Using Project EDDIE modules in Principles of Sustainability

Andrea Huntoon, Fox Valley Technical College

About this Course

Principles of Sustainability

Lecture Course

Introductory Undergraduate


4 (but up to 18 per section)
students in the course

EDDIE Module(s) Adopted and/or Adapted

Sustainability Metrics

My course is an intro level non-majors course that is flipped (students listen to lectures at home and go through activities in the classroom). This module was very helpful for introducing students to graphing and identifying relationships between variables. Students often take this course because it does not have a math pre-req and many of the students have a lack of self-confidence when it comes to their math abilities.

Jump to: Course Context | Teaching Details | How It Went | Future Use

Relationship of EDDIE Module(s) to my Course

This module was used to help introduce students to "how science works" and was used to help demonstrate data analysis and relationships in graphs. It was used near the beginning of the semester and we returned to it about mid-semester. Students did not need to do any additional preparation outside of class for this specific activity.

Teaching Details

I used the entire EDDIE module in the course. I used it as an in-class activity that we walked through together. The only modification I made to the files was to the student handout; I changed the format slightly to make it easier for my students to identify the questions they need to answer. I added some scaffolding to the activity with additional explanations on how to construct and read a graph, what axes contain what variable, and what different relationships might look like on a graph. I also took away some of the options in the third part by making the entire class work through it together.


Adaption Materials

Powerpoint (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 12.8MB Jan11 22)

Student Handout (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 70kB Jan11 22)

How did the activity go?

The module took significantly longer than I thought it would. I failed to account for large gaps in the math skills of my students in the class. While working through the first two modules, the students started to become frustrated and I didn't blame them. They were spending a lot of time on what was a difficult topic for them. So, we paused the activity after the first two parts.

About a month later, we came back to the activity but prior to getting into the third part, I did a tutorial on graphing with my students. I started with the basics of what a graph looks like, what each axis represents, where each variable goes, how to read the relationships, and what different relationships might look like. Once we were all on common ground, the third activity went much more smoothly. In the third part, the students are supposed to be able to choose their variables but we chose them as a class and worked through it together. Since I only had four students, they still had quite a bit of say and participation in the activity but it was still controlled enough that I was able to help walk them through it.

Students were able to see the relationships between the variables eventually, especially the IPAT formula which was the focus of the activity.

Students often struggled with reading a graph and relationships between variables at first. Once we had a mini lesson on these topics, much of that disappeared.

Future Use

This instructor story and adaption materials were developed during a Project EDDIE Faculty Mentoring Network in partnership with QUBES in the Fall of 2021.

Project EDDIE Faculty Mentoring Network logo

I would definitely do this activity again. In the future, I will gauge my students math skills at the beginning of the course to determine what needs to be covered first before we start the activity. I also would like to look for some links to resources on graphing that I can use with my students in case they have questions or need assistance and I am not immediately available.