Frequently Asked Questions

Who should take these courses?

If you are new to sustainability and the built environment, learning modules contain extra interactions to help build your foundational knowledge to bring you up-to-speed and teach you about authentic sustainability.

If you have some built environment experience, this course will help you make the leap from "casual greening" to "authentic sustainability."

How much time is required to complete the course?

There are three levels of participation in the course:

Causal learner (2 hours per week)

  • 2 hours of video watching per week

Working professional  (5 hours per week)

  • 2 hours of video watching per week
  • 1.5 hours per week interacting with learning modules
  • 1.5 hour per week occasionally engaged in discussion board

Taking the full course (10.5 hours per week)

  • 2 hours of video watching per week
  • 1.5 hours per week interacting with learning modules
  • 4 hours per week of readings (necessary to get good grades on the assignments/be prepared for assignments)
  • 4 hours per week completing the assignments

What are the assignments?

The course includes a variety of assignments. Some are short 2-page papers posted for peer evaluation. The midterm project is a case study that becomes part of a larger data base of sustainability projects that are organized, compared and contrasted through the four lenses of Integral Theory. There are some short quizzes in the second half of the course flowed by a final project that is still in development.

How do I register?

To register for the course, please see the course page on here.

Will I receive CEU Credits?

At this time the course has not been approved by GBCI for LEED® CE credits. However, students may self-report the hours for the class. Please follow all guidelines as listed on the GBCI website. The number of hours that can be claimed will vary on the level of involvement in the course.

At this time, this course does not have AIA CEU’s available.

What books are required?

There are no required books.

The online learning modules and PDF readings are stored within the OOEd platform. However, the following books are highly recommended for deeper study:

  • Design Education for a Sustainable Future by Rob Fleming
  • Plan B 4.0 by Lester Brown
  • The Integrative Design Guide to Green Building: Redefining the Practice of Sustainability by the 7 Group
  • Integral Sustainable Design by Mark DeKay
  • Brief History of Everything by Ken Wilber

Course History

This course had its beginnings 8 years ago as it became the foundational education experience for the M.S. in Sustainable Design program at Philadelphia University. Over that time, more than 300 students have taken the course both on-campus and on-line. Because the course has traditionally included students from any major it is purposely broad in scope. The course has evolved into a very deep exploration of sustainability values followed by a comprehensive presentation of corresponding sustainable design methodologies (introduced in the second MOOC course beginning in May 2015). Each week remains broad in scope with opportunities for students to take very deep dives into the content. The M.S. in Sustainable Design Program has received awards from the United States Green Building Council and the National Institute of Building Science. Over 150 students have graduated from the program since 2006.

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