Project Description

See this PowerPoint presentation for a brief summary of the project.

Program Coordinators:
Lynne Trulio, chair of the Department of Environmental Studies and chair of the Sustainability Board, San José State
Kristin Jensen Sullivan, chair of the Environmental Studies Department, De Anza College
David Sauter, director of Environmental Horticulture and Design Program, Foothill College

Module writers:
SJSU: Gina Bacigalupi and Peggy Cabrera
De Anza: Lisa Templeton and Elizabeth Flores-Lathan
Foothill College: Lisa Schultheis and Gillian Schultz

We achieved these program objectives:

1) Developed maps and lists of sustainability features at each campus;
2) Produced teaching modules for nine sustainability features that any instructor can access for their courses;
3) Developed a learning community of instructors from the three campuses who are using Campus as Living Lab features in their classes to link sustainability and course principles. 

Below you will find descriptions of the eight outcomes of the CLL Project as well as the Module Elements: Basic Information for Teaching Module Development. All nine modules are summarized and have been made publicly available for download on CLL Modules for any instructor to use. We thank the CSU Chancellor's Office for providing the opportunity for this exciting and uplifting collaborative experience.

Table 1. Outcomes and Assessment Methods


Assessment Method

1) Map sustainability features at each campus to be used as living lab features in a variety of courses on each campus

Digital maps with sustainability features for each campus, vetted by appropriate campus groups and available to all

2) Educational materials for at least three campus features per campus

Teaching modules in usable form for instructors; vetted by instructors in the learning community

3) Learning Community Workshop and Field Trips

30 faculty members (10 from each campus) will participate in a Learning Community Workshop and Field Trips to each campus

4) Campus as Living Lab features incorporated into courses

All 30 faculty members in the learning community will provide a greensheet showing how at least one Living Lab feature is incorporated into a course

5) Evaluation of modules at the workshop

Participating faculty members will comment on how to improve the teaching modules and evaluate the Learning Community program

6) Inform others on each campus about this program

Meetings with deans, administrators and sustainability groups on campus

7) Make Campus as Living Lab materials available to all instructors

Each campus posts all program materials on their campus website for anyone to use

8) Promote institutionalizing the program

Provide key entities on each campus with information on updating maps, conducting future workshops and promoting the use of Living Lab campus features in courses



Outcome 1: Map sustainability features at each campus to be used as Living Lab features in avariety of courses on each campus

To begin our project, Lynne, Kristin and David worked with their campuses to find or develop a map of campus sustainability features. We felt this would be an ideal way to determine the features available on each campus that could be the focus of teaching modules. SJSU already had a map, which was developed by the SJSU Sustainability Board. This interactive can be found here. De Anza College had a partial map. Foothill College did not have a map, however having one created was hindered. Since our primary goal for this project was to develop teaching materials and a Learning Community, we developed lists of sustainability features at De Anza and Foothill Colleges from which to choose as the focus for teaching modules, rather than expend additional energy on maps. This approach worked very well.

Outcome 2: Educational materials for at least three campus features per campus

Educators from each of the three campuses developed teaching modules for a total of nine sustainability features, three from each campus. While each module is unique, they all have a suite of elements in common, as outlined in Module Elements: Basic Information for Teaching Module Development. These modules are designed to be "plugged into" courses and to provide the background and materials an instructor would need to use them. Each module gives students a hands-on, out-of-classroom experience in sustainability.

We developed modules for these campus features:

De Anza College
• Kirsch Center, the LEED-certified environmental studies building
• Campus Food System, promoting a healthy planet and healthy lives
• Cheeseman Ecological Area, a campus botanical area illustrating the natural biodiversity of our region

Foothill College
• Composting Site, illustrating the process of composting waste
• Phenology Lab, exploring plant responses to climate change using web and campus sites
• Waterwise Plant Lab, exploring adaptations to dry climates using plants on campus

San Jose State
• Sustainable Agriculture Garden, an organic teaching garden on campus
• Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, a LEED building shared with the city of San Jose
• Cogeneration Plant, SJSU's efficient energy generation and heating/cooling system

Summaries of each module and each complete downloadable module can be found at CLL Modules

Curriculum experts from each campus developed these modules between September 2013 and April 2014. We hope to continue to refine these and add new modules. We also hope to inspire other instructors to write modules of their own focused on getting students out of the classroom and experiencing hands-on sustainability learning.

Outcomes 3 and 4: Learning Community Workshop and Field Trips, and Campus as Living Lab features incorporated into courses

While developing the modules, we were also seeking instructors from all three campuses to participate in a workshop designed to teach the instructors how to use the modules in their courses. Twenty-three instructors enrolled in the workshop, representing all three campuses and a wide range of disciplines (Table 2). Workshop participants incorporated CLL modules into one or more courses to be taught sometime in academic year 2014/15.

