• Class Number 4543
  • Term Code 3350
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery Online
    • Sujatha Raman
    • Sujatha Raman
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 31/08/2023
  • Class End Date 10/11/2023
  • Census Date 15/09/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 11/09/2023
SELT Survey Results

This course will prepare you to communicate science across cultural boundaries. It will increase your understanding about issues and effective strategies of communicating science and technology with culturally diverse audiences. You will explore how values, beliefs and expectations differentiate science from other knowledge systems, and examine the Eurocentric privileging of modern science and its communication, which are integral parts of Western culture. In doing so, you will look closely at communities that are alienated from science, with particular reference to current science communication research.

This course is co-taught with undergraduate students but assessed separately.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Critically reflect upon and analyse contemporary practices used to communicate science with culturally diverse groups of audiences;
  2. Describe, evaluate and respond to the problems and issues of culture in the broader discourses of public awareness of science;
  3. With reference to research literature, deconstruct and propose research-based, culturally appropriate alternatives to societal beliefs and attitudes that underpin the communication of scientific and technological advancements; and
  4. Construct effective and appropriate strategies for communicating science and technology issues with culturally diverse audiences.

Research-Led Teaching

The course content is structured in terms of key themes from research literature in the field of social and cultural studies of science and technology, including examples of research conducted by the course convener/lecturer. Students will have an opportunity to reflect on, extend and critique research insights, and apply insights to examples of cross-cultural science and technology communication. Finally, students will apply core themes and insights to define and propose a concrete problem for cross-cultural engagement around science/technology issues, and translate their learning in the form of a 'mock' report for a key stakeholder (e.g., a scientific community, government body, industry body, professional association). This will give them experience of the research process.

Additional Course Costs


Examination Material or equipment


Required Resources

Links to readings available through ANU library and associated online materials will be placed on Wattle

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.
  • Webcam
  • 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

Staff Feedback

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

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class and in group discussions

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 Introduction & Context-setting for Cross-Cultural Science Communication Day 1. 11.9.2023. Combined lecture + small group and plenary discussion; Assessments 1, 2, 3, 4
2 Multilateral systems: Role for Science Communication Day 1. 11.9.2023. Combined lecture + small group and plenary discussion; Assessments 1, 2, 3, 4
3 Knowledge-systems Day 2. 12.9.2023. Combined lecture + small group and plenary discussion; Assessments 1, 2, 3, 4
4 Applying insights on Knowledge-systems to Sci Comm Day 2. 12.9.2023. Combined lecture + small group and plenary discussion; Assessments 1, 2, 3, 4
5 Socio-technological systems Day 3. 13.9.2023. Combined lecture + small group and plenary discussion; Assessments 2, 3, 4
6 Applying insights on Socio-technological systems to Sci Comm Day 3. 13.9.2023. Combined lecture + small group and plenary discussion; Assessments 2, 3, 4
7 Revisiting the Problem(s) at stake Day 4. 14.9.2023. Combined lecture + small group and plenary discussion; Assessments 2, 3, 4
8 Review and Preparation for Stakeholder Case reports Day 4. 14.9.2023. Group work and feedback in plenary; Assessment 3
9 Stakeholder case report: Structuring and analysing Day 5. 15.9.2023. Group work and feedback in plenary; Assessment 4

Tutorial Registration

There are no separate tutorials for this course. Teaching delivery is via lectures, complemented by small group and plenary discussions, contained within the intensive 5-day face-to-face component.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Reflective Summary 5 % 15/09/2023 22/09/2023 1
Blog post 20 % 21/09/2023 05/10/2023 3
Mock Stakeholder Project Proposal 25 % 09/10/2023 23/10/2023 1,2,3,4
Mock Stakeholder Project Report 50 % 10/11/2023 04/12/2023 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 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.


Participating in class discussions will enhance your understanding of and engagement with course themes.



Assessment Task 1

Value: 5 %
Due Date: 15/09/2023
Return of Assessment: 22/09/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1

Reflective Summary

200-300 word summary of a key concept gained from course content and its significance for communicating about science and technology matters.

It is expected that marked assignments will be returned to students within 2 weeks of submission.

Marking criteria:

Is it clear what insight or concept is being discussed?

Does it capture a theme from the course and explain the relevance?

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 21/09/2023
Return of Assessment: 05/10/2023
Learning Outcomes: 3

Blog post

600-700 word blogpost-style piece, drawing on selected readings from the course to develop a compelling argument on why a specific course theme (chosen by the student from what we cover) is important for improved cross-cultural communication around science and technology.

It is expected that marked assignments will be returned to students within 2 weeks of submission.

Marking criteria:

Does the piece reflect themes from the course?

Does it engage appropriately with relevant literature from the course?

Is it engagingly written with a clear narrative suited for evidence-informed public communication? 

Assessment Task 3

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 09/10/2023
Return of Assessment: 23/10/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Mock Stakeholder Project Proposal

1000 word piece engaging with relevant academic and online sources to define a problem that calls for a cross-cultural approach to science and technology communication, explain the significance of the problem and your approach, and describe how you will go about addressing it.

Marking criteria:

How well does the proposal reflect themes and literature from the course?

Is there a clear ‘pitch’ or rationale for the proposed work that is supported with evidence?

Is it clear how the proposed work will be done in terms of sources to be used for the analysis?

Does the narrative structure work well?

Is it presented to professional standard in terms of grammar, spelling, punctuation and referencing?

Assessment Task 4

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 10/11/2023
Return of Assessment: 04/12/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Mock Stakeholder Project Report

4000 word piece reporting on the project you proposed in Assessment 3, drawing on course materials and other relevant sources to explain the problem and elaborating specific insights and approaches to sci comm communication from a cross-cultural perspective.

Marking criteria:

How well does the report reflect themes and literature from the course?

Is the rationale for the report clear and well situated with appropriate references?

How well does it synthesise and analyse relevant evidence from the sources collected?

Does the narrative structure work well?

Is it presented to professional standard in terms of grammar, spelling, punctuation and referencing?

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) 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

  • 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.

Returning Assignments

Assignments will be returned via 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


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).

Sujatha Raman

Research Interests

Science, public engagement and public policy; Sustainability; Responsible innovation; Science for global challenges in the public good; Climate change and Energy Transitions; Antimicrobial resistance

Sujatha Raman

By Appointment
Sujatha Raman

Research Interests

Sujatha Raman

By Appointment

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