AGRIC 3500WT - Professional Skills in Agricultural Science III

Waite Campus - Semester 2 - 2021

The Professional Skills III course has two equally-weighted components:1] Communication theory and skills, and 2] Professional Internship. Communication theory and skills is coursework undertaken in the first half of Semester 2, in Year 3. Students learn: how to design training and extension events using action learning processes and adult learning principles; how to design complex communication and evaluation programs; how to resolve conflict and negotiate in the workplace and business. They will also receive training in career planning, applying for jobs and interview technique. The Professional Internship is a period of 12 weeks employment engaged from mid-year of Year 2 until end of Semester 2 of Year 3. Work can be conducted in areas that are related to agricultural science, including research, agribusiness, agricultural production (including farm experience) and related industries such as food processing, veterinary, livestock, wildlife and natural resource management. By completing the internship students will achieve the following outcomes: - Apply knowledge gained in the undergraduate program to a professional working environment - Develop a deeper understanding of work in areas of professional agricultural or animal science practice - Develop a professional approach and attitude to work - Enhance their ability to synthesise information and present it in written reports

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code AGRIC 3500WT
    Course Professional Skills in Agricultural Science III
    Coordinating Unit School of Agriculture, Food and Wine
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s Waite Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 5 hours per week for the first 6 weeks of Semester
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Prerequisites AGRIC 1510WT, AGRIC 1520WT or ANIML SC 1015RW
    Assessment Assignments, major project, job interview, reports, employer assessment
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Ian Nuberg

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students should be able to:
    1 Design and implement communication plans in agricultural and animal science
    2 Communicate effectively and professionally
    3 Effectively deal with various media and situations of conflict resolution
    4 Understand extension concepts, models and methods
    5 Understand the contexts and methods of science communication and facilitate community participation
    6 Understand the conditions of professional practice
    7 Design training workshops based on adult learning principles and the action learning cycle
    8 Synthesize information and present it in written reports
    9 Plan their career using job search skills, effective job applications and resumes, and winning interviews
    10 Demonstrate career-ready skills, knowledge and personal attributes through internship experience
    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)
    4, 5
    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, 7
    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
    2, 3, 6, 8
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    9, 10
    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
    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
    3, 10
  • Learning Resources
    Recommended Resources
    The following texts are good background for the Program Planning assignment

    From library:
    • C. Leeuwis 2004 “Communication for rural innovation: rethinking agricultural extension”
    • A.W. van den Ban & H.S. Hawkins 1996. “Agricultural Extension”
    • N. G. Roling 1988 “Extension Science: information systems in agricultural development’
    Online Learning
    MyUni: Teaching materials and course documentation will be posted on the MyUni website (
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    There will be usually 2 one-hour lectures for the first 5 weeks of the semester. Lecture notes will be posted to MyUni a few days in advance of the respective lecture and will not generally be provided to students in hard copy. 

    There are 5 tutorials which either develop students self-knowledge or discuss the practicalities of undertaking the assignment work

    All the practical course work is done as part of "Communication Committees" where students in groups of 3 or 4 work together to develop a suite of communication products.  These sessions also include group presentations of products.

    Students have the option of undertaking accredited First Aid and Agri-Chemical Use courses which if taken together can be used as 1-week of the 12-week internship requirement.


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

    As this course covers both the communication skills and internship components, a great deal of the work is completed before the semester has even begun by way of the intern work.For this reason the conventional coursework component only occupies the first 6 weeks of the semester.  

    In general the expected workload for a 3-unit course would be on average, 12 hours per week: i.e. 5 hours in class + another 7 hours working on assignments.   Each class last for a 5 hour day broken up into lectures, tutorials and practical sessions. All of the practicals are group work sessions where committees of students work together in class time on three group products.  Depending on how effective these groups use this class time, the ex-class time can be much less than 7 hours/week.  However there are individual assignments that require at least 3 hours/week: Preparation of CV and job application letter (weeks 3 or 4), Internship Reflections (weeks 9-11)

    Over weeks 6 & 7 students are only required to turn up for a 20-minute mock job interview. Other times during these weeks students are expected to be working on their committee projects.

