Agenda encourages and empowers computing education for sustainability

Posted on July 16, 2007


Following up on the NACCQ policy statement on computing education for sustainability, here is the agenda for achieving this vision. We hope that it is empowering and engaging. It is deliberately both top down and bottom up. It is deliberately both incremental and transformative. It is deliberately aimed at the champions and the “ordinary lecturer”. It deliberately challenges (without pushing anything “down my throat”) and provides resources to encourage. It provides for an engagement with industry, community and students. It will form the basis of a detailed action plan (watch this space).
We would, of course, like to know if we can improve this agenda so please leave a comment.

1. Work with the wider community to envisage and articulate a role for computing and computing practitioners for a sustainable future.

2. Work with the wider computing community to articulate a discipline response to sustainability. This may take the form of mission statements (etc) from professional societies.

3. Work with the wider computing community to identify expected behaviours for computing practitioners for sustainability challenges.

4. Develop an understanding of the current status of sustainability (values, awareness, knowledge, skills & behaviours) of all our stakeholders (students, intake, stakeholders, staff, graduates, professional/trade connections and our respective Iwi partners).

5. Identify sustainability statements for graduate outcome and core competency for computer practitioners. This should be both incremental and transformative.

6. Develop learning outcomes integrated into courses looking simultaneously at course specific issues and holistic approaches.

7. Identify and promote exemplar resources and teaching strategies, initially identifying sustainability related areas missing from current curriculum. This includes the pre-existing knowledge of sustainable practices and aspirations for iwi Mäori locally and nationally.

8. Assess lecturer expertise and skill requirements in computing for sustainability and establish a development plan for the computing education sector.

9. Integrate sustainability into quality assurance processes (curriculum documents, moderation and monitoring checklists etc).

10. Frame “for sustainability” as a core driver for research. This means research aimed at increasing the sustainability of computing and promoting computing for sustainability. Both of these will require a wider interdisciplinary approach to computing research.

11. Establish a network of sustainability champions to promote Computing for Sustainability (CfS) and Computer Education for Sustainability (CEfS) as legitimate and mainstream areas of computing.

12. Undertake national scale activities to raise the awareness of sustainability in computing.

This agenda is based on the one described in the conference paper by Samuel Mann and Lesley Smith, written as a discussion document for first NZ Computing Sustainability Workshop, in conjunction with the National Advisory Committee on Computing Qualifications (NACCQ).

This agenda was further developed by a group including Lesley Smith (Otago Polytechnic), Stefan Stasiewicz (Bay of Plenty Polytechnic), Dr Logan Muller (Unitec New Zealand), and Daud Ahmed (Manukau Institute of Technology). We were also very grateful for the input from Dr Mike Erlinger (Harvey Mudd), Dr Kyhla Russell (Otago Polytechnic Kaitohutohu) and the editorial vision of Dr Colin Boswell and Tony Clear.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be expanding on each of these agenda points and developing an action plan to achieve them.