DRAFT - SUBJECT TO CHANGE
Integrated Approaches to Sustainable Development Practice
Live Global Discussion Time:
Tuesdays 12:00 GMT – 13:00 GMT (shifts to 13:00 GMT- 14:00 GMT starting November 5)
Smaller Global Discussions
(global student-to-student discussions with 3-4 universities): Thursdays 13:00 GMT (14:00 GMT after 5 Nov)
small groups will be coordinated by Katie; contact: email@example.com for more information
John McArthur and Jeffrey Sachs, Guest Lecturers and Local Faculty
This course aims to provide students with a general introduction to the basic core competencies and practical skills required of a “generalist” development practitioner. The course will be offered at a number of universities around the world, and each week students will have the opportunity to learn from an expert practitioner and engage in discussion with each other. Course topics will be grounded in a practical, multi-disciplinary approach that will focus on the inter-relationship of each of the following core fields of study:
Public Health & Nutrition
Environmental Science (including Agriculture, Water, Climate Change, and Biodiversity & Ecosystem Functioning)
Social Sciences (including Economics, Anthropology, and Education)
Policy & Management
Energy, Technology & Engineering
Both conceptual and practical management issues will be stressed throughout each course topic. The course will incorporate state-of-the-art web-based technologies for sharing lectures across countries, and to facilitate international discussion and collaboration among students at participating universities. The Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CNMTL) will support the interactive, web-based components of the course including the development of electronic learning resources and the lecture videos.
Intended learning outcomes:
To expose students to the core technical skills required to solve professional problems within the field of sustainable development.
To provide students the opportunity to demonstrate functional knowledge of the core issues of sustainable development through the analysis and diagnosis of real-world problems.
To enable students to determine an appropriate course of action when faced with a complex development challenge.
To provide students with a heightened awareness of the cross-cultural, multi-disciplinary, multinational dimensions of the field.
To encourage students to identify, create, and reflect upon “integrated approaches” and appropriate interventions that may lead to poverty alleviation and sustainable development
To foster a spirit of collaboration both inside and outside the classroom among students from diverse backgrounds and distant regions through increased communication skills and social networking tools, in order to prepare them for such environments in the professional world of development practice.
Each week, a professional development practitioner will deliver a 30-45 minute lecture that has been pre-taped and posted on the course website. In preparation for each class, students will view the assigned lecture, complete the required readings, and complete an assignment for the guest lecturer which will be used to generate and guide a global discussion. Weekly classes will be divided between live global discussion sessions with the guest lecturer and students at participating universities, and local discussions facilitated by the local professor.
Tentative schedule (to be confirmed)
Date Class Topic Guest Lecturer
Sept 8 Course Launch & MDGs Jeffrey Sachs & John McArthur
Sept 15 Agriculture Glenn Denning
Sept 22 Nutrition Lawrence Haddad
Sept 29 Primary Health in LDCs Jeff Koplan
Oct 6 Water Upmanu Lal
Oct 13 Education Amina Ibrahim
Oct 20 Energy, Technology & Engineering Lee Yee Cheong
Oct 27 Climate Change RK Pachauri
Nov 5 (Thu)* Biodiversity & Ecosystems Virgilio Viana
Nov 10 Policy Management & Foreign Aid Helene Gayle
Nov 17 Millennium Villages Project MVP Science Coordinator
Nov 24 Ethics John DeGioia
Dec 1 Global Economy Pierre Yared
Dec 8 Conclusion Jeffrey Sachs & John McArthur
*US university holiday on Tuesday, special Global session on Thursday
Structure of the Tuesday Global Discussions
For each class session, students will be expected to prepare in advance by (1) watching the assigned pre-taped lecture(s), (2) completing the assigned readings, and (3) submitting responses to the weekly assignment for the guest lecturer. All lectures and readings will be available for electronic download from the course website so that students can view them on personal computers. In institutions where this is not possible, local faculty and facilitators may need to provide DVD copies to their students.
At ColumbiaUniversity and many other institutions, the 2-hour class session will be divided into two parts.
The first hour (Sept 4- Oct 27: 12:00 GMT-13:00 GMT; Nov 5-Dec 8: 13:00 GMT ) includes an interactive global class discussion with the lecturer of the week available on camera along with participating universities worldwide, using the Adobe Connect internet-based meeting room.
The second hour will not use the internet-based meeting room. In this portion, local faculty and guest facilitators will guide student discussions on the topic of the week, drawing upon the first hour’s discussion and additional discussion guidelines provided by the guest lecturers. Local faculty are encouraged to present additional background material and/or case studies deemed relevant to the topic of the week, and to discuss pertinent local or regional issues.
