CPT-53806 Internet-based Communication and Learning for Social Change


Studiepunten 6.00

Individual Paper1
Group work0
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. JN Leerlooijer
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. ir. AEJ Wals
MSc TM Stevens
dr. O Noroozi
prof. dr. ir. C Leeuwis
AF Schwarz
CW van Eck
drs. U Wild
Examiner(s)MSc TM Stevens

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

CPT-12306 Introduction to Strategic Communication or CPT-23804 Introduction to Communication and Innovation Studies M or introductory courses in ECS.


Intended participants:
This course is aimed at students who are interested in the use of new digital media for behavioral and social change. Students study the role of ICT-mediated interactions in planned and unplanned change in the life-science domain, using communication and learning theories.
We are living in the digital age. People, young and old, poor and rich, across the globe, are spending more and more time behind (often handheld) screens in digitally mediated networks. Our everyday personal and professional lives are increasingly shaped by digital media (e.g. websites, social media, games, apps, etc.) which strongly influence our social relationships, our connections with the physical world, the decisions we make about what to buy and how we spend our time. The hyper-connectivity that characterizes these networks opens up enormous possibilities for information exchange, knowledge creation, social influence, feedback, debate, learning and innovation, social networking, marketing, advertising and so on.
This course provides students with an opportunity to critically study the possibilities and limitations of digital media in life-science contexts such as health, food, agriculture, environment, nature conservation, natural resource management and sustainability. Students will critically examine how ICT-mediated interaction creates both challenges and opportunities for scientists in informing and involving citizens in these topics. They will also analyse the potential of ICT-mediated environments in changing people’s routines, influencing their lifestyle decisions and in improving communication between scientists and other societal actors.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- understand how the changing media landscape affects communication processes and society at large;
- understand different learning theories and computer-supported collaborative learning;
- apply theoretical models to develop and evaluate media applications for interventions;
- understand how social media affects social processes and unplanned change;
- engage in debates about the possibilities and limitations of digital media in addressing life-science or sustainability issues;
- make design choices for the development of a tailored digital application that addresses a particular challenge in a life-science domain;
- write an argument about how a particular form of digital media or online communication impacts a life-science or sustainability issue.


Group Work and Tutorials: Students will design a digital application that addresses a communication challenge in a life-science domain. First they choose a life-science issue, describe the role of learning and communication in that field and define a communication challenge. To address this challenge, they develop a communication strategy and create a digital application. Deliverables: 3 group reports and a digital application (which together count for 50% of the final mark).
Lectures and Literature will cover; communication and learning theories; the use of media applications for behavioral and social change; the role of digital media in planned and unplanned changes in the life-science and sustainability domain. Lectures will be given by scientific experts from various fields as well as by communication professionals. The lectures and literature provide basic information that supports the assignments as well as additional material to inspire the group work and individual essay.
Individual Essay: Students write an essay to critically reflect on the course material on a topic of their interest.


- group: 3 reports and digital application (50%);
- individual: pitch (5%) and essay (45%).
Each component needs a minimum mark of 5.5 to pass.


Literature will be provided during the first session.

Verplicht voor: WUQFSBSc Minor Quantified Self5AF
Keuze voor: WUECLBSc Minor Communication in Life Science Contexts5AF