• Class Number 3235
  • Term Code 3330
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Adrian Mackenzie
    • Prof Adrian Mackenzie
  • 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

Technology is a dominant feature of everyday life that profoundly shapes the way we live.  This course investigates the social dimensions of technological change. It examines the way that technologies impact social life and relations and conversely,  the way social and cultural forces shape technological development. It introduces key sociological approaches to understanding technology and engages with debates about the risks and affordances of emerging technologies. It demonstrates how these approaches and concepts can be applied to contemporary examples.

Learning Outcomes

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

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. construct an informed account of the relationship between technology and society;
  2. evaluate a range of theoretical and methodological approaches to explaining the complex role of technology in social life; 
  3. conduct preliminary research on socio-technical relations;
  4. analyse the political dimensions of technologies and networks; and
  5. discuss their learning in relation to the central ideas, themes and debates covered in the course.

Staff Feedback

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

•   Students will receive individual written feedback on assignments

•   Students will receive group ‘feedforward’ advice on assignments and course-related activities such as reading and presentations.

•   Students will receive in class and online summary feedback and ‘feedforward’ on the overall strengths and weakness of the assignments submitted.

•   Students will receive informal feedback on analytical skills, use of argument, working with text, images and empirical data, presentation techniques and group discussion contributions during the tutorials

•   Students will receive verbal feedback as a group on class participation throughout the semester.

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.

Other Information

The information provided is a preliminary Class Outline. A finalised version will be available on Wattle and will be accessible after enrolling in this course. All updates, changes and further information will be uploaded on the course Wattle site and will not be updated on Programs and Courses throughout the semester. Any questions or concerns should be directed to the Course Convenor.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction: what is social change? what is technology?
2 Concepts of technology
3 Socially constructing technologies
4 Technologies constructing societies
5 Is technology capitalist?
6 Differences or how not to be a technological determinist
7 Geographies of technology
8 Technological imaginaries and discourses
9 Power and its controversies
10 Making, using and consuming
11 Repairing, disposing and recycling
12 Review

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
Learning Log 40 % 1,2
Project report 50 % 1,2,3
Progress presentation 10 % 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: 40 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2

Learning Log

A learning journal of 1600 words worth 40%. I will ask you to submit four journal entries of 400 words, one for each week 3-6. The journal will be based on analyses of selected passages from readings or some other source. Each journal entry will begin with a quote or excerpt from the reading. An entry will briefly explain the quote and then analyse the ideas or concepts it contains. The idea here is to familiarise you with one of the basic skills of analytical writing, the critical analysis. Assessment criteria for the journal centre on completeness (have you done everything asked), engagement with ideas and approaches discussed in the reading (do you pay attention to details, address problems, develop alternative perspectives), and development of individual voice (how do you write about what you encounter in and out of classes). I will give you concrete examples and guidance on how to go about writing the journal entries in class. The learning journal must be submitted via the SOCY1006 Wattle site using the Word template document you can find there. This piece of assessed work relates to all learning outcomes (1-4)

Assessment Task 2

Value: 50 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Project report

A research project report of 2400 words worth 50%.

You will be working on an research project in the second half of the semester. The report will document what you found out, and will develop an analysis based on the concepts and approaches we cover in the course. The report will draw on work you have done throughout the semester, but give you space to go deeper on some ideas and questions by mapping one controversy or case in depth. The report is a formal academic document, and you will be assessed on a range of criteria. As appendices, you can include any of the notes, images, examples, slides or other materials you have collected in the course of doing the project. Again, I will provide written guidance on the criteria. In class we will have time to discuss how to go about writing the report. This piece of assessed work relates to all learning outcomes (1-4)

Assessment Task 3

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 3,4

Progress presentation

Class participation mark 10%; this will be based mainly on project presentations taking place in the second half the semester. Each week, several people will present a brief overview of progress on their project. Guidance for doing presentations, and scheduling of presentations will be discussed in Week 1. 

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 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).

Prof Adrian Mackenzie

Research Interests

Technology, science, media, culture, society

Prof Adrian Mackenzie

Wednesday 14:00 15:00
Wednesday 14:00 15:00
Prof Adrian Mackenzie

Research Interests

Prof Adrian Mackenzie

Wednesday 14:00 15:00
Wednesday 14:00 15:00

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