Although formal discussions will take place on Tuesdays with students from all participating universities, additional discussions will be emphasized on Thursdays among students from a smaller subset of universities. Furthermore, the internet-based meeting room will be available at all times. Participating universities are encouraged to use this room as an informal meeting place, discussion board, and chat room throughout the course, and to incorporate utilization of these interactive networking opportunities into their student assessments.
Weekly Readings and Pre-taped Lectures
The pre-taped lectures will be approximately 30-45 minutes and will consist of a “101” style introduction to the basic knowledge pertinent to the weekly topic and relevant to the overarching theme of integrated sustainable development practice. To complement these lectures and help generate debate and discussion on the topic at hand, students will be required to complete approximately 50 pages of readings per week. The assigned readings will focus on current events, from Op-Eds to case studies and alternative viewpoints.
Each week, students from all participating universities will be required to complete a short exercise intended to encourage thoughtful reflection upon and integration of the topic for the week within the overarching aims of the course. This will be accomplished through guided comments on the weekly readings. Each week immediately following the prior Global Discussion, the local TA or faculty will post a new forum on the local discussion board meant to provoke succinct (200 words maximum) yet insightful, carefully phrased responses based on the readings for the following week’s discussion. Students will post their responses on the discussion forum, perhaps responding to or counteracting prior posts by classmates or offering the perspective of a specific location to the issue at hand. Each student must have submitted a response no later than Sunday.
Additionally, the course will include one core assignment focused on a multi-dimensional poverty assessment of an approved location in the developing world, including a comprehensive plan to include multi-sectoral interventions to reduce poverty and improve conditions by 2020. The format of this assignment will be a Wiki page kept by each student on their specific location. Students should work on their Wiki page throughout the course of the semester, possibly – but not necessarily – incorporating their responses to the weekly exercise into their page.
While the weekly exercises provide an opportunity for a quick analysis and synthesis of the weekly topic in a succinct, hypothetical critical thinking exercise and policy prescription, the Wiki intends to deepen this analysis and integrate it across all topics for one specific, consistent locale. In particular, the Wiki will be an evolving, living document that fully incorporates all prior sectors, exploring where there are synergies and tradeoffs. As such, students must regularly expand their page with each new topic in light or prior fields, while also revising prior entries as the page is updated into one integrated output. Students must also provide evidence for their observations and should include a scan of latest relevant journals as part of their formulation process. There will be two points for peer review and evaluation by the grader throughout the semester to provide feedback and assessment of progress, and finally will result in one integrated page to be evaluated by the grader, including the incorporation of 3-4 policy prescriptions into the page. Special discussion sessions will allow students to present to their classmates and students at partner universities and discuss their findings.
Date Due Assignment
Each Sunday (by midnight) Short weekly exercise
September 10 Wiki location submitted
November 8 Submission of Wiki page for first peer review and evaluation
November 12 Peer review comments due
December 3 Submission of Wiki page for second peer review and evaluation
December 8 Peer review comments due
December 10 Presentation of Wiki pages to classmates, last feedback
December 18 (by midnight) Submission of final Wiki page with policy prescriptions
Participation (50% of final grade). Students are expected to be actively present throughout the course both in class discussions and outside of class through the course website, as follows:
Punctuality and attendance (20% of Participation grade)
Students are expected to attend all discussions, and to arrive 5-10 minutes before 8am to ensure a precise start time. Coffee and tea will be provided. Unexcused (in advance) tardiness and absenteeism will result in a lowering of the participation grade.
Participation in discussions (20% of Participation grade)
Students are expected to be prepared for each discussion (global and local) by having watched the pre-taped lectures and completed the required readings. This will be demonstrated through active engagement in the discussions, raising of questions, thoughtful responses to others, etc..
Online collaboration (20% of Participation grade)
Students are expected to regularly check on and contribute to the course website, including participation in discussion forums, Wikis, blogs, groups, etc..
Online interaction (20% of Participation grade)
Students are expected to reach out to and communicate with fellow classmates, particularly those abroad, through regular correspondence via email, instant messaging, profiles/pages, etc..
Completion of weekly exercises (20% of Participation grade)
Each week students will be assigned a letter grade based on their response to the weekly exercise, based on creativity, depth, clarity, succinctness and insightfulness, in addition to writing style and grammatical correctness.
Wiki Assignment (50% of total grade):
First Peer Review
Second Peer Review
Final Wiki page with policy prescriptions