GEOG 5094 - Engaging Communities: Techniques and Analysis

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015

In recent years, community engagement has become a central dimension of governance as well as policy development and service delivery. However efforts to directly involve citizens in policy processes have been bedevilled by crude understandings of the issues involved, and by poor selection of techniques for engaging citizens. This course will provide a critical interrogation of the central conceptual issues as well as an examination of how to design a program of effective community engagement. This course begins by asking: Why involve citizens in planning and policymaking? This leads to an examination of the politics of planning, conceptualisations of "community" and, to the tension between local and professional knowledge in policy making. This course will also analyse different types of citizen engagement and examine how to design a program of public participation for policy making. Approaches to evaluating community engagement programs will also be a component of the course.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code GEOG 5094
    Course Engaging Communities: Techniques and Analysis
    Coordinating Unit Geography, Environment and Population
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Prerequisites Completed degree (72 units)
    Course Description In recent years, community engagement has become a central dimension of governance as well as policy development and service delivery. However efforts to directly involve citizens in policy processes have been bedevilled by crude understandings of the issues involved, and by poor selection of techniques for engaging citizens. This course will provide a critical interrogation of the central conceptual issues as well as an examination of how to design a program of effective community engagement. This course begins by asking: Why involve citizens in planning and policymaking? This leads to an examination of the politics of planning, conceptualisations of "community" and, to the tension between local and professional knowledge in policy making. This course will also analyse different types of citizen engagement and examine how to design a program of public participation for policy making. Approaches to evaluating community engagement programs will also be a component of the course.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Melissa Nursey-Bray

    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 Develop knowledge and understanding of content and techniques of community engagement at local to international levels
    2 Locate, analyse and synthesise information about the diversity of community engagement approaches in a planned and timely manner
    3 Develop ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions to governance problems that require community engagement
    4 Via use of problem solving and critical thinking exercises using community engagement case studies, develop teamwork, and interpersonal skills
    5 Critically evaluate the efficacy of virtual means of delivering or developing community engagement strategies
    6 Encourage via independent learning exercises, development of skills that will enhance the fulfilment of ongoing and continuous learning and intellectual curiosity
    7 By use of role model examples, demonstrate how community engagement can perform leadership functions within community
    8 Develop understanding of cross cultural contexts and nuances/implications community engagement
    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, 3, 5
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 2, 3, 4
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1, 3
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 4, 8, 5
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 3, 4, 5, 6, 8
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 3, 6, 7
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 5-7
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1, 4, 8
  • Learning Resources
    Online Learning
    Lectures, assessment, readings and handouts will be made available via MyUni and MyUni will be used as part of an active on-line
    learning strategy.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The teaching and learning mode for this course will be delivered via one block activity. This period will be divided up into (i) information delivery, and (ii) group work/interaction and tasks. Some online methods will be deployed as appropriate. Curricula will follow principles of independent learning and will provide for small group discovery. Assessment will be constructively aligned by building student skills in what would be actual tasks in community engagement.
    Workload

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

    1 x 3 hour workshop (or equivalent) per week 36 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 Course overview
    Week 2 What is community?
    Week 3 Methods of public participation
    Week 4 Methods of public participation
    Week 5 Evaluating community engagement
    Week 6 Case study 1 (information on enrolment)
    Week 7 Case study 1 (information on enrolment)
    Week 8 Case study 2 (information on enrolment)
    Week 9 Case study 2 (information on enrolment)
    Week 10 Case study 3: Indigenous engagement (cross cultural engagement workshop)
    Week 11 Case study 4: Conflict resolution training/ workshop
    Week 12 Conclusion and verbal group presentations
  • 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
    3000 word essay Formative and Summative 30% 1-8
    3000 word evaluation of community engagement strategy Formative and Summative 30% 1-8
    Participation and attendance Formative and Summative 10% 1-8
    Group verbal presentation Formative and Summative 30% 1-8
    Assessment Detail
    Participation and attendance (10%):  Assessed seminar exercises and activities, and participation.

    3000 word essay (30%): Using peer reviewed literature and case studies to justify your points, write an essay that critically reflects on what community means and its implications for community engagement.

    3000 word evaluation of community engagement strategy (30%): Students must critique an existing community engagement strategy. The assignment requires them to work in pairs but produce an individual written piece.

    Group verbal presentation (30%): Verbal (group) presentation based on a scenario presents a community engagement strategy. Powerpoint may be used.
    Submission
    All assignments are submitted electronically via MyUni.
    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.

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