Sustainability learning outcomes across all disciplines will ensure students are equipped with the experiences, knowledge, and skills needed to address local and global challenges.
The University of Utah Office of Learning Outcomes Assessment has undertaken a broad effort to develop learning outcomes assessment plans and provide resources for collecting, analyzing and reporting data. At the same time, the Sustainability Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) is working to recognize and develop sustainability-related learning outcomes at the departmental and individual course level.
“I view universities as the context where the most visionary, path-breaking approaches to urgent challenges should be explored. If not within the academy, where creative thinkers from a wide range of fields work in close proximity in an environment where risk is allowed if not encouraged, then where would we hope to address societal concerns such as the prevention of disease and disability, climate change, air quality, and the analysis, synthesis and application of large quantities of data? Transdisciplinary education for sustainability is one of the many paths the University will use to advance knowledge, facilitate understanding, and promote viable solutions to the pressing issues of the 21st century.”
– Ruth V. Watkins, Senior VP for Academic Affairs
“Sustainability learning outcomes are statements that outline the specific sustainability knowledge and skills that a student is expected to have gained and demonstrated by the successful completion of a unit, course, or program. Learning outcomes do not necessarily have to use the term “sustainability” … as long as they collectively address sustainability as an integrated concept having social, economic, and environmental dimensions.”
– American Association of Sustainability in Higher Education
These outcomes occur at the departmental or course level.
Each department and program on campus has the opportunity to work with the sustainability education team to:
- Submit existing departmental learning outcomes
- Outline applicable required courses that include sustainability concepts
- Recraft learning outcomes that articulate their discipline’s contribution to sustainability at the U of U. See examples here.
At the individual course level, faculty may submit their syllabi to the SEAC for review and inclusion in the ongoing list of SUSP (sustainability-partial) and SUSC (sustainability-complete) courses at the U. The syllabi will be reviewed through the Sustainability Course Attribute Form.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a learning outcome?
The Office of Undergraduate Studies has important and useful information regarding learning outcomes here on their website.
My course already has sustainability learning outcomes. Now what?