• Class Number 3779
  • Term Code 3030
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Ian Fry
    • Rachel England
    • Rachel England
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 24/02/2020
  • Class End Date 05/06/2020
  • Census Date 08/05/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 02/03/2020
    • Adegboyega Adeniran
    • Hongzhang Xu
    • Melanie Pill
SELT Survey Results

Grounded in the discipline of public policy, the course considers the complexities around public policy-making for the environment and sustainability. The course considers how policy is made and the institutional settings within which it is made, how problems and policies are framed, implemented and evaluated, and the inherent challenges in choosing appropriate policy instruments to meet an objective. The course focuses particularly on Australia’s public policy and institutional settings, but comparisons with international case studies will be made. Interactive lectures and tutorials provide students with opportunities to analyse specific environmental policy issues in theoretical frameworks and over different time scales. Topics explored include water and climate policy, sustainability in business and industry, public and civil society participation in policy-making, and the relationship between international environmental policy and Australian environmental policy.

Students should be aware that this course involves substantial group-work for a number of assessment tasks.

Honours Pathway Option

Subject to the approval of the course convenor; students taking this option must complete an extra piece of reading each week and give an analysis of its relevance and importance to environmental policy. Students will also give a seminar to the class based on their research essay. All other assessment and requirements remain the same. 

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify and examine the basis of environmental policy and how it is developed and implemented in Australia, as well as in other relevant jurisdictions;
  2. Describe and evaluate key environmental public policies, as well as information and tools to support them;
  3. Evaluate alternative choices of policy design and policy instruments in the context of major environment and sustainability issues, including in both Australian and international contexts; and
  4. Employ advanced research, writing and presentation skills, including to construct written material relevant to the public policy sphere.

Research-Led Teaching

This course in Environmental Policy and how policy processes shape decision-making and action related to the environment draws on the convenor’s, tutor’s and guest presenters’ recent research and real-life practice in supporting, influencing and being a part of environmental policy processes in Australia and other parts of the world. Many of the issues covered in the course thus reflect current academic debates and the messiness often inherent in environmental policy processes that must be managed as effectively as possible. Throughout the course, students will be exposed to a variety of real policy processes and policy-support methods and tools (i.e. analytics), past and current case studies, hypothetical situations, literature, group work and facilitation experience to enable them to develop their own knowledge and skills relevant to environmental policy.

Additional Course Costs

There are no additional costs for this course.

Students will use a range of sources during the course, including the course text, weekly readings, and further materials in researching their assessment tasks. In all cases, students will need to be critical – there are multiple schools of thought in public policy and policy analysis, and a critical stance is needed to navigate through the multiple theoretical, normative and applied approaches you will encounter. Students should not assume that the content of lectures, policy statements of government, or readings supplied are necessarily the best way to think about something – the course is designed to encourage students to construct their own learning and critical attitudes over the material they consider.

Course text (copy in Hancock short loan and available in the Co-Op bookshop): Dovers, S. and Hussey, K. 2013. Environment and sustainability: a policy handbook. 2nd edition. Sydney: Federation Press.

Each week readings will be available on Wattle, and form the basis for tutorial discussions: if students don’t read them it will show and they risk not gaining much from the tutorials or supporting their fellow students (when they are facilitating them)!

Other potentially useful texts and sources:

  • Althaus, C., Bridgman, P. and Davis. G. 2012. The Australian policy handbook. 5th ed. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. A short policy handbook, intended for practitioners.
  • Frieberg, Arie. 2010. The Tools of Regulation. The Federation Press. NSW. A practical, comprehensive but simple and accessible guide to modern regulation in Australia

(all regulation, not just environmental).

  • Moran, M., M. Rein, and R.E. Goodin (Eds.) (2008), The Oxford Handbook of Public Policy, Oxford University Press Inc., New York. An extremely thorough (though occasionally

dull…) handbook on public policy - origins of the discipline, processes, impacts, constraints, instruments etc across all sectors, not just the environment sector. Some terrific

case studies, which will be used during the course.

  • Howlett, M. and Ramesh, M. 2003. Studying public policy: policy cycles and policy subsystems. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. An excellent, standard policy text, with

good coverage on different schools of thought and the policy and related literature.

