ERIC Number: EJ800441
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 32
Evaluating an Environmental Literacy Requirement Chosen as a Method to Produce Environmentally Literate University Students
Moody, Gwyneth L.; Hartel, Peter G.
International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, v8 n3 p355-370 2007
Purpose: Few US universities choose an environmental literacy requirement (ELR) as a method to increase student environmental literacy. Even fewer universities have evaluated their ELRs. The paper aims to assess the ELR at the University of Georgia (UGA) in Fall 2005 and Spring 2006 semesters. Design/methodology/approach: A total of 7,268 of the 13,740 students (53 percent) currently taking an ELR course and the 86 of 100 faculty teaching ELR courses were surveyed with a voluntary questionnaire on their awareness, support, and satisfaction for the requirement. The assessment involved 58 courses with 120 sections. Findings: Although a majority of faculty (87 percent) was aware of the ELR, a majority of students (68 percent) was not. In spite of their awareness, most faculty (81 percent) did not know the specifics of the two ELR criteria. Both a majority of faculty (89 percent) and students (84 percent) supported the idea of an ELR. The ELR increased student knowledge (76 percent) and concern (65 percent) about environmental issues and changed some students' behavior (26 percent). A majority of students (86 percent) and faculty (74 percent) were also satisfied with the ELR criteria and that the course they were taking (66 percent) or teaching (82 percent) satisfied the ELR. Most students (74 percent) thought that they were environmentally literate before taking an ELR course, although almost a majority of faculty (49 percent) thought students were environmentally illiterate. Research limitations/implications: The evaluation showed widespread support and satisfaction with the requirement, but strong leadership, publicity, and continuous evaluation is needed to improve the requirement. Originality/value: The UGA's ELR could serve as a model for other institutions. (Contains 9 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Georgia