EDUC 1008 - University Culture

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2015

This course explores the University of Adelaide as a culture of its own, and places students as ethnographers or anthropologists of this culture through immersion. University is a place where people think, act and communicate differently to how they do in other contexts, and this course makes cultural expectations explicit as well as exploring the processes required to adjust to them. Most students should undertake this course as the first course in their University Preparatory Program. Students in this course have the opportunity to experience the usual university learning modes of the lecture and tutorial, and reflect upon their own prior and current experiences of learning with a view to establishing the goals they have for their own study. In particular, students undertake an ethnography task whereby they audit classes right across the University, not in order to gather content knowledge but to observe and analyse social interaction and modes of learning. This enables them to become familiar with the processes and expectations of university learning and plan their own learning in alignment with university culture

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code EDUC 1008
    Course University Culture
    Coordinating Unit School of Education
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Restrictions This class is only open for students in the University Preparatory Program or Wilto Yerlo Preparatory Program.
    Course Description This course explores the University of Adelaide as a culture of its own, and places students as ethnographers or anthropologists of this culture through immersion. University is a place where people think, act and communicate differently to how they do in other contexts, and this course makes cultural expectations explicit as well as exploring the processes required to adjust to them. Most students should undertake this course as the first course in their University Preparatory Program.

    Students in this course have the opportunity to experience the usual university learning modes of the lecture and tutorial, and reflect upon their own prior and current experiences of learning with a view to establishing the goals they have for their own study. In particular, students undertake an ethnography task whereby they audit classes right across the University, not in order to gather content knowledge but to observe and analyse social interaction and modes of learning. This enables them to become familiar with the processes and expectations of university learning and plan their own learning in alignment with university culture
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Chad Habel

    Lecturer-in-charge and tutor: Dr Kim Sorensen 
    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    Upon the successful completion of this course students will be able to:
    1. Self-evaluate their learning, identify their strengths and aspects that can be improved, adopt strategies to address learning skills
    2. Provide feedback on the reflections of their peers
    3. Demonstrate effective communication, critical and reflective thinking
    4. Demonstrate effective English language use in writing
    5. Demonstrate effective English language use in oral/aural communication
    6. Identify opportunities and challenges in intercultural communication at university and how these challenges can be addressed
    7. Engage in discussions on academic topics
    8. Demonstrate an understanding of learning at university through engagement with course based activities
    9. Identify and discuss cultural issues from multiple perspectives
    10. Identify support services and social or volunteer activities and events at university in which s/he would like to participate
    11. Locate online and print information relevant to a specific question or issue
    12. Evaluate written texts
    13. Use the University’s Learning Management System (myUni) to access course information, submit assignments, and interact with teachers and other students

    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)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1, 7, 8
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 8, 11, 12
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 2, 7, 11
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 2, 3, 5, 7
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 11, 13
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 7, 8
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 6, 9, 10
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Require Reading Schedule
    Week 1

    Moon, J 2005, ‘Guide for busy academics no 4: learning through reflection’, Higher Education Academy, viewed 23 July 2014, .

    University of Portsmouth, Academic Skills Unit n.d., ‘Reflective writing: a basic introduction’, viewed 23 July 2014 .
    Week 2 Smith, MK 2003, ‘Learning theories: models, product and process’, viewed 23 July 2014, .

    Ertmer, PA & Newby, TJ 1993, ‘Behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism: comparing critical features from an instructional design perspective’, Performance Improvement Quarterly, vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 50-72.

    University of Canberra n.d., ‘Managing time’, viewed 24 July 2014 .
    Week 3

    Graff, G & Birkenstein, C 2014 ‘They say / I say’: the moves that matter in academic writing, 3rd edn, WW Norton & Company, London, pp. 19-51.
    Week 4 Freire, P 1983, ‘The importance of the act of reading’, Journal of Education, vol. 165, no. 1, pp.5-11, viewed 24 July 2014, .

    University of Melbourne, ‘Reading critically: ways to develop your critical reading skills’, viewed 24 July 2014, .

