ICT Sustainability

Assessment and Strategies for a Low Carbon Future

An Online Graduate Course & Book by Tom Worthington MEd, FACS CP

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The weighting of the assessment items and criteria are set by the particular educational institution offering the course. Shown here are those for the Australian National University (ANU, 2016).

There are two areas of assessment in the course:

To pass the course at least 10/20 for Weekly Assessment and 40/80 for Assignments is required. Grades of 70% and higher (Distinction and High Distinction) are based only on Assignments.

Weekly Assessment

Percentage: 20%

1% weekly forum contribution, plus 1% weekly quiz, with best 10 out of 12 counted.

Details: Following tasks are required of you every week:

  1. Read the course notes for the week and the additional readings.
  2. Complete the weekly quiz.

  3. 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.

  4. Read the answers from other students and mark at least one postings from another student
  5. Submit at least one reply to a posting from your fellow students in the Discussion Forum, for each of that week’s questions by the end of Sunday.

The questions each week are on topics to be covered in the assignments. All assessment is to be submitted on time, apart from special consideration for illness or other causes.

For the first two weekly forums you are required to use a formal style for referencing, such as Harvard (author-date) style. This is so the tutor can check you know how to reference for the assignments. After two weeks you can use simple hypertext links.

Also, optionally, you can paste your draft answers into the text-match check. The reports referenced in the course provide examples of what should be in your assignment submission. You can obtain assistance with referencing and writing from the ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre, along with a generic report structure and an example report.

You are to give a mark of 0, 1, or 2, to postings from other students, using the following scale. These marks are anonymous and are averaged by the system, to be used as a guide to the grade given by the tutor each week (up to 1%):

Grading
Numerical Mark Standard
2 Greater than expectation: Work of good quality, displaying an understanding of the subject matter and a grasp of relevant skills that is above average: all questions answered and at least one reply to another student's posting on each topic.
1 At expectation: Work of satisfactory quality, which displays an adequate understanding of most of the subject matter and a sufficient grasp of relevant skills: most questions were answered, and at least one reply to another student's posting on each topic.
0 Limited contribution: Work which is incomplete or displays an inadequate understanding of the subject matter or an inadequate grasp of relevant skills. Few or no postings to the forums, or postings with content which not acceptable. In particular material which is not correctly referenced, or cited.

Due date: Answers by the end of Wednesday and discussion by the end of Sunday, each week.

Mid-semester Assignment

Part A

Percentage: 10%

Details:

Describe an organization and how you will study its ICT sustainability

In the weekly forums and the two major assignments, you are asked to write about the ICT sustainability of an organization your are familiar with. It may be where you work, where you have worked, or an organization you can obtain information on from public sources. For this first assignment, describe the organization and how it uses ICT. Outline how you plan to obtain the information needed to report on the carbon footprint and materials use of the ICT operations of the organization.

Specific requirements:

Maximum 500 words. Include at least one reference using a formal style for referencing, such as Harvard (author-date) style. Also, optionally, you can check your draft using the text-match check. The reports referenced in the course provide examples of what should be in your assignment submission. You can obtain assistance with referencing and writing from the ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre, along with a generic report structure and an example report.

Standard ANU Grading and Marking is used.

All assessment is to be submitted on time, apart from special consideration for illness or other causes.

Those who do not achieve 50% on their first attempt will offered the opportunity to resubmit revised work for up to 50%. This offer will not be made for the assignments in the second half of the course.

Due date: End of week 4.

Marking Guide

Criteria %
Is the organization and the role of IT in its operations described? Is the relationship between these and the carbon footprint and e-waste explained? 40
Are the methods and assumptions for identifying the intensity of IT use in the organization shown. Are they credible? 40
Is the document well structured, with headings, references. Is it readable, with correct spelling, punctuation and grammar? 20

Marking Rubric

Is the organization and the role of IT in its operations described? Is the relationship between these and the carbon footprint and e-waste explained?

