Sustainability Survey

1. Action name

Sustainability Survey of IES Students

PLEASE NOTE: All text surrounded between the tags tc and /tc are "Tiki Comments", being "Tiki" the name of the free software groupware program that we are using at this website. Those comments are shown only when you edit the page, but not when you hit preview or save. You can keep them for a while to ensure that all students read them when contributing to pages.

1.1. What

This action is a general survey of current IES students to gauge what their interest would be in a Sustainability Club, what incentives they would need to join, what they would want to see the Sustainability Club do or provide for the program, if they think it would be effective, etc. This general survey also includes other questions about their sustainability habits in Barcelona (or at home) to provide information for not just the Sustainability Club, but for all of our actions.
Description of the action

1.2. Why

As this is a survey for the Sustainability Club and all other actions, there will not be a survey for every action, as most students would not want to participate in multiple surveys. Hopefully, with the responses, we will be able to get a general idea of how students view sustainability and how their habits reflect sustainable ideals or practices. It also allows other students not in the Sustainability Club to give us their input and ideas, adding to our current action plans or giving us ideas for improving them. One of the questions asked was “what could IES do to improve sustainability” which is basically allowing other students to come up with their own action plans which could be continued in future Sustainability classes.
Justification. Use as many concepts as possible from the ones you learned in this course. Like:

  • Resilience
  • Change in Attitudes
  • Reducing dependency on...
  • Ecological/Water footprints
  • Externalization of costs
  • Long term effects
  • Feedback loops (balancing / reinforcing, lagged or not)
  • SLEN vs. TINA
  • Copyleft (CC)...
  • Free Software
  • "Cradle to cradle" design (Waste = Food)
  • Eco-effectiveness (vs. Eco-efficiency)
  • ...

1.2.1. Potential Benefits

The benefits could be having a better idea of how students would react or feel about a sustainability club at IES, or if there is any actual interest in any sort of sustainability club during their time abroad. We already know that the students in the Sustainability class are more likely to join and be interested in this kind of club because of their interest in taking a class on sustainability, but we have no previous knowledge of whether or not any other students would be willing to participate in any of our ideas or actions. Also, with a general survey, we could get a better idea of what kind of incentives it would take to get other students to join the club, such as free things or free trips. With a general survey, we would have concrete proof and backing for Cesar or other administration for spending money or time on a sustainability club. It gives the Club more credibility if we have solid proof that other students would participate. Also, it can help with other actions, as it gives them credibility or at least background knowledge of student’s interest.
Benefits of any type, in short, mid or long term

1.2.2. Potential Costs

The only issue with sending out a survey to students is that some students may not take the survey seriously, and may just answer randomly, which is the risk with sending out any type of survey.
Costs of any type: money, time, human resources, risks...

1.3. How

First, I came up with a basic template for what questions I wanted to send out to students. Then, I talked to other students in the class about what kind of information they would want to hear input about from other IES students not in the Sustainability class. After I finalized my questions, I opened up the survey to allow other students to ask questions for their specific action plans. I sent the link out over Facebook instead of using e-mail because all IES students use Facebook, almost more than e-mail, and check their Facebooks daily. Currently, over half of the people asked have responded, and responses are still coming in. So far, the results are what I expected- more than half of the students are interested in a sustainability club, but all would need incentives to join such as club. I will attach a current report of the results of the survey, but not all of the responses have been received. This survey can continue to be sustained by using it next year (with a few revisions by the future IES Barcelona Sustainability class or club to make it fit their ideas or action plans) to gain an understanding at the beginning of the year of what that IES class of students would like to see be done by the club and for the club.
Discussion of Results-
While only 28% of students said they would initially join a Sustainability Club while abroad, but when offered the incentive of free goods (bag, shirt, water bottle), 81% said that they would join.
Link to Results so far:

Implementation/Methodology. Including a description of the work done so far by IES Abroad Barcelona (listed maybe in the document from previous semesters ?), Steps or phases to implement this action in a perfect world and in a real world of the few weeks remaining before YOUR departure back to USA, details for the common Time sheet of all actions, ... Links to the documents you created to support your action (stickers, survey forms, advertisements, notices to hand on IES walls, etc.) should be added here also.

