Peer group projects
From method and theory to practice!
Peer groups are an experimental field for bridging the gap between academic literature and theory encountered in the course and practical problems of salience to Luxembourg (uncertain, unique, situated, and in some areas contested or contradictory).
Peer groups also allow to practice engaging in a social learning process in small and diverse groups, as you would if you were to mount a citizen initiative on a sustainability challenge in which you have a stake.
Peer group work is self-organized, it is planned in peer group meetings that are scheduled by the peer group participants when convenient for them, and each peer group has a mentor who provides advice and joins meetings as needed.
Overarching objectives for peer groups:
Work with your group’s multiple perspectives towards understanding how theory and methods presented in the Core Courses of the Certificate can be applied to addressing a complex problem for sustainability transition in practice.
The practical group work allows to critically discuss the merits and limitations of working with academic concepts, analytical frameworks and methods in practice.
Gain experience with group dynamics within your peer group (including different priorities from diverse sets of values being defended by different group members) and social learning in a diverse, non-hierarchical group self-organized to tackle a social or environmental issue.
Develop recommendations as a group on a particular topic leading to concrete actions and more general strategies for transition to a more sustainable society. It is important that the group feels ownership of the purpose of the peer group work, the group will thus define their joint objectives together and determine exactly what they commit to do at the outset.
The four choices as posited in this document mainly provide a framing, the group decides their exact topic, objectives and what might be feasible in terms of outcomes, within that loose frame.
Duration, 1 or 2 semesters
Most peer group projects will run over the entire year (winter and summer semester) in order to allow to gain a deeper understanding of a complex problem and to produce deliverables of interest to third parties. Prior experience suggests one semester is too short to achieve these goals. However, it is possible to engage in a peer group project only for one semester, provided an auxiliary course is taken instead of a second semester in a peer group project.
If you think at present that you will likely want to replace a second semester of a peer group project with an auxiliary course (on ‘Global Environmental Change in the Anthropocene’, or on the ‘Global Reporting Initiative’), please let us know in your peer group registration E-mail. Most peer groups meet at a rate about once every ten days (a bit more than once every two weeks), and do additional work on readings and other tasks that they divided up between them, in between these meetings. More details below under the heading ‘Work Process’.
Peer group evaluation
Evaluation will occur at three points during the semester based on deliverables for the
- Project team action plan (winter semester)
- Peer group project presentation (winter semester and summer semester: last course session)
- Peer group final report (winter semester and summer semester)
Four dimensions of the project are evaluated : process, content, context and outcome.