Project Document Cover Sheet Project Acronym Project Title

Document title: JISC Project Plan: SusTEACH
Last updated: February 2012
Project Document Cover Sheet
Project Information
Project Acronym
Project Title
Sustainable Tools for the Environmental Appraisal of the Carbon Impacts
of HE Teaching Models using ICTs
Start Date
Lead Institution
The Open University
Project Director
Professor A.B.Lane
The Open University
Department of Communication and Systems
Tel +44 (0)1908 655122
Email [email protected]
Dr Sally Caird
The Open University,
Department Design, Development, Environment and Materials
Tel: +44 (0)1908 654635
Fax: +44 (0) 1908 654052.
Email: [email protected]
Project Manager &
contact details
End Date
Partner Institutions
Loughborough University
Oxford University
Cranfield University
Project Web URL
Programme Name
(and number)
Grant funding 14/10 GreeningICT Programme -Phase 11
Exemplars of ICT Enabled Transition to Environmentally Sustainable
Programme Manager
Dr Rob Bristow
Document Name
Document Title
JISC Project Report Final: SusTEACH Project
Reporting Period
February 2012- August 2012
Author(s) & project
Dr Sally Caird (CI) & Professor Andy Lane (PI)
23 August 2012
if document is posted on project web site
o Project and JISC internal
o General dissemination
Document History
27 July 2012
CI report
4 August 2012
PI details added
9 Aug. 2012
CI details added
20 Aug. 2012
CI details added
21 Aug. 2012
PI details added
23 Aug. 2012
CI further edits
JISC Project Report Final: SusTEACH Project
Filename: JISC_ReportSusTEACHAug12
S. Caird. S. and A. Lane, 23 August 2012
SusTEACH examined the transformative impacts of ICTs on HE teaching models and
conducted an environmental assessment of the impacts of courses/modules using
different models from several Higher Educational Institutions, including
Loughborough University, Cranfield University and Oxford University as well as the
Open University. We also reanalysed similar data collected some years previously for
the Factor 10 Visions project at the OU when the use of ICTs was much less common.
We aimed to develop a sustainability toolkit for UK Higher Education (HE) based on
the above data analysis of our findings following an environmental assessment of
different HE Teaching Models using ICTs. This toolkit will support lecturers and
academic designers with the design of new courses/modules and qualification
programmes, and also provides resources to support greater awareness of their likely
carbon impacts. The wider aim is to encourage adoption of the toolkit to support
institutional transformation in HE.
There is a regular update of our activities on
The SusTEACH project is reaching completion and we have undertaken the following
activities in Workpackages 1-7 which have resulted in many outputs (See Annex 1).
WORKPACKAGE 1: Project management
1. We secured cooperation with a number of HE partners, namely Oxford
University, Cranfield University and Loughborough University. We have been
working with a key liaison person in each HE institution who helped us to
contact lecturers and to invite student participation with the SusTEACH
project. We have addressed some issues by offering specifically tailored
questionnaires for Oxford University courses/modules with some limited
2. The SusTEACH website and weblog was created February 2011 to provide
SusTEACH news and communications on the developing project.
3. The maintenance of website is ongoing with regular updates.
4. The project documents, including the project plan and other core documents
were created February 2011 and updated August 2011. Project plans and
outcomes have been discussed at meetings with the Project Advisory Group
held 17 May 2011, 12 December 2011 and 23 August 2012.
5. JISC Project Report 1 completed August 2011.
6. JISC Project Report 2 completed February 2012.
7. Final JISC Project Report completed August 2012
8. WP1 completed following attendance at final JISC programme meeting.
WORKPACKAGE 2: Establish a representative
typology for classifying HE teaching models using
A scoping workshop at OU was held 17 March 2011– to clarify the approach
to the classification of HE teaching models using ICTs, reflecting the type and
intensiveness of ICT use.
To support this we developed a working paper entitled ‘Proposed framework
for conceptualising the role of ICTs and the ICT intensiveness of HE teaching
models’ and gained feedback from lecturers and senior academic staff.
A further scoping workshop was held with Loughborough University on 9
May 2011 to agree a common framework for conceptualizing different HE
teaching models using ICTs.
Further consultation and communications were held with liaison officers and
academics at Oxford University and Cranfield University. We have also
consulted widely at The Open University with senior staff involved with the
learning design provision and with senior academic staff associated with
modules which are subject to SusTEACH project investigations.