  • Daniell, K.A. and Kay, A. 2017. Multi-Level Governance: conceptual challenges and case studies from Australia, Canberra, ANU Press. A recent compilation of theory and policy-

working case studies across boundaries, written by academics, public servants and policy community representatives (free pdf download)

  • Thomas, I. 2007. Environmental policy: Australian practice in the context of theory. Sydney: Federation Press.
  • Bates, G. 2006. Environmental law in Australia, 6th edition. Sydney: LexisNexis Butterworths.
  • Dovers, S. and Wild River, S. (eds). 2003. Managing Australia’s environment. Sydney: Federation Press.
  •  Ravenhill, J (Ed.) (2008), Global Political Economy, Oxford University Press, New York, 3rd edition.
  • Stewart, J. and Jones, G. 2003. Renegotiating the environment: the power of politics. Sydney: Federation Press.
  • Walker, K. and Crowley, K. (eds). 2001. Environmental policy 2: studies in decline + devolution. Sydney: University of NSW Press.
  • Australian Policy Online: apo.org.au

Further texts and articles will also need to be found as part of the assessment tasks as this course has a strong research focus. This is particularly the case for the policy research project and tutorial organization and facilitation exercise where we expect to see evidence of your engagement with the policy literature. Articles on policy will often be found in sector-specific journals (e.g. Energy Policy, Climate Policy, Food Policy, Water Resources Research), as well as in general policy or environmental policy journals such as those below. Most articles can be downloaded when connected through a university computer. If you are using your own computer they can be searched for through the library website (ANU password required) or using a university VPN access.

Staff Feedback

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

·        marks and written comments to individuals and/or groups on assessment items (e.g. policy brief, reflections, research report)

·        discussion with individual students and small groups on policy research project topics and drafts

·        discussion with small groups on tutorial facilitation and proposed content prior to the tutorial (in particular through the ‘supertutes’)

·        discussion with the whole class in lecture times on general issues and assessment items

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.

Other Information


An internet connected device (laptop, smartphone, tablet) is suggested for the lectures as online polling may be integrated into them at some stages. Further information will be provided to students on Wattle if this is to occur.

Additional advice about assessment weightings and deadlines:

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. Further information is provided in the assessment section of the class summary, and details are provided on the course wattle site.

Honours Pathway Option:

Subject to the approval of the Course Convener/Lecturer, students taking this option must complete an extra assessment (Assessment 5), which requires additional reading and research of the political arena of environmental policy-making. Students must also attend the Postgrad/HPO tutorial (Tuesdays 12pm-2pm, room FSTY108) and form a group with other students in that tutorial to complete Assessment 3 and Assessment 4. All other assessment and requirements remain the same. Please refer to the course WATTLE site for further information.

Adjustments to delivery in 2020

Course delivery and assessment in 2020 was adjusted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Any information below that replaces what was published in the Class Summary for Semester 1, 2020 was approved by the Associate Dean Education (as is required after 10% commencement of a course). Where an activity or assessment is not referenced below, it remains unchanged.

Teaching Activities

  • Lectures were recorded and available in advance of the normal time through Wattle but not in person. In addition, the lecturer held a Zoom meeting (Virtual Class) at the normal lecture time to highlight the lecture's main points and answer any students' questions about it.
  • Tutorials were preceded each week by a recorded tutorial available on Wattle, and then conducted via Zoom at the originally scheduled time.


Adjustments were made to assignment due dates; for details see the course Wattle site.

