Environmental Sustainability is a persisting problem and it is incumbent on educators in Higher Education to address this urgent need. In the spirit of creating awareness of this real life problem and to adequately prepare students for professional practice, an attempt was made to embed content about environmental sustainability into the Information Systems (IS) curriculum at the University of Cape Town. This paper reports on a case study where five teams of undergraduate students were tasked with examining power consumption and paper wastage on campus and conducting experiments aimed at reducing consumption. The theoretical framework of Green Information Systems developed by Ijab which draws on the IS lifecycle framework proposed by Diez and McIntosh was implemented in this study. The most important contributing factors for success of the student experiments were found to be communication, a phased approach and the application of De Bono’s concept of serious creativity. The study further demonstrated that awareness of environmental sustainability was increased through a process of guided reflection during project execution. A key observation, worthy of future research, was the experience by the students of resistance to change by participants, who reverted to environmentally-unfriendly practices on conclusion of the experiments.
Scott, Elsje; McGibbon, Carolyn; and Mwalemba, Gwamaka, "ATTEMPTS TO EMBED GREEN VALUES IN THE INFORMATION SYSTEMS CURRICULUM: A CASE STUDY IN A SOUTH AFRICAN SETTING" (2012). ECIS 2012 Proceedings. 128.