    In Weeks 9-11, there are optional First Aid and Chemical Certificate courses that can count towards the Internship program.  When not attending these courses students are expected to be finalising their Internship Reflections

    Learning Activities Summary
    The Communication Theory & Skills component of the course content will include the following:

    1 LECTURES a] Extension concepts, models and methods. b] Extension program planning
    TUTORIAL: Your personal learning style. 
    PRAC: Preparing intern reports

    2 LECTURES Adult learning principles and the action learning cycle.
    TUTORIAL: Designing workshops
    PRACTICAL: Committee work to design a workshop based on adult learning principles

    3 LECTURES a]  Job applications &  interviews b] Career planning and learning from the internship
    TUTORIAL: Developing a program plan
    PRACTICAL: Committee work on workshop and program plan assignments

    4 LECTURES a] Communicating science b] Conflict resolution and negotiation
    TUTORIAL: Conflict resolution video assignment
    PRACTICAL: Committee work on conflict resolution video

    5 LECTURES a] Exension case studies
    TUTORIAL: Program plan progress
    PRACTICAL: Committee work on program plan

    6 ASSESS:  Mock job interviews
    PRACTICAL: Committee work on program plan

    7ASSESS: Mock job interviews
    PRACTICAL: Committee work on program plan

    8 ASSESS: Presentation and assessment of conflict resolution videos
    ASSESS: Presentation and assessment of program plans
    ASSESS: Peer evaluation of committee work

    9    CERTIFICATION: First Aid
    10 CERTIFICATION: Chemical Use 
    11 CERTIFICATION: Chemical Use

    The Internship component of the course is completed before the semester begins. Students who have not already completed their intern reflections will do this during Weeks 9-11 of the semester.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Students will form small committees of 3 or 4 people to undertake the production of 3 group products:

    1] a professional plan for an 1 or 2 day extension workshop based on action learning principles
    2] a 10 minute youtube video illustrating the principles of conflict resolution
    3] a a program plan for a 3-4 year extension / communication project

    The committees will have formal sessions with an agenda and minutes which is reported and assessed.  They will also have a significant amount of class time to work on these products together.

    Successful completion of these 3 assignments will require research into both the content of the scenarios and the production processes required for the final output.  

    Students have the opportunity to practice and demonstrate effective and professional group work while researching specific agricultural content for the products.
  • 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

    Description and AssessmentSubmission dueMarksHurdleLearning Outcome assessed
    Convince Me Video week 3 20 No 1,3,5,7
    Conflict Resolution Video week 6 10 No 2,3,
    Extension Plan
    Part 1
    Part 2
    Part 3

    week 3
    week 5
    week 6
    25 No 1,3,4,5,8
    Job application and interview: week 5 10 No 2,9
    Intern Reports week 12 35 No 10
    TOTAL 100

    Assessment Detail
    Convince Me video (20%)
    Students pick a topic of significance to agricultural science, policy or practice and present either a 6 minute Oral Presentation or a 5 minute video to convince the audience of their view.

    Conflict Resolution (10%)
    You tube video of how a manager will handle the situation of conflict in the workplace.

    Extension Plan (25%)
    A professional document that integrates communication theory into practice by providing a plan to implement a major communication and development project. 
    Part 1 (5%)
    Extension plan core framework 
    Part 2 
    Planning the details 
    Part 3 (10%)
    Extension Workshop

    Job application and interview (10%)
    You will write an application letter and CV for an actual job that is currently on the market. You will undergo a mock, but formal, interview. Both items assessed by criteria discussed in class.
    Application letter and CV (5%)
    Job interview 15-20 minutes (5%))

    Intern Reports (35%)
    The number of reports depends on the number of different periods of work experience. The first report should be submitted as early as possible in semester so that feedback can be given. All reports must be submitted by end of the semester.
    It is a university-wide policy that assignments must be submitted by their deadline. There will be a penalty of 10% of the total mark for each day (or part of a day) that an assignment is late, up to a maximum penalty of 50% of the total mark. Assignments that are submitted after the assignments for the rest of the class have been marked may not be accepted.

    Extensions of deadlines may be allowed for reasonable causes. Such situations would include compassionate and medical grounds of the severity that would justify the awarding of a replacement examination. Evidence for the grounds must be provided when an extension is requested. Extensions of deadlines should be negotiated with the course coordinator before the assignment is due. Extensions will not be provided on the grounds of poor time management.
    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.

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

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    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 ( 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.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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