TLISI 2022: Creating Space for Sustainability: Research and Engaging Learning Outside the Classroom
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In this session, we share our findings on a research project conducted with students from the Justice and Consumer Culture class in Fall 2019. We will be joined by one student, Daisy Dunlap, who participated in the study. The aim of the study was to assess if providing a product replacement and incentive could shift habits and if the participation in the project itself would raise awareness of sustainable practices. Students were asked to commit to using metal straws for two weeks and keeping a journal of the experience. They were also asked to participate in three surveys. Students would receive a half-letter increase on a quiz grade for the participation. They could also choose another mechanism to receive the same amount of extra credit on their quiz. Metal straws were given to all students who desired to participate. All IRB protocols were met. Thirty out of thirty-one students signed consent forms and participated in at least one research-related activity. Of these 31, 24 participants completed the full range of research components. The preliminary data shows that many students tended to underestimate or overestimate anticipating particular feelings. For example, most students overestimated they would forget the straw and overestimated that they'd feel guilty when they did. In contrast, most students underestimated that they'd prefer to not use a straw and drink from a cup. This latter insight was most often due to connections being made about a plastic straw being a small part of plastic waste. Additionally, the participant engagement created 62 conversations with peers, families, and strangers. In short, their participation in the research resulted in them thinking about the course content in much deeper ways outside of the classroom and raised awareness far beyond the participants in the study. We will share some of the preliminary data from the study and engage a student participant in reflecting on the experience. In addition, we invite robust discussion of the pros and cons of having students being the subject of research in a course in which they are enrolled. The data shows that the project was very successful in raising awareness far beyond the research participants themselves. We invite discussion on the potential ethical pitfalls of doing so as well as questions of the ethics and efficacy as a strategy for cultivating green habits beyond the classroom.
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TLISI 2022: Intentional Collaborations for Creating Inclusive and Engaging Online Courses Sanders, Monica; McGowan, Susannah; Eileen Young (2022-05-25)