Minor Positive behavior change in the digital age
- Verbredende minor
- 10 weken
In this minor students dive into the world of behavioral change in the digital age. Students become familiar with the unprecedented possibilities digital media offer for supporting positive behavior change. Also, they learn how behavioral and communication strategies can be used to promote happy, healthy and sustainable lifestyles. Topics covered include but are not limited to eHealth, online peer interaction, social influence, social network campaigns, artificial intelligence (e.g., targeting and tailoring, data analytics), influencer marketing, and gamification.
In small, interdisciplinary teams, students are challenged to identify a pressing behavioral issue in the field of physical/mental health or sustainability in an urban environment (the city of Rotterdam) and come up with an effective solution (e.g., digital communication campaign or intervention) taking into account the unique characteristics of the target population and societal context. Examples of issues are:
- How do you encourage healthy behaviors (e.g., food choices or sexual behaviors) among Rotterdam teenagers?
- How do you promote fair food or fashion consumption among Rotterdam students?
Solutions are designed in co-creation with relevant stakeholders (i.e., citizen-science approach) and assessed by a jury consisting of both academics and societal organizations.
While working on the solution is a team effort, students will be working on their personal-professional development as well. All students are individually asked to determine personal learning goals and think about how they want to achieve those goals by developing activities within the course. Students receive guidance and coaching from a broad team of EUR academics specialized in digital media, communication and behavior change. Moreover, several behavior and communication professionals will host activities.
After completing this minor, you will be able to:
- Define, explain and critically discuss complex behavioral issues in the domain of health and sustainability by applying relevant theoretical and empirical insights from (health) psychology and behavioral science.
- Systematically design a solution to tackle a complex behavioral issue in the domain of health or sustainability by applying relevant theoretical and empirical insights from (health) psychology, behavioral science, communication science, and data science.
- Showcase the solution (e.g., intervention/ communication campaign) in a professional and persuasive presentation to convince fellow students, teachers and societal stakeholders of your ideas.
- Independently set up personal-professional learning goals and substantiate how you want to achieve those goals by developing activities within the course.
The minor will be open for international students. For this reason, all the material and activities will be in English. The language used in class will be English. The assignments should be made in English (reflections on personal-professional development may be made in Dutch).
Because this minor is interdisciplinairy in nature, we encourage students from all educational backgrounds to participate.
Overview content per week
Week 1: Identifying behavioral issues in the domain of health and sustainability in an urban environment
Week 2-3: Introduction in behavior change and persuasive/ strategic communication theory
Week 4: Citizen science: cocreating solutions to behavioral issues with stakeholders
Week 5: Mini conference: Communication and behavior change toolbox
The purpose of this mini conference is to inspire students how to use different behavioral and communication strategies in combination with digital technologies to come up with an effective solution for their chosen behavioral issue. Topics covered include but are not limited to eHealth, online peer interaction, social influence, social network campaigns, artificial intelligence (e.g., targeting and tailoring, data analytics), influencer marketing, and gamification.
Week 6-9: Designing an effective solution to a complex behavioral issue
In teams, students work on the design of an evidence-based solution to a behavioral issue of their choosing. Part of this process is setting up and conducting a co-creation session with stakeholders
Week 10: Closing event and presentation of solutions to a jury of academics and professionals
A more detailed schedule will be provided over summer.
Team-based learning, project-based learning, challenge-based learning, autonomy-supportive learning
Students agency is an important part of the learning experience. Students decide what problem they want to solve and what relevant knowledge and information is needed to solve the issue. They are thus encouraged to find relevant materials themselves.
- Prestwich, A., Kenworthy, K., & Conner, M. (2018). Health Behavior Change. Theories, Methods and Interventions. Routledge,Taylor & Francis Ltd., London/New York
- Michie, S., Atkins, L., & West, R. (2014). The Behaviour Change Wheel. A guide to designing interventions. Silverback Publishing, UK
Method of examination
There is no written final exam. The following components together result in a grade:
- Weekly in-class assignments (depending on the assignment, this will be graded on the team or individual level)
- Presentation of the solution, e.g., intervention/ communication campaign (graded on the team level, but includes an individual component as well)
- Short report in which the solution to the behavioral issue is scientifically substantiated (graded on the team level, but includes an individual component as well)
- Individual reflection on personal-professional development (no grading; sufficient/insufficient)
Composition final grade
Weekly in-class assignments: 30 %
Presentation: 30 %
Short report: 40 %
Individual reflection: 0% (sufficient/insufficient)
Feedback by the lecturers and peer feedback will be provided in class and through Canvas