Is the environmental literacy of university students measurable?
Shephard, Kerry; Harraway, John; Lovelock, Brent; Skeaff, Sheila; Slooten, Liz; Strack, Mick; Furnari, Mary; Jowett, Tim
We report the development and piloting of an evaluative instrument and process for monitoring the environmental literacy (EL) of undergraduate students in one large research-led university in New Zealand. The instrument addresses knowledge, affect and competencies in the general area of EL in line with this institution’s adoption of EL as a graduate attribute (or in a US context, a general-education learning outcome, and something to be fostered throughout a student’s education). The instrument and associated processes were designed to fit within conventional institutional mechanisms that manage student feedback on the quality of teaching. The instrument was tested with more than 600 students from more than eight programmes over the course of a year and its use stressed that students were anonymous within the survey. We conclude that evaluating (or in a US context, assessing) the extent to which students acquire EL is an achievable objective and is a reasonable expectation for any higher education institution that claims to foster this attribute.
Keywords: evaluation, higher education, monitoring, cohort-assessment
Research Type: Journal Article