WORKPACKAGE 3: Data Gathering
10 SusTEACH classified the sample of 30 HE courses and modules by their ICT
intensiveness and the type of Teaching Model utilised for delivering the
teaching and learning provision. This included Factor 10 Visions
course/module data which has been revisited and re-analysed using up-dated
carbon conversion factors in addition to the new data on 10 courses/modules
gathered for the SusTEACH project. The SusTEACH project has built on the
Factor 10 Visions study methodology to identify the environmental impacts
(in terms of energy consumption and CO2 emissions) of different HE teaching
11 Several questionnaires were created to gather data on staff energy-use
associated with module/programme production and the delivery of teaching,
learning and assessment provision.
We designed and launched three on-line staff surveys between September
2011-March 2012, including 2 OU surveys (for lecturers and Associate
Lecturers) and 1 non-OU survey (for lecturers) to support data collection on a
number of courses/modules. This was piloted through interviews with
lecturers at the Open University and Cranfield University. The response rate
was good with 100% response from lecturers.
At the Open University as well as surveying lecturers we invited 344
Associate Lecturers (AL) who work as tutors on the 5 OU modules under
investigation to respond to an online survey, achieving 36% response rate
(n=123). This data was supported by a full data-set of AL travel claims which
provided additional information on module-related travel.
The OU staff surveys are now complete and the survey of lecturers in the
participating HEIs completed early March 2012.
12 A number of questionnaires have been created to gather data on student energy
use associated with courses/modules. We selected a range of undergraduate
and post-graduate modules/courses that represented different uses of ICT in
the delivery of HE teaching. Applications for internal approvals, including
ethical approvals were supported. Questionnaires and covering letters were
developed and the online surveys were hosted by the Student Statistics and
Survey Team at the Open University. We attempted to secure participation
from a larger sample of HE courses/modules and there were uncertainties
throughout the project about participation.
We designed and launched an online survey for OU students on five OU
modules and a specially-designed questionnaire for non-OU students on five
modules in the three participating HEI.
The OU student surveys are now complete. 565 OU students were surveyed
with an 11% response rate (60 completed interviews).
The survey of Cranfield University students on one post-graduate module is
now complete with 100% response.
The survey of Loughborough University students on three modules (both
undergraduate and post-graduate) completed March 2012. The response rate
varied between 10% and 56%.
The survey of Oxford University students on one post-graduate module was
completed March 2012. To ensure the appropriateness of the SusTEACH
environmental assessment methodology, we developed an additional speciallydesigned questionnaire using Google applications achieving a 25% response.
Some of the student numbers on the courses/modules of the participating HEI
are quite small and therefore we did not expect a large number of responses.
Data collection took place over a year at a time to accommodate HE partners
and the university calendar.
We liaised with Estates departments to gather the most up-to-date data on
energy-use in HE which is held in existing databases by Estates departments &
HEFCE. Much of the data required was available from the Higher Education
Statistics Agency (HESA) ( We also worked with IT
services departments which provided some information on the VLE.
We gathered and evaluated information on the carbon impacts associated with
ICT devices and equipment; the Virtual Learning Environment and internet
connections; campus buildings and residential accommodation; modes of
transport; paper and print consumption; and home energy use (heating and
lighting). This was also supported by databases on energy-use in dwellings
(e.g. The English House Condition Survey, National Home Energy Rating
(NHER) software (available for rating typical UK dwellings). We developed a
dataset of conversions factors for the energy consumption and CO2 emissions
used during the survey analysis as part of the carbon assessment of HE
Teaching Models using ICTs.
We opted to use Microsoft Excel software for analysing the collected data.
WORKPACKAGE 4: Data Analysis
HE courses/ modules were measured using the standard UK Credit
Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS) system to normalize HE
courses/modules in terms of average energy consumption and CO2 emissions
per student per 10 CATS credits (or 100 hours of study).
We analysed the course and module-related data and converted the energy use
and environmental impact data using updated carbon conversion factors for
the carbon-based environmental assessment.
The results of the environmental assessment of each course/module were
reported to appropriate lecturers and liaison officers. It was appropriate to
include an assessment of impacts associated OU course/module production
and presentation, and this was used to estimate the lifetime impacts of OU
We classified the SusTEACH courses/modules using the Rating Tool
developed during the WP2 to identify the main teaching delivery methods
used on courses/modules and within the Teaching Models framework. We
used this classification to assess the environmental impacts, associated with
the Teaching, Learning and Assessment provision. Reports on the results of
the data analysis are in process (See WP 7).