  • Assessment 3 (Tutorial Organisation, Facilitation and Participation) was done in an online mini-tutorial rather than in-person mini-tutorial.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Lecture Introduction to course: policy-making for the environment and sustainability – big picture and theories of the policy process. Tutorial Introductions: tutor and students. Environmental policy - what is it? Discussing assessments. Reviewing the real-world policy cases (proposed by sponsors) for group projects A3 and A4. How to select your own assessment weightings adventure. HPOs: sign up for an A5 Politics and Policy Discussion timeslot (during tutorial).
2 Lecture Policy analytics and policy support roles linked to problem framing and disciplinary assumptions. Compelling communication tips. Tutorial The environmental policy cycle, and key ideas. Reflecting on Week 1 lecture content and readings. Reviewing/Discussing the final list of real-world policy cases. All students: form groups of 3 and sign up for a Policy Case (during tutorial). HPOs: deliver A5 Discussion (during tutorial).
3 Lecture Problem framing, Policy instrument choice & Policy research methods. Tutorial Policy analytics, policy support roles and engagement, and environmental problem framing for policy. Reflecting on Week 2 lecture content and readings. * Note: Monday tutorials will be moved to a time on Tuesday this week due to the Canberra Day public holiday. HPOs: deliver A5 Discussion (during tutorial).
4 Lecture Policy agenda setting and multi-level governance: battles of ideas, values and competing needs across scales. Tutorial Problem framing versus policy framing, and matching policy instruments to problems. Reflecting on Week 3 lecture content and readings. All Students: assessment weightings due 18 March 2020, 10pm. HPOs: deliver A5 Discussion (during tutorial).
5 Lecture Policy implementation and adaptation. Discussing the mini-tutorials and sign-up process (assessment 3). Tutorial Understanding competing environmental politics and agendas. Reflecting on Week 4 lecture content and readings. All students: A1 Policy Brief due 25 March 2020. Postgrads & HPOs: deliver A5 Discussion (during tutorial).
6 Lecture Policy evaluation and learning. Tutorial Exploring policy implementation and learning. Reflecting on Week 5 lecture content and readings. Supertute workshop: theories and praxis on tutorial facilitation. Preparing for your group Tutorial Facilitation (assessment 3). All students: sign up to an A3 mini-tutorial timeslot (during tutorial). All students: A2 Journal (Part A) due 1 April 2020.
7 Lecture Public participation and institutional settings in the policy arena. Discussing the mini-tutorials (assessment 3) and the optional Policy Report Outlines (assessment 4). Tutorial Policy evaluation and learning. Reflecting on Week 6 lecture content and readings. HPOs: deliver A5 Discussion (during tutorial).
8 Lecture The temporal aspect of environmental policy; intergenerational governance and policy-making. Discussing the group Policy Research Project (assessment 4). Tutorial Public participation and institutional settings in the policy arena. Reflecting on Week 7 lecture content and readings. Then in the 2nd half… A3 student group-led mini-tutorials begin. Tutors observe and write notes/marks. * Note: Monday tutorials will be moved to a time on Tuesday this week due to the ANZAC Day public holiday. All students: A3 Tutorial Facilitation (during tutorial at pre-arranged timeslot) + Tutorial Reflection Sheets (submitted post-tutorial) + Engaged Listener reflections (submitted post-tutorial). All students: (Optional) A4 Outline and notes due 29 April 2020, 10pm.
9 Lecture Policy mobility, translation and challenges of development for local realities. Guest lecture: Adegboyega Adeniran, Fenner School of Environment & Society, ANU (Water policy in Nigeria). Tutorial Time and space in policy making. Reflecting on Week 8 lecture content and readings. Then: A3 student group-led mini-tutorials. All students: A3 Tutorial Facilitation (during tutorial at pre-arranged timeslot) + Tutorial Reflection Sheets (submitted post-tutorial) + Engaged Listener reflections (submitted post-tutorial).
10 Lecture Evidence, risk and the precautionary principle. Guest lecture: Melanie Pill, Fenner School of Environment & Society, ANU (Damage and loss under the Paris Agreement. Case studies from small island developing states). Tutorial Policy mobility and challenges. Reflecting on Week 9 lecture content and readings. Then: A3 student group-led mini-tutorials. All students: A3 Tutorial Facilitation (during tutorial at pre-arranged timeslot) + Tutorial Reflection Sheets (submitted post-tutorial) + Engaged Listener reflections (submitted post-tutorial). All student groups: sign up for an A4 feedback session with Tutor (Week 12).
11 Lecture Environmental policy integration, nexus challenges and comparative policy. Guest lecture: Hongzhang Xu, Fenner School of Environment & Society, ANU (Governance and policy change. Case studies from China and the US). Tutorial Evidence, risk and sustainability principles. Reflecting on Week 10 lecture content and readings. Then: A3 student group-led mini-tutorials. All students: A3 Tutorial Facilitation (during tutorial at pre-arranged timeslot) + Tutorial Reflection Sheets (submitted post-tutorial) + Engaged Listener reflections (submitted post-tutorial).
12 Lecture Bringing it all together: policy futures and opportunities for change. Tutorial No tutorial. Instead, there will be student group feedback sessions on draft A4 Final Reports with Tutors [optional]. All students: A3 Engaged Listener final reflections due 27 May 2020. ------------------------------------- All students: A2 Journal (Part B) due 4 June 2020. All students: A4 Final Policy Report due 4 June 2020.

