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Workshop-1: Measuring Sustainability Education Impact through Handprints
8:00am - 9:30am
Session Chair: Jasmina Burek
Measuring Sustainability Education Impact through Handprints
Jasmina Burek1, Randolph Kirchain2, Jeremy Gregory2, Gregory Norris2
1University of Massachusetts Lowell; 2Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Recently, Universities have been focusing on educating students about social responsibility and sustainable practices through offering sustainability programs and sustainability project-based courses. There is little research about how and how much these programs/courses positively contribute to sustainability related impacts. We adopted the SHINE Handprint method and developed an approach to measure the sustainability impact of students. The novelty of this approach is the methodological advancement in quantifying students' positive environmental, social, and economic impacts, i.e., handprints, which they had achieved by recommending positive changes to different organizations in a mutually beneficial partnership. The discussion will focus on the concept and calculus how we might measure beneficial impacts of students in project-based courses. Case studies and historic data of the project-based course called the Business Sustainability Laboratory, which document the interrelationships between the student actions and the impact of a portfolio of changes in the partner organization, will be used to present the concept and the proposed method. The audience is invited to share their own examples of the student actions, which have potentially resulted in positive changes. Finally, the audience is invited to share examples how they or others measure impact of the project-based courses. With that, I hope to empower my audience to become the driving force behind handprints and for a lifetime of positive change creation.