WORKPACKAGE 5: Development, Refinement and
Testing of the SusTEACH Toolkit
A selection of existing sustainability toolkits were reviewed to consider: the
methodologies underpinning the carbon assessment process; the features of the
toolkit design; and the practical application for toolkits. The SusTEACH
Environmental Appraisal Toolkit was designed following the analysis of the
carbon-based environmental assessments of HE courses/modules classified by
their ICT intensiveness and characteristics of Teaching Models. The
SusTEACH Toolkit was designed for use by HE lecturers and senior
management at the early stages of developing new courses/modules and
qualification programmes to help reduce negative environmental impacts. The
SusTEACH Toolkit resource for UK HE includes a number of interactive
tools and resources and supports:
awareness and analysis of the carbon impacts of HE teaching and learning,
thereby supporting pro-environmental behaviours and more sustainable
teaching practices;
planning and modelling the likely impacts of new courses/modules and
qualifications; and HE policies to meet the challenges of carbon reduction and
carbon reporting.
The online SusTEACH Toolkit resource for lecturers and senior managers in
higher education is available at: The Toolkit
includes prototype tools and resources, and brings together a number of
resources and links to other useful website resources relevant to sustainability
in higher education:
The SusTEACH Planning Tool – is an online tool which helps
lecturers and academic designers to rate their teaching delivery plan
and produces personalised feedback on the likely environmental
impacts associated with this plan.
The SusTEACH Modelling Tool –is an operational desk tool (Excel
based with user guidance) which allows the modelling of one or
several courses/modules to estimate the energy impacts associated with
different HE teaching methods within a qualification programme.
The Carbon Calculators aim to help students and lecturers to
calculate the energy impacts associated with their teaching and
learning on a course/module (Excel based with user guidance).
SusTEACH Methodology –aims to support senior management in HE
with undertaking a carbon-based environmental assessment of HE
courses/modules (pdf).
A number of workshops and focus groups were set up in participating HEIs to
refine the prototype SusTEACH toolkit, including at The Open University and
Cranfield University during June/July 2012.
Progress is ongoing to promote pilot testing of SusTEACH toolkit in The
Open University and partner HE institutions.
Cranfield University staff are interested in using the SusTEACH methodology
resource to support preparations on carbon reporting on Scope 3 emissions.
They are also interested in incorporating use of the SusTEACH calculators on
their environmental modules and student induction programmes to support
teaching about sustainability.
Loughborough University staff have incorporated the SusTEACH toolkit as a
resource for their staff development workshops held in July 2012 which aimed
to embed sustainability in their teaching practices.
Oxford University staff will reference the SusTEACH project and toolkit
September 2012 in a presentation at a conference at the University of
Montpellier on sustainability in education.
Within the Open University, discussions are underway within the Faculty of
Maths, Computing and Technology as to whether the findings and tools can be
presented as study unit on the OU’s award winning OpenLearn website.
WORKPACKAGE 6: Institutional Transformation at the
OU: Integrate environmental appraisal with HE
teaching models.
We held several meetings during the SusTEACH project at the OU to establish
links with educational technology & eLearning initiatives (Learning Design
Initiative and Curriculum Business Models). This process engaged senior OU
staff from across the OU with the SusTEACH project. Environmental
sustainability in Learning and Teaching has been discussed with the Pro-Vice
Chancellor for Learning, Teaching and Quality as part of consultations on the
OU’s Learning and Teaching strategy.
Following the development of the SusTEACH toolkit there have been (and
continue to be) discussions with senior staff in the OU to discuss the
implementation and embedding of Toolkit resources in the following
initiatives and qualification programmes:
Curriculum and Qualifications: We are working with senior staff from the
Curriculum and Qualifications, Office of the PVC Academic to feature
SusTEACH tools in the internal Planet database system that holds information
about modules, qualifications, module materials and mailings and underpins
the module and qualification approval process. The Planet system will include
a new question on the sustainability of teaching modules with links to the
SusTEACH tools and which will be also featured in the form that new module
teams have to complete (REP03) when designing new modules.
Discussion is also underway with the Learning and Technology Office about
the incorporation of SusTEACH findings and tools in the updated online
Curriculum Management Guide.
Curriculum Business Models Initiative: A proposal to integrate the online
SusTEACH Planning and Modelling Tool data and feedback on environmental
impacts with pedagogic and business appraisal data is under discussion. There
are further plans underway to develop an OU specific version of the
SusTEACH tools with further adaptations to support the CBM initiative by
integrating data and providing feedback on the pedagogic, costings and
environmental impacts associated with module plans. This would be
underpinned by an evaluation of the data collected and evaluated by both the
SusTEACH and Planet tools.