No description 0 points
Little description, nothing on relationship
2 points
Reasonable description, but limited discussion of relationship to carbon footprint and e-waste
4 points
Good description and a good discussion of relationship to carbon footprint and e-waste
6 points
As previous, but described effectively, with a detailed description and a detailed discussion of relationship to carbon footprint and e-waste
8 points

Are the methods and assumptions for identifying the intensity of IT use in the organization shown. Are they credible?

No description methods and assumptions for identifying the intensity of IT use
0 points
Little description of methods and assumptions. Not credible
2 points
Reasonable description, but not credible
4 points
Good description and a credible
6 points
As previous, but described effectively and very credible
8 points
Is the document well structured, with headings, references. Is it readable, with correct spelling, punctuation and grammar?
Poorly structured document, spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors.
0 points
Many structure requirements met, but many problems with headings, references, readability spelling, punctuation or grammar.
1 points
Most, but not all requirements met, with some problems with headings, references, readability spelling, punctuation or grammar.
2 points
All structure requirements met, but with a few problems with headings, references, readability spelling, punctuation or grammar.
3 points
All structure requirements met, but with a no problems with headings, references, readability spelling, punctuation or grammar.
4 points

Mid-semester Assignment

Part B

Percentage: 30%

Details:

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). The report should follow the principles in the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency "National Carbon Offset Standard" (2010).

Specific requirements:

Maximum 2,000 words. Use use a formal style for referencing, such as Harvard (author-date) style. Also, optionally, you can check your draft using the text-match check. The reports referenced in the course provide examples of what should be in your assignment submission. You can obtain assistance with referencing and writing from the ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre, along with a generic report structure and an example report.

Standard ANU Grading and Marking is used.

All assessment is to be submitted on time, apart from special consideration for illness or other causes.

Those who do not achieve 50% on their first attempt will offered the opportunity to resubmit revised work for up to 50%. This offer will not be made for the assignments in the second half of the course.

Due date: End of week 6.

Marking Guide

Criteria %
Is the organization and the role of IT in its operations described? Is the relationship between these and the carbon footprint and e-waste explained? 20
Are the methods and assumptions for identifying the intensity of IT use in the organization shown. Are they credible? 20
Are the figures for energy use and carbon emissions for the ICT operations of the organization credible? Is the method of calculation shown? Are the principles in the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency "National Carbon Offset Standard" (2010) followed? Have emissions been correctly categorized into Scope 1, 2 or 3? Has the correct conversion factor been used? Have the units been stated for all amounts and are these appropriate? 20
Is the figure for e-waste credible? Is the method of calculation shown? Are the assumptions made appropriate? Have the units been stated for all amounts and are these appropriate? 20
Is the document well structured, with headings, references. Is it readable, with correct spelling, punctuation and grammar? 20

Marking Rubric

Is the organization and the role of IT in its operations described? Is the relationship between these and the carbon footprint and e-waste explained?

Reasonable description, but limited discussion of relationship to carbon footprint and e-waste 2 points
No description 0 points Little description, nothing on relationship 1 points Good description and a good discussion of relationship to carbon footprint and e-waste 3 points As previous, but described effectively, with a detailed description and a detailed discussion of relationship to carbon footprint and e-waste 4 points

Are the methods and assumptions for identifying the intensity of IT use in the organization shown. Are they credible?

No description methods and assumptions for identifying the intensity of IT use
0 points
Little description of methods and assumptions. Not credible
1 points
Reasonable description, but not credible
2 points
Good description and a credible
3 points
As previous, but described effectively and very credible
4 points

Are the figures for energy use and carbon emissions for the ICT operations of the organization credible? Is the method of calculation shown? Are the principles in the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency "National Carbon Offset Standard" (2010) followed? Have emissions been correctly categorized into Scope 1, 2 or 3? Has the correct conversion factor been used? Have the units been stated for all amounts and are these appropriate?