Table 2. Summary of instructors participating in the Learning Community

Campus and Number Participating from that Campus


Courses Expected to include CLL Modules in AY 2014/15

De Anza = 9

English, Speech Communication, Humanities, Economics, Biology

EWRT 1A-Writing and Research

SPCH 1-Public Speaking

HUMI 9-Comparative Religions

ECON 2-Microeconomics

BIOL 6B/40B/40C-General Biology courses

Foothill = 7

English, Horticulture, Chemistry, Biology, Engineering

ENGL 1A-English Composition and Writing

HORT 10-Environ. Horticulture & Urban Landscape

CHEM 1C-General Chemistry

BIOL 10-General Biology

BIOL 1C-Evolution, Systematics, Ecology

ENGR 40-Introduction to Clean Energy Technology

SJSU = 7

Communication Studies, Sociology, Art & Art History, Child & Adolescent Development, Biology, Geology

COMM 20-Public Speaking

ARTH 72-Design in Society

SOCS 120-Environmental Sociology

CHAD 60-Child Development

SCI 110-Global Themes of Science

BIOL 10-The Living World

BIOL 145/255-Ecology & Climate Change

GEOL 103-Earth Systems & Environment


Outcome 5: Evaluation of modules

At the end of the CLL Workshop, forms were collected with instructor evaluations of the modules. We have used these comments to revise the modules and to guide follow-up activities to support module use. During the AY 2014/2015, we will conduct a post-module use assessment. We will use this assessment to improve modules, provide support to instructors and identify ways to further institutionalize the use and expansion of CLL modules.  

Outcome 6: Inform others on each campus about this program

During the fall 2013 and spring 2014, each CLL campus coordinator met with faculty members, department heads and administrators to advertise the project. In order to continue to get the word out about the availability of the modules for any instructor to use, we expect to:

1. Post all CLL materials on the Sustainability website and link to it from all three campus websites;
2. Have the SJSU Sustainability Board members publicize the modules to their colleges through college chairs’ meetings, to the deans, associate deans and using vehicles such as the Center for Faculty Development;
3. Advertise to faculty members at Foothill College through their sustainability forum;
4. Offer a class, ES 93: Sustainability Across the Curriculum, at De Anza College for faculty members from all three campuses that will include using the CLL modules.

Outcome 7: Make Campus as Living Lab materials available to all instructors

The Sustainability website will be the public repository for all CLL materials.

Outcome 8: Promote institutionalizing the program

Key strategies for institutionalizing the project include:

1. Hosting materials on the website;
2. SJSU Sustainability Board members advertising the modules to their respect units on campus;
3. Encouraging faculty to write new modules or materials to go with existing modules;
4. Offering ES 093: Sustainability Across the Curriculum each spring for faculty members from all three campuses and holding a workshop to instruct faculty members in using the modules;
5. Seeking additional funding to build on this project. In particular, we would like to join with more campus to develop additional modules.

Module Elements 

Basic Information for Teaching Module Development

Notes on Modules:
* Each module should be designed to occupy one class period of approximately one hour and 15 minutes
*  Specify all materials an instructor will need.
*  For each site, specify who the instructor needs to contact to visit the site, what amount of lead time is needed, and any other important information about the site.
*  For each module, assessment tools for specific GE learning objectives, so that instructors can easily use the module to assess particular SLOs.
*  When appropriate, specify videos, reading material and terms students need to know. 

Basic Contents of Each Module:
*  General sustainability definition and principles
*  Specific sustainability principles that apply to this feature
*  Discussion of the feature and its sustainability elements
*  Connecting the feature's elements to specific GE course principles
*  Discussion of how this feature helps promotes a sustainable society
*  Description of a hands-on component or activity for students 

GE Linking:
As an example of how to link GE areas to a module, for the SJSU Sustainable Agriculture Module, here are some GE Areas Lynne thought were relevant:

GE B2: Students should be able to:
1. Use the methods of science and knowledge derived from current scientific inquiry in life or physical science to question existing explanations;
2. Demonstrate ways in which science influences and is influenced by complex societies, including political and moral issues; and
3. Recognize methods of science, in which quantitative, analytical reasoning techniques are used.

Life Science (B2) courses focus on:
a. Structures and functions of living organisms;
b. Levels of organization of living systems, from atom to planet;
c. Strategies for survival and reproduction;
d. Patterns of evolution;
e. Principles of genetics, including the basis for variation;
f. Interaction of organisms and their natural environment. 

GE B4: The mathematical concepts course should prepare the student to:
1. Use mathematical methods to solve quantitative problems, including those presented in verbal form;
2. Use mathematics to solve real life problems;
3. Arrive at conclusions based on numerical and graphical data. 

GE D1, D2, D3: Students will be able to:
1. Place contemporary developments in cultural, historical, environmental, and spatial contexts;
2. Identify the dynamics of ethnic, cultural, gender/sexual, age-based, class, regional, national, transnational, and global identities and the similarities, differences, linkages, and interactions between them;
3. Evaluate social science information, draw on different points of view, and formulate applications appropriate to contemporary social issues. 

Human Behavior (D1) students will be able to recognize the interaction of social institutions, culture, and environment with the behavior of individuals.
Comparative Systems, Cultures and Environments (D2) students will be able to compare and contrast two or more ethnic groups, cultures, regions, nations, or social systems.
Social Issues (D3) students will be able to apply multidisciplinary material to a topic relevant to policy and social action at the local, national, and/or international levels. 

SJSU Area R: Within the particular scientific content of the course, a student should be able to:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of the methods and limits of scientific investigation;
2. Distinguish science from pseudo-science; and
3. Apply a scientific approach to answer questions about the earth and environment.