First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Human and Social Sciences and Cultural Heritage
Course unit
SUP4065274, A.A. 2018/19

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2018/19

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
IA2447, Degree course structure A.Y. 2018/19, A.Y. 2018/19
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Historical and Geographic Sciences and the Ancient World
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction English
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge LAURA SECCO AGR/01

Course unit code Course unit name Teacher in charge Degree course code

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines AGR/01 Rural economy and evaluation 6.0

Course unit organization
Period First semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 6.0 42 108.0 No turn

Start of activities 24/09/2018
End of activities 18/01/2019
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2018 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
1 Commissione 2018/19 01/12/2018 30/11/2019 SECCO LAURA (Presidente)
PISANI ELENA (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: Fundamentals of geography and local economies.
Target skills and knowledge: At the end of the module “Environmental and Social Responsibility in Local Development Processes” (6 ETCS), the student will be able to identify, understand and critically analyse the basic concepts, the main policies and the most effective and common instruments that are useful in adopting a responsible approach in local development. A particular attention will be devoted to the sustainable use and management of natural resources, as well as to the most challenging and modern social and environmental concerns in rural areas, also in relation to the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
The student will acquire basic knowledge on the main current concerns and related instruments that can be used to practically tackle with such concerns: e.g., market-based instruments (such as the third-party independent certification applied to natural resources), regulatory-normative instruments (such as the international agreements on climate change and the policies and action plans of the European Union for improving law compliance in the forest sector, biodiversity protection) and social-based instruments (such as social innovation initiatives and policies that can support networks and social capital in rural development processes at local level).
Examination methods: There is a wide range of assessment approaches. Such approaches concern formative as well as summative goals. This is in line with the targeted learning outcomes focusing on knowledge and insights, skills and application abilities and communication in a balanced way. The variety of assessment approaches is also due to the fact that courses are offered in combinations with different study programmes belonging to different Universities.

The first group of exams is written and they are usually written essays. This type of assessment allows for a more creative and research-oriented approach. When the essay reflects the students’ own research, s/he must show the ability to clearly formulate the research question(s), to organize and conduct a research, to apply proper methods, to be able to collect data in the field and to analyze those data.

Next, students need to be able to discuss the results and to place them within the broader scientific debate. Furthermore, the structure and the writing of the essay have to comply with proper and academic writing rules. In many cases process evaluation, peer assessment and/or a presentation are linked with the writing of the essay.

The second group of exams is implemented in oral ways. In this way, they can be individualized and are more interactive. Many courses have a policy of oral exams as standardized procedure (questions, presentation, peer/self-assessment). This allows students to express themselves in an active and dialogical way.

Oral exams are especially suited for testing understanding/insights and application of knowledge as they encourage students to produce clear communication and to manifest their personal attitudes. As for essays, an integrative oral assessment allows for a more creative and research-oriented approach.

Intermediate assessments are generally used in a formative way in order to provide students with timely feedback, while final assessments are used in a summative way. Peers assessment results can influence the final mark of an individual.
Assessment criteria: The student's performance at the final exam will be evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:
1) Completeness - both with respect to each specific question and to the list of questions (to reply to less than 70% of questions is hardly enough to pass the exam, even if differences exist in the degree of complexity among questions and some are considered more relevant than others in terms of evaluation);
2) Technical correctness - both in the use of technical terms and in sentences formulation;
3) Clarity in formulation and logical sequence of concepts;
4) Capacity to link concepts presented in different modules of the course and to use relevant examples, eventually based on personal experience.
English correctness will also be considered, as far as eventual mistakes affect the concepts’ understanding.
Course unit contents: The course focuses on the current main environmental, economic and societal challenges and on political and practical tools that can be used to contrast them by following an approach of environmental and social responsibility. Different types of actors (public entities, NGOs, private companies, social movements and individuals) can adopt this approach by means of different instruments. In particular, insights will be provided on: i) the most relevant environmental, economic and societal concerns affecting rural areas, included: climate change, deforestation, unsustainable and illegal logging, water scarcity and pollution, land grabbing, market globalization and their consequences, the (difficult) role of social dimensions in the innovation processes in rural development, and others; ii) basic concepts of multi-functionality of natural resources and Natural Capital, and the potential conflicts deriving from different demands expressed by different stakeholders on fragile areas; iii) key concepts to understand issues of governance and good governance of natural resources, included instruments to analyse, assess and implement network governance in rural areas; iv) basic concepts, policies, programs and operational instruments related to environmental and social responsibility in rural areas, included: environmental and forest certification, payments for ecosystem services, territorial marketing, rural development programs, social innovation and nature-based business, public-private partnerships in rural development, protected areas and political ecology, international regulations against illegal logging, REDD+ projects (to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation), plantations and others.
Different spatial/institutional/administrative scales will be considered, from the global to the regional and local ones. Various case studies located in Europe and other countries will be used to present more in detail the general concepts.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Frontal lectures.
Collaborative learning seminars (preparation, presentation and discussion of a local development project proposal - working in groups).
Role games (simulation of a negotiation meeting among various stakeholders for the definition and approval of a local development project in a rural area).
Field trip.
Additional notes about suggested reading: Variuos types of studying material (included e.g. published scientific papers, reports, books, web sites, video) will be
suggested step by step, for each specific topic, by the teacher and provided on Moodle when possible.
However, two basic recommended documents are the following:

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, last update (chapters and full reports available at

Biermann F., Siebenhüner B., Schreyögg A. (2009), International Organizations in Global Environmental Governance, London & New York, Routledge.

Dietz, T., Stern, P. (eds). (2008). Public Participation in Environmental Assessment and Decision Making. Available at URL:
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • DESA, Trends in Sustainable Development.. United Nations, New York.: --, 2018. Available at URL:
  • OECD, Innovative Rural Regions. OECD Rural Policy Conferences, Key Messages. Cáceres, Spain – March 2007.. --: --, 2017. Available at URL:

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Problem based learning
  • Case study
  • Interactive lecturing
  • Working in group
  • Questioning
  • Story telling
  • Problem solving
  • Concept maps
  • Active quizzes for Concept Verification Tests and class discussions
  • Loading of files and pages (web pages, Moodle, ...)
  • Students peer review
  • Role games, field trip

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)
  • Kaltura (desktop video shooting, file loading on MyMedia Unipd)
  • Kahoot,

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Good Health and Well-Being Quality Education Clean Water and Sanitation Affordable and Clean Energy Decent Work and Economic Growth Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure Reduced Inequalities Sustainable Cities and Communities Responsible Consumption and Production Climate Action Life Below Water Life on Land Partnerships for the Goals