Friday, February 17, 2012

e-Learning Course on Green ICT Strategies: Part 20 - Standardized Course Description

With the course notes revised and published (see Part 19) it is now time to get ready for the students starting the next week. The ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science created a bespoke database to hold all course descriptions, called CECS Student DB. This has places to put the usual administrative details of who the tutor is, details of the course, such as title and short description. It then goes into detail about the Study Schedule, the Learning Outcomes , the Assessment and the relationship between assessment and outcomes.

Even though I had to prepare much of this previously I found it useful to have to put these details in an explicit structured way. It was a bit annoying to chop up my carefully worded description into the categories required by the database. I felt offended that my carefully worded course description was being put into a generic format. But then I realized that, as a student, I like such structure.

Here is what I have so far (exported from the database):

The Australian National University

College of Engineering and Computer Science

Research School of Computer Science


COMP7310 ICT Sustainability

Study Period:1st semester 2011, 1st semester 2012,
Unit value6 units
Course Co-ordinatorName: Tom Worthington

Email: tomw@cs.anu.edu.au
Phone: 55694
Room: CSIT (108) N212
Assumed knowledge and required skills:
Prerequisite:
Corequisite(s):
Incompatiblity:
Textbooks:eBook supplied with course:
Worthington, T. (2011) ICT Sustainability: assessment and strategies for a low carbon future / Tom Worthington Tomw Communications, Belconnen, A.C.T. Retrieved from: http://www.tomw.net.au/ict_sustainability/
Websites:Course details on Studyat
More information
Course details on Wattle, the University's Learning Management System
Course description:ICT is both part of the problem and part of the solution to climate change. A study sponsored by the Australian Computer Society has shown that computers and telecommunications equipment in Australia generated 7.94Mt of carbon dioxide in 2005, 1.52% of national emissions. This course investigates the contribution of ICT to carbon emissions and how technology can reduce those emissions.

This subject is drawn from practices being developed in the public and private sectors internationally. Implementation methodologies and assessment tools currently being field-tested are introduced. Qualification schemes and accreditation are yet to be established and it is possible those completing this subject may be involved in that development.

This course was developed in conjunction with the Australian Computer Society. The Learning Outcomes have been designed for Level 5 competencies of the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) common reference model. More information is on the course webpage: http://cs.anu.edu.au/courses/COMP7310/.
Learning outcomes:At the conclusion of this course, the student will be able to:


1. Evaluate the sustainability of IT services, devices and day-to-day operations of an organisation, including the carbon footprint and e-waste.
2. Prepare a sustainability strategy for IT in an organisation,covering both energy and materials use.

Australian Computer Society Graduate Attributes Matrix2.1 Communications: Written communication, Interpersonal skills
2.2 Ethics/Professional: Social issues, Global issues, Organizational issues, Technology, Responsiblity:personal and community
2.3 Project Management//QA: Concepts and models, Project management techniques
Australia Engineering Competency Standards(for software engineers only)

PE2.1 Ability to undertake problem identification and formulation and solution
PE2.2 Understanding of social and cultural and global and environmental responsibilities and the need to ...
PE2.6 Understanding of the business environment


Course content:The course consists of two parts, corresponding to the learning objectives, with one topic per week:
Sustainability Assessment
  1. The Politics, Science and Business of Sustainability
  2. The Global ICT Footprint
  3. Energy Saving - Data Centres and Client Equipment
  4. Materials Use
  5. Compliance Audit
  6. Methods and Tools
Sustainability Strategy
  1. Enabling ICT
  2. Business Process Improvement
  3. Improving Data Centre Energy Efficiency
  4. Enterprise Architecture
  5. Procurement
  6. Energy Star Program and Quality Management
Rationale:Computers and telecommunications equipment contributed 1.52% to greenhouse gas emissions in 2005. The course is on how to assess the carbon footprint of the ICT operations of an organization and also the materials used in the design, manufacture and reuse and recycling of ICT equipment. Then students learn how to develop a strategy to reduce the environmental impact of ICT operations, and through ICT of other operations.
Ideas:The course is designed to align with the Skills Framework for the Information Age with SIFA Level 5 competencies: "ensure, advise: Broad direction, supervisory, objective setting responsibility. Influences organisation. Challenging and unpredictable work. Self sufficient in business skills".
Two skills have been selected, corresponding to the two learning outcomes:
Sustainability assessment
The evaluation of the sustainability of operational or planned IT services, devices and day-to-day operations such as travel. The establishment of a model or scheme to track changes in consumption over time and to generate feedback to enable improvements in energy or resource efficiency. The identification of areas requiring attention, and the initiation of actions to change or control the procurement of energy or other resources, so as to improve sustainability.
From: Skill SUAS, Category: Business change, Subcategory: Business change management, SFIA (2009).
Sustainability strategy
The preparation of a sustainability strategy for IT, taking into account any established corporate strategy, to be used as a basis for policies and planning, and covering both consumption and sources of supply of energy and materials. Evaluation and inclusion, as appropriate, of political, legislative, economic, social and technological factors. Identification of major external standards, practices or schemes to be adopted. Consultation with identified relevant parties, either internal or external. Obtaining agreement to the strategy and the commitment to act upon it.
From: Skill SUST, Category: Strategy & architecture, Subcategory: Business/IT strategy and planning, SFIA (2009).
Topics:
Sustainability Assessment
  1. The Politics, Science and Business of Sustainability
  2. The Global ICT Footprint
  3. Energy Saving - Data Centres and Client Equipment
  4. Materials Use
  5. Compliance Audit
  6. Methods and Tools
Sustainability Strategy
  1. Enabling ICT
  2. Business Process Improvement
  3. Improving Data Centre Energy Efficiency
  4. Enterprise Architecture
  5. Procurement
  6. Energy Star Program and Quality Management
Technical skills:Estimation of energy use, carbon footprint and materials use of the ICT operations of an organisation.
WorkloadTo complete the subject you will need to spend 8-10 hours each week reading, communicating with colleagues and tutors, and preparing assignments.
Study Schedule

