Part 4: Application

2. Student Oral Presentations

Students present their projects

Preparation

While the Case Study in Part 3 provides a model of the type of problem, strategies, and analysis that students should consider when producing their final project, students should not choose a sustainability problem that is significantly similar to the Part 3 Case. Rather, students should produce ways to address current, pressing, and locally relevant sustainability problems. Students should understand that the problems and proposed strategies in each of their projects will vary. However, all of their projects’ strategies should attempt to address social, economic, and environmental considerations. Projects should also address practical issues such as costs, feasibility, and implementation in both their written and oral presentations.

      • Prepare to briefly train the guest reviewers on how to fill out the Sustainability Strategy Analysis and Application Sheet and, if possible, arrange to do this before class
      • Have available copies of the Sustainability Strategy Analysis and Application Sheet for all reviewers
      • Have available copies of the Directions for Sustainability Strategy Analysis and Application Sheet and Sample Sustainability Strategy Analysis and Application Sheet for guest reviewers

In Class

      • All presentations will be assessed using the Sustainability Strategy Analysis and Application Sheet.
      • Welcome any guests to the classroom.
      • If you have guests, such as those from communities of concern or local government, industry, or civil society members, attending the presentations, they, along with students, should be asked to fill out the Sustainability Strategy Analysis and Application Sheets for each presentation they watch. Training the outside reviewers on how to fill in the Sustainability Strategy Analysis Sheet will be needed. This can be done before the start of class or after welcoming the guest reviewers. Use the Sample Sustainability Strategy Analysis and Application Sheet and the Directions for Sustainability Strategies Analysis and Application Sheet to guide them through what is required. Having guest reviewers partner with class students as they fill out the Sheets may be a way to assist those who are unfamiliar with the Sheets and make the guests feel more comfortable.
      • The five to seven page written version of the project should be handed in to you at the time the student project is presented.
      • Inviting attending community members to the suggested class celebration, which we propose to be on the final class day, is encouraged. It is a nice way to thank them for the help they provided the students as the students researched their projects and for their participation in the project reviews. It can strengthen relationships and open the door to discussing implementation of the student projects in the communities. Inviting them provides community members with the opportunity to follow-up with students who presented sustainability strategies that they found potentially promising. Who knows, it may provide a student with a job opportunity while increasing your visibility in the community as someone they can turn to for ideas! It can also be used to encourage them to become more active in the course, possibly by working with you on the development of local Part 3 Case Studies or providing support for developing community sustainability strategies with university researchers.

Scoring

You determine how you will grade the final student project. You may choose to place more weight on student performance during the oral presentation or on the written submission.

We very strongly recommend that the oral presentations be made to local community members as well as classmates because we are trying to encourage active learning that leads to active citizenship. More importantly, we hope that some of the projects proposed will be worth serious consideration and possible implementation in the communities!

Oral presentations should designed to facilitate the reviewers’ being able to assess the presentations using the Sustainability Strategy Analysis and Application Sheets filled out by presentation reviewers.

We suggest that out of 100 points you allocate maximum possible points for the oral presentation as follows:

      • Section A           20
      • Section B           30
      • Section C           30
      • Section D           20

The written submission should provide the necessary information for a community to give serious consideration to the proposed project. The oral presentation should present  the project just as if it were being presented at a public community meeting.

We recommend that evaluation of written submissions should be based on the students’ inclusion of the following:

  1. Description of the problem
  2. Description of the issues and issue interrelationships involved in the problem
  3. Explanation of why the strategy (action) is warranted
  4. An integrated strategy that addresses the problem
  5. A minimum of five strategy components that address the social, economic, and environmental issues present in the problem
  6. An explanation of the strategy components and how they will address the issues
  7. Definition of the social, economic, and environmental costs and benefits of the strategy
  8. An implementation plan (should be long term, with a minimum duration of 5 years) defining how the strategy is to be accomplished – what skills, physical and financial inputs, and stakeholder involvement will be needed to succeed
  9. Proposed timeframe required
  10. Demonstrated understanding of the proposed strategy’s consequences
  11. Discussion of why adoption of the strategy makes sense to the community
  12. Definition of how results should be measured and evaluated

For the written submission we suggest that the maximum number of points possible per item is ten (10).