Tutorial Registration

Registration via the course Wattle site.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Policy brief [A1] 20 % 25/03/2020 08/04/2020 1,2,3,4
Course reflection journal [A2] 20 % 01/04/2020 18/06/2020 1,2,3,4
Policy research group project: tutorial organisation and facilitation [A3] 20 % 27/04/2020 03/06/2020 1,2,3,4
Policy research group project: Final report [A4] 40 % 04/06/2020 02/07/2020 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 Academic Integrity . 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.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 25/03/2020
Return of Assessment: 08/04/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Policy brief [A1]

This assessment is due on 25 March 2020, before 10pm AEST

Value: 20%


This assessment task is designed to get you thinking and communicating clearly about a current (and hopefully topical) public policy issue.

Task summary

Write a 750 word policy brief. The Policy Brief should describe a contemporary or emerging policy problem related to ‘environment’ and/or ‘sustainability’, those with responsibility for it, and an initial scoping of policy instruments or organisational options available to address the problem. Your readership for this are imaginary colleagues and superiors in an agency (who you define). You must also define who you are as the author of the Policy Brief (e.g. a government policy officer or researcher/scientist in the same or different agency as your addressee, etc.) Your objective is to convince the reader, with a succinct argument, that the issue represents a policy problem, why, and what initial responses might be made.

What is a policy brief?

A Policy Brief is a report that succinctly summarises an issue, its associated policy problem, and identifies possible options for future action. It is generally asked for and delivered to a senior government official, politician (state, territory or local), corporate executive, or senior person in a non-government organisation. It may also be addressed to a committee or a board of directors.

Typically, a Policy Brief describes an emerging, re-emerging or topical issue that falls in the senior person’s area of responsibility, and is asked for when they need an accessible description of the problem and some ideas for what might next be done to address it. This is usually needed to (i) answer questions from the media or their own superiors, or (ii) take appropriate steps to address the issue. For example, often a Policy Brief is requested when an issue or problem suddenly becomes prominent in the media, or when a natural event/disaster has occurred, an interest group makes a submission to a Minister, questions are asked in Parliament and need to be answered, or when a review of a relevant policy program has been completed and senior staff need to be brought updated on it’s findings.

A Policy Brief usually does not recommend a single option, but proposes a range of options to be considered. The options might deal with (for example) the policy processes to take the matter further, research gaps that needs to be filled, possible policy instruments to consider/analyse, organisational reform options, or a combination of these.

The environmental/sustainability issue that you choose, and the senior person or people that you will brief, can be real or imagined – as long as that which is imagined is realistic, and the issue and policy options developed are understandable. We encourage students to take on a well-defined, specific issue rather than a big, global and poorly-defined issue, as it makes it easier to describe and develop options when the scope of the Policy Brief is narrower. For example, it is more achievable to write about an aspect of emissions reductions rather than the whole climate change agenda in a 750-word Policy Brief! Also, it is recommended that students define a policy issue or problem that is tractable to a policy solution or discussion, rather than present an issue to be argued over.

An example

An estuary that is close to a city and used for recreation and commercial fishing has been affected by algal blooms. This has not occurred for several years. Previously when it occurred, there research undertaken, recommendations make, and management interventions: mainly a tightening of regulation to reduce nutrients coming from point-sources in nearby urban and industrial areas. Considerable public concern about this recent algal bloom is evident, and the Minister for the Environment must respond.

The Policy Brief would: summarise what algal blooms are and why they occur; identify previous studies; describe the previous policy and management actions; consider why the problem is re-occurring (drought? new sources of nutrients? lack of enforcement of regulations?); and propose options for further consideration (e.g. investigate non-point source nutrient from farmlands within the catchment, review levels of compliance with regulations, formulate an interdepartmental committee across the relevant state agencies, call a public meeting of affected stakeholders, etc.).