No figures for energy use and carbon emissions.
0 points
Some figures for energy use and carbon emissions. Method of calculation not shown.
1 points
Reasonably complete figures for energy use and carbon emissions. Method of calculation shown.
2 points
Complete figures for energy use and carbon emissions. Method of calculation shown.
3 points
As previous, plus Carbon Offset principles followed. Emissions are correctly categorized into Scope 1, 2 or 3. Correct conversion factor been used. Units been stated for all amounts and are these are appropriate.
4 points

Is the figure for e-waste credible? Is the method of calculation shown? Are the assumptions made appropriate? Have the units been stated for all amounts and are these appropriate?

No figure for e-waste.
0 points
Figure for e-waste. Method of calculation not shown.
1 points
Reasonable figure for e-waste. Method of calculation shown.
2 points
Reasonable figure for e-waste. Method of calculation shown. Some assumptions stated. appropriate
3 points
As previous, plus e-waste figure credible, units stated for all amounts and are appropriate.
4 points

Is the document well structured, with headings, references. Is it readable, with correct spelling, punctuation and grammar?

Poorly structured document, spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors.
0 points
Many structure requirements met, but many problems with headings, references, readability spelling, punctuation or grammar.
1 points
Most, but not all requirements met, with some problems with headings, references, readability spelling, punctuation or grammar.
2 points
All structure requirements met, but with a few problems with headings, references, readability spelling, punctuation or grammar.
3 points
All structure requirements met, but with a no problems with headings, references, readability spelling, punctuation or grammar.
4 points

End of Semester Assignment

Part A

Percentage: 10%

Details: In the previous assignment you estimated the carbon footprint and materials use of an organisation from ICT. How do propose to reduce these? Briefly describe the polices, operations or business processes you propose to change and how they are to be changed. You will then provide the details in the next assignment.

Specific requirements:

Maximum 500 words. Include at least one reference using a formal style for referencing, such as Harvard (author-date) style. Also, optionally, you can check your draft using the text-match check. The reports referenced in the course provide examples of what should be in your assignment submission. You can obtain assistance with referencing and writing from the ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre, along with a generic report structure and an example report.

Standard ANU Grading and Marking is used.

All assessment is to be submitted on time, apart from special consideration for illness or other causes.


Due date: End of week 10.

Marking Guide


Criteria %
Are the 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 credible? 40
Is the report targeted at the organisation's ICT management committee, with processes tailored to suit the organization? 40
Is the document well structured, with headings, references. Is it readable, with correct spelling, punctuation and grammar? 20

Marking Rubric

Are the 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 credible?
No changes proposed.
0 points
Little description of changes proposed. Not credible
2 points
Reasonable description, but not credible
4 points
Good description and a credible.
6 points
As previous, but described effectively and very credible.
8 points

Is the report targeted at the organisation's ICT management committee, with processes tailored to suit the organization?

Not targeted at ICT management committee or Taylor processes.
0 points
Some targeting of ICT management committee or tailoring.
2 points
Reasonably complete targeting of ICT management committee or tailoring.
4 points
Reasonably complete of ICT management committee and tailoring.
6 points
Complete of ICT management committee and tailoring.
8 points

Is the document well structured, with headings, references. Is it readable, with correct spelling, punctuation and grammar?

Poorly structured document, spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors.
0 points
Many structure requirements met, but many problems with headings, references, readability spelling, punctuation or grammar.
1 points
Most, but not all requirements met, with some problems with headings, references, readability spelling, punctuation or grammar.
2 points
All structure requirements met, but with a few problems with headings, references, readability spelling, punctuation or grammar.
3 points
All structure requirements met, but with a no problems with headings, references, readability spelling, punctuation or grammar.
4 points

End of Semester Assignment

Part B

Percentage: 30%

Details: 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.

Specific requirements:

Maximum 2,000 words. Use use a formal style for referencing, such as Harvard (author-date) style. Also, optionally, you can check your draft using the text-match check. The reports referenced in the course provide examples of what should be in your assignment submission. You can obtain assistance with referencing and writing from the ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre, along with a generic report structure and an example report.

