Green IT and Sustainable Development Strategies: An Australian experience
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This paper reports on the development and facilitation of an intensive postgraduate unit (IS6) at Curtin University. IS6 aimed at enhancing Information Systems students’ appreciation and awareness of their industry’s impact on the environment, and their ultimate responsibility towards their communities and society. Throughout the seminars, students were keen to demonstrate awareness and sensitivity to the importance of sustainable development and business strategies in such a crucial time for people, planet and profits. Indeed, students were able to display an understanding of the fundamentals of Green IT, applying conceptual tools and frameworks to critically analyze and apply business decision-making practices and policies, translating theories, concepts and analytical techniques learnt into practice.The paper reports on quantitative and qualitative data collected throughout the semester from eighteen students, the diverse assessment methods applied, the three written journals, students’ individual oral presentations including peer-evaluation and report writing of an IT Sustainable Strategy. This comes in addition to the feedback provided through informal channels and more importantly through ‘eVALUate’, a feedback system adapted by Curtin University. The preliminary outcome, though limited to Australian higher education, yet reveals a shift in the students’ mindsets towards appreciation of the big picture, thus moving from merely concentrating on their software and hardware development into establishing the link between their specific industry and the society and environment.
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