A typical structure of a Policy Brief is:

  1. Front matter – clearly identifying who the Policy Brief is written for, who it was prepared by, the date, and topic. Include people’s roles or affiliations.
  2. Talking points – four (4) one-sentence dot points that succinctly sum up your main messages in the Policy Brief. These are the four messages that are most important for the senior person or people to read and know about before they step into a media briefing, community event, or Parliament question time, etc.
  3. An introduction identifying the issue and for whom the brief is written (approx. 50-100 words).
  4. Description of the issue/problem (approx. 200-250 words).
  5. An outline of what has previously been done to address the issue, in the relevant jurisdiction and/or elsewhere (approx. 200- 250 words).
  6. Options to be considered for further action, say 2-5 depending on the nature of the problem, maybe as short dot point paragraphs, and the expected impact of each option (approx. 200-250 words).
  7. References/Sources, whether in the text or as notes at the end (not many, but perhaps a previous report or two, recent media sources, etc.)

Note. You may vary this structure to suit your preferred communication style or your topic.

The Policy Brief should be easily understood by a competent and professional person, but who is not familiar with the technical aspects of the issue. It should be presented in a readable and simple lay-out – i.e. summary graphs rather than data in the text, short/easy to read paragraphs, dot points, sub-headings to guide the reader, etc. Minimal referencing is required, but some supporting materials will be necessary to add authority (e.g. formal references) or political reality (e.g. opinion polls, media coverage) to your argument.

Note: There are sample Policy Briefs from previous years available on the Wattle website for you to view. These are for inspiration only. Please ensure that you follow the instructions in this Class Outline first and foremost.

What this kind of assessment measures

Writing a policy brief demonstrates your skills at researching facts and information and presenting it in a succinct format. Policy briefs are not discursive. They use bullet points and may list findings on particular aspects of the task. They measure your ability to put forward an organized piece of writing, compilation and explanation of data or facts or similar information and the presentation of conclusions. Pay attention to formatting as poorly laid out work can detract from the content of your argument.

Assessment Criteria

Please refer to the course WATTLE site.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 01/04/2020
Return of Assessment: 18/06/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Course reflection journal [A2]

Value: 20%

Due: Part A of Journal is due 1 April 2020; Part B of Journal is due 4 June 2020.

Returned: Part A mark returned 15 April 2020; Part B mark returned 18 June 2020.

This assessment is formative and will be used to assess engagement, levels of learning and (most importantly) your ability to reflect on your own learning practice, including whether the course structure and assessment activities are adequately supporting you and your fellow students.


Task Summary

The Course Reflection Journal serves a number of important purposes in this course, including:

  1. To monitor student levels of learning and engagement through the course, so that the course can be responsive to student needs and modified/improved as the semester progresses and in later years.
  2. To provide students with an avenue for feedback to the Lecturer and Tutors about issues and challenges being encountered throughout the course (especially with group work and other tutorial activities).
  3. To provide students with a direct way of evaluating their own learning and performance, as well as that of their peers in their group work assignments.
  4.  To provide students with an opportunity to develop their reflexivity about their own practices and learning, and to develop (succinct) reflective writing capability. Such a skill is particularly important for job readiness, including in formulating effective job applications, and for developing positive group work skills that are needed in environmental policy work environments.

All students will be required to submit their Course Reflection Journal using the templates supplied on Wattle. All sections must be completed as per the instructions in the template.

For students who have not previously had assignments based on reflective writing, resources are supplied on Wattle to help with this, and we encourage you to seek advice from Tutors.

What this Kind of Assessment Measures

Please note that this assignment will not be marked on presentation or grammar beyond giving a pass/fail mark on whether sections of the Course Reflection Journal can be read and understood. This means you will only lose marks on presentation or grammar if the work is so poorly presented or written that it is not possible to understand what you have written.

Marks are based on:

  • The level of critical and positive engagement through the course and practical group work exercises.
  • Demonstrated understanding of readings and lectures.
  • Level of independent thought demonstrated through reflecting on tutorial questions and exercises.
  • Integration of course concepts, as well as the level of critical reflection shown on own and group/tutorial facilitators’ practices.

Assessment Criteria

Please refer to the course WATTLE site.

Please note there are multiple activities associated with this task, each with individual due dates

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 27/04/2020
Return of Assessment: 03/06/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Policy research group project: tutorial organisation and facilitation [A3]

To be completed during Week 8-11 tutorials.