Link to Survey:

or shorter:


Books, Websites, Companies offering products, ... including action described by students in previous semesters in their Final paper documents

1.5. Students involved in this action

Erin- leader
Billy- added questions
Aaron and Laura- helped send out survey, added questions
Write your names, and if you didn't participate equally on this action, state briefly what each one of you did for this action Write your names, and if you didn't participate equally on this action, state briefly what each one of you did for this action; i.e.: identify which is the "official" leader of this action, who the other participants, indicating the role of each student in the team. Remember that the leader the person in charge that the team work together and all things get done in time; if some member of the team for this action doesn't do his/her duties, the "leader" is expected to do instead to warranty the success of the action in time

Example Questions:

Sustainability Questions in General (home)
What is your definition of sustainability?
Would you consider your practices at home sustainable?
Sustainability Questions (abroad)
Do you live in a dorm, apartment or residence hall?
Do you feel that your habits are more sustainable or less sustainable while you are abroad?
Are you doing anything to be more sustainable?
Do you think Spain is more or less environmentally friendly than the United States?
Sustainability Club Questions (willingness, incentives, etc)
Would you consider joining a Sustainability Club while abroad?
What would you like to see in a Sustainability Club at IES?
Would you join the Sustainability Club without incentives?
Would you be interested in special sustainable field trips?
Would you join for a reduced/free trip somewhere?
Would you join for free water bottles/shirts/bags/thermos/etc?
Would you like to hold a position within the Sustainability Club?
What actions around the center do you think should warrant payment in ecocurrency?
Would you be willing to attend meetings or forums for the club, or would you rather participate online through facebook or other mediums?

Comments from the professor:
Go ahead, Erin (and whoever joins you, if so). This is needed indeed. Many of the action would need to know if what they have in mind might be successful or not. Example: selling metalic water bottles or themos ar 25 or 35 € each, would be a reasonable price for students? would they buy one? exmaples of bottles here: http://www.todoenagua.com/botellas/botellas-de-inox.html - handled by the action about water bottles) . But almost any action would need to know if other students, or staff, woudl participate in the action they are designing.

So please, start writing yourself here in this page, if you want, the questions that you think that are more important or strategic to be asked, and other will join you

Remember the option to create the working prototype of survey (once the questions are agreed here in our course website) in Lime Survey for instance: https://www.limeservice.com (which is free /open source software)

Anna would like to join this action.

 Assignment: Peer review form

Show the form for student peer review
You do not have permission to insert an item

Items found: 0
No records found

 Grades for this action report (From the PROFESSOR)

Items found: 1
Fairly good action. See below some comments on improbable things, and some things to be done still (!) "PLEASE NOTE: All text surrounded between the tags tc and /tc are (...)" That type of comments (in grey) were to be deleted before final deadline for the reports. "One of the questions asked was “what could IES do to improve sustainability” which is basically allowing other students to come up with their own action plans which could be continued in future Sustainability classes. " Very good idea!. "Why" section: very good, in general. "1.2.2. Potential Costs" I'm afraid that you underestimated the cost in time for such action. For instance, I'm still expecting access to the lime survey account so that other students can edit the survey and create something similar based on this one you did. Or i not access to your account, then some sort of "exportation"/dump/backup of the questions of the survey (I guess that such FLOS software for surveys, because of its nature of free software, will allow exporting/dumping the questions so that they can be used in another installation of lime survey, etc; or maybe I'm wrong?) And the time needed to process/analyze the results of the survey use to be much higher than expected, when it's your first survey. Some easy and quick way to provide results to the people interested to knows the answers to specific questions related to their actions should have a way to do it quickly and easily.: a simple link to just a web page with results updated on the fly would be desirable. I still haven't been able to see the row results, nor other students in next semesters will, with the action in this stage of implementation. And it's a pity. "While only 28% of students said they would initially join a Sustainability Club while abroad, but when offered the incentive of free goods (bag, shirt, water bottle), 81% said that they would join." That's very important information: what we needed to gain confidence in the value of incentives in the design of actions. "Link to Results so far: http://sustainability.limequery.com/admin/admin.php?action=browse&sid=78655&subaction=all " It says "You have to login first". Help, we need access to that account or contents!. "References and links": a few semesters ago the same action was done by students of this course. You could have used such information, discuss differences in the approach, and cite it here at references and links. They deserve this reference, since you probably did this action because I insisted that it was worth... and I insisted in the need to do a survey because I knew that it was feasible and important, according to my previous experience with those students from a previous semester.

Page last modified on Monday 03 of November, 2014 19:22:03