Standard ANU Grading and Marking is used.

All assessment is to be submitted on time, apart from special consideration for illness or other causes.

Due date: End of week 12.

Marking Guide

Criteria %
Is the organization and the role of IT in its current operations described? Are figures for current energy use, carbon emissions and e-waste provided? 20
Are the 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 credible? 20
Is the report targeted at the organisation's ICT management committee, with processes tailored to suit the organization? 20
Are the challenges the organization will face in making changes identifed along with measures of success of the proposals? 20
Is the document well structured, with headings, references. Is it readable, with correct spelling, punctuation and grammar? 20

Marking Rubric

Is the organization and the role of IT in its current operations described? Are figures for current energy use, carbon emissions and e-waste provided?

No description
0 points
Little description, on operations, or figures.
1 points
Reasonable description, but limited discussion, of operations, or figures.
2 points
Good description and a good discussion of operations, or figures.
3 points
As previous, but described effectively, with a detailed description of operations, and compete figures for current energy use, carbon emissions and e-waste.
4 points

Are the 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 credible?

No changes proposed.
0 points
Little description of changes proposed. Not credible
1 points
Reasonable description, but not credible
2 points
Good description and a credible.
3 points
As previous, but described effectively and very credible.
4 points

Is the report targeted at the organisation's ICT management committee, with processes tailored to suit the organization?

Not targeted at ICT management committee or Taylor processes.
0 points
Some targeting of ICT management committee or tailoring.
1 points
Reasonably complete targeting of ICT management committee or tailoring.
2 points
Reasonably complete of ICT management committee and tailoring.
3 points
Complete of ICT management committee and tailoring.
4 points

Are the challenges the organization will face in making changes identifed along with measures of success of the proposals?

No description of challenges, or measures of success.
0 points
Some description of challenges. Some measures shown.
1 points
Reasonable description of challenges. Measures shown.
2 points
Good description of challenges. Measures shown.
3 points
As previous, plus measures credible, units stated for all amounts and are appropriate.
4 points

Is the document well structured, with headings, references. Is it readable, with correct spelling, punctuation and grammar?

Poorly structured document, spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors.
0 points
Many structure requirements met, but many problems with headings, references, readability spelling, punctuation or grammar.
1 points
Most, but not all requirements met, with some problems with headings, references, readability spelling, punctuation or grammar.
2 points
All structure requirements met, but with a few problems with headings, references, readability spelling, punctuation or grammar.
3 points
All structure requirements met, but with a no problems with headings, references, readability spelling, punctuation or grammar.
4 points

Next: Tutor's Guide.


About the book: ICT Sustainability: Assessment and Strategies for a Low Carbon Future

Edition Notice

ICT Sustainability is about how to assess, and reduce, the carbon footprint and materials used with computers and telecommunications. These are the notes for an award winning graduate course on strategies for reducing the environmental impact of computers and how to use the Internet to make business more energy efficient.

Copyright © Tom Worthington, 2017

Second edition.

ISBN: 978-1-326-96794-9. (Hardcover)
ISBN: 978-1-326-95850-3. (Paperback)
ISBN: 978-1-326-95849-7. (ePub eBook)
ISBN: 978-1-326-96791-8. (PDF eBook)

Cover shows Power on-off symbol: line within a circle (IEC 60417-5010).

These notes have been used for the courses:

  1. Green Technology Strategies: offered in the Computer Professional Education Program, Australian Computer Society (first run as "Green ICT Strategies" in February 2009),
  2. ICT Sustainability (COMP7310), in the Graduate Studies Select program, Australian National University (first run July 2009), and
  3. Green ICT Strategies (COMP 635), Athabasca University (Canada). Adapted for North America by Brian Stewart.

Course materials available free on-line, under at Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0) license at http://www.tomw.net.au/ict_sustainability/