Component 1: Tutorial Organisation and Facilitation (worth 75%).

This involves the delivery of a mini-tutorial at a pre-arranged tutorial timeslot (one per student group) + submission of A3 Tutorial Organisation Reflection Sheet (one per student, submit via Wattle within 24 hours of delivering mini-tutorial).

Component 2: Engaged Listener (worth 25%).

This involves actively participating in the mini-tutorials of other student groups and submitting a short written reflection (e.g. 5 key learnings) from no less than five mini-tutorials (via Wattle, submitted no later than 27 May 2020, 10pm).

Task Summary

Student groups will facilitate a mini-tutorial for their student peers during the tutorial sessions of Weeks 8-11. The mini-tutorials will be based on the student group’s selected real-world environmental policy case and framed by policy analytics.

This assessment is based on the your performance as tutorial organisers and facilitators (component 1) and as engaged listeners (active participants) at your peers’ mini-tutorial (component 2).

Specifically, the assessment is based on:

  • The quality of tutorial preparation (e.g. clear and sensible content/analytics chosen, a tutorial running sheet, relevant readings, peer evaluation outcomes). Tutorial materials plus the A3 Tutorial Organisation Reflection Sheet (to be submitted by each individual student within 24 hours of delivering their mini-tutorial) will inform this element of the assessment.
  • The quality of tutorial facilitation on the day (e.g. ensuring participants understand what is expected of them in activities, encouraging participation from all, ensuring all had the opportunity to speak, ability to discuss ideas clearly, ability to engage the class with the weekly theme and their environmental project topic). Tutors will observe the mini-tutorial from the back of the room and mark this element of the assessment.
  • The quality of your participation and reflection on your peers’ mini-tutorials (e.g. reflections on the mini-tutorial as a student participant). Individual students are to submit a short written reflection (e.g. 5 key learnings) on at least five mini-tutorials (other than their own) that they were an engaged listener/participant in via Wattle (due 27 May 2020).

This assessment is intended to support students to learn how to engage others when workshopping certain aspects of a policy problem. If done well, the student group-led mini-tutorial (delivered at pre-arranged timeslots during tutorials in Weeks 8-11) should be beneficial to both the students facilitating them (e.g. to have input on their specific A4 Policy Research Case topic), and to the participating students, who will be (i) exposed to policy analytics which they could potentially use for their own final policy report; and (ii) exposed to a new environmental policy case study and the issues associated with it.

Such skills are particularly valuable for future work if you have to design and run meetings on topics where you are working with other generalists (e.g. in many parts of the public service).

Student groups will be given support by Tutors to scope and design their mini-tutorials. But ultimately, groups will be free to design and facilitate the mini-tutorials as they like – e.g. with activities or sub-activities to demonstrate certain policy analytic techniques, including reasonable pre-reading and discussion questions.

The mini-tutorials will be approximately 25 minutes (exact timings dependent on student group numbers), based on the group’s selected environmental policy case, framed by policy analytics (e.g. a phase of the policy cycle), and delivered to their student peers during their tutorial session.

A sign up form will be provided via Wattle in Week 6 for student groups to select a mini-tutorial session day/time. Groups that have not selected a session for their mini-tutorial by the end of Week 6 will be allocated a day/time to deliver their mini-tutorial.

All students should attend one of the ‘supertute’ (Week 6) tutorials. Students unable to attend a tutorial that week should alert the Lecturer as soon as possible. The supertutes are designed to help student groups design their mini-tutorial, and will explore concepts and themes relating to tutorial design and facilitation.

When you facilitate your tutorial, you will be expected to:

  • Briefly introduce yourself and introduce the context for the activities (e.g. your Policy Case project topic and relevant phase in the policy cycle), readings and focus topics/analytics of the session and what will be undertaken.
  • Facilitate the planned activities and discussion in the tutorial with your group.

You can choose to use either a simple discussion as your facilitation technique, or you may choose to ask participants to undertake activities designed to help them discuss and develop your proposed topics (e.g. group work, structured debates, role plays, games, computer simulations).

Note that you can obtain a high mark simply by facilitating discussion around the table. If you choose to use structured activities, they will help your mark only if they aid the discussion and understanding of both your Policy Case Study project and the analytics that can be used to support the allocated phase of the policy cycle.