BSc Environmental Management and Technology This qualification’s website
will offer the carbon calculators to lecturers and students on constituent
modules as a pilot, to both collect data and provide feedback to support proenvironmental behaviours. Efforts will also be made to roll this out to the
websites of other OU qualification programmes.
Qualifications in the Faculty of Mathematics , Computing and Technology.
The Associate Dean, for Learning and Teaching has offered to submit a full
qualification to an environmental appraisal using the toolkit.
We are also in consultation with the Director of Strategy about whether a case
could be made to require Faculties to include teaching sustainability in their
regular planning reports.
Continuing work on these internal initiatives would help to embed
sustainability issues and help transform OU institutional practices and also
support the next stage of the Green Gown Award application, now that
SusTEACH has been shortlisted (along with four other projects) for the
Research and Development Award.
Reports on the environmental assessments undertaken during the SusTEACH
project were presented to HE partners as well as the SusTEACH Toolkit (See
Annex 1). Work is ongoing to promote awareness of SusTEACH findings and
the integration of the toolkit with HE Teaching & Learning initiatives to
support sustainable teaching and institutional transformation.
WORKPACKAGE 7: Writing up and Dissemination of
SusTEACH results
The SusTEACH toolkit and user guidance handbooks have been developed to
present the results of the SusTEACH project. Further reports, publications and
presentations are presented in Annex 1.
Open licensing of the SusTEACH Toolkit is in process.
The OU case study has been reported (Annex 1). We gathered data on 5 OU
modules of varying ICT intensiveness from both staff and students on their
environmental and lifetime impacts associated with module-related travel,
energy consumption, ICT use, print and post of materials, and residential
energy consumption, including both production and presentation impacts.
Data was also gathered the OU on energy consumption, materials, computer
room energy consumption and VLE activity. Data analysis was supported by
a dataset of carbon conversions factors used to convert module-related
impacts to average energy consumption and CO2 emissions expressed per
student per 10 CATS credits.
We have begun the process of sharing the knowledge and experience gained
with the SusTEACH project with full details in Annex 1. This includes:
Development of an online SusTEACH Toolkit resource (WP5) plus
actions to link with other HE sustainability websites [e.g.;
Several workshops and focus groups held in HE institutions (WP5)
Reports to HE partners on the results of the environmental assessment
of HE courses/modules undertaken (WP6 outputs).
Several conference and workshop presentations on the SusTEACH
project (WP5&7 outputs)
Journal article and book chapter under review (WP2&7 outputs)
Entry of SusTEACH project for the Green Gown Awards under the
Research and Development category (WP7 outputs)
Annex 1: Key Workpackage Outputs:
WP 1 Caird, S. and Lane, A. (2011) The SusTEACH project website
Caird, S. and Lane, A. (2011) SusTEACH project plan.
[projectplanSusTEACH10March.doc and workpackagesSusTEACH.doc]
Caird, S. and Lane, A. (2011) JISC Project Report 1: SusTEACH Project.
Caird, S. and Lane, A. (2012) JISC Project Report 2: SusTEACH Project.
Caird, S. and Lane, A. (2012) JISC Project Report Final: SusTEACH Project
WP 2 Caird, S. and Lane, A. (2011) Working Paper 1: Proposed framework for
conceptualising the role of ICTs and the ICT intensiveness of HE teaching
Caird, S. and Lane, A. (2012) Emerging technologies and the role of
Information and Communication Technologies in Higher Education Teaching
Models. Under review with British Journal of Educational Technology, July
2012 11pp. [Emerging_Technologies_ICT_HE _Final.doc]
WP3 Caird, S. and Lane, A. (2011-2012) Staff and Student online questionnaire
Swithenby, E. and Caird, S. (2011) Working Paper 2: Carbon Conversion
factors for calculating energy consumption and CO2.[SusTEACH carbon
conversions V3_23March.docx]
Caird, S. Swithenby, E and Lane, A. (2012) The SusTEACH Methodology:
Assessment of the Environmental Impacts of Higher Education Teaching
Models and Development of an Environmental Appraisal Toolkit. The Open
University. June 2012. 63pp. Available as SusTEACH_methodology.pdf
WP5 Swithenby, E. and Caird, S. (2011) Working Paper 3: Review of
Sustainability Toolkits [Toolkit appraisal.doc]
Caird, S. (2012) SusTEACH Toolkit Resource for Higher Education.
