- Class Number 7950
- Term Code 2960
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Mode of Delivery In Person
- Dr Bruce Doran
- AsPr Lorrae Van Kerkhoff
- Dr Bruce Doran
- Craig Ashhurst
- AsPr Lorrae Van Kerkhoff
- Alexander Van Der Meer Simo
- Craig Ashhurst
- Class Dates
- Class Start Date 22/07/2019
- Class End Date 25/10/2019
- Census Date 31/08/2019
- Last Date to Enrol 29/07/2019
This course uses three case studies to develop a multi-faceted, research-based understanding of complex environmental problems that graduating students can apply in future research or work environments. The course emphasises integrative, engaged, and research-based approaches to complexity. The first two cases present complex local and national issues in collaboration with key stakeholders. Students engage with these issues by drawing on a range of theoretical concepts and practical tools. The learning from these cases is then applied to a 'do-it-yourself'' case study selected by students and conducted as a group project, again in collaboration with local stakeholders. The focus throughout is on case studies as vehicles for learning and reflection, as well as a testing ground for tools, techniques and approaches discussed in the course.
Honours Pathway Option
Subject to the approval of the course convenor; students taking this option will be expected to complete alternative weekly readings and to be prepared to discuss this advanced material in workshops and incorporate it into their major assignment/s.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
On completion of the course students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Understand the methodological and practical challenges posed by complex environmental problems. (LO1)
- Characterise and effectively describe the complex nature of environmental problems. (LO2)
- Apply problem solving skills in environmental studies and environmental science, including social learning and critical reflection. (LO3)
- Create innovative, collaborative research-based responses to complex environmental problems. (LO4)
- Understand and apply effective stakeholder engagement practices. (LO5)
- Understand and apply the case study approach to participate effectively in integrative, team-based research projects. (LO6
Postgraduate Learning Outcomes
1. Understand and engage with the methodological and practical challenges posed by complex environmental problems. (LO1)
2. Critically evaluate the complex nature of environmental problems. (LO2)
3. Apply higher-level problem solving skills in environmental studies and environmental science, including social learning and critical reflection.(LO3)
4. Create innovative, collaborative research-based responses to complex environmental problems. (LO4)
5. Understand and apply effective stakeholder engagement practices within a case-based framework. (LO5)
6. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the case study approach as a means of addressing complexity. (LO6)
Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
- Written comments related to each of the assessment criteria.
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.
|Week/Session||Summary of Activities||Assessment|
|1||The following provides a broad summary of the activities undertaken in the course. A week by week outline of events is available on the course Wattle site. Week 1 Introduction: thinking about complex problems|
|2||Weeks 2-3 Case study 1: Waste management at ANU The ANU Strategic Plan to 2020 highlights campus sustainability as a 'principle' of its operations. In this first case study we will examine whether, how and in what ways waste management on campus can be understood as a 'problem', and how the different ways of framing the problem may indicate different solutions. In teams of 4 or 5, you will hold a ‘kitchen table’ discussion to brainstorm ideas that address the question: Is waste management on campus a problem? And analyse for whom, when, where, and how this problem arises. Students will be required to complete a template that presents a problem statement, and outlines three suggested solutions that are implied by that statement. They will then compare their own statement with that of another group, and reflect on the similarities and differences.||Learning portfolio #1: Group work: the completed problem statement template, including analysis and suggested solutions. Individual work: short reflection on the comparison between your group's problem statement and suggested solutions and that of the other group you were paired with.|
|3||Weeks 4-6 Case study 2: Yawuru natural resource management in a post-Native Title world The second case study draws upon an ongoing partnership between the ANU and the Yawuru community, the traditional owners of the country in and around Broome, Western Australia. In this case study, we will explore some of the key challenges and opportunities that are associated with Native Title, with a specific focus on the intersection of cultural values and the pastoral industry. How can complexity and integrative principles help us understand and engage with the challenges here? Can we really solve complex problems? Students will be required to write an essay that applies transdisciplinary principles to understanding and advancing our thinking on these complex challenges.||Learning portfolio #2: Individual work: Essay responding to the question posed by the Yawuru community Individual work: short reflection on the case study.|