    Cervetti, G, Pardales, MJ & Damico, JD, ‘A tale of differences: comparing the traditions, perspectives, and educational goals of critical reading and critical literacy’, Reading Online, April, viewed 24 July 2014,
    Week 5

    Whitehead, TL 2004 ‘What is ethnography? Methodological, ontological, and epistemological attributes’, Ethnographically Informed Community and Cultural Assessment Research Systems (EICCARS) Working Paper Series, 27 March, viewed 24 July 2014 .

    Reeves, S, Kuper, A & Hodges, BD 2008, ‘Qualitative research methodologies: ethnography’, BMJ, 7 August, viewed 24 August 2014, <> (also available at .)
    Week 6
    Week 7

    Head, AJ & Eisenberg, MB 2010, ‘How today’s college students use Wikipedia for course-related research’, First Monday, vol. 15, no. 3, viewed 24 July 2014 .

    University of Oxford n.d., Academic good practice — a practical guide, viewed 24 July 2014 .
    Week 8
    Week 9
    Week 10

    Australian Red Cross 2012, Diversity in Australia today: A conversation with Waleed Aly, viewed 24 July 2014,

    Bennet, MJ 2004, ‘Becoming interculturally competent’, in J
    Wurzel (ed), Toward multiculturalism: A reader in multicultural education, 2nd ed, Intercultural Resource Corporation, Newton, MA, pp. 62-77, viewed 24 July 2014, .
    Week 11

    Choose a topic from the list provided.
    Week 12
    Recommended Resources
    Damrosch, D 1995, We scholars: changing the culture of the university, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Available in Barr Smith Library, call number 378.73 D166w.)

    Hay, I, Bochner, D & Dungey, C 2006, Making the grade: A guide to successful communication and study (3rd edition), South Melbourne, Oxford University Press. (Available in Barr Smith Library,
    call number 378.170281 H412m.3.)
    Moon, JA 1999, Reflection in learning and professional development: theory and practice, Kogan Page Limited, London. (Available in Barr Smith Library, call number 370.1523 M818r.)

    Online Learning
    Please note: Turnitin will be used for students to learn more effectively about referencing and citation conventions at university; it is recommended that you familiarise yourself with this. Please  visit further information.

    It is important to become proficient in using the university library to find appropriate texts for a range of subjects in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Please use the Library online tutorials for assistance
    with this: is also strongly recommended that you view the following video:   

    MyUni will be used for essential communication including via email, so please check your University email regularly (at least three times a week). If you have a smartphone it is strongly recommended that you set up your email on it for easy and regular access to your University email. For guidance on how to do this, visit:

    Remember, the most useful portal for all University online activities is Unified:

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Students will be required to attend a one hour lecture and two hour tutorial each week of the semester.

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

    1 x 1-hour lecture per week (x12) = 12 hours
    1 x 2-hour tutorial per week (x12) = 12 hours
    3 hours readings per week (x12) = 36 hours
    3 hours per week group project work (x12) = 36 hours

    Total: 156 hours
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week/lecture Tutorial
    Week 1

    Introduction to the course.

    Reflective practice.
    What are the attributes of a university student?

    What do you expect from this course? Think about the title of the course.

    What are the student learning outcomes (SLOs) of this course?

    Introduction to MyUni.

    What is reflective writing? Why is it important to your learning?

    Suggestions on how to write reflective journals.

    Peer review: What is it? Why and how do we use it?
    Week 2

    Learning theories.

    Who am I as a learner?
    Time management - how? Why?
    Who am I as a learner?

    What is a learning theory? Compare learning theories.

    How do I learn? What skills do I have? What do I need to further develop in order to engage with university learning?

    Time management.
    Week 3

    ‘They say’: an introduction to academic writing
    What are the ‘moves’ that matter in academic writing?

    How do I enter a written academic conversation? Start with what others are saying. Learning the art of summarising and the art of quoting.
    Week 4

    Reading critically.
    Reading critically.

    What are your preferences and why? What do you enjoy reading? What are you currently reading?

    Who am I as a critical reader?
    Week 5

    Learning mode ethnography.
    Learning mode ethnography.

    What is ethnography? How can I be an ethnographer?

    What is a learning mode ethnography essay?
    Week 6

    Evaluating academic lectures.
    Learning mode ethnography.