Think of your fellow students as a valuable resource and co-researchers/learners!

Assessment of Tutorial Facilitation

Please refer to the course WATTLE site.

When you do your mini-tutorial facilitation, you will be assessed based on:

  • The quality of your introduction and context setting (based on how well you provided a background that set the context for the activities (where relevant) and following discussion.
  •  Your capacity to lead the tutorial groups through any chosen activities.
  • The appropriateness of the proposed activities, discussion questions & topics you used.
  • Your facilitation skills. This refers to whether you made attempts to encourage all student participants to participate in the activities/enter the discussion, draw on their own experiences/class content, and how you helped keep the session on track (i.e. by ensuring people do not stray off the topic or activity).
  • Information or activities relevant to your mini-tutorial plan being completed by the end of your session (or at least the objectives of your proposed work being achieved).
  • Other things that we will be looking for in assessing your mini-tutorial facilitation include:
  • Relevance and clarity.
  • Creating an atmosphere where people feel free to speak.
  • Directing the conversation constructively.
  • Engaging the group in discussing the proposed tutorial topics, your Policy Case Study project and chosen analytic(s).
  • Enthusiasm and interest generated.
  • Inclusiveness, everybody participating.
  • Maintaining the discussion.
  • Not dominating as a presenter or allowing others to.

A group mark is initially assigned, and then we take into account your reflections and peer-evaluations in the A3 Tutorial Organisation Reflection Sheets to provide you with individual marks. Please be aware that we will typically increase marks where self-reflection on what might have gone wrong is provided and you demonstrate awareness of what could have been improved were you to go through the process again. This is because sometimes we can’t help what happens in groups or in action, and such reflection demonstrates deep learning, which we seek to reward.

As a participant at your peers’ student-facilitated mini-tutorial, you will be assessed on the relevance of the reflections that you submit of no less than 5 student-led mini-tutorials over the duration of the course. Your reflections should demonstrate your critical thinking and reflexivity on the mini-tutorial that your student peers just facilitated. They are to be submitted via Wattle by 27 May 2020.

Assessment Criteria

Please refer to the course WATTLE site.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 04/06/2020
Return of Assessment: 02/07/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Policy research group project: Final report [A4]

[Optional] Draft Outline of your Policy Research Report is due 29 April 2020, before 10pm.

[Required] Final Policy Research Report (one per group) is due 4 June 2020, before 10pm.

[Required] A4 Policy Project Reflection Sheet (one per student) is due the same day as submitting the Final Policy Research Report, before 11.55pm.

Task Summary

This assignment is designed to help you learn to following skills:

  1. How to search for, and critically evaluate, information relevant to an environmental policy area.
  2. Translate theory into environmental policy research practice, including formulating a policy problem, carrying out a literature review (including media), formulating policy design/improvement options, evaluating options, and making policy recommendations, including evaluation and monitoring priorities.
  3. Learn about different methods and tools (i.e. policy analytics) that are available to support environmental policy processes and research
  4. Synthesise this knowledge to produce a practical ‘real-world’ document, that could be read by policy makers and academics interested in the policy area.

The assignment is designed as follows:

  • You will self-allocate into groups of 3 students within your tutorial group in Week 2. Each student group will then select and research one Policy Case Study. Policy Case Study options will be provided to students.
  • Each student group will undertake a few weeks of preliminary work on the topic and analyse the skills and expertise they could bring to looking at the topic. This might be prior training and knowledge of analytical methods employed in economics, law, environmental science, politics, sociology, engineering, computer science etc.
  • In your group, you will prepare and facilitate a mini-tutorial [assessment 3] and a Policy Research Report (4000-5000 words for ENVS3028; 5000-6000 words for ENVS6528 and ENVS3028 HPO students). The Policy Research Report is based on your selected Case and is a collective activity (e.g. one report submitted per student group).
  • Each student will also be required to reflect on their contributions to and feelings about the process and evaluate the performance of themselves and their peers in the A4 Policy Project Reflection Sheet.