|4||Weeks 6-12 Case study 3: Undergraduates: "Do-it-yourself" case study What can we learn from engaging with stakeholders and contributing to the challenges they face in addressing complex problems? This case study will allow students to work in small groups directly with local government, private sector, and community-based stakeholders to negotiate a research project that addresses a topic the stakeholders are interested in. The students will work towards producing a stakeholder report for the project, however the main focus is on the processes of engaging, working together and learning from practice. The main assessment item, individual learning portfolios, will incorporate group pieces as well as individual reflections on the research process, and will be marked individually.||Learning portfolio #3 Group work: weekly activities included per workshop schedule Individual work: reflections on project progress, activities and final product.|
|Assessment task||Value||Due Date||Return of assessment||Learning Outcomes|
|Learning portfolio #1: Problem framing||15 %||18/08/2019||01/09/2019||1,2|
|Yawuru Essay: Partnerships for sustainable outcomes on Indigenous Protected Areas||35 %||06/09/2019||20/09/2019||2,3,4,5|
|Learning Portfolio||50 %||27/10/2019||15/11/2019||1,3,4,5,6|
* 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:
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
Learning Outcomes: 1,2
Learning portfolio #1: Problem framing
The learning portfolio is a flexible tool that engages students in a process of continuous reflection and collaboration focused on selective evidence of learning. As written text, electronic display, or other creative project, the portfolio captures the scope, richness, and relevance of students’ intellectual development and academic skills. The portfolio provides a critical opportunity for purposeful, mentored reflections and analysis of evidence for both improvement and assessment of students’ learning.
Your learning portfolio is a collection of Evidence developed throughout the course that is engaged with through peer and mentor collaboration and individual reflection, and consolidates and demonstrates Learning. The aim of this assignment is to facilitate and document your learning as you progress through your DIY Case Study. It places your group work in the context of your individual learning. Your learning portfolio has two types of components: Evidence of work and Evidence of learning. These must relate to each other.
CASE STUDY 1: LEARNING PORTFOLIO ASSESSMENT
Aim: Build students’ skills and abilities in identifying and applying problem framing techniques, and analysing diversity in problem frames.
- Build an understanding and self-awareness of each student’s individual perspective and way of approaching a complex environmental problem, including both its strengths and limitations, in the context of consultation
- Offer meaningful and useful contributions to ANU on waste management opportunities.
The ANU has declared that it will prioritise sustainability as a principle, however there are ongoing issues and challenges in the are of waste management.
In class, in teams of 4 or 5, you will hold a ‘kitchen table’ discussion to brainstorm ideas that address the question:
Is waste management a problem at ANU? and if so, how, for whom, when and where? On the basis of this problem statement, groups will identify three suggested solutions. They will then compare their template with that of one other group, and identify and discuss similarities and differences.
Your task: Learning portfolio part 1
Start your learning portfolio with two components:
a. Group work - students will be required to work in a group to complete a problem statement template (template is provided) that outlines their answers to the above questions and documents their proposed solutions. This is included in their learning portfolio.
b. Individual work - Following the guidelines for reflections, write a short reflection for case study 1 (word limit = 450 words, excluding any references) that answers the following guiding questions: Did the 'kitchen table' exercise inform your approach to the template? how?; The case study was developed to demonstrate framing as a tool for revelaing diverse ways of seeing a problem when it is ambiguous and open to interpretation. Do you think was achieved? (Why? / Why not?); Do you have any other lessons or insights from the case study?
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4,5
Yawuru Essay: Partnerships for sustainable outcomes on Indigenous Protected Areas
The primary purpose of this three week case is to learn the complexity of issues can arise from the presence of diverse perspectives, and how to formulate an argument that synthesises across these diverse views. To do this we will examine a complex environmental problem in a post native title, Australian Indigenous context. We will be investigating the issue of land management on Yawuru country. The Yawuru people are the traditional owners of the area in and around the town of Broome, Western Australia (see Taylor et al., 2014 for important background reading on this case). During the first week we will be forming working groups for the case, covering background material and evaluating different sources of information. You will also prepare a set of questions for a key stakeholder engagement workshop in week two of the case study. The stakeholder workshop will be run in an online format with Yawuru guests.
CASE STUDY 2: LEARNING PORTFOLIO ASSESSMENT
Individual work: Essay
- One of the key challenges with this case is to synthesize information from different sources as you build arguments in response to the essay question. There are a number of primary and secondary sources of information that you can use.
Essay question: will be provided in class.
Length and format: 2,000 words (excluding appendices). Harvard referencing system. Single spaced, PDF Document submitted via Turnitin.
