Are you an instructor, and interested in potentially using EcoTypes as part of your course? Please see the FAQ below, and note that you can always ask a specific question here, and/or join our EcoTypes instructor GoogleGroup.
What are the permissions, fees, etc. for using EcoTypes?
You do not require any special permissions from Jim Proctor (EcoTypes PI) for using it in your course, and all use is free of charge. We request you be in touch with us if you use the survey in instructional settings, so that we can assign your students an institutional code.
If you wish to participate in the EcoTypes COIL, read this overview, then get in touch for further details and to register your students.
We also appreciate if you would be in touch with us on your experience after using the survey, or other EcoTypes learning materials, in your course, via the question form, or a direct email to Prof. Proctor.
My institution requires human subjects (IRB) clearance.
Since 2017, the EcoTypes initiated has been fully approved by the Lewis & Clark College Institutional Review Board. The IRB code is HSRC #2019-40, typically approved annually (current expiration 10 Nov 2022).
What are the ways that instructors typically use EcoTypes?
Since 2017, instructors in over 80 institutions of higher education in the USA, and a few in other countries, have used EcoTypes. Here is what they have commonly done, and what we envision you will be able to do in 2022-23:
- Most commonly they simply ask students to take the survey, then facilitate an in-class discussion. The survey, which has been completed nearly 8000 times by students as of summer 2022, is relatively quick, and this activity typically takes just one class session. But there is a great deal more to EcoTypes your students may not fully appreciate without doing one or more of the below.
- Following the survey are two recommended activities: (a) the followup reflection form, and (b) the EcoTypes COIL.
- At the end of the survey, the respondent is offered an opportunity to complete an optional followup reflection form going into greater depth on their EcoType, and how they navigate difference between their and other EcoTypes, based on a rubric of counting between one and two. Note that the form requires their email address, hence is confidential but not anonymous like the survey; additionally, it takes about one hour and must be completed from start to finish. Your student will receive a copy of their answers via email, for their records and as proof that they completed the form.
- The EcoTypes COIL offers two self-guided, interactive online learning modules for your students, building on the EcoTypes survey and reflection form. Here is an overview, with details on the instructor overview page. If you’d like to participate in 2022-23, contact us for further details on how to register your students, how you will monitor their progress, etc..
- There may be other opportunities for 2022-23 as well! One we are exploring is an EcoTypes card game your students can use in the classroom. Stay tuned via the EcoTypes Google Group for announcements.
Can you tell me more about the survey data you store?
The EcoTypes survey is fully anonymous and GDPR compliant: no unique identity information is collected, and the use of anonymous data disclosed. (If a student forgets the entry key they were provided with their survey report, there is thus no way to retrieve the report for them to view, nor to delete their data if requested.) Some optional demographic data are collected at the end of the survey, but these are of a nature most respondents will not find to be sensitive.
All terms of the survey are provided on the first page. (You may need to come up with an alternative assignment if you wish to give your students the option not to take the survey, given these simple terms.)
Important! if you wish to receive a copy of your students’ data—a popular feature of EcoTypes to date—they must enter an institutional code in the dropdown box at the end of the survey. Please contact us to agree on a code, and to specify a date by which your students will have completed the survey; we’ll then export your data into a .csv file and email it to you, and provide a guide to help you understand and use your data.
What resources can I consult to better teach EcoTypes?
The original EcoTypes site was packed with resources for instructors and students—too many, we heard. We are currently expanding and updating these resources into a book (possible publication date 2024), which you can use as a supplement in your courses; if interested, check the book notification box on our question form.
We plan in the meantime to provide most resources from the original website to instructors in a packet; send us a request and we’ll provide you one.
I and cross-national collaborators have been presenting on EcoTypes in 2022. Here are links to some presentations that may be of value:
- “Exploring Place, Knowledge, and Action via EcoTypes: A Cross-National Collaboration,” American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, February 2022.
- “Environmental Heterodoxy via EcoTypes: Multiple Imaginaries of Place, Knowledge, and Action,” Interdisciplinary Social Sciences Conference, July 2022.
- In addition to the overview presentation for that session, my own contribution was “Navigating Environmental Heterodoxy: Meta-imaginaries of Place, Knowledge, and Action between One and Two.”
- Two collaborator presentations for the ISS conference included Aideen Foley, “Serious games & Environmental Imagination,” and Sailaja Nandigama, “Controversies Around Environmental Action among Undergraduates in BITS Pilani.”
You may also wish to read these two earlier publications; note that some more recent features of EcoTypes are not mentioned:
- Proctor, James D. 2020. “EcoTypes: Exploring Environmental Ideas, Discovering Deep Difference.” Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences 10 (2): 178–88. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13412-020-00592-y.
- Caplow, Susan. 2020. “The Role of EcoTypes in Engagement across Difference.” Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences 10 (February): 189–95. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13412-020-00587-9.
I used EcoTypes several years ago. What’s new?
Gosh, there have been all sorts of changes and improvements over the last several years—and see here for proposed methodological changes effective 2023.
As of fall 2022, the survey has been completed roughly 10,000 times, many by undergraduate students. Here are some developments over the last two years:
- The EcoTypes site is now accessed via ecotypes.us, and is a lot more image-rich and less text-heavy than the old one. [The old text, e.g., axis deep dives, is available to instructors via GoogleDoc; send us a request and we’ll give you the link.]
- The survey is now much shorter (2 items per axis vs. 4), and can be completed in about 20 minutes. This may give you more opportunities, e.g., to administer the survey at the start and end of your course to compare changes.
- The survey is fully anonymous. This means that instructors desiring their student survey data (see FAQ) will need to arrange with Prof. Proctor for their students to select a unique institutional code. It also means that instructors will need to come up with their own ways of tracking who has completed the survey, e.g., to award credit.
- The survey report is immediately delivered online, and retrievable in future via a special code at the top of the report. This may make it easier for students to retrieve and share their reports at any time, but does require online access unless the report is printed or saved as PDF.
- The survey report has a helpful FAQ for students to better appreciate the underlying statistical methodology and interpret their results.
- The survey report now includes EcoTypes, not just axes and themes. We are very excited about the learning potential of these EcoTypes!…but have only begun to explore how best to incorporate them into a course.
- Speaking of axes, there are now eighteen: the three recent ones include Animals, Cities, and Economies.
- [See recent update for proposed 2023 analysis] The axis to theme to EcoTypes methodology has recently been revised such that EcoTypes are derived from absolute vs. relative (normalized) theme scores. The difference may not be apparent to students, but should make their EcoTypes more intuitive as directly relatable to their (absolute) axis and theme scores.
- The EcoTypes community now includes international collaborators!…thus our excitement around COIL opportunities, new for 2022-23.
- …and we are developing many new learning resources; see “What are the ways that instructors typically use EcoTypes?” above.
Do be in touch if you’d like further details on the above.
How can I keep in touch with other instructors using EcoTypes?
Please feel free to join our EcoTypes Google Group, designed for instructors using EcoTypes in their classes. As of fall 2022, the group includes over 150 members, and offers a wealth of insight into educational applications of EcoTypes.