Network for Transdisciplinary Research

Our contribution to address complex societal challenges: We link scientific communities, support transdisciplinary careers and promote the development of competencies and methods.

Open Online Course on Transdisciplinary Research

The course can be made on FutureLearn.
The inscription is open

 

Until the start of the course, we present the the content on our webpage.


Download suggestions to integrate the MOOC into your curricula, lectures, courses and projects.

contact:
Tobias Buser, project leader or Theres Paulsen, head of td-net

Swiss-made innovative co-produced massive open online course

How can we address societal challenges with research? Investigate principles, processes, and applications of transdisciplinarity.

About the course

In today’s world, we face many complex societal challenges. Projects addressing these challenges often involve actors and stakeholders from different fields and disciplines bringing together their own perspectives or knowledge on a topic. Accordingly, collaborative transdisciplinary approaches are crucial for the success of a project.

The course presents transdisciplinary research as a living experience. With a basis on sound theoretical and methodological background, five outstanding projects illustrate promising different ways of dealing with complex societal challenges. The projects address a) health care for mobile pastoralists, b) water scarcity in the Alps, c) coping with decline in a mountain village, d) labour migration, and e) governance of antimicrobial resistance.Starting from these challenges, the course will take learners on a journey through the main phases and steps of transdisciplinary research projects.

The course consists of six weeks totalling 30 hours’ workload for learners. Each week consists of a mix of formats, including videos, articles, discussions and quizzes. After the first course run, all material, except the interactive parts, will be available year-round and can be integrated in lectures, courses, and self-studies. 

Download Course Programme Overview

The first run of the course is over, there will, however, be a second run. When signing up for the second run learners have 8 weeks free access to the course (from the date of the course start or their inscription respectively).

 


Who is the course for?

Students and researchers from all backgrounds, policy makers and practitioners involved in searching solutions for complex societal challenges. 

The course - as a whole or in parts -  can nicely be integrated into seminars, courses, lectures, inversed classrooms and other formats. We are convinced, that students, researchers and practitioners from all backgrounds should have the opportunity to learn how to do research that helps to overcome societal challenges.



What topics will you cover?

  • Research skills needed in order to produce relevant outcomes for society and academia
  • Transdisciplinarity: principles, research processes, and application
  • Guiding questions, phases, and steps in transdisciplinary projects
  • Pitfalls and opportunities in transdisciplinary projects
  • Ethical implications of co-production processes
  • Examples of transdisciplinary projects on sustainable development, migration, and health topics

 


What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Develop your research skills as you investigate how to co-produce knowledge for society and academia.
  • Reflect transdisciplinarity – its principles, its research processes and the context in which it is promising.
  • Apply transdisciplinary approaches to societally relevant questions.
  • Identify guiding questions, phases and steps of transdisciplinary project.
  • Apply the principles and steps of transdisciplinary research to examples in order to reflect the implication for your own projects.
  • Reflect the role of scientists and stakeholders in society and consider the ethical implications of co-producing processes.

 


ECTS Recommendations

Course duration: 6 Weeks


Estimated study time: 30 hours in total 
Proposed ECTS: 1-1.5 points for following the course 

The course offers many opportunities to explore the topics more in depth, e.g. additional publications, case documents, videos and links, or taking the discussion prompts as basis for written exercises. This may justify to increase ECTS to 1.5 – 2 points or higher.

To reduce study time, you may choose only two cases out of the five presented and follow only those.

ECTS points, including the respective tests have to be handled by the responsible lecturers according to their institutional regulations. 

Co-producing the course

A partnership brought together the Network for Transdisciplinary Research td-net, the Commission for Research Partnerships with Developing Countries, the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Swiss Universities of Basel, Bern and Geneva, Universities of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland and Luzern, ETH Zurich, University for Teacher Education Zug, to produce this Massive Open Online Course. The concept and its content were designed through intense co-production processes by experts of the above-mentioned institutes.

The MOOC was also supported by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

 

More information:

Read also Tobias Buser's text about the MOOC on LinkedIn

The team behind the course

Course development - concept, theory, cases:

(listed in alphabetical order)

Tobias Buser, Network for Transdisciplinary Research td-net, Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences (coordinator)

Dr Lisa Crump, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, University of Basel
Prof. Dr Beatrice Durrer Eggerschwiler, Institute for Sociocultural Development, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Art

Prof. Dr Christine Künzli, School of Education, University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland

Dr Jon-Andri Lys, Commission for Research Partnerships with Developing Countries KFPE

Caroline Näther, Institute for Sociocultural Development, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Art

Theres Paulsen, Network for Transdisciplinary Research td-net, Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences (coordinator)

Dr Christian Pohl, USYS TdLab, ETH Zurich
Prof. Dr Stephan Rist, Centre for Development and Environment and Institute of Geography, University of Bern

PD Dr Flurina Schneider, Centre for Development and Environment, University of Bern

Eveline Steinger, Commission for Research Partnerships with Developing Countries KFPE

Prof. Dr Ulrike Sturm, Institute for Sociocultural Development, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Art

Prof. Dr Susan Thieme, Institute of Geography, University of Bern

Dr Didier Wernli, Global Studies Institute, University of Geneva

Prof. Dr Jakob Zinsstag, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, University of Basel / Network for Transdisciplinary Research td-net, Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences (initiator)

 

Educators:

Prof. Dr Jakob Zinsstag, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, University of Basel / Network for Transdisciplinary Research td-net, Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences

Tobias Buser, Network for Transdisciplinary Research td-net, Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences

Prof. Dr Frédéric Darbellay, Centre for Children’s Rights Studies, University of Geneva

Caroline Näther, Institute for Sociocultural Development, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Art

Dr Christian Pohl, USYS TdLab, ETH Zurich

Prof. Dr Stephan Rist, Centre for Development and Environment and Institute of Geography, University of Bern

PD Dr Flurina Schneider, Centre for Development and Environment, University of Bern

Prof. Dr Susan Thieme, Institute of Geography, University of Bern
Dr Didier Wernli, Global Studies Institute, University of Geneva

 

Guests:

Prof. Dr Gueladio Cissé, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, University of Basel

Mohammed Ibrahim, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Jigjiga University (Ethiopia)

Dr Jon-Andri Lys, Commission for Research Partnerships with Developing Countries KFPE

Dr Kristina Pelikan, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, University of Basel and KIT Karlsruhe (Germany)

 

Production and Implementation:

New Media Center, University of Basel

Dr Thomas Lehmann (director), Sebastian Schell, Dr Anna AltermattOlayemi Omodunbi, Chantal Ducommun, Christine Keller, Benedikt Willi, Cristoffel Gehring, Florian Siess, Christian Schläpfer, Klaus Vetter.

 

Additional video material provided by:

Swiss National Science Foundation SNSF
Dr Patricia Fry, Wissensmanagement Umwelt GmbH

 

In-kind and financial support:

Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences

Network for Transdisciplinary Research td-net
Commission for Research Partnerships with Developing Countries KFPE Programme MINT Schweiz, Digitalisation

 

Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)

 

University of Basel

New Media Center
Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute

 

University of Bern

Centre for Development and Environment

Institute of Geography

 

University of Geneva

Global Studies Institute
Centre for Children’s Rights Studies

Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Art

Institute for Sociocultural Development

ETH Zürich

USYS TdLab

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