• Class Number 4509
  • Term Code 3330
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 to 12 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Ash Lenton
    • Dr Ash Lenton
    • Dr Katherine Daniell
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 20/02/2023
  • Class End Date 26/05/2023
  • Census Date 31/03/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 27/02/2023
SELT Survey Results

In this course we will start to create practitioners of Applied Cybernetics who can carefully examine new and emerging cybernetic systems, the building blocks they are made from, and the questions they raise for human society and our ecosystems.

Through the course, we will challenge students to take different approaches to studying and understanding cybernetic systems: systems with human, technological, and environmental components. These approaches do not start with identifying and solving problems, but instead start with framing questions about these systems, their building blocks and the dynamic relationships between their human, technological, and environmental components. Students will learn to engage with important terminology and detail, integrate multiple perspectives, question assumptions, and think critically and creatively in order to start with framing questions about emerging cybernetic systems and the future we want to collectively create with them.

This course gives students exposure to conceptual approaches of Applied Cybernetics. It draws on a range of research methodologies from cybernetics, systems thinking and control theory, design thinking, social sciences, humanities, and critical theory. It serves as a foundation for applying cybernetic approaches to cybernetic systems analysis in Semester 2.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate conceptual understanding of cybernetic systems and key building blocks (including infrastructure, resources, data, sensorary environments, algorithms, machine learning, artificial intelligence and networks), and carefully frame creative, critical and constructive questions about them.
  2. Understand Applied Cybernetics' approach to cybernetic systems analysis (to be applied in Semester 2).
  3. Analyse and evaluate cybernetic systems in ways which demonstrate an appreciation of principles of sustainability, responsibility and safety, and respect for formal methodologies, structures, and legislative requirements which shape applied cybernetic practice.
  4. Fluently apply a range of techniques, tools and resources to framing questions in a creative and innovative manner about cybernetic systems and communicate these to others.
  5. Practice a collaborative design approach in course projects, including sharing draft materials early, eliciting feedback from people with different types of expertise, offering constructive feedback to others, and incorporating feedback through iteration.
  6. Create innovative cybernetic system critiques, analyses and explorations by applying appropriate tools and resources to design new products and satisfy user requirements.
  7. Demonstrate ethical, respectful, and professional conduct, and contribute positively to the School community.
  8. Cultivate self-reflexivity, questioning own assumptions, and a willingness to change perspective when presented with new evidence or ideas.

Whether you are on campus or studying remotely, there are a variety of online platforms you will use to participate in your study program. These could include videos for lectures and other instruction, two-way video conferencing for interactive learning, email and other messaging tools for communication, interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities, print and/or photo/scan for handwritten work and drawings, and home-based assessment.

ANU outlines recommended student system requirements to ensure you are able to participate fully in your learning. Other information is also available about the various Learning Platforms you may use.

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). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Perspectives and languages See assessment section
2 Purposeful composition See assessment section
3 Cyber-physical systems and cybernetics See assessment section
4 Sensing and acting See assessment section
5 Data and networking See assessment section
6 Algorithms and learning See assessment section

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
Resources Session Facilitation 10 % 1,4,5,7,8
Group and individual tasks 50 % 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8
Individual learning portfolio 40 % 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8

* 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 Integrity 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 Skills 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.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,4,5,7,8

Resources Session Facilitation

The first week of each fortnight will focus on the introduction of the theme where students will discuss the resources. Once during the semester (in fortnights 2-6), small student groups will facilitate a 1.5 hour resource session: Purposeful Composition; CPS & Cybernetics; Sensing & Acting; Data & Networking; Algorithms & Learning. Grading will be based the effective design and facilitation of the allocated resource session. 

Assessment Task 2

Value: 50 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8

Group and individual tasks

There will be two task assessments over the semester. These will be allocated as team task (provided in week 1, due week 6) and as an individual task (provided in week 7, and due week 12). Grading will be based on the quality and originality of the task output, integration of course material, feedback and framing questions.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 40 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8

Individual learning portfolio

Throughout the semester students will document and reflect on their learning practice across both CECS6001 and CECS8001. Grading for the CECS6001 components will consider the quality of portfolio template components on: resource connections and reflections; key learning moments with program content; and framing critical, creative and constructive questions in line with the course learning outcomes. Students will submit their Learning Portfolio in week 4, for feedback and indicative grading. This feedback will be returned to students within two weeks. Revised and completed portfolios for the full semester will then be due week 12.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

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) or has clearly been advised on Wattle (e.g. for oral presentations, exhibition material or non-text file formats), 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

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

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 Ash Lenton

Research Interests

Dr Ash Lenton

By Appointment
By Appointment
Dr Ash Lenton

Research Interests

Dr Ash Lenton

By Appointment
By Appointment
Dr Katherine Daniell

Research Interests

Dr Katherine Daniell

By Appointment

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