GEOG 5046 - ICTs and Sustainability

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2014

Information and Communication technologies (ICTs), such as computers, the internet and mobile phones, are a major driver of social and cultural change, and have rapidly transformed economies, polities and societies around the world. The course covers the complex intersections of ICTs with the global and national challenges of environmental, social and economic sustainability. The various debates and approaches of the role and impact of ICTs for achieving social, economic, cultural, ecological and political sustainability objectives are examined. ICTs are seen by many as the most important tool for greening economies and addressing climate changes and put human societies on a more sustainable trajectory. The course critically engages with the opportunities and benefits of ICTs for sustainability but also with the potential threats of ICTS to sustainability, such as e-waste, the depletion of rare earth minerals and the increasing carbon footprint and energy consumption through ICT production and use. The course covers topics such as the rise of the information or network society and knowledge capitalism, the role of ICTs for the sustainable use of natural resources and in climate change mitigation and adaptation, ICTs for sustainable urban development, and ICTs and e-learning for sustainability

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code GEOG 5046
    Course ICTs and Sustainability
    Coordinating Unit Geography, Environment and Population
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 6
    Contact 3 hours per week
    Prerequisites Completed degree (72 units)
    Course Description Information and Communication technologies (ICTs), such as computers, the internet and mobile phones, are a major driver of social and cultural change, and have rapidly transformed economies, polities and societies around the world. The course covers the complex intersections of ICTs with the global and national challenges of environmental, social and economic sustainability. The various debates and approaches of the role and impact of ICTs for achieving social, economic, cultural, ecological and political sustainability objectives are examined. ICTs are seen by many as the most important tool for greening economies and addressing climate changes and put human societies on a more sustainable trajectory. The course critically engages with the opportunities and benefits of ICTs for sustainability but also with the potential threats of ICTS to sustainability, such as e-waste, the depletion of rare earth minerals and the increasing carbon footprint and energy consumption through ICT production and use. The course covers topics such as the rise of the information or network society and knowledge capitalism, the role of ICTs for the sustainable use of natural resources and in climate change mitigation and adaptation, ICTs for sustainable urban development, and ICTs and e-learning for sustainability
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Thomas Wanner

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    At the successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
    1 understand the link between ICTs and achieving sustainability goals
    2 understand the various dimensions of sustainability and the role of ICTs for each sustainability goal
    3 discuss the strengths and weaknesses of ICTs for sustainability
    4 critically engage with the current debates and approaches of ICTs and sustainability
    5 research a project on ICTs and sustainability and develop solution to a problem
    6 understand the impact and role of culture and individuals in shaping practice and future role of ICTs and sustainability
    7 demonstrate high level critical analysis and thinking skills
    8 apply high quality written and verbal communications skills
    9 work effectively in a seminar situation
    10 show highly developed, and computer-based, research and presentation 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)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1, 2
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 3,4, 5
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 5, 7
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 7, 8, 9
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 10
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1-7
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 5, 9
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 7-10
  • Learning Resources
    Recommended Resources
    Students will be provided with the course guide, reading material, web-links and other learning resources on MyUni once they have enrolled.
    Online Learning
    MyUni is used for communication with the students, assessment submission and for the provision of additional learning resources.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The teaching and learning is based on peer-assisted and peer group learning; where the staff member facilitating the workshop style seminar is more a facilitator of the learning. Students develop their critical analysis and thinking about the role and impact of ICTs for sustainability through peer-assisted learning in regular seminars and group work. Research, problem-solving skills are developed through case studies and finding solutions to sustainability issues through ICTs.
    Workload

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

    WORKLOAD TOTAL HOURS
    1 x 3 hour seminar per week 36 hours
    6 hours research per week 72 hours
    6 hours mandated reading per week 72 hours
    6 hours assignment preparation per week 72 hours
    5 hours writing work per week 60 hours
    TOTAL 312 hours for 12 weeks semester
    Learning Activities Summary
    The course covers many different aspects of the linkage between ICTs and sustainability:
    • Information, Knowledge and the Network Society
    • ICTs and Sustainability: current debates and approaches
    • ICTs and the sustainable use of natural resources
    • The Sustainability of ICTs: e-waste and e-efficiency
    • The inter/national political economy of ICTs and sustainability I: rare earth minerals
    • The inter/national political economy of ICTs and Sustainabilty II: digital divide
    • ICTs and Greening Economies
    • ICTs and Sustainability: Climate Change
    • E-Learning: education for sustainability and social learning
    • ICTs and environmental risk and disaster management
    • ICTs for Sustainable Urban Development
    • The politics of ICTs and sustainability
    Specific Course Requirements
    Participation in the seminars is compulsory.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Students work together in small groups in the seminar using different case studies of ICTs and sustainability. There is a group work presentation about their research project in the seminars.
  • 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
    600 word Research Proposal Formative and summative 10% 1-5

    5000 word Research Essay

    Peer assessment of other essay
    Formative and summative
    30%

    10%
    1-5, 7, 8
    Group presentation of ICT and sustainability case study (equivalent to 1000 words) Formative and summative 30% 7, 9, 10
    2000 word Seminar Journal Summative 20% 1-4, 6, 7
    Seminar participation Formative and summative 10% 3,4, 6, 7, 9 
    Assessment Related Requirements
    All assessment tasks need to be submitted for assessment in order to be able to pass the course (subject to the overall end of course mark being 50% or above).
    Assessment Detail
    Research proposal (10%, 600 words)
    Students will prepare a short research proposal (600 words) by week 4 so that they started the process for the research essay and get some early feedback.
    Research essay (30%, 5,000 words)
    Student research and critically analyse an ICTs and sustainability issue.
    Peer review of other research essay (10%)
    a peer review process is built into the research essay. Students prepare feedback of other students' research essay before final submission of own assignment.
    Group presentation of ICT and sustainability case study (30%; 1,000 words)
    Students work in groups in the seminar on different case studies. Their findings are presented to the class in form of a PowerPoint presentation.esearch.
    Seminar Journal (20%, 2,000 words)
    Students write a regular reflective journal of their preparation for the seminar and their reflections of learning from the seminar.
    Participation (10%)
    Seminars are compulsory. Students are expected to come prepared and to be actively engaged in the seminar teaching and learning activities.
    Submission

    Assignments will be submitted electronically on MyUni. Turnitin is used to check for plagiarism.

    Late submissions are accepted but will incur a penalty of 5% off the final mark per day late (including the weekend).

    Assignments will be returned electronically on MyUni (in MyGrades). The expected date of return of assignments is 2-3 weeks after submission.

    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 (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.

  • 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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