    Students visit lectures (see schedule). Please take note of the requirements on the assessment that you would need to complete on this activity.
    Week 7

    Reading and researching critically.
    Find, read, note and critique articles.
    Week 8

    Qualitative and quantitative research
    Learning mode ethnography. Students visit lectures (see schedule). Please take note of the requirements on the assessment that you would need to complete on this activity.
    Mid-semester break
    Week 9
    'I say': An introduction to academic writing
    Integrating evidence (quotations etc.) into your own writing

    Creating your own academic voice

    Using evidence from lecture visits and study guides to support ethnography essay
    Week 10

    Valuing diverse social and cultural perspectives.
    Who am I relation to my co-learners? Valuing co-learners, learning from each other at university.

    In what ways are people diverse?

    Challenging stereotypes and generalisation.

    Intercultural interaction and communication.
    Week 11

    Academic discussion
    Academic discussion skills (how to voice an opinion in a tutorial/seminar, how to disagree effectively, discussion etiquette).

    Group roles and functioning as a member of a group.

    The challenges of public speaking.
    Week 12

    Where are we now? Where to next? Evaluation of the course.
    Academic discussion assessment.
    Specific Course Requirements
    To pass this course, students must attend at least 75% of tutorials; in cases of absence for medical or compassionate reasons, documentation must be provided and students must still attend at least 50% of classes. If students fail to attend the minimum required number of tutorials, they will be considered to have not completed an assignment (see below).
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    The University of Adelaide has committed to a pedagogical approach termed the “Small Group Discovery Experience”, indicating that the SHDE will be a core component in a credit-bearing course of every undergraduate program, and that it will be part of every first-year level from 2014. Since the UPP is not an award-based program, it is not strictly required to include an SGDE in the UPP.

    However, since the UPP is designed to prepare students for first-year study, and the SGDE will be a core component of all first-year study, it is important for the UPP to provide some preparation in Small Group Discovery. These should be of a scaffolded, preparatory nature as befits each course within the program, and the philosophy and program objectives of the UPP. The Program has been designed to include preparation for small group work and research activity in many of its courses.
  • 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
    Reflective Journal 1
    1. About yourself
    As this is your first reflective journal please tell me all about yourself-your biography, your family details, past experience, school, work experience, hobbies, social and leisure activities. Are you working while doing your studies? If so, where do you work and what is your role? How many hours a week do you work?

    2. Your prior life experience
    Please tell me about significant turning points in your life. What were your feelings at the time? Why were these significant and what did you learn from them?

    Self celebration: What have been your achievements or particular triumphs thus far in your life? What have you learned from them?

    Challenges: What have been particular challenges thus far in your life? How have you addressed them and what have you learned from them? What were your feelings at the time of the experience?

    It is essential to focus in very specific ways on method and strategies: How did you undertake a particular task? What tools, strategies or approaches did you use? What worked and what didn’t? What would you do differently in the future (or would you use exactly the same approach)? The journal is a place to celebrate your achievements and reflect on the challenges or difficulties you have experienced.

    How do you think the skills you have gained from your life experiences can support you in your learning at university?

    3. Please reflect on your experience in this course in this past week/s
    What are your goals in undertaking this program and course?
    What are you expecting to learn/gain from the course/program?
    What were some things that interested and excited you? Why?
    What were some things that confused or frustrated you? How did you respond? What did you do
    about it?
    Record any changes in your thinking and what may have caused these.
    Use may use mind maps or other illustrations to show the development of your thought processes.

    4. Journal writing essentials
    A journal is not a description of the events in your life. Rather, it is a deep analysis of how your life experiences have shaped the person you have become today and what you have learned about yourself.
    Please write in the first person (using 'I') – a reflective journal is a personalised document.
    Please use paragraphs. Please do not use sub headings.

    Reflective Journal 2
    1. UPP and experience of this course
    Please reflect on your formal learning experience in the UPP and in this course over the past weeks.

    What have been some challenges and/or triumphs, in your learning journey? Think about particular experiences, activities, the things that you have read, the teaching, your interactions with members of the class and/or staff. Are you developing friendships with other students?

