• Class Number 5729
  • Term Code 3160
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Caroline Schuster
    • Dr Caroline Schuster
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 26/07/2021
  • Class End Date 29/10/2021
  • Census Date 14/09/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 02/08/2021
SELT Survey Results

The ANU is a portal into the wider world—as societies become ever more interconnected, it is vital understand the complex cultural dynamics that grip our lives at home and around the globe. Anthropology offers a set of methodological tools and theoretically informed questions to understand how culture is represented and made meaningful in the world today. This course on applied anthropology will explore those methods. In short, we ask what it means to be an ethnographer beyond the lecture halls of the university? What does ethnography have to offer non-profits, advocacy groups, government agencies, design teams and corporations? How to be an applied anthropologist? This course is a practicum that will offer students the opportunity to answer these questions through hands-on projects. Over the course of the semester we will survey and apply a broad range of anthropological methods. This course is structured as a practicum, emphasizing learning by doing. Each student will follow one project for the whole semester. Tutorial will involve sharing, debating, and brainstorming applied anthropology in real world contexts.

Learning Outcomes

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

Upon Successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify and explain the history and significance of ethnography within anthropological research methods.
  2. Define an object of study and formulate research questions related to an applied hands-on internship over the course of the semester.
  3. Design and apply anthropological research methods related to a specific site or social context.
  4. Identify communities of engagement, evaluate findings and explain them to the community.

Research-Led Teaching

I love ethnography! Not only am I passionate about anthropological approaches to fieldwork, I publish on the ethics of field research and am a member of the ANU's Human Research Ethics Committee.

Field Trips

This is a research practicum, which means that students will be responsible for self-organising several independent fieldwork projects and workshopping their methods and data in the weekly practicum. No formal excursions or field trips will be organised; all applied projects can be undertaken by both on-campus and remote students.

A field notebook. Lots of pens.

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 What is Ethnography?
2 Going to the Field
3 Deep Hanging Out Assessment Task #3 (Project 1: fieldnotes)
4 Thinking About Ethics Assessment Task #2 take-home quiz distributed
5 Talking to People Assessment Task #2 take-home quiz due
6 Sitting Still, Going Along
7 Visualising Assessment Task #3 (Project 2: interview)
8 Digital #Anthropology
9 Object Analysis
10 Organisational Ethnography Assessment Task #3 (Project 3: student choice)
11 Writing Up
12 Wrap Up
13 Final group projects Assessment Task #4

Tutorial Registration

The mandatory practicum is required for all enrolled students

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Practicum Participation (ongoing, weekly) 10 % * * 1,2,3,4
Take-Home Quiz 15 % 23/08/2021 30/08/2021 1
Ethnographic Projects 45 % * * 2,3
Final group project and reflective essay 30 % 06/11/2021 * 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: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Practicum Participation (ongoing, weekly)

Weekly “practicals” will engage students in hands-on learning. These 2-hr lab-based activities will ask students to understand and interpret the tutorial readings and apply concepts to original research topics. Your participation in the practicums will be assessed according to:

  1. Engagement in individual and group tasks;
  2. Comprehension and discussion of the readings, including asking questions;
  3. Critical analysis of the readings using specific examples from your own fieldwork. 

Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 23/08/2021
Return of Assessment: 30/08/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1

Take-Home Quiz

Students should expect combination short answer and short essay questions based on the required readings and lectures. Students will have one week to complete the quiz (open-book and open-note). Anonymised quizzes will receive peer feedback the week after the assessment is due. 

Assessment Task 3

Value: 45 %
Learning Outcomes: 2,3

Ethnographic Projects

Students will be required to complete three (3) small project assignments. In addition to providing practice in the use of common ethnographic methods, these assignments are designed to encourage students to reflect on the value and limitations of individual methods.

Part A. Fieldnotes.

1. Take one event that has happened in the field and, if you haven’t already, write it up as full descriptive fieldnotes (this will be practiced in class in Week 3). This should be approximately 350-500 words.

2. Write an ‘analytic memo’ of 300-500 words reflecting on your experience of taking fieldnotes. This is a mini-analysis of what you think you have learnt during your experience, including what you have learned from the data as well as any limitations in your approach.

