- Class Number 6798
- Term Code 3360
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Mode of Delivery In Person
- Edwina Fingleton-Smith
- Edwina Fingleton-Smith
- Class Dates
- Class Start Date 24/07/2023
- Class End Date 27/10/2023
- Census Date 31/08/2023
- Last Date to Enrol 31/07/2023
In a time of rapid population growth, unlimited economic growth and the threat of climate change, it is increasingly obvious that we need a transformation in the way we manage our resources, environment and economies. However, bringing about such societal change is not easy, whether it be at the global, national or local level. This course considers the complex drivers behind societal change in pursuit of environmental objectives.
Using both global and local case studies, the course will break apart some of the crucial building blocks of modern society and explore how we understand the concepts of society, environment, and the economy and the complex relationships between them. The course will also look at who ‘we’ is and how different individuals and groups experience the environment and environmental change differently. From here the course will explore how societies can and do pursue change, the complex relationships which influence change, the different discourses represented in the global conversation about environmental and social issues, and the links between international environmental movements and local, domestic environmental outcomes. In particular, the course will address such questions as: What are the key factors for successful societal change? What are the barriers? How do we know we are addressing the most critical environmental issues? And how do we know when we have succeeded?
Note: Graduate students attend joint classes with undergraduates but are assessed separately.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Identify and evaluate the drivers and barriers of societal change for environmental objectives in different contexts, particularly the respective roles of the media, public, civil society, governments and technological developments in encouraging that change.
- Critique and evaluate key environmental movements, and how they include or exclude certain groups in society or globally.
- Conduct in--depth problem analysis; design and implement appropriate research and evaluation tools.
- Employ advanced research, writing and presentation skills.
- Participate effectively in team-based integrative research projects.
- Design appropriate activities to faciliate others to develop innovative approaches to contemporary sustainability problems.
Recommended student system requirements
ANU courses commonly use a number of online resources and activities including:
- video material, similar to YouTube, 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 photo/scan for handwritten work
- home-based assessment.
To fully participate in ANU learning, students need:
- A computer or laptop. Mobile devices may work well but in some situations a computer/laptop may be more appropriate.
- Speakers and a microphone (e.g. headset)
- Reliable, stable internet connection. Broadband recommended. If using a mobile network or wi-fi then check performance is adequate.
- Suitable location with minimal interruptions and adequate privacy for classes and assessments.
- Printing, and photo/scanning equipment
For more information please see https://www.anu.edu.au/students/systems/recommended-student-system-requirements
Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
• marks and written comments to individuals on assessment items (e.g. public thought piece and essays)
• on-going discussion with individual students and groups
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.
|Week/Session||Summary of Activities||Assessment|
|1||Course Overview What are we doing here?Introduction and housekeepingA taster – Decolonising the environment - What is the environment and who does that definition belong to?|
|2||Discourses with DryzekHow do we construct meaning and how does this shape whatwe know?|
|3||Economics: Inequality, social justice and the environment.A brief history of capitalism. What exactly is our economic system?Why does it matter? Is it a problem or an opportunity?|
|4||Girls (not) gone wildGender in the outside world. How do perceptions of gender affectour ability to lead sustainable lifestyles? Is addressing gender a way to maximise sustainable transitions?|
|5||Human psychologyWhy understanding ourselves is critical to understandingenvironmental problems.|
|6||Ethics Why do we do, think and feel how we do about the environment and nature? And whose ethics exactly are they?|
|7||Would you like fries with that?Food, a global case study.|
|8||99 ProblemsWhy scale is important when conceptualising and addressing environmental change. What are the different leverage points for different environmental problems?|
|9||Environmental accountingMaking the intangible tangible. Who owns water? Should anyone?|
|10||North vs South? Or people vs environment?Energy, inequality and sustainability|
|11||NUMTOTS of the world unite!Thinking critically about how we shape urban design and how urban design shapes us.|
|12||Don’t worry, be happyA brief history of right wing, conservative environmentalism|
ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.
|Assessment task||Value||Learning Outcomes|
|Tutorial participation including a group presentation, planning and facilitation of group exercises||10 %||1,2|
|Opinion piece||10 %||1,2,4|
|Grand Challenge - OVERVIEW||0 %||1,2,3,4,5|
|Grand Challenge Problem Video||20 %||1,2,4|
|Grand Challenge Solution Presentation||20 %||1,3,4,5|
|Virtual Panel Discussion||20 %||1,3,4,5|
* 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:
- Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure
- Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure
- Special Assessment Consideration Guideline and General Information
- Student Surveys and Evaluations
- Deferred Examinations
- Student Complaint Resolution Policy and Procedure
- Code of practice for teaching and learning
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.
Students are expected to attend all tutorials. Furthermore, students are expected to have done the reading for tutorials and participate in class discussions and group work each week. If you cannot make your tutorial, you must make arrangements to attend another one that week. Failure to attend more than four tutorials may render you liable to fail the course. In addition, the major assessment for this course will be heavily based on skills learnt in the tutorials, so failure to attend tutorials will make it very difficult for you to do well in the assessment.
This course does not include formal examination during the examination period.
Assessment Task 1
Learning Outcomes: 1,2
Tutorial participation including a group presentation, planning and facilitation of group exercises
Students are expected to attend all tutorials. Furthermore, students are expected to have done the reading for tutorials. If you cannot make your tutorial, make arrangements to attend another one that week. Failure to attend more than four tutorials may render you liable to fail the course. In addition, the major assessment for this course will be heavily based on skills learnt in the tutorials, failure to attend tutorials will make it very difficult for you to do well in the assessment.
