YSS-60806 Cutting Edge Issues in Development and Rural Innovation


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work15
Excursion (multiple days)28
Course coordinator(s)ir. M van Maanen-Nooij
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. H Maat
dr. SP Koot
Examiner(s)dr. ir. H Maat

Language of instruction:


Mandatory knowledge:

CPT-21304 Introduction to Technology, Agro-ecology and Development M; CPT-23804 Introduction to Communication and Innovation Studies M; SDC-21804 Introduction to the Sociology of Knowledge and Development M.

Assumed knowledge on:

YRM-20806 Research Design & Research Methods.


Cutting Edge Issues is a student-driven learning exercise in which various elements of earlier courses in the MDR program are built on and integrated. It is based on self-tuition, implying that students become responsible for their own learning process, based on ownership of a problem and the opportunity of learning-by-doing.
Students organized in groups develop a learning module on 'the edge of scientific endeavour'. The course is tailor-made in the sense that it offers students the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of any of the themes covered in the previous courses or on any topic of their interest that has not yet been elaborated.
Cutting Edge Issues, together with the course Facilitating Interactive Processes (CPT-60306), forms the Academic Master Cluster (AMC) for the MDR programme.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- assess the state of knowledge of topical issues in socio-technical change in a variety of complex contexts in general, and in the field of development and rural innovation in developing countries in particular, using information technology and collective primary data collection;
- conduct an integrated analysis of a practical socio-technical change situation in a limited time and space;
- define and prioritize lines for further analytical action and solution design;
- apply social science perspectives, theory and cognitive skills at an academic level to a practical situation;
- interact professionally with a commissioner, and work in a demand-driven fashion without sacrificing a critical academic stance and ethical standards;
- execute a complex project, arriving at an effective task division and group working procedures;
- transform research findings into concrete and feasible practical recommendations;
- implement reflexive learning by assessing their own performance and contribution to a professional team as well as an assessment of the contribution of other team members.


Student group work; Literature Retrieval; Student poster presentations or any other activity participants deem required to achieve their learning goals. A multiple day excursion is part of the activities, its preparation (content and methodology) is the assignment of one or more groups.


The commissioner's assessment of the quality of the end product (50%). A peer review of the final presentation (25%). An assessment of the group collaboration process (25%). Each component needs a minimum mark of 5.5 to pass.


As to the contents, student will collect relevant reading material themselves on the topic of their choice.

Compulsory for: MDRDevelopment and Rural InnovationMSc4+5+6