Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Green ICT Strategies Course for North America

Athabasca University (Canada) is now offering the course "Green ICT Strategies COMP 635". This is based on my Green Technology Strategies syllabus, adapted for North America.

Brian Stewart, Chief Information Officer, Athabasca University undertook the ANU e-learning version of my course "Green Information Technology Strategies COMP7310". He must have enjoyed it, as he then asked if it was okay for them to adapt it for Canada, which I was delighted to agree to:

Computer Science (COMP) 635
Green ICT Strategies

Method of Delivery:Grouped Study Online
Credits:3 - IS Elective
Centre:School of Computing and Information Systems
Instructor: Richard Huntrods and Brian Stewart


This course will approach green ICT strategies from a professional perspective, providing instruction on how best to apply green ICT strategies in the working environment. COMP 635 takes an information literacy approach by using open resources to facilitate the development of a professional body of knowledge. This removes the need for a textbook and allows the student to build his or her knowledge on continually available sources.

Green ICT (Green IT or Green Computing) is the study and practice of using computers and telecommunications in a way that maximizes positive environmental benefit and minimizes the negative impact. The energy efficiency of operating equipment is a major concern of Green ICT. The embodied energy and lifecycle of the materials used in the design, manufacture, reuse, and recycling of equipment and components are also concerns. Green ICT seeks to inform accepted management practices to achieve efficient and effective business interaction.

The course covers topics such as networking and distributed systems. It builds on themes such as standards and open systems, and uses tools such as Integrated Development Environments. It provides historical and hardware/software/mathematics foundations for the subject, and develops research and report-writing skills to prepare a project report.

Green ICT strategies is an emerging discipline. This course is drawn from practices being developed in the public and private sectors both in Canada and internationally. It introduces implementation methodologies and assessment tools that are currently being tested in the field.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, the student should be able to

  • understand the role of ICTs as they impcact the global carbon footprint
  • estimate the carbon footprint of the ICT operations of an organization,
  • assess ways to reduce the carbon footprint of an organization, by changes to polices for procurement of ICT, changes to the ICT operations and revising business processes.


The course consists of four major topics (modules). Each module has three sub-topics, (one sub-topic per week), and a week at the end of the course is reserved for review.

  1. Module 1: Politics, Science and Business of Sustainability
    • Introduction to Green ICT Strategies
    • The Global ICT Footprint
    • Enabling ICT: Dematerialization, Smart Motor Systems, Logistics, Buildings and Grids
  2. Module 2: Technical Strategy and Planning–Emerging Technology Monitoring
    • Energy Saving: Data Centres and Client Equipment
    • Materials Use
    • Methods and Tools
  3. Module 3: Business/IS Strategy and Planning
    • Business Process Improvement
    • Improving Data Centre Energy Efficiency
    • Enterprise Architecture
  4. Module 4: Procurement & Management Support
    • Procurement
    • Energy Star Program and Quality Management
    • Compliance Audit


To pass this course, students must achieve an average grade of at least 65% on each assignment.

To receive credit towards the Master of Science in IS, for Electives/Career track, students must achieve a course composite grade of at least C+ (67%). The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Assignment 1 (TME1)
Assignment 2 (TME2)
Discussion participation/contribution

Course Materials: Online

COMP 635 is delivered through Athabasca University's learning management system (LMS), Moodle. All course activities and resources will be available through the course website. Course materials include discussion forums, learning materials, and assignments. Assignments will be submitted online. Readings are all accessed online through links from the site (there is no printed textbook).

Open Access

All learning materials for this course are freely available and have no copyright restrictions to access. This allows the course to be made available without restriction to anyone interested in studying the subject. In addition, all materials are accessible over the Internet and can be read onscreen.

Course Designer

Comp 635was originally written and developed by Tom Worthington, an independent ICT consultant and an Adjunct Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at the Australian National University. Tom teaches website design, e-commerce, and professional ethics. He also has an interest in environmental design, and is the founding chair of the ACS Green ICT Group. In 1999, Tom was elected a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society for his contribution to the development of public Internet policy. He is a past president, Fellow, and Honorary Life Member of the Australian Computer Society, a voting member of the Association for Computing Machinery, and a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. This course has been adapted under a Creative Commons license to reflect more Canadian content for delivery through Athabasca University....

From: Green ICT Strategies COMP 635, 03/31/2010

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