Available at:
Caird, S. (2012) The SusTEACH Planning Tool
Swithenby, E. and Caird, S. (2012) The SusTEACH Modelling Tool
SusTEACH_Modelling_tool.xls. Available at:
Swithenby, E. and Caird, S. (2012) The SusTEACH Modelling Tool Guide.
SusTEACH_Modelling_Tool_Guide.pdf Available at:
Swithenby, E. and Caird, S. (2012) The SusTEACH Carbon Calculator for
Lecturers. SusTEACH_Carbon_Calculator_Lecturer.xls. Available at:
Swithenby, E. and Caird, S. (2012) The SusTEACH Carbon Calculator for
Lecturers Guide. SusTEACH_Carbon_Calculator_Lecturers_Guide.pdf
Available at:
Swithenby, E. and Caird, S. (2012) The SusTEACH Carbon Calculator for
Students. SusTEACH_Carbon_Calculator_Student.xls. Available at:
Swithenby, E. and Caird, S. (2012) The SusTEACH Carbon Calculator for
Students Guide. SusTEACH_Carbon_Calculator_Students_Guide.pdf
Available at:
Caird, S. Lane, A. and Swithenby, E (2012) SusTEACH: Project Briefing &
Summary. SusTEACH_Briefing27June2012.pdf
Caird, S. and Lane, A. Swithenby, E (2012) SusTEACH: Cranfield
University Module Impacts. Presentation at workshop held at Cranfield
University 3 July 2012. Cranfield_Workshop.ppt
Caird, S. Lane, A. and Swithenby, E (2012) SusTEACH_Information.pdf
Available at:
Reports to partner HE institutions
Swithenby, E, Caird, S. and Lane, A. (2012) Report to The Open University:
SusTEACH analysis of the carbon impacts of OU modules
Swithenby, E, Caird, S. and Lane, A. (2012) Analysis of the carbon impacts
of the Geographical Information Systems Fundamentals module. Report to
Cranfield University April 2012. 9pp [Cranfield
Swithenby, E, Caird, S. and Lane, A. (2012) Analysis of the carbon impacts
of the Globalization module. Report to Loughborough University May 2012.
9pp. [Loughborough_Globalization_
Swithenby, E, Caird, S. and Lane, A. (2012) Analysis of the carbon impacts
of the Travel Behaviour and Travel Planning module. Report to
Loughborough University May 2012. 9pp.
Swithenby, E, Caird, S. and Lane, A. (2012) Analysis of the carbon impacts
of the Sustainability in the Built Environment module. Report to
Loughborough University May 2012. 9pp.
Swithenby, E, Caird, S. and Lane, A. (2012) Analysis of the carbon impacts
of the Sustainable Urban Development module. Report to Oxford University
May 2012. 9pp.
Lane, A. (2011) ‘Economic and Social Good Practice Criteria’ presentation at
workshop on Good Practice Criteria for Sustainable E-Learning held 1st
November 2011at the OU.
Caird, S. (2011) ‘SusTEACH and greening organisational processes’ Poster
presentation at the Sustainability and Enterprise event organised by the
Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE), held on 20
September 2011 at The OU.
Lane, A. Caird, S. and Swithenby, E. (2012) ‘How green is your course?’
Conference Presentation on Understanding the impact of ICTs organised by
Govtoday at 2nd Annual National Greening the FE and HE sectors on
Promoting Environmental, Economic and Social Sustainability on 30th May
2012 in London. Available at
Caird, S. and Lane, A. (2012) Green Gown Award application for
SusTEACH project under Research and Development category
The SusTEACH project has now been shortlisted for the Green Gown
Awards under the Research and Development category. The Green Gown
Awards 2012 offer prestigious recognition of best practice within the further
and higher education sectors in the UK Winners will be announced at the
Green Gown Awards Ceremony in November 2012.
Caird, S. Lane, A. and Swithenby, E (2012) Chapter on SusTEACH project
findings to be written in proposed book on Sustainability practices in higher
education institutions – Mapping Trends and Good Practice at Universities
round the World. Edited by W. Leal Filho, U. Azeiteiro, S. Caeiro and C.
Jabbour. To be published by Springer.
To access the Toolkit tools, resources, references and further details see
For further project information see
Members of Project Team: Professor Andy Lane, Dr Sally Caird, Mr Ed Swithenby
Members of Project Advisory Group: Professor Robin Roy, Professor Stephen
Potter and Ms Carol Morris