Value: 10% of the final mark.
Due date: Students are expected to contribute on an on-going basis throughout the semester.
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4
Prepare a short (800 words) thought piece on a topic related to the course and an issue of public interest in Australia or internationally. The purpose of this piece is to create a piece of writing that is deliberately attempting to change an opinion around a particular issue, not just attempting to inform. The piece should be written in a style appropriate for a media piece aimed at a general audience and should be persuasive and engaging. It is not required that you cite academic literature, however you may find references to various sources or data important for aiding your persuasiveness.
Assessment requirements: 800 words
Due date: Week 4
Assessment Task 3
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5
Grand Challenge - OVERVIEW
Competitive challenges as a method to generate new and innovative solutions to complex problems are becoming increasingly popular around the globe. ANU itself has adopted this format to encourage researchers from across campus to work together in collaborative groups in order to incentivise ambitious and creative solutions to some of the great problems we are facing today. As a piece of assessment, this project is designed and broken into three parts. Please refer to assessment tasks 4, 5 and 6 for the details of each component.
Firstly there will be an individual component of a 2000-word essay on the topic of addressing environmental challenges which will provide students with an analytical foundation for the more creative and innovative parts of the grand challenge design.
Following on from this you will work in small groups to choose an environmental problem and create a grand challenge framework. Groups will need to analyse their problem and identify the causes and possible leverage points and then create evaluation criteria for judging solutions. Groups will pitch their grand challenge problem statement to the class in the form of a video, in week 9, and students will vote on their favourite. The challenge with the most votes will be the basis for the second half of the semester.
In small groups, students will then work on and submit their solutions to the chosen grand challenge problem. This will culminate in the creation of a grand challenge solution pitch which will be given by groups, in person, in week 12.
Assessment Task 4
Learning Outcomes: 1,3,4,5
Critically assess the following statement: “We cannot address contemporary environmental problems without individuals addressing their consumption of planetary resources.” Assess the statement with respect to a case study of a sustainability issue of interest to you.
Assessment requirements: 2000 words (not including footnotes or references)
Due Date: Week 6
Assessment Task 5
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4
Grand Challenge Problem Video
Students will create a video detailing a complex environmental problem, for which innovative solutions are needed. It will exhibit a sophisticated analysis of the problem, identify the society-environmental links including possible drivers, affected stakeholders, and frames the specific aspect of the problem, via a question, that solutions must address. Grand challenge problem statements are often framed along the lines of “How might we address x problem”.
Assessment requirements: The videos will be no longer than 10 minutes long and must include assessment criteria for evaluating solutions to the problem.
Due date: In class, Week 9
Estimated return date: Following week
Assessment Task 6
Learning Outcomes: 1,3,4,5
Grand Challenge Solution Presentation
Students will work together in groups to come up with an innovative solution to the complex problem chosen in week 9. Solutions will be specific and detailed and while they may be any type of solution (ie technological or social etc), they must analyse the implications, barriers or changes in relevant policy, economic systems, laws or social behaviors necessary for the solution to work. Presentations will be 15 minutes long and all group members must present. Presentations will be judged by both content and presentation skills as per the different parts of the rubric. Please note the rubric also includes the need for the solution to address the evaluation criteria set for the challenge.
Due date: In class, Week 12
Estimated return date: Following week
Assessment Task 7
Learning Outcomes: 1,3,4,5
Virtual Panel Discussion
In small groups, students will be allocated a topic related to a contemporary global sustainability issue.
Each group will research and prepare questions related to their assigned topic. The questions should be thought-provoking, open-ended, and designed to stimulate a discussion. Students will then engage in a virtual panel discussion with ChatGPT as the expert panelist.
In the panel discussion, each group will ask ChatGPT their questions. Students can ask follow-up questions, challenge responses, or seek clarification from ChatGPT as if they were in a real panel discussion.
Students will then individually write an analytical and reflective report, both critically evaluating ChatGPT's responses, strengths, limitations, biases, and potential ethical concerns associated with using AI as an information source around on-going, complex, sustainability issues, and also reflecting on their personal experiences and key insights gained.
Assessment requirements: 1500-word report including the transcript of the discussion as an appendix.
Due date: Week 7
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.
Assignments are submitted using Turnitin in the course Wattle site, or usinga Wattle assignment submission link. You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as
part of the submission of your assignments on Turnitin. Please keep a copy of each assignment for your records.
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 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.
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.
Student work will be marked electronically and comments provided via Turnitin or Wattle
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
Assignments may not be resubmitted.
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).
- ANU Health, safety & wellbeing for medical services, counselling, mental health and spiritual support
- ANU Access and inclusion for students with a disability or ongoing or chronic illness
- ANU Dean of Students for confidential, impartial advice and help to resolve problems between students and the academic or administrative areas of the University
- ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre supports you make your own decisions about how you learn and manage your workload.
- ANU Counselling Centre promotes, supports and enhances mental health and wellbeing within the University student community.
- ANUSA supports and represents undergraduate and ANU College students
- PARSA supports and represents postgraduate and research students
Interdisciplinary, qualitative, problem focused research in sustainable development; human centred design, energy use for development and environmental law.