GEOG 30
Geographic Perspectives on Sustainability and Human-Environment Systems

Learning Activity: Development Case Studies

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In this activity, you’re going to analyze case studies of development from a developing country. The objectives of the activity are to apply the concept of development to real-world cases and to analyze and synthesize ongoing development efforts around the world.

Learning Activity Directions

Part I: Create your entry

Identify two case studies of development going on somewhere around the world. These case studies can be at any scale from local to global. If you choose a global-scale development, then it can include the United States, but otherwise, you should select a case study outside the US. The reason for this requirement is to give the class exposure to what's going on elsewhere in the world.

Here are five online resources for searching for and selecting case studies. You will pick one case study from these sources and one case from a different online source (not one of the sources listed below). When you select case studies of development, bear in mind that you will be asked to compare similarities or differences between the case study areas and your area. So you may want to favor cases that have sufficient similarities or differences in development compared to your area.

IRIN News - Environment. IRIN is a news service from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

AllAfrica - Sustainability. AllAfrica is an aggregator of news from across the African continent.

Colby - Sustainable Development. Case studies on sustainable development prepared by undergraduate students at Colby College in Maine.

Michigan - Environmental Justice. Case studies on environmental justice prepared by undergraduate students at the University of Michigan.

World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Case studies on sustainable development highlighting the role of businesses.

Please begin by giving your post a descriptive title. Your post should have three sections, each one a paragraph of 125-175 words.

1. Describe a case study from one of the sources listed above. Browse the five sources above and pick a case study from any of them. For the case study that you select, state the location of the development and the source of the information. Include a link to the web page you are drawing from. Then discuss what the goals of the development are, how this relates to ideas discussed in the module, and any other aspects of the development that you consider to be significant.

2. Describe a second case study from a source other than the five resources listed above. Be creative in your choice of resource, but make sure that the resource is credible. For this case, repeat the instructions of paragraph 1.

3. Connect the two cases to where you live (some place that you live in now or have lived in the past). State the location of the place. Then discuss how the cases from paragraphs 1 and 2 relate to development in the place where you live. How are they similar or different? What can we learn from the cases in order to advance development where you live? In this paragraph be sure to develop a geographic analysis - why examining place and time matters!

Post your Response

To post your Learning Activity response, go to the Module 5 Learning Activity: Development Case Studies Forum in Canvas.

  • Select Reply from the instructor's original post.
  • Copy/paste your initial/original response to the Learning Activity into the text box from a saved Word document (to prevent losing work if the page refreshes, etc.).
  • Select Post Reply. Your response is now visible to your classmates and your instructor. Check in to the discussion forum often throughout the week to post and respond to comments and questions.

Part II: Read and comment on other students' entries

Read other students' entries

After Part I has been completed, please read through entries by about 20 other students, and respond by writing comments for two of these student entries. Please choose students whose entries have fewer comments. Also pick students whose entries are interesting to you for any reason.

Post a Comment

Post a comment on the two entries you have chosen. Briefly introduce yourself and what you wrote for your own entry. Then respond to their entry in some way. You might explain why their entries caught your interest, or say something else that comes to your mind. What you say does not need to be sophisticated in any way. The only requirement is for you to be polite and respectful.

The comment should be 4-6 sentences long, not counting greetings.

To post a comment on TWO of your classmates' Learning Activities, go to the Module 6 Learning Activity: Development Case Studies Forum in Canvas and follow these steps with TWO Learning Activity posts:

  • Select Reply from a student’s Learning Activity post.
  • Copy/paste your response into the text box from a saved Word document (to prevent losing work if the page refreshes, etc.).
  • Select Post Reply. Your response is now visible to your classmates and your instructor. Check in to the discussion forum often throughout the week to post and respond to comments and questions.

Grading Criteria

You will be graded on the quality of your participation. See the Grading Rubric for specifics on how this assignment will be graded.