Part 1: Introduction to Sustainable Societies

3. Sustainability Issues Pre-Test

A test on the twenty-five sustainability issues in the Issues Matrix. The issues in the Issue Matrix are the twenty-five sustainability issues identified as being most critical by the United Nations Commission for Sustainable Development (UNCSD)


      • Pre-Tests for all student

To assess the current state of familiarity with course content, a pre-test—similar in form to the Final Examination in Part 4—is administered during class time on the second day of class. Instructors should use the Pre-Test as a gauge of the students’ initial knowledge about the issues, and adjust the speed and depth of the course coverage appropriately.

The structure of this Pre-Test is kept fairly simple, allowing students to expose what they know, don’t know, and their attitudes toward the issues in a way that clearly captures student knowledge and outlooks.

Student responses should also be helpful to the instructor in understanding differences among student perceptions of the issues and what areas (social, economic, and environmental) each student thinks he or she is most knowledgeable about. Comparing class results from the Pre-Test with results from the Final Examination will help measure changes in student understanding.

In Class

      • Before taking the pre-test, students should be informed that the tests will not be graded, but rather are meant to help the instructor assess how much students already know about material that will be covered in the course.
      • Students should understand that they are not expected to be able to answer all the questions but should do the best they can. The questions on this pre-test encompass what will be learned in the course.
      • If they do not regard a particular issue as significant at the local, regional, or global scale, they should state this in their answer.
      • Due to time constraints, students should be encouraged to outline their answers rather than write in essay format, although either style is acceptable. Outlined answers will help facilitate the scoring of the test. Use the Scoring Rubric for Pre-Test and Final Examination to assess the state of student knowledge on course content. By using this scoring rubric to evaluate both the Pre-Test and the Final Examination, a clear view of student progress will emerge.