Appropriate Technology Fall 2016 Syllabus

UNIV-391 / UNIV-491 / HNRS-391 / PSC-391 / PSC-491
Appropriate Technology the World’s People: Development class website
M, W, 2-4, Room 42-205E
Final Presentations: Final Exam Schedule: Wednesday, December 14, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Instructors: Pete Schwartz, Pete’s Webpage,, 180-608, x6-1220
Class Website:

Catalog Description:
A broad overview of international development, partnerships for development and appropriate design for sustainability. Besides academic work, students will work in teams to address problems with social and technical solutions. Collaboration with mentors from the university, private sector, and nonprofits will serve to provide diverse background and project mentorship.

The class has three educational facets:
a) Lectures, reading, case studies, and guest presentations
b) Class Discussions (Especially relating to reading) on reading and HW assignments
c) Focus projects and class presentations.
Focus projects: Students will work in groups of 3-5 on a particular challenge faced by a participant community. This project will be the subject of the final group presentation, website, and “KickStarter” video. It is important to understand we may not achieve what we set out to do in the beginning. We remember that there are “experts” in development (Like the World Bank), who have many “failures” in their history. Much of the “failures” could be attributed to not understanding the lives of the people the experts seek to help. I ask that we don’t try to help as much as to learn from the people we collaborate with. You will be graded on the quality of your research and presentations.
There are no required textbooks. We will read from a variety of documents and each student picks a book to present and write a summary for the other students.

Reading Quizzes 15 pts
First class presentation 5 pts
Second Class Presentation and Website 15 pts
Writing Assignment and Book Presentation 15 pts
Final Exam 20 pts
Final Presentation 30 pts
Total 100 pts

Reading Quizzes: We begin immediately when class starts and provide discussion starting points.
Class Presentation: Each student group will make a presentation to the class on their chosen focus. The first presentation (3 minutes) will be in week 3 (so get started!) and the second presentation (5 – 10 minutes) will be in week 7.

Book Writing Assignment: Please find Book List on the class website and please sign up for one book that is not already taken. You can also request to read a book that is different. You will read it and supply a summary (300 – 500 words) and personal perspective that will be used for the class to understand what the book is about. You will post this on the same book timeline for students to read at least 48 hours before the presentation “Due Date” so students can read the reports before class. The day the book is discussed in class, you will be part of a panel that will answer questions about the book.

Final Exam: One hour during the last class. Will cover all concepts from class and reading, and from the presentations of other students. You will be given the questions the day before the exam.

“KickStarter” Video: Produce a video to inspire, teach, and convince the listeners to take action – it doesn’t have to be about fundraising. This video, posted on YouTube, will be referenced in your final presentation and be considered in the grade.

Final Class Presentation: During exam week, each student group will make a 10-15 minute presentation to the class on their appropriate technology innovation for the focus community. This is also a potluck dinner, and you are encouraged to bring friends.
Website: Each group is responsible for setting up a website updating it after each presentation. Evaluation of your website will be included in the grade you get for each of your three presentations. Hence, your website will be evaluated at the end of week 3, week 7, and finals week. For examples of websites, please see (and put appropriate links to) pages from past classes. I describe how to set up your webpage in this short video.

Self-Intervention: We will study how people respond to change by looking at our own response to change. You may do a personal intervention on your own or with your group. We may do one as a class as well. An intervention should test your ability to adapt to change. It should be something that at first you say, “I can’t do that because I must (or can’t) ….”, and then are able to reformat the statement to, “what would have to change for this to happen?”. We may agree not to throw anything in the trash for a week and catalogue what we have at the end of the week to coincide with a listing ofThe Story of Stuff Video.

Is your group working well together?: Within two days after each presentation, each you will submit to me ann Email stating if everyone in your group is doing their fair share, or if there’s problems, or if you’ve overcome some interesting challenge, or if you would like some help communicating, etc.