Doing and Experiencing Dialogical Reflection on Research and Innovation
More than 50H
The course focuses on different interactive approaches to facilitate dialogue on R&I developments, and their societal implications and impacts. These include but are not limited to scenario workshops, consensus conferences, public Technology Assessment, Round Table, (Neo-)Socratic Dialogue, or World Café. The respective R&I developments to be discussed in the course should be selected and outlined by the students themselves.

EHEA: Second cycle

EQF level: 7

ECTS credits
3.0 ECTS credits (workload of 75 to 90 hours)

Year of study

Second year of master’s studies

Learning outcomes (LO)

On completion of this course students will be able to

  1. explain methods to facilitate dialogue and discussions on research and innovation (R&I) with different societal actors;
  2. adapt a dialogue approach to facilitate dialogue on a specific R&I process or development;
  3. carry out a dialogue activity to discuss a specific R&I process or development and analyse the participants’ different perspectives on and assessment of the R&I issue under debate;
  4. and to reflect on the quality of the dialogue and interaction facilitated through a dialogue activity.

Assessment methods and criteria

The following activities and outputs of the students will be assessed: 

  • Group presentation on a dialogue approach. 
  • Written outline of dialogue experiment design.
  • Group report on the participatory experiment.

Prerequisites and co-requisites

Bachelor’s degree. Participants should know about research and innovation developments in their respective field and possibly other areas.

Mode of delivery

The course combines different modes of delivery. The course instructor will give a short overview presentation in the first unit. In the remaining units, students themselves have to define the topics to be dealt with, namely the dialogue approaches and the topics to be discussed. Then students will have to prepare presentations in groups at home and present them in class. Supported by the course instructor, they will then have to identify an R&I-related topic and adapt a dialogue approach, both in class and independently at home. Furthermore, students have to actively participate in discussions and the dialogue experiments facilitated by their colleagues.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

At the beginning of the course, the instructor will give an introduction opening up issues of public participation in R&I, science communication, public understanding of science, etc. Then, students have to deliberate on and present different participatory dialogue approaches, e.g. consensus conferences, participatory Technology Assessment, or scenario workshops. These are followed by plenary discussions.

In independent group work supported by course instructor (desk research, group deliberation), students will design a participatory dialogue activity. Finally, they will implement the activity with their student colleagues as participants. This implementation is followed by discussion and reflection on the possibilities and challenges with regards to such participatory dialogue approaches. The groups will write down and elaborate on their findings in a final report.