    What were some of your highs, things that interested and excited you in your learning? Why? What did you discover or re-discover about yourself as learner?

    What were some things that confused or frustrated you? What method, tools and strategies did you use to manage and address your confusion? What did you do about it?

    How have you been affected, influenced, perhaps changed by your learning in the UPP and in this course thus far? Are there any changes in your thinking and yourself as a person? What caused these? If not, why not?

    What did you understand from the course? What were some of the key ideas?

    2. Engaging with diversity at university: Valuing perspectives of fellow students
    Describe some positive interactions that you have had with your fellow students. Why were they positive?

    Describe some challenges you may have had when interacting with your fellow students. Why were they challenges? How did you address them?

    How have you been affected, influenced, perhaps changed by interacting with your fellow students, their thinking, ideas, experiences?

    Response to Reflective Journal 2: Peer Review
    1. Compare learning experiences to that of your peer
    Respond to the journal of your peer…
    What are the similarities? Why?
    What are the differences? Why?
    What have you learned from your peer about how s/he manages her/his learning?
    What advice can you give your peer to manage her/his learning better?

    2. Compare experiences of positive and challenging interactions with you peer
    What are the similarities? Why?
    What are the differences? Why?
    What have you learned from your peer about how to improve interactions with students?
    What advice can you give to your peer about how to improve interactions with students?

    3. Response essentials
    Please write in the first person (using 'I'). Please use paragraphs. Please do not use sub headings.

    Learning mode ethnography essay
    1. Visit (audit) at least four classes in the weeks leading up to the assessment due date.
    The lecture schedule is on MyUni. The purpose of these visits is to consider the way the classes are being taught, the social interactions and the language used by the lecturer and the students. This is to be described and reported in your essay.

    2. “Research” or find out as much as possible about the courses you are attending.
    Course guides or course profiles will help you to understand the course you are visiting and will explain the reasons behind some of the interactions you are observing. You can find Course Outlines for most University courses at

    3. Write the essay
    Describe, and report on the observations you have made in the class visits and how learning occurs in these different contexts.

    Compare aspects of language, communication, and social interactions of different lectures contexts.

    Provide your honest, thoughtful, reflective observations on different styles of learning and how you feel about them.

    Reflect on what you can do to be an effective learner in a lecture.

    What impact did visiting lectures have on you and your thoughts on university learning?

    Some of the questions to respond to in your essay are:
    * What type of learning environment is it? Lecture? Tutorial? Laboratory?
    * How many students are there in the classroom? How many teachers?
    * What materials are used in the class? Are handouts given, or does the teacher refer to materials that have been made available previously or online?
    * What visual and audio aids are used? Powerpoint? Video? Sound? Other props? How do you think they help students learn?
    * Is there a sense of power or authority in the classroom? Who is the boss? Who does most of the talking?
    * What is the relationship between the teacher and the students? Does the teacher appear to know the students’ names?
    * Are students encouraged to ask questions? Do they take up this opportunity? Why do you think they do, or don’t?
    * Are students encouraged to interact with one another in the course?
    * How “engaged” in the learning do students appear to be? Are they paying attention, writing notes, asking questions, or are they just sleeping or checking their mobile phones?
    * What did you learn from this experience about how you would prepare for lectures and how you would approach your learning in the future?
    * From your perspective what do you think the lecture can do to make it easier for students to learn from lectures?

    4 Essay essentials
    In this assignment you can use the personal pronoun (“I” or “we”).

    Please use paragraphs. Please do not use sub headings. Please do not narrate what happened or what you saw in the lecture: focus on interpretation and analysis, not retelling your experience.

    Academic Discussion
    1. Team development and planning
    All members of the team meet and get to know each other.

    Discuss and clearly define the goals of the team. Clarify and agree on ground rules.

    Develop strategy to address problems/issues that may impede progress of the team.

    Plan for when, where and how often the team will meet.

    Plan and develop time line for the preparation and completion of the discussion

    Brainstorm and share ideas on how the discussion will proceed

    The workload must be fairly and equally distributed amongst all team members

    The personal interests and expertise of each team member must be taken into account. Each team member must be valued for her/his skills, knowledge and experience.