Individual work: reflection
The aim of this case study was to learn how to formulate an argument about a complex issue that synthesises across a range of perspectives. Write a short reflection (word limit = 450 words, excluding references) that demonstrates your learning from this case study. You can use the following questions as guides, or write in an open format:
1. In what ways did your essay demonstrate a synthesis across different perspectives?
2. Given this case study is limited in time, resources, and by the classroom setting, if you were able to engage with this topic in more depth, what would you choose to do? How would this enable you to synthesise across diverse perspectives?
Assessment Task 3
Learning Outcomes: 1,3,4,5,6
Learning portfolio Case study 3
The second stage of the portfolio requires you to include a range of items related to your DIY case study. The objective of this case study is to engage fully with real-world problems and stakeholders, with a focus on learning through engagement, both by engaging with your group colleagues and with your stakeholders. Each item in the portfolio must be accompanied by a short reflection that provides a personal commentary on what you learned, what you found challenging, and how you addressed those challenges, in relation to the item and the case study.
Item 1: Stakeholder analysis (5%) Include a copy of the stakeholder analysis your group completed in Week 7. Write a short commentary (300 words) on how your group used this tool to better understand the complexity of the project.
Item 2: Tutorial progress report 1 (10%) As a group, prepare a 1 page progress report and accompanying 4 minute presentation to present in the week 8 workshop session. Include these in your portfolio as evidence. Choose some feedback comments your group received from peers as evidence. Other evidence may be included, e.g. planning materials, agreements, meeting notes, emails. If it is included you must refer to it and highlight how/why it is evidence of learning and/or challenges.
Write a reflection of up to 500 words that indicates what you have learned in the start-up phase of your case study, referring to your evidentiary materials and any other insights.
Item 3: Theory of change (5%) Include a copy of the theory of change document developed by your team in Week 9 of the workshop. Write a short commentary (300 words) on how your group used this tool to consider the direction and relevance of the outputs of the project.
Item 4: Tutorial progress report 2 (10%) As before, as a group, prepare a 1 page progress report and/or accompanying 4 minute presentation to present in the week 10 workshop session. Include these in your portfolio as evidence. Choose some feedback comments your group received from peers as evidence. Other evidence may be included, e.g. data collection strategies, meeting notes, emails. If it is included you must refer to it in your reflection and highlight how/why it is evidence of learning and/or challenges. Write a reflection of up to 500 words that indicates what you have learned in the research phase of your project, referring to your evidentiary materials and any other insights.
Item 5: Stakeholder report (50%) As a group, prepare a report for your stakeholders (format to be negotiated with your stakeholders). Include this in your portfolio as evidence. Other evidence may be included, e.g. stakeholder feedback, meeting notes, emails. If it is included you must refer to it in your reflection and highlight how/why it is evidence of learning and/or challenges.
Item 6: Final reflection (20%) Write a reflection of up to 1000 words that indicates what you have learned in the concluding phase of your project, referring to your stakeholder report and any other insights. You may also reflect on the whole project experience and how the DIY case study has contributed to the objective of learning by doing, and the broader aims of the course.
Length = Total: less than 30 pages, including all evidence
Where an assignment is formed of a number of activities, the date range indicates the due date for the first component and the return date of the final component. Details are provided on the course Wattle site.
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You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) as submission must be through Turnitin.
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 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.
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Via the course Wattle site
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.
Resubmission of Assignments
Resubmission of assignments is not permitted.
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).
- ANU Health, safety & wellbeing for medical services, counselling, mental health and spiritual support
- ANU Diversity and inclusion for students with a disability or ongoing or chronic illness
- ANU Dean of Students for confidential, impartial advice and help to resolve problems between students and the academic or administrative areas of the University
- ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre supports you make your own decisions about how you learn and manage your workload.
- ANU Counselling Centre promotes, supports and enhances mental health and wellbeing within the University student community.
- ANUSA supports and represents undergraduate and ANU College students
- PARSA supports and represents postgraduate and research students
Dr Bruce Doran
Research, Science And Technology Policy, Environmental Science And Management, Environmental Education And Extension, Environmental Sociology, Social Change, Sociological Methodology And Research Methods, Sociology And Social Studies Of Science And Technology
AsPr Lorrae Van Kerkhoff
Dr Bruce Doran
AsPr Lorrae Van Kerkhoff
Alexander Van Der Meer Simo