• Class Number 3447
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Topic Online
  • Mode of Delivery Online
    • Dr Keith Barney
    • Dr Keith Barney
    • Thang Do
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/02/2019
  • Class End Date 31/05/2019
  • Census Date 31/03/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 04/03/2019
SELT Survey Results

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The course introduces students to quantitative, qualitative and mixed research methods used by the social sciences to study environment and development issues and problems. The course will increase students’ knowledge of how scholarly and applied research is designed and implemented, and will enable them to assess the quality of research required as an input into policy making.

The course considers questions of epistemology and the philosophy of science, and the implications of theory for the design of research. The course critically engages with the main features and methods for conducting quantitative and qualitative research. Understandings of the ethics conducting and publishing scholarly research will be integrated throughout the course lectures and discussions.

Active student participation in learning will be promoted through teaching methods that include lectures, class discussions, computer lab sessions, weekly reaction papers, and extended essays.

There are no statistical pre-requisites to attend the course. However, some knowledge of the basic concepts of statistics will be useful.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. position research within major epistemologies and philosophies of knowledge;
  2. assess the rigor of proposed research and research methodologies;
  3. develop research questions and hypotheses and to choose appropriate methods to research them;
  4. apply appropriate qualitative and quantitative research methods to a particular research problem;
  5. understand aspects of positionality and subjectivity in scholarly research
  6. critically analyse, design, operationalise, and write research studies

Research-Led Teaching

The learning materials for this course are grounded in the extensive field-based research experience of the two lecturers. The course highlights both the theory and practical applications of qualitative and quantitative methodologies, for a critical understanding of environment-development problems, and translating research insights into public policy impact.

Required Resources

Sample Quantitative Methods Sourcebooks:

Australian Bureau of Statistics 1998, Statistics: A Powerful Edge, Canberra, Australia.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 1999, An Introduction to Sample Surveys: A User's Guide, Canberra, Australia.

Diez, Barr and Cetinkaya-Rundel 2015, OpenIntro Statistics, Third Edition, OpenIntro.org 

Sample Qualitative Methods Sourcebooks:

Delyser, Dydia et al. (2010). "The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Geography." (Full text available through ANU online)

Scheyvens, Regina (2014). "Development Fieldwork: A Practical Guide." 2nd Edition. Sage Publications. (Full text available through ANU online)

Yin, Robert (2011). "Qualitative Research from Start to Finish." New York: Guilford Press.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Course Introduction & Basic Concepts in Statistics
2 Quantitative Research Design and Data Collection
3 Hypothesis Testing and Simple Linear Regression
4 Multiple Linear Regression
5 Case Studies in Quantitative Research
6 Epistemologies and Questions in Qualitative Research
7 Ethnography
8 The Extended Case Study Approach
9 Environmental Narratives
10 Rapid and Participatory Rural Appraisal
11 Research Methods in Feminist Political Ecology
12 Research Methods for Public Policy Impact

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Quantitative Quiz (10%) 10 % 15/03/2019 29/03/2019 2, 3
Proposal for Final Quantitative Assignment (5%) 5 % 24/03/2019 07/04/2019 4, 6
Final Quantitative Assignment (20%) 20 % 23/04/2019 06/05/2019 4, 6
Qualitative Quiz (10%) 10 % 26/04/2019 10/05/2019 1, 2
Ethnographic Interview (15%) 15 % 08/05/2019 22/05/2019 3, 4, 5
Peer Response (5%) 5 % 15/05/2019 29/05/2019 3, 4, 5
Final Qualitative Assignment: Developing a Qualitative Methodology for a Practical Case Study (35%) 35 % 09/06/2019 04/07/2019 3, 4, 6

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 15/03/2019
Return of Assessment: 29/03/2019
Learning Outcomes: 2, 3

Quantitative Quiz (10%)

A 30 minute closed book test in Week 3 tutorial reviews the basic statistics concepts, quantitative research design and data collection covered in weeks 1 and 2.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 5 %
Due Date: 24/03/2019
Return of Assessment: 07/04/2019
Learning Outcomes: 4, 6

Proposal for Final Quantitative Assignment (5%)

A short proposal (300 words maximum) due in week 4 outlines a proposal for the final quantitative research essay, including research issues, research questions and proposed methodology. Assessment criteria will be made available on Wattle.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 23/04/2019
Return of Assessment: 06/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 4, 6

Final Quantitative Assignment (20%)

A final quantitative research essay (2000 words maximum) due in week 7 in which you will apply the acquired knowledge and skills to solve an environment related issue. More information will be available in week 2 tutorial. Assessment criteria will be made available on Wattle.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 26/04/2019
Return of Assessment: 10/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2

Qualitative Quiz (10%)

A short tutorial quiz will test students' learning regarding the distinction between the concepts of positivism and post-positivism/constructivism, and inductive vs. deductive methodologies.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 08/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 22/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 3, 4, 5

Ethnographic Interview (15%)

Students will plan and conduct a 15 minute ethnographic interview with a class partner, dealing with an aspect of environmental management/development, drawn from a place that your interview partner/ research subject is personally familiar with.

Assessment Task 6

Value: 5 %
Due Date: 15/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 29/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 3, 4, 5

Peer Response (5%)

Your ethnographic interview subject will prepare 3 minute video podcast response, reflecting on how they experienced the interview process and how the themes of the interview were recorded, interpreted and written up by the researcher.

Assessment Task 7

Value: 35 %
Due Date: 09/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 04/07/2019
Learning Outcomes: 3, 4, 6

Final Qualitative Assignment: Developing a Qualitative Methodology for a Practical Case Study (35%)

Students will select 1 out of a number of provided case study problems in environment and/or development, and devise a practical qualitative methodology for investigation of the identified issues, through employing 1 of the key qualitative methodologies reviewed in the course materials. Assessment criteria will be made available on Wattle.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
Dr Keith Barney
6125 4957

Research Interests

Dr. Keith Barney (Research Interests: political ecology, economic geography, agrarian studies, Southeast Asian studies)

Dr. Thang Do (Research Interests: Water and environment governance, sustainable cities, multilateral environmental agreements, natural capital accounting)

Dr Keith Barney

Dr Keith Barney
6125 4957

Research Interests

Dr Keith Barney

Thang Do
6125 5628

Research Interests

Thang Do

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