• Class Number 1356
  • Term Code 3020
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 to 12 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Edwina Fingleton-Smith
    • Prof Saul Cunningham
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 02/01/2020
  • Class End Date 13/04/2020
  • Census Date 24/01/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 24/01/2020
    • Matthew Lord
SELT Survey Results

The course introduces students to contemporary Southeast Asia by focusing on case studies from southern Vietnam. The emphasis is on integrating formal learning with first-hand research experience. The in-country work will include fieldtrips, homestays, language training, as well as formal classes given by staff from ANU and from An Giang University (Mekong Delta).

The course focuses on experiencing and understanding the complex relationships between development and the environment as seen through every day living. Students will have the opportunity to conduct group and individual research project on issues such as the changing nature of rural lives, the relationship between the modern and traditional cultural practices, rural-urban migration, concepts of human well-being, and the social and environmental impacts of tourism. The focus is on the impact of rapid change on the environment, culture, family structure and on specific groups such as villagers, migrants, farmers and women.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate competent skills in qualitative and quantitative research methodologies.
  2. Reflect deeply on the impact of rapid change on culture, environment and local economies
  3. Conduct rapid research in a team environment
  4. Effectively communicate your experience of the field research process.
  5. Demonstrate basic level Vietnamese language skills

Research-Led Teaching

The course provides students experiential learning opportunities to conduct qualitative and quantitative research in sustainability science. The course also involves field trips and

lectures on current sustainability science research in the Mekong Delta, including research being conducted by the Fenner School of Environment and Society in collaboration with

An Giang University.

Additional Course Costs

$2000 payment to ANU Science Shopfront plus airfares and personal expenses. Some students will be eligible for financial support from the New Colombo Plan.

Examination Material or equipment

In-class quizzes only.

Required reading list on Wattle. Students will be quizzed on these readings

Staff Feedback

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

Immediate individual and team feedback on quizzes (some done via Wattle). Lots of oral feedback from the Convenor during numerous group discussions/workshops. Detailed

written feedback on learning diaries.

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 Week 1 Meet in Cam Thanh District next to Hoi An Ancient town. Attend workshops on qualitative research methodologies then go out in the field to put new research into practise. Design and conduct group research projects on sustainability issues in Hoi An, and present findings at the end of the week.
2 Week 2 Travel to travel to Long Xuyen, An Giang Province Explore, research and attend lectures on different types of agriculture, sustainability topics and environmental issues occurring in the Mekong Delta. Design and conduct independent primary research projects on the sustainability issue of your groups choice. Attend homestays with local university student partners, from An Giang University.
3 Week 3 Travel to Cat Tien National Park to experience conservation successes and challenges in Vietnam. And see some sun bears! Submit reflective journal on the last evening.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Quizzes based on required reading material 15 % 03/01/2020 03/01/2020 1,2
Photo and description 5 % 11/01/2020 20/01/2020 1,2,4
Survival Vietnamese quiz 10 % 14/01/2020 14/01/2020 5
Reflective learning journal or portfolio 40 % 23/01/2020 15/02/2020 2,4
Group research project(s) 30 % 18/01/2020 15/02/2020 1,2,3,4

* 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.


Participation in all field trips in Vietnam is mandatory. Early departure from Vietnam for personal reasons (e.g. family emergency) requires approval by the Convenor and

alternative learning tasks and assessments will be negotiated on an individual basis.


No formal exam.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 03/01/2020
Return of Assessment: 03/01/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2

Quizzes based on required reading material

There will be 2 multiple choice quizzes during the first week based on ethnographic field methodology and a third quiz during the second week based on readings related to sustainability in the Mekong. Your mark will be an average of the three quiz marks.

The date range for these tasks indicates the due date for the first quiz . There are 3 quizzes due.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 5 %
Due Date: 11/01/2020
Return of Assessment: 20/01/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4

Photo and description

Submit a photo that you have taken on your trip of in Vietnam and provide 250 words explaining why or how it captures something relating to the themes of the course, the process of doing research, or your experience of being in Vietnam and/or on the field school. There is no expectation that you will all morph into professional photographers, but I do expect that you will all submit meaningful images. I will also accept video footage, audio footage, or a short series of photos.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 14/01/2020
Return of Assessment: 14/01/2020
Learning Outcomes: 5

Survival Vietnamese quiz

This will occur while we are staying in Long Xuyen City, An Giang Provence (Mekong).

You will be assessed by an ANU and an An Giang University staff member on your capacity to

adequately pronounce in Vietnamese the following (mark out of 10 points):

• Count from 1-10 (1 point)

• Name 4 common Vietnamese food dishes (1 point) 

• Good bye or see you later (1 point)

• Thank you (1 point) 

• Where is the toilet? (1 point)

• My name is….. (1 point)

• No plastic bag please (1 point)

• In this cup please (1 points) 

• I have a straw (1 point)

• 1 point for additional words or expressions of your choice relevant to a sustainability issue (1 point)

During this quiz students will be provided the above list in English.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 23/01/2020
Return of Assessment: 15/02/2020
Learning Outcomes: 2,4

Reflective learning journal or portfolio

A journal providing reflections on what you saw, heard and learned. 3000 words maximum, not including captions for any figures/photos due the final night of the course.

Consider these questions (among others):

  • What surprised you?
  • What did you find disturbing?
  • What did you learn about human development and well-being?
  • What did you learn about yourself and your own culture/society?
  • How do you think this course might influence what you study during the rest of your time at ANU or elsewhere?

Feel free to include photos, sketches, or poems or… – be creative. This is NOT a diary of what you did and saw each day, but I suggest you keep a diary and use it to help inform and develop your key learnings. Your journal should be structured around themes, not days or activities. Your learning portfolio can include a photo essay, or video, or?? But it MUST include a written commentary.

Word limit: 3000 words plus optional references

Assessment Task 5

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 18/01/2020
Return of Assessment: 15/02/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Group research project(s)

1) You will be assigned to a group of students to conduct a ‘trial’ research project during the first week of training in Hoi An.  Groups will have access to a translator for part of the time. Edwina, Saul and Matt will provide feedback on your group’s research project oral presentation to your peers and local staff.  This is mandatory BUT you will NOT be formally assessed on this training activity.  

2) For the My Hoa Hung Island in An Giang session, you will chose your own groups based on topics of interest.  The challenge is to come up with a new research topic and question.  Then develop a research plan on how each group member will contribute. Each group will have a maximum of 20 mins to present, plus question time. Each presentation should include: your question, why it’s important and what you found. You will be presenting your research to student hosts and staff of An Giang University. 

A computer projector will be available for both presentations. Formal assessment of your group’s presentation will be conducted by Edwina Fingleton-Smith, and Matt Lord. 


Presentation requirements: 20 minute presentation plus time for questions/comments

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to 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 be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, 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 Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

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

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 it 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.

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.

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.

Returning Assignments

The assessment mark and comments on your learning journal/portfolio will be provided electronically by viewing the Wattle/Turnitin submitted pdf that will include comment ‘bubbles’. To see my comments remember to click the ‘GradeMark’ tab.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted 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

Due to time constraints, there is no capacity to resubmit assignments.

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).

Edwina Fingleton-Smith

Research Interests

Edwina Fingleton-Smith

By Appointment
Prof Saul Cunningham

Research Interests

Prof Saul Cunningham

Matthew Lord

Research Interests

Matthew Lord

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