• Class Number 2972
  • Term Code 3030
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Topic Online
  • Mode of Delivery Online
    • Dr Keith Barney
    • Dr Keith Barney
    • Dr Rebecca Colvin
  • 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
SELT Survey Results

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

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

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

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

Learning Outcomes

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

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

Research-Led Teaching

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

Sample Quantitative Methods Sourcebooks:

Trochim, W. 2006. The Research Methods Knowledge Base. Available at: http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb.

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

Sample Qualitative Methods Sourcebooks:

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

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

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

Staff Feedback

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

Student Feedback

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

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Course Introduction & Introduction to statistics and basic concepts. Inductive and deductive reasoning. Scientific method.
2 Research design, measurement, and data classification. Survey design and sampling methods.
3 Data analysis using descriptive statistics.
4 Data analysis using inferential statistics. Hypothesis testing, confidence intervals, Type I and II errors.
5 Nonparametric tests and advanced statistical methods.
6 Review and consolidation of statistical analysis concepts.
7 Concepts in Qualitative Research
8 Ethnography
9 Extended Case Study
10 Rapid and Participatory Rural Appraisal
11 Research Methods in Feminist Political Ecology
12 Research Methods for Public Policy Impact

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Quantitative Quiz 1 (10%) 10 % 11/03/2020 27/03/2020 2, 3
Quantitative practical exercises (25%) 25 % * * 4, 6
Quantitative quiz 2 (15%) 15 % 01/04/2020 24/04/2020 4, 6
Qualitative Quiz (10%) 10 % 22/04/2020 06/05/2020 1, 2
Ethnographic Interview (15%) 15 % 03/05/2020 15/05/2020 3, 4, 5
Peer Response (5%) 5 % 10/05/2020 22/05/2020 3, 4, 5
Final Qualitative Assignment: Critical Review of the Conceptualisation and Operationalisation of a Qualitative Methodology (20%) 20 % 07/06/2020 02/07/2020 3, 4, 6

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


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

Assessment Requirements

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

Moderation of Assessment

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

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 11/03/2020
Return of Assessment: 27/03/2020
Learning Outcomes: 2, 3

Quantitative Quiz 1 (10%)

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

Assessment Task 2

Value: 25 %
Learning Outcomes: 4, 6

Quantitative practical exercises (25%)

Exercises consists of 4 practical exercises based on statistical analysis. The exercises will involve the application and understanding of statistical techniques. The four exercises together are worth 25%. Each exercise is weighted equally.

Exercises are commenced in tutorial (practical) time. Instructions will be provided via Wattle following the week's lecture.

Quantitative exercises are each associated with and commenced in a single tutorial/practical session, but may be continued in students’ own time following the session if necessary or desired.

Check Wattle for due dates for each exercise (approx. 5 days following tutorial/practical).

Quantitative exercises:

  • 5 practical questions (provide answer and append SPSS output)
  • 2 written questions (max 500 words total)

Assessment Task 3

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 01/04/2020
Return of Assessment: 24/04/2020
Learning Outcomes: 4, 6

Quantitative quiz 2 (15%)

A 45 minute closed book test in Week 6 tutorial reviews all quantitative content, with a focus on weeks 3-5. Open responses, including long answers. 

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 22/04/2020
Return of Assessment: 06/05/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2

Qualitative Quiz (10%)

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

Assessment criteria available on Wattle.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 03/05/2020
Return of Assessment: 15/05/2020
Learning Outcomes: 3, 4, 5

Ethnographic Interview (15%)

Students will plan and conduct an ethnographic interview with a class partner, dealing with an aspect of environmental management/development, drawn from a place that your interview partner/ research subject is personally familiar with. An interpretive ethnographic narrative will be submitted based on the interview.

Assessment criteria available on Wattle.

Assessment Task 6

Value: 5 %
Due Date: 10/05/2020
Return of Assessment: 22/05/2020
Learning Outcomes: 3, 4, 5

Peer Response (5%)

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

Assessment criteria available on Wattle.

Assessment Task 7

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 07/06/2020
Return of Assessment: 02/07/2020
Learning Outcomes: 3, 4, 6

Final Qualitative Assignment: Critical Review of the Conceptualisation and Operationalisation of a Qualitative Methodology (20%)

Students will select and research 1 of the qualitative research methods methods examined in the course, and provide a critical evaluation of the conceptualisation of this methodology, and the associated practical methods used to operationalise it, with reference to a range of published academic papers. This assignment will be completed in essay format.

Assessment criteria available on Wattle

Academic Integrity

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

Online Submission

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

Hardcopy Submission

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

Late Submission

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

Referencing Requirements

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

Extensions and Penalties

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

Privacy Notice

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

Distribution of grades policy

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

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
Dr Keith Barney
02 6125 4957

Research Interests

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

Dr. Bec Colvin (Research Interests: social and environmental conflict about the environment, social identity, renewable energy, land use change )

Dr Keith Barney

Wednesday 15:00 17:00
Wednesday 15:00 17:00
Dr Keith Barney
6125 4957

Research Interests

Dr Keith Barney

Wednesday 15:00 17:00
Wednesday 15:00 17:00
Dr Rebecca Colvin
612 52662

Research Interests

Dr Rebecca Colvin

Friday 11:00 13:00

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