Instructions for Team Project

The actual teams, if we break students into teams, will be performed at a later date.

Background on sustainability project

Most of this information will be provided during Dr. Myriah Johnson’s visit to class on August 21, but a brief summary is this. Sustainability is a big issue, even if no one is clear what ‘sustainability’ means. Food companies like McDonalds want to meet society’s demands for sustainability while remaining profitable. A company can only have a credible claim to sustainability if it knows how the cattle used to make its ground beef is produced, and that requires extensive record keeping. To facilite this, McDonalds has teamed up with a number of groups, including the Noble Research Institute (NRI) to explore what data should be collected. A brief summary of the project is here. The slides Myriah used when she visited the class are here.

Your project

If McDonalds does institute such a sustainability program, and uses it to tout its food as sustainable, will consumers consider it credible? That is, will they see it as the company’s sincere interest in producing responsible food, or will it be perceived as greenwashing? That is the question you will address, and you will do so by asking questions on a nationwide survey of 1,000 Americans to be administered in November.

NPR recently ran a story on such a subject, asking if 'sustainability' really helps the environment or if it is just a PR thing.

For a better idea of the kinds of questions you can ask, we will study the FooDS survey conducted by the department.

Using Qualtrics

Qualtrics is an online software program idea for creating online surveys. Students will need an account, but it is free an can be obtained here. Just use your OKEY login information.


The data are now available for you to begin analyzing. A spreadsheet with the data is available here. A Word copy of the survey with details on what certain codes may mean is available here.

Current timetable

  • Each student should crunch the numbers for their assigned part of the survey, make 1-3 slides concerning their results, and come see me in my office before 3 PM on November 21 to give a brief presentation on what they found. You may drop by unannounced but I prefer you make an appointment here. Because you will all combine your slides together, for your individual slides, just make it on a blank white background.
  • On December 8, 2:30-3:45, the teams will present their results. More info on the presentations guidelines to come.