• Class Number 3697
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Matthew Gray
  • 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

This course will provide students with a range of analytical techniques that can be used to answer policy and service delivery questions and how to measure the impact of policy. It will cover four key aspects of policy evaluations
- Causation: Did the program or policy have a direct impact on the outcome or outcomes of interest?
- Attribution: What was it about the program or policy that led to that impact?
- Implementation: What can be learned about how was the program or policy delivered?
- Documentation: How can key aspects of the evaluation be reported to an academic and policy audience?

Learning Outcomes

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

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

1. Explain issues of causal inference and attribution.
2. Specify a research question related to policy evaluation that is answerable using empirical methods.
3. Communicate and critique existing policy evaluations in a rigorous manner.
4. Understand the assumptions, strengths and limitations of the main techniques for evaluating policies.
5. Use statistical software for applying impact evaluation techniques.
6. Conduct empirical research using modern econometric techniques for policy evaluation.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

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 Lecture 1: Introduction to course; What is social research?; Data for policy and evaluation (Part 1)
2 Lecture 2: Data for policy and evaluation (Part 2); Techniques for extracting meaning from data Tutorial 1
3 Lecture 3: Case study 1 Tutorial 2
4 Lecture 4: Quality of data; Evaluation methods (Part 1) Tutorial 3
5 Lecture 5: Evaluation methods (Part 2); Case study 2 Tutorial 4 Assignment 1 due
6 Lecture 6: Techniques for extracting meaning from data (Part 2); Case Study 3 Tutorial 5
7 Lecture 7: Case study 4 Tutorial 6
8 Lecture 8: Evaluation methods (Part 3); Experimental design for policy Tutorial 7
9 Lecture 9: Presentation of data Tutorial 8
10 Lecture 10: Case study 5 Tutorial 9
11 Lecture 11: Case study 6 Tutorial 10
12 Lecture 12: The data and evidence environment in Australia; Recap of course material Tutorial 11 Oral presentation due (audio file)

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Critique of selected policy evaluation 20 % 25/03/2019 01/04/2019 3,4
Oral presentation - Policy brief from evaluation 20 % 30/05/2019 06/06/2019 4,5,6
Research evaluation using real-world data 35 % 07/06/2019 15/06/2019 2,4,5,6
Class test 20 % 14/06/2019 20/06/2019 1,4,6

* 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. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

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.


Students are expected to actively participate in the couse including attendance at lectures and active participation tutorials. The levle of participation in lectures and tutorial will be used to asses teh participation component of the assessment.


There is a two hour class test. This can be undertaken between 9am MOnday 10th of June 2019 and 5 pm Friday 14th June 2019. It will be undertaken online. It is an open boook test.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 25/03/2019
Return of Assessment: 01/04/2019
Learning Outcomes: 3,4

Critique of selected policy evaluation

Assignment 1 - Overview

Assignment 1 involves a written critique of one of three selected policy evaluations.

The assignment has a maximum of 1,500 words (including footnotes, but excluding references) and is worth 20% of the total mark.

Submissions are to be made through the Wattle website and are due on Monday 25th March 2019 at 9am.

Assignment 1 – Detailed questions

In undertaking your critique, please address the following sub-questions. The suggested number of words for each of the sub-questions is given, however you will be limited by the total number of words only.

1.     What are the key evaluation questions (in your own words) and how suitable are they (approx. 300 words)?

2.     What are the main implications of the findings for Australian policy (300 words)?

3.     How do the results from the evaluation compare to other evaluations, and what might explain any differences (approx. 450 words)?

4.     What are some of the strengths and weaknesses of the methodology chosen to undertake the evaluation (approx. 450 words)? 

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 30/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 06/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 4,5,6

Oral presentation - Policy brief from evaluation

Students will be asked to upload audio or video file outlining a policy brief based on an existing evaluation. Details will be made available on Monday 25th March 2019.

The maximum length for the presentation is 10 minutes, and it is worth 20% of the overall mark for the course.

Submissions are to be made through the Wattle website

Assessment Task 3

Value: 35 %
Due Date: 07/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 15/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 2,4,5,6

Research evaluation using real-world data

Students will be given a list of potential datasets that have been ‘cleaned’ and are able to be analysed, alongside some suggested evaluation questions. Students also have the option of providing their own dataset or evaluation question. However, in this instance the onus will be on students to make sure the dataset is prepared for analysis.Students will be asked to identify a small research project using this dataset. It is anticipated that this project will be similar to the case studies used throughout the course, though it will be much smaller in scale. Datasets, and additional details will be made available during the intensive week.

The assignment has a maximum of 3,500 words (including footnotes, but excluding references) and is worth 35% of the total mark.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 14/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 20/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,4,6

Class test

he class test will take place during the period 9am Monday 10th June and 5pm Friday 14th June. The test will go for 120 minutes, with students able to undertake the test online at any time within the week.The test is worth 20% of the total mark for the course.

The test is to be undertaken through the Wattle website

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

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) submission must be through Turnitin.

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

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
  • Late submission permitted. 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 Matthew Gray

Research Interests

Public policy, evaluation

Dr Matthew Gray

Monday 14:00 15:00

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions