Take-Home Assignment/Project

An Introduction to Green Infrastructure

Green infrastructure refers to an interconnected, multifunctional network of greenspace and natural areas that shapes and is shaped by environmental, economic, social, and health outcomes in communities. It may refer to a wide array of natural features, engineered structures, or managed interconnected networks of green space and their associated ecosystem services, including parks, stormwater management features, greenways and trails, green streets, and watershed restoration projects, among other types of green spaces.

An Introduction to Community Health

Community health is the state of wellbeing of a group of individuals who share common attitudes, beliefs, interests, histories, and/or goals. Use this tool to explore what it means to optimize the health and quality of life of community members in a socially just and holistic way. Students will learn the many factors that contribute to the health of individuals and communities, as well as the people and resources that influence the health of a community. The discussion questions will aid students in breaking down the complexities of community health, as well as understanding their role in contributing to potential solutions. The optional workshop adds an experiential learning dimension to these discussions and activities.

 

Calculating Carbon Footprint

This tool enables students to learn more about individual contributions to overall carbon emissions. The assignment also allows students to formulate possible strategies for reducing personal carbon emissions and share their ideas with a greater audience through social media. In addition, consider showing this presentation on Energy and Climate Change Mitigation to help contextualize their work.

This tool was contributed by Jennifer Glass.

Thinking More About Food, Climate Change, and Sustainability

This awareness building short reading and discussion activity allows students to:

  1. Learn more about the importance of sustainability and the effect of food production on the environment. 
  2. The importance of offering potential solutions for climate change. 
  3. Share ways that they might relay information about this issue to audiences. 

Practice public speaking and reflective reading skills.

Student Learning Outcome 1 Rubric

The following rubric assesses SLO 1: Students will be able to identify relationships among ecological, social, and economic systems. The goal of this SLO is for students to develop a baseline schema to identify both existing and novel examples of relationships among key sustainability components (ecological, social, and economic systems).

Student Learning Outcome 2 Rubric

The following rubric assesses SLO 2: Students will be able to demonstrate skills needed to work effectively in different types of communities. The goal of this SLO is for students to develop skills (e.g., communication, observation, interview, critical thinking, etc.) that are necessary to work with community collaborators in order to promote community action.

Student Learning Outcome 3 Rubric

The following rubric assesses SLO 3: Students will be able to evaluate how decisions impact the sustainability of communities. Students who rank highly on this rubric are able to evaluate how a variety of decisions that occur within and outside of communities affect community sustainability. Students can explain/demonstrate how different stakeholders, seeking to achieve different outcomes, can make decisions that create consequences for community sustainability. The consequences of that impact often disproportionately affect marginalized groups.

Student Learning Outcome 4 Rubric

The goal of this rubric is to assess the ways that students understand, apply, and communicate how their discipline can inform others to enhance community sustainability.  

Mobile Journalism: Documenting Equitable and Inclusive Communities

This tool facilitates meaningful discussions on equity through the lens of mobile journalism and documentary filmmaking. Part I consists of a series of short, documentary-style videos that attempt to illustrate how a building, or any physical space, can be inclusive and equitable for everyone. Part II teaches students how to use a cell phone to document and share their findings as mobile journalists. Part II includes additional resources, such as instructional videos, to help guide users through the process of becoming a video journalist. Both parts of this tool address the Equity Petal of the Living Building Challenge; however, you can modify most content to fit any of the other petals of the Living Building Challenge. 

Civic Data Guides: Thinking Critically about Digital Public Records

Over the past decade public institutions have put considerable resources towards improving the quality and availability of civic data, such as budget and expenditure information, building permits, air quality readings, police incidents, and property ownership records. The agencies behind these efforts claim that data sets alone are sufficient to create transparency, increase civic engagement, foster innovation, and ultimately make our communities more sustainable. However, making civic data accessible does not necessarily make them valuable or actionable. To take effective and ethical action, we need contextual information about the processes involved in creating, managing, and interpreting civic data. In this modular, multi-day tool, you will create an accessible, practical guide to an existing civic data set. Working through the modules below can help you, and subsequently others, engage with civic data in productive ways.

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