Policy Research Report Structure and Key Elements

Each Final Policy Research Report [A4] should include the following key elements:

  1. Policy identification and importance statement – why is it arising/who if anyone is interested in getting it on the agenda? This should include some recent and/or historical media and policy document analysis.
  2. Literature review on the policy problem area – what has been done previously in the target area/other areas or countries? How can you evaluate and classify its relevance (here some kind of policy theory or comparative policy framework should be chosen or developed for use)?
  3. Policy options identification and analysis – what policy instruments could be used or improved and what positive/negative impacts (and on who) might these have? Here disciplinary expertise and policy analytics for evaluating options may be used.
  4. Policy recommendations – including on schemes for monitoring and evaluation the implementation of proposed instruments in the policy area.

Depending on the Case Study project topic, not all of these sections may be equally weighted. Those wanting to carry out significant analytical work may concentrate more on the options analysis, or literature review. This is fine as long as some potentially interesting and useful recommendations for further attention can be identified.

The Policy Research Report should be clearly structured including headings and subheadings, using a professional-looking format or style. Students are encouraged to use tables, figures and some sections where key issues or lists are summarised as dot-points. The report should make an argument of some type (e.g. towards a policy recommendation, needs for evaluation or future research, improved mechanisms for policy implementation). This argument should be summarised in the executive summary (300-400 words) as a series of key points (dot-points or numbered list). Plain English, as free as possible of jargon and academic style, should be employed. References should be included and can be presented in either Harvard or numbered Endnote format. Please closely proof-read your report before submission and ask a friend or family member to read it for comprehension to ensure that a ‘generalist’ audience can understand your argument.

Assessment and Feedback Deadlines

Please note. This is a real research project. It is common during research for students to be able to ask their supervisors questions and advice about their ideas and writing. We can be available (within reason) to discuss your ideas and work, including glancing over drafts when we meet with you. In that way, it is not like a typical assignment that is submitted as an original piece of work that the Lecturer or Tutor has never seen before. We are available to provide advice to allow you to refine your thinking and reports as much as possible before final submission, and—where students accept—the reports’ release outside the university.

[Optional] Draft Outline of Policy Research Report (for indicative grade and feedback, only)

Each student group has the option of submitting their draft outline of their Policy Research Report in Week 8, for feedback and indicative grades. The outline should be in the proposed format and style of the final report. It should include: a statement of scope (what is being focused on and excluded, and why); proposed headings; and a dot-point summary of what is likely to be included in each section of the final report. Draft text that has already been crafted for a section at that stage may also be submitted if feedback is sought on it.

These preliminary submissions are intended to support your learning and allow us to check on your progress. It should allow you and us to identify any potential issues early and to allow you to improve (if required) any structural, formatting or content issues with the project. The grade given will just be an indication of the level you are working at but will not count towards your final grade.

[Optional] In-Tutorial Feedback in Week 12

Student groups will have the opportunity to book time with their Tutor or Lecturer towards the end of the course to discuss their A4 Final Reports, ask questions about their topic, and get direct feedback.

[Required] Final Policy Research Report (4 June 2020)

Each student group should submit their final Policy Research Report via Wattle.

A group mark is initially assigned for the final Policy Research Report, and then we take into account your reflections and peer-evaluations in your submitted A4 Policy Project Reflection Sheets to provide you with individual marks.

Note that a copy of your A4 Final Reports will be provided to case Sponsor at the end of Semester 1, unless you specifically request (in writing) to the Lecturer that you do not wish for this to happen.

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Assessment Criteria

Please refer to the course WATTLE site

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 specied 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

Assignments will be returned via Wattle in normal circumstances.

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

Resubmission of assignments will only be considered in exceptional circumstances dues to causes beyond the student’s control.

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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.

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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 Ian Fry

Research Interests

Environmental policy and politics, sustainability, intervention for change, participatory processes, water governance.

Dr Ian Fry

By Appointment
Rachel England
+61 2 6125 4882

Research Interests

Rachel England

By Appointment
By Appointment
Rachel England
+61 2 6125 4882

Research Interests

Rachel England

By Appointment
By Appointment
Adegboyega Adeniran

Research Interests

Adegboyega Adeniran

By Appointment
Hongzhang Xu
+61 2 6125 4882

Research Interests

Hongzhang Xu

By Appointment
Melanie Pill
+61 2 6125 4882

Research Interests

Melanie Pill

By Appointment

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