Stormwater Education: Evaluating learning when siting stormwater facilities at the landscape scale
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PURPOSE: Evaluating a student’s development is key to understanding whether and how they are learning. This project focuses on landscape architecture and planning education, using a set curriculum, courses, and workshops as vehicles for experimentation. It systematically evaluates student learning within a studio course and a workshop by analyzing self-reported and spatially explicit evidence of learning about stormwater infiltration system design. METHOD: The method gathers, assesses, and evaluates evidence of student learning. It uses measurement and mapping combined with student surveys to evaluate two forms of evidence: self-reported and spatially explicit. Self-reported evidence are responses to a questionnaire administered both before and after course instruction to determine which key factors of students’ stormwater designs improved. The spatially explicit evidence is student designs for stormwater related interventions in landscape form and pattern, again both early in the sequence and after instruction. The spatially explicit evidence for both the studio and workshop were evaluated using a spatial analysis tool, “SUSTAIN” (an ArcGIS plugin), which uses siting criteria specified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that distinguish places suitable for stormwater infiltration facilities. RESULTS: The results of this study present and interpret the evaluation of self-reported and spatially explicit evidence of learning. The results indicate that students from the workshop showed evidence of learning from a spatially explicit evidence evaluation, however comparisons of the self-reported evidence from initial to final were mixed. These results are intended to provide recommendations for future courses regarding siting stormwater facilities at the landscape scale. CONCLUSION: I conclude that both spatially explicit and self-reported evidence together best indicate learning for design and planning students, with the evidence in this project most compelling regarding short-course workshop format classes.