Week beginningTheme / Topic / ModuleFace to face activities (Lecture, tutorial, seminar, field trip etc)Other activities (Readings, quizzes, etc)Assessment milestones
Week One Politics, Science and Business of SustainabilityNo face to face activities for course.Read the course notes and readings each week. Answer weekly questions and discuss in on-line forum.Answers and forum discussion are assessed for 2% of marks each week.
Week Two The Global ICT Footprint


Week Three Energy Saving - Data Centres and Client Equipment


Week Four Materials Use


Week Five Compliance Audit


Week Six Methods and Tools

Assignment one due at end of week six for 38%.
Week Seven Enabling ICT


Week Eight Business process improvement


Week Nine Improving Data Centre Energy Efficiency


Week Ten Enterprise Architecture


Week Eleven Procurement


Week Twelve Energy Star Program and Quality Management

Assignment two due at end of week twelve for 38%.
Week Thirteen




AttendanceNo attendance is required. All materials and assessment are on-line.

Indicative assessmentContributions to the 12 weekly discussion forums, 24%
Mid-semester assignment, 38%
End of semester assignment, 38%



Assessment overviewThis table shows details of each assessment (listed above).

Assessment itemDescription and detail of the asignmentSpecific requirementsDue date
Contributions to the 12 weekly discussion forums, 24% Following tasks are required of you every week: 1. Read the course notes for this week and the additional readings. 2. Submit answers to each of the discussion questions in the Discussion Forum for that week, by the end of Wednesday. Submit your answers before reading the answers from other students. Read the answers from other students and submit at least one reply to a posting your fellow students in the Discussion Forum, for each of that week√Ę€™s questions, by the end of Saturday.The questions each week are on topics to be covered in the two assignments. You will receive a mark and suggestions to help improve your work each week. For the first two weeks of the course you are required to use formal Harvard (author-date) style for referencing. This is so the tutor can check you know how to reference for the assignments. After two weeks you can use simple hypertext links. You can obtain assistance with referencing and writing from the ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre.Answers by the end of Wednesday and discussion by the end of Saturday, each week.
Mid-semester assignment, 38%Evaluate the sustainability of IT services, devices and day-to-day operations of an organisation, including the carbon footprint and e-waste: Write a report on the carbon footprint and materials use of the ICT operations of your organisation (or an organisation you are familiar with).Maximum 2,000 words.End of week 6.
End of semester assignment, 38%Prepare a sustainability strategy for IT in an organisation, covering both energy and materials use: Write a report identify ways to reduce the carbon footprint and materials use of your organisation (or an organisation you are familiar with) through ICT. This could be by changes to polices for procurement of ICT, changes to the ICT operations (such as turning up the thermostat in the computer room), or revising business processes. Describe the current way of functioning and the problems associated with it. Propose a "to be" process that is based on established standards, or proposed developments. How will you tailor the processes to suit your organisation? What are the challenges the organisation will face? How will you measure the success of the proposals? The target audience of the report is the organisation's ICT management committee.Maximum 2,000 words.End of week 12.


Relationship between learning outcomes and assessmentHow well have you achieved the outcomes for this course? This table shows you how each assessment (listed above) will check the students achievements against the stated learning outcomes (listed on the overview page) for the course.

Learning Outcomes:

Contributions to the 12 weekly discussion forums, 24% Mid-semester assignment, 38% End of semester assignment, 38%
1 Evaluate the sustainability of IT services, devices and day-to-day operations of an organisation, including the carbon footprint and e-waste.Weeks 1 to 6 of the course.Yes.
2 Prepare a sustainability strategy for IT in an organisation,covering both energy and materials use.Weeks 7 to 12 of the course.
Yes.

Course evaluation

Students experiences will be collected using ANU Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT).

Code of practice

http://policies.anu.edu.au/policies/code_of_practice_for_teaching_and_learning/policy

Plagiarism

http://policies.anu.edu.au/policies/code_of_practice_for_student_academic_integrity/policy

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