- Class Number 3255
- Term Code 3330
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Mode of Delivery In Person
- Dr Nick Cheesman
- Dr April Biccum
- 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
The 20th Century witnessed profound challenges to classical knowledge paradigms in the social sciences. Approaches to the study of society and politics diversified. Critical, social, post-structuralist, post-colonial and ‘post-modern’ interventions drew attention to structures and practices of meaning-making and to the relationship between knowledge paradigms and power. Interpretivist scholars made substantial contributions to developments in the theories of language and communication, and in the 'second order observation' involved in varieties of discourse analysis. Scholars across a variety of disciplines are working in interpretivist traditions that depart from the positivist paradigm adopted constructivist, thick descriptive, inductive and context-based approaches to assess, explain and understand sites and assemblages of ‘meaning making’.
The aim of this course is to introduce students to the long tradition of Interpretivist Social Science, and to invite them to consider how its theoretical claims might inform their own epistemological and methodological decisions. The course offers practical training for students interested in modes of enquiry into the increasingly communicative, media driven, institutional and text based world in which we live that are not covered by conventional quantitative and qualitative approaches. In addition to equipping students with skills for interpretivist research design, data generation, analysis, inference, interpretation and critique, it addresses fundamental questions about the logic, conduct and significance of social scientific inquiry and the politics of knowledge in the 20th and 21st Centuries.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- engage in epistemological debates that relate to methodological approaches;
- assess the diverse range of strategies and approaches available to scholars in the social sciences;
- develop techniques and skills appropriate to the design and conduct of interpretivist research; and
- assess the logics that distinguish methodologies and the creative possibilities for their assembly.
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.
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
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.
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.
|Week/Session||Summary of Activities||Assessment|
|1||Introduction & Course Overview|
|2||What distinguishes the Interpretive approach? An introduction to the Philosophy of Science|
|3||What is Social Constructivism? An introduction to the Sociology of Knowledge|
|4||What is the context? The role of Theory and Reasoning|
|5||What is a concept? An introduction to Conceptual History and Conceptual Elucidation|
|6||An introduction to Ethnography|
|7||An Introduction to Political Ethnography|
|8||An Introduction to Hermeneutics|
|9||An Introduction to Socio-Linguistics and Critical Discourse Analysis|
|10||Advancing Critical Discourse Analysis|
|11||Virtual Ethnography: Interpretive Methods in the Digital Age|
|12||Conclusion and Wrap up|
|Assessment task||Value||Learning Outcomes|
|Research Paper||40 %||1,2 & 3|
|Weekly Reading Responses||30 %||1, 2 &4|
|Oral Presentation||20 %||1, 2 & 4|
|Participation||10 %||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:
- 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.
Assessment Task 1
Learning Outcomes: 1,2 & 3
The Research Paper comprises the major written assessment and is designed to immerse course participants in a summative piece of research devised in dialogue with the course convener. It should demonstrate their ability to synthesise and integrate ideas obtained over the duration of the course with their own research interests and goals.
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2 &4
Weekly Reading Responses
200 words (Maximum) X 10 weeks
30% (3% each)
These weekly reading responses will be posted to wattle constitute a form of intermediate task building towards the final goal of the course. It will enable students to develop and evaluation their reading comprehension skills which are a vital component of interpretivist methods. Students and convener will be encouraged to post comments on weekly reading responses and this will contribute to course participation.
Assessment Task 3
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2 & 4
The Oral Presentation is a form of peer-reviewed summative assessment designed to involve all course participants. Presentations will be on research that demonstrates some aspect of interpretivist methods in practice. Students will be provided with a working list of possible texts. Students may locate their own text to present upon in consultation with the convener so long as a pdf can be provided. Presenters will be assessed on their ability to succinctly engage with and present a reading that demonstrates 'interpretivism in action' and to lay out for students the components of the approach, research design and analysis with a focus on the strengths, limitations and contributions of the research under discussion. They will be asked to lead the class in formulating and discussing methodological and analytical questions that arise from the research.
Assessment Task 4
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3 & 4
Participation will be assessed on student overall engagement with the course. This includes their weekly preparedness for class, engagement with online discussion in weekly reading responses and their engagement with discussion during presentations.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Dr Nick Cheesman
Global Citizenship, Global Education Governance, Political Theories of Empire and Imperialism
Dr April Biccum