Word Count: 750-1000 words

Part B. Interview

1. Prepare an Interview Guide (we will practice this in class in week 5)

2. Conduct and record (using audio or video) a short key informant or group interview. Please see the lecturer if you want to check about the ethics of this sort of interview.

3. Transcribe 5-10 minutes of relevant discussion in the interview – include pauses, mumblings, important background noises, as well as time-stamps.

4. Draft a short analytical memo (1-2 pages, 500-750 words) that analyses what you have learned from the interview, as well as your reflections on the process.

Part C. Students should choose one (1) of the following projects (most relevant/feasible to your interests):

a) Survey:

i. Prepare a survey instrument. Feel free to email the survey protocol to the instructor before carrying it out.

ii. Present the results of the survey along with a 500-750 word analytic memo on how you administered the survey, what you learned from the exercise, and what would be similar/different about your approach in future survey contexts.

b) Archival Research

Archival research can include information found on official websites or other documentation produced by an organisation, a collection of news reports on specific events or organisations, library collections, databases, government documents, or other private collections. Email the instructor if you would like to discuss possible archive sources for your project and what types of questions to ask of that source.

i. Prepare notes summarising your archival research.

ii. Reflect on your notes to write a 750-1000 word analytical memo.

c) Object Analysis

Ephemera are objects created to be temporary and can include and can include letters, old boxes, advertising, leaflets, posters, packaging, birthday cards, book marks, brochures, invitations, magazines and periodicals, menus, pamphlets, programs, tickets, timetables, or postcards, among many others! Possible questions that can guide an ephemeral analysis include: what is the message/purpose of this object? Why/how was it produced? How can we think of it as a form of representation? What is the intended audience? What does it say about the time/space/context/condition of its production? How does it shape the social context you are studying?

i. Take photographs of the ephemera you have collected for analysis.

ii. Analyse the ephemera in a 750-1000 word analytical memo.

d) Digital Analysis

Participate and observe a digital platform, such as Twitter, Facebook, website, forum, game, Listserv, blog, etc. Consider the intended community of users, the forms of representation, and layout/design elements (affordances) of the digital platform. Consider deepening your analysis with formal or informal interviews about its use in daily practice. i. Prepare a 750-1000 word analytical memo reflecting on your participant observation.

e) Photo/Video Analysis

i. Analyse a photo or video you’ve taken for your field project or found through your research.

ii. Submit your notes, the photo with a caption, and a 500-750 word analytic memo using the photo as data.

f) Mapping Exercise

i. Draw a map (cognitive, community/participatory, GIS, Google, or otherwise) of a space, place, intersection, process, practice, event, or flow.

ii. Draft a 750-1000 word analytical and interpretive memo analysing the map. 

Assessment Task 4

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 06/11/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Final group project and reflective essay

Final community engagement report (group assessment, 15%)

The class will collaboratively produce an ethnography based on the data produced over the course of the semester. Findings will be organised thematically, and each student will contribute to a theme. It is expected that each student will be responsible for 500-800 words of text. With the consent of the instructor students can consider creative outputs like a poster, pamphlet, worksheet, video or podcast.

Final individual reflective essay: (individual component of a group assessment, 15%)

The final reflection essay will be based on analysis of activities and fieldnotes collected throughout the semester, as well as the successes and challenges of the group-based community engagement report. Students will be expected to consider their successes and the conclusions they drew, but also to analyse how and why they would change their methodologies, and what questions they would investigate more carefully. The total word count of the should not exceed 1,500 words.

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

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. 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.

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 Caroline Schuster
Ext 57043

Research Interests

Economic anthropology, finance, value; microcredit, insurance and risk; NGOs and development policy, conditional cash transfers; environmental anthropology, ruination, agroindustry, weather disasters; gender, kinship, feminist theory; Latin America, Paraguay; research ethics, ethnographic methods

Dr Caroline Schuster

Wednesday 12:15 13:15
Wednesday 12:15 13:15
By Appointment
Dr Caroline Schuster
Ext 57043

Research Interests

Dr Caroline Schuster

Wednesday 12:15 13:15
Wednesday 12:15 13:15
By Appointment

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