933316 Organic farming and regional development

Project course
Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Offered in
Sommersemester 2018
Languages of instruction


Today, regional development is not an isolated process any more, where actors in one region may not know about similar developments in another region, or where getting information on success stories of a certain distant region in one continent would not available in remote regions of another continent. Internet and social media allow for a quick exchange of experiences, for learning about success stories all around the world, without being there.
In summer term 2018, in this project, we will analyse the role of social media in communicating organic farming as best practice. We will study how communication through social media is done, by whom, how and if topics are linked to support regional development processes through/towards organic farming.
Our research questions will be:
What topics are featured in social media related to organic farming?
Who features which topics, why and how?
What tell us social media analysis tools and parameters on how organic farming s communicated?
What is or could be the relation of the featured topics to regional development?
Are fake news and trolls a phenomena also to be observed in communication on organic farming?
For those topics relating organic farming to regional development:
+ What can actors in learn, if they follow?
+ What is the impact of the information?
Depending on the number of participants, you will work in one group, where tasks are clearly assigned to every participant.
We will select the following social media platforms (final decision depending on experience/interest of participants) as our cases that we study:
You will have to research and write on methodological aspects of studying social media. In your report you must explain:
•What is social media?
•What are characteristics of the different social media platforms, the related authors and consumers?
•How is social media research done today?
•Which forms of social media research do we know?
•Which methodologies for social media research are used?
•Which tools and methods will we use specifically by you?
Besides using literature, you may interview experts in social media research, if needed and helpful!
Then, you may distribute research tasks to the members of the group, so that the sum of all tasks allows answering our key research questions on ORGANIC FARMING & SOCIAL MEDIA.
Main task is doing research in a systematic and planned way on our research questions in the selected platforms with the identified methods.
Final Products are an
A report that summarizes methods, state of the art and findings, with precise mention of who did what (relevant for the exam only!)
An online available report, identical to the above one, but just mentioning the authors on top and all together.
A series of meaningful evidence based posts, tweets or other contributions to social media platforms that summarize the findings and support regional development through organic farming.

Previous knowledge expected

It is advisable that you bring basic knowledge about organic agriculture and enthusiasm for the topic - then it will become an interesting and successful project course!
Commitment we expect of the students:
* High interest in the subject of the course
* Regular attendance
* Active participation, engagement & willingness to work in a team
* Capability to self-organization within the group with methods of project management
* Write up and present a final report of the project and its results
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the <a rel="noopener" target="_blank" href="https://online.boku.ac.at/BOKUonline/wbLv.wbShowLVDetail?pStpSpNr=281165&amp;pSpracheNr=2">course-page in <span class="icon icon-boo-long">BOKUonline</span></a>.