Teaching with EcoTypes
New to teaching with EcoTypes? It’s been used since 2017, and as of early 2021 there have been roughly 5000 survey completions by 75 institutions across the U.S. At this point, we’re starting to learn what works best! Here are a few hints (and do read bottom for instructor expectations).
The basic approach to teaching with EcoTypes is threefold:
- Students complete the EcoTypes survey
- Students share and compare their survey results
- Students consult EcoTypes resources to study axes, themes, or topics in greater depth
Here are some possibilities:
- Most classes appear to have their students just do the main EcoTypes survey, then discuss in class, using Interpreting Your Report as assistance. While this is fine, students may appreciate their results better if they read some online resources before or after taking the survey:
- The About EcoTypes page, which gives a general overview and answers some FAQs.
- The Ideas Matter page, an introduction to what we mean by environmental ideas and why they may be important to people for whom environmental policy and action are their main passions.
- If time, after students complete the survey you could have them browse live general results including participating institutions, demographics, grid-group results, and polarity scores to situate themselves relative to other respondents.
- You could also choose one or more axes to focus your classroom discussion, then have them browse axis resources including survey items, survey results, and the Deep Dive axis background.
- One alternative is to focus on EcoTypes themes, which bundle together common axes. As you’ll infer from the themes overview, themes may ultimately reveal the most important lessons students can learn from EcoTypes. Students receive their theme scores via the main survey. If you choose this option, consider these related resources:
- Exploring Themes, a page with four recommended exercises around the deep disagreement and creative tension characterizing theme-based engagement.
- Axis Correlations and Axis Network, presenting relatively simple analytical results which support the overall factor analysis that led to identification of the three themes.
- When Our Ideas Differ, a background page introducing readers to the possibly paradoxical nature of theme poles, and the possibilities for engagement around deep difference resulting in creative tension.
- For some classes, EcoTypes survey results may best be understood via focusing on one or more application topics. Topics pages provide tie-ins to EcoTypes themes and selected axes, and include Take Sides resources for three-way debates.
- This set of topic-axis-theme tables may offer helpful guidance in terms of which axes and themes are emphasized via each topic.
If you would like to use EcoTypes in your course, you may wish to start by reading the FAQ (and overview above). Here are the expectations for your use of EcoTypes:
- Please notify me at least one week before your students need to complete the survey, so that I can make sure your institution name is available for them to select.
- Note that I will add you to our low-volume EcoTypes GoogleGroup to keep in touch with you.
- If you would like to receive anonymized data from your students’ surveys, please give me one week advance notification.
- Within one month after completing your use of EcoTypes, make sure to submit the feedback form. This will help us improve EcoTypes in future.
- If you give any conference talks or publish papers based on EcoTypes, please cite me (James D. Proctor, Lewis & Clark College) and the IRB approval number (below).
Note that the EcoTypes initiative has been approved by Lewis & Clark College’s institutional review board; the current project number is HSRC #2019-40.
Thank you for your collaboration in our EcoTypes project!