively low response were discussed. 344 Associate Lecturers on the five selected OU modules were surveyed and we achieved a response rate of 36% (123 complete responses). We have also had an excellent response to the survey from 100% of the senior lecturers who chaired the selected OU modules.
2. Progress with partner HE institutions
We have conducted a pilot study with 60 students at Loughborough University and Cranfield University and achieved a response rate of 25%. Further surveys have been prepared to invite student participation from Loughborough University, Cranfield University and the University of Oxford at an appropriate time in the university calendar. This process is ongoing and will be complete by February 2012. We discussed the option of offering incentives to students who complete the survey as a way to boost the response rate.
3. Development of the Environmental Appraisal Toolkit.
Some initial work has begun with development of an environmental appraisal toolkit that can be used by HEI at early development stages to help reduce impacts when new courses and programmes are being designed and approved. We plan to incorporate the results of the Factor 10 environmental assessment of courses/modules as well as the new research results into the toolkit. A selection of existing sustainability toolkits have been reviewed to investigate the methodologies underpinning the carbon assessment process, the practical application of the toolkits, and the features of toolkit design. Plans on toolkit design and content are still being considered, and will be developed alongside plans to support institutional transformation.
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