The course introduces and critically examines some of the most widely used methodologies, methods and models for informing environmental policy and implementation across scales. By focusing on the nexus between methods and policy and practice, we assess critically how decision-support for socio-ecological problems may be effective. We draw connections to the underlying philosophy behind methodologies and methods including their ontological and epistemological foundations.
This being a ‘Course with continuous Assessment (PI)’, the university requires students to attend at least 80% of all classes for completing the course successfully. This means that you cannot miss more than two sessions over the semester. Ideally you don’t miss any classes. In any case, please contact via email the referent professor when you are unable to attend the class, before the class takes place.
Students must attend the first class on October 3, 2019 at 9:00 AM.
|Thursday ||10/03/19 ||09:00 AM - 12:30 PM ||TC.3.01 |
Teaching methods comprise
- Lecture-style input (in-class as well as lecturecast)
- Group exercises
- Individual hands-on exercises
- Group debate
- Practice clinics
- Be on time. Walking in late disturbs everyone. At this university and many places of employment, tardiness communicates lack of interest and lack of dependability. If you cannot avoid being late, make sure to be unobtrusive about your entry.
- Please turn off and do not use mobile communication devices in class, you should be paying attention to the lecturer and class discussions, not communicating externally. Occasionally we will ask you to bring your laptop to class for some of the exercises. Also during these periods, we ask you to concentrate on the exercise and not to communicate externally.
- While it is acceptable – and for health reasons recommended – to bring your filled water bottle to class, we ask you to wait for the break or the end of class to refill it. Getting up and walking out during a session disturbs people and gives the impression that you don’t respect the class, the other students or the instructors.
- Do not dominate other students’ opportunities to learn by asking too many questions. We encourage you to ask questions and make comments, but keep them related to the discussion at hand and allow also for space for others.
Students can choose 2 of the 4 blocks. The three sessions of each block are full day workshops (morning + afternoon). There is no restriction in terms of class size. You will be provided with a form to sign up to the blocks that interest you. In your own interest, you are of course asked to keep class sizes roughly equal. Whether you sign up for VVZ course 1027 or 1562 is irrelevant for the classes you attend.
Each student will complete two graded assignments. These are individual papers one from each method the students opt to study.
· Each paper is worth 50 percent of the grade.
· The paper is required to be 4,000 words minimum to 5,000 words maximum.
· Students are encouraged to discuss the topic of their paper with the instructor in advance.
· The papers must be uploaded on the Learn platform by the deadlines provided by each instructor.
Please mind the deadlines as given by the instructors! Submissions within 24 hours after the deadline will be accepted with a mark-down of 25% of points. Thereafter, we will not accept any submissions. No exceptions.
All submissions via assignment section at Learn@WU. Please remember to include all names in your submission.
You are expected to come to class prepared, i.e. having done the reading indicated with the respective class, undertaken other tasks assigned and install the relevant software:
- Microsoft Office Excel or LibreOffice Calc
- Vensim: http://vensim.com/
- Visual Promethee: http://www.promethee-gaia.net/software.html
It is particularly important to complete the readings before class. When completing the readings, keep in mind the following points.
- How to constitute effective, legitimate and credible interfaces?
- What are needs, opportunities and limitations of pluralistic methodologies and multiple lines of evidence for informing sustainability transitions across science-society?
- What are boundary subjects & objects?
Methodological approaches and methods:
- What is the ontology and epistemology of the methodological approach/ method?
- What are the merits, limitations and problematic aspects?
- Of the problems that you would want to work on in the future, which method/methodology you find most suitable?
- What are criteria for high quality empirical ecological economic analyses?
For some guidance, you may want to orientate yourselves to the following questions:
- What are the concepts discussed in a lecture?
- How do these relate to (or contradict) other concepts or theories?
- Where do I see the need for clarification and want to provide clarifying explanations?
- Where do I agree or disagree and how can my (dis-)agreement be argued?
- What are societal implications of the discussed concepts?