    2. Present your discussion to the class
    All team members must actively include everyone in discussions

    Develop a clear structure for your discussion

    Introduce all participants and the main points which the discussion will focus on

    Ensure that all team members are involved in the discussion. Each member presents his/her argument and views on the topic

    The discussion must demonstrate that each member has an understanding of the main issues of the topic. Move through the main part of the discussion by presenting examples and evidence

    Team members must question and challenge each other in appropriate ways

    Prepare a conclusion which summarises all main points and close the discussion

    Reflective Journal 3
    As per Reflective Journal 2.
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Students must attempt all assessment tasks to pass this course. Since the University Preparatory Program is designed to prepare students for success at University, completing and submitting all assignments is central to the intended learning outcomes of the program and each course within it. Often, at least attempting and submitting assignments in the face of difficulty or adversity is enough for success at University and the UPP encourages this resilience by employing this policy in select courses. Please note that the absolute last date for the submission of assignments in Semester 1 is the end of Swot Vac week, which is one week after the final assignment is due.

    If a student fails to submit all assessment tasks and would otherwise have received a grade greater than 45, they will be given a nominal grade of 45 (Fail) for that course in that semester. This will permit them to undertake additional assessment (formerly called academic supplementaryassessment) at the Course Coordinator’s discretion, as per policy at

    It is not necessary to apply for additional assessment; this assessment will usually consist of the missed pieces of assessment, but the course coordinator may require more. As per policy, if the student passes the additional assessment to the Course Coordinator’s satisfaction, the maximum grade they can get for the course is 50 (Pass). If a student’s raw grade is below 45, regardless of whether all tasks have been attempted, this score will stand unless exceptional, documented circumstances apply as per the University’s Modified Arrangements for Coursework Assessment:

    Substantial non-engagement in this course (evidenced by repeated non-attendance at tutorials and failure to submit assessments) may result in students being withdrawn from the University Preparatory Program and being required to apply for reinstatement if they wish to continue. 
    Assessment Detail
    Assessment Task Task Type Due Weighting Submission
    Reflective Journal 1 Formative; individual; 300 words

    Friday Week 2, 7pm

    10% MyUni
    Reflective Journal 2 Formative; individual; 400 words Friday Week 5, 7pm 15% MyUni
    Response to reflective journal 2: Peer review Individual 150 words Please respond to the reflective journal of your peer Friday Week 7, 7pm 15% MyUni
    Learning mode ethnography Individual 1000 words. Report on minimally four different lecture visits Friday Week 10, 7pm 30% MyUni
    Academic discussion Team 15 minute discussion on a topic of the team’s choice

    In class Week 12
    15% In class
    Reflective journal three Individual 300 words Friday Week 13, 7pm 15% MyUni
    All assignments will be electronically submitted via MyUni, although the Research Portfolio may be submitted via hard copy in class.

    Students may be granted extensions to assignments on medical or compassionate grounds; documentation to support these ground will be required. Requests for extension must be made before the due date; requests for extension submitted after the due date will not be considered. All extension requests must be submitted to the Course Coordinator (Chad Habel:; any extensions granted by the lecturer or tutor will not be considered valid.

    All extension requests will be administered according to theModified Arrangements for Coursework Assessment Policy:

    For a concise information sheet on this policy, please visit

    Penalties for Late Submission

    Unless the Course Outline states otherwise when an assessment is submitted after the due date, and without an extension, 5% of the total mark possible will be deducted for every 24 hours or part thereof that it is late, including each day on a weekend. For example, an essay that is submitted after the due date and time but within the first 24 hour period, and that has been graded at 63%, will have 5% deducted, for a final grade of 58%. An essay that is more than 24 hours late will lose 10%, etc. Hard copy submissions made after 5.00pm on a Friday will be assumed to have been submitted on the next business day and will be penalised 5% per day for every day including weekend days and public holidays. This penalty may be increased where the assignment is to be completed ina period of less than a week.

    This course aims to return assessed work within 2 weeks of its submission, although this cannot be guaranteed. The resubmission of assignments is not possible for this course, except in exceptional circumstances as approved by the Course Coordinator. 
    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.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.