Realizing Rental Energy Efficiency by Sean Walsh (Featured Educational Technology Master Student)

by Chloe Kubo (Guest Blogger)

Sean Walsh’s appearance at this year’s TCC Online Conference was a welcome addition to the presenters roster. A resident of Wailuku, Hawaii, Walsh is an avid proponent of clean energy with a focus on the unique challenges and opportunities of living in an island state.

Realizing Rental Efficiency is a learning module developed by Walsh as his culminating Master’s project. It clearly aligns with his interests in both the environment and education. Walsh opened the session by contextualizing the issue of energy efficiency in Hawaii. As one of the few states in the U.S. to utilize crude oil to produce electricity, there is a growing need to inform the public on best practices for reducing the consumption of electricity in order to reduce the possibility of further damaging the environment and global climate change.

Geared toward renters in Hawaii, ages 18 years and older, Walsh’s module takes learners through a succession of lessons on energy efficiency and its environmental and financial importance. The module was developed in Wix and was designed for asynchronous delivery to provide learners the flexibility to review content when convenient. Lessons were enhanced with multiple visual aides and media resources to engage learner interest and retention.

As part of the project, Walsh piloted and then tested the module for effectiveness in achieving desired learning outcomes. Participants completed both a pre- and post-module survey that assessed their knowledge and understanding of the importance of energy efficiency. The results of the study support existing literature: when there is a higher level of financial accountability, participants were more likely to be conscientious about energy use. Recommendations for future research include testing the module on a larger sample population and identifying intrinsic and extrinsic motivators that encourage adoption of energy conservation practices.

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