GEOG 2132 - Social Science Techniques

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2016

The course aims to provide students with a perspective on the role of social sciences within contemporary society, especially in Australia, and teach a number of basic skills which are expected of professional social scientists in the contemporary world. These skills are an important acquisition for students, whether they seek to gain employment in the public and private sectors or to proceed to higher level research within their chosen social discipline. Students of this course should emerge from it with a sound background in the main sources of social science information and data available in Australia, and the major methods of analysing information from these sources. Computer workshops provide skills in analysis. No prior background or knowledge in computing, mathematics or statistics is assumed. The aim is to teach students a range of techniques of analysis and how to interpret the results.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code GEOG 2132
    Course Social Science Techniques
    Coordinating Unit Geography, Environment and Population
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of level 1 undergraduate study
    Incompatible SOCI 2002 & GEST 2100, GEST 2032
    Course Description The course aims to provide students with a perspective on the role of social sciences within contemporary society, especially in Australia, and teach a number of basic skills which are expected of professional social scientists in the contemporary world. These skills are an important acquisition for students, whether they seek to gain employment in the public and private sectors or to proceed to higher level research within their chosen social discipline. Students of this course should emerge from it with a sound background in the main sources of social science information and data available in Australia, and the major methods of analysing information from these sources. Computer workshops provide skills in analysis. No prior background or knowledge in computing, mathematics or statistics is assumed. The aim is to teach students a range of techniques of analysis and how to interpret the results.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Dianne Rudd

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    2 lectures -1 hour
    1 workshop -1 hour
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    At the successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
    1 Demonstrate understanding of techniques of analysis available to students in the social sciences and the ways in which they can be used in research
    2 Demonstrate ability to analyse social data, such as the Australian census of population and housing, to competently present data (by means of tables and graphs) and interpret the findings
    3 Demonstrate ability to map and interpret spatial variations in social data by means of social indicators using GIS
    4 Develop capacity to undertake the analysis of survey data using SPSS, its presentation and statistical testing and interpretation
    5 Develop capacity to undertake a statistical analysis of data using SPSS to provide descriptive statistics, including correlation and regression, with the application of multiple regression to model socio-economic data and its interpretation
    6 Demonstrate ability to work effectively to create an analysis of demographic and social data of a professional quality, to be able to select the appropriate techniques for types of data on hand, to present analysis with high quality written skills
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    1,2,3
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    1,5
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    3
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    1,2,3,4,5
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    2,4
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Publications relating to the content of the census and other information relating to surveys and data sources provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) can be found on the ABS website at: http://www.abs.gov.au
    Recommended Resources

    Publications relating to the content of the census and other information relating to surveys and data sources provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) can be found on the ABS website at: http://www.abs.gov.au

    Online Learning
    Publications relating to the content of the census and other information relating to surveys and data sources provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) can be found on the ABS website at: http://www.abs.gov.au
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course lectures provide basic factual information and information on data and techniques of analysis in the social sciences, introducing social issues, measurement, sources of data, presentation and interpretation. The workshops are linked to the lectures and together with readings each week follow a sequence of modules. The first based on census data examines population and socio-economic trends using excel to show social indicators, tables and graphs. This module also uses GIS to map patterns of spatial variation and accessibility. The second is based on the collection of survey data and analysis using SPSS. The third focuses upon statistical analysis using SPSS to provide ways of summarising social and economic data and provides both description and explanation.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    2 x 1-hour lectures (or equivalent) per week 24 hours per semester
    1 x 1-hour workshop (or equivalent) per week 24 hours per semester
    6 hours reading per week 72 hours per semester
    2 hours research per week 24 hours per semester
    2 hours assignment preparation per week 24 hours per semester
    TOTAL WORKLOAD 156 hours per semester
    Learning Activities Summary
    Schedule
    Week 1 Introduction/Secondary Data Sources
    Week 2 The Australian Census/Using census data in the Social Sciences
    Week 3 Social indicators/Quantitative and Qualitative Measurement 
    Week 4 GIS & Social Science/Demographic and social research
    Week 5 Survey Research - Sample Design/Survey Research - Questionnaire Design
    Week 6 Preparation for undertaking a survey/Ethics in Research and ethical conduct
    Week 7 Analysis of Survey Data
    Week 8 Data to answer research questions/Hypothesis testing
    Week 9 Report writing and presentation/Descriptive statistics- summarizing data 
    Week 10 Correlation and regression/Multi-variate analysis 
    Week 11 Interviewing/Discourse Analysis
    Week 12 Summary and exam review
    Specific Course Requirements
    A course requirement is that students submit all three workshop assignments. Attendance and satisfactory participation in the workshops is a major component of the course. Failure to attend them will make it very difficult to pass this subject and could preclude you from undertaking the exam.
    Small Group Discovery Experience


    This course is designed to encompass focussed computer workshops to develop skills in data analysis and presentation with small group discovery around interpretation of the outcomes.

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Weighting Learning Outcome
    Workshop participation Formative and Summative 10% 1-6
    Workshop exercises Formative and Summative 50% 1-6
    Exam Summative 40% 1-6
    Assessment Related Requirements
    A course requirement is that students submit all three workshop assignments. Attendance and satisfactory participation in the workshops is a major component of the course. Failure to attend them will make it
    very difficult to pass this subject and could preclude you from undertaking the exam.
    Assessment Detail
    Workshop participation (10%): students must attend and participate in workshops

    Workshop exercises (50%): students submit various exercises on the following: analysis of census date and mapping social data; analysis of survey data using SPSS; using SPSS for statistical analysis

    Exam (40%): exam covering all aspects of the course
    Submission
    On line submission MyUni for assignments -Information available on enrolment.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.


    A course requirement is that students submit all three module assignments. Attendance and satisfactory participation in the workshops is a major component of the course. Failure to attend them will make it very difficult to pass this course and could preclude you from undertaking the exam.

    Grades

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scale:

    HD High Distinction 85-100

    D Distinction 75-84

    C Credit 65-74

    P Pass 50-64

    F Fail 0-49

    To pass the course you must complete and submit for assessment all the assignments described in this course profile. Students who wish to continue in a major sequence or in a named degree must pass all core courses at a pass level or above.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

    Final marks on Access Adelaide
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    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

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