GEOG 3024 - Geography Matters

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2022

This is the capstone course for the Major in Geography and Environmental Studies. The course provides students with an opportunity to apply (and further develop) their geography and environmental analytic skills by investigating a practical problem in the field. The centrepiece of the course is a fieldtrip to the area under investigation. Each year, a practical problem or issue is selected. These field problems all require analysis from both social science and physical geography perspectives. Students form groups and are tasked with investigating and analysing the issue and recommending possible responses. Fieldwork is underpinned by a series of lectures which provide major philosophical and theoretical approaches to geographical and environmental problems. The analysis of data collected in fieldwork and the preparation of group reports is supported by a series of workshops.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code GEOG 3024
    Course Geography Matters
    Coordinating Unit Geography, Environment and Population
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 6
    Contact Up to 6 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange
    Prerequisites At least 15 units of Geography, Environment and Population Major courses
    Assumed Knowledge Basic knowledge of Geography
    Restrictions Available to students undertaking a Geography, Environment & Population Major only
    Course Description This is the capstone course for the Major in Geography and Environmental Studies. The course provides students with an opportunity to apply (and further develop) their geography and environmental analytic skills by investigating a practical problem in the field. The centrepiece of the course is a fieldtrip to the area under investigation. Each year, a practical problem or issue is selected. These field problems all require analysis from both social science and physical geography perspectives.

    Students form groups and are tasked with investigating and analysing the issue and recommending possible responses. Fieldwork is underpinned by a series of lectures which provide major philosophical and theoretical approaches to geographical and environmental problems. The analysis of data collected in fieldwork and the preparation of group reports is supported by a series of workshops.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor John Tibby

    Course Timetable

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

    This course will be run as a block activity and supplemented by independent learning and field work
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    1.     Demonstrate understanding of key geographical and environmental issues;

    2.     Demonstrate the capacity to apply and develop solutions to issues;

    3.     Demonstrate competence in at least one of population, cultural, urban or environmental geography fields;

    4.     Demonstrate the capacity to construct and communicate different approaches for geographical and environmental issues across different scales and different social and cultural contexts;

    5.     Demonstrate the capacity to apply a range of geography skills to particular real-world problems.


    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)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.

    1, 3, 5

    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.

    1, 2,3 ,4, 5

    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.

    2,4

    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.

    1, 2,3 ,4, 5

    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.

    2,3 ,4

    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

    1, 2,3 ,4, 5
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    ·        There is no set text for this course as there is no one textbook that deals with multi-dimensional geographical and environmental
    issues in the field of geography and environmental studies.

    ·        Students will be provided with a comprehensive list of readings, which include a suite of peer-reviewed articles and technical
    materials (i.e. policies and environmental management strategies) on the subject. Suggested readings will be made available through MyUni for students’ easy access in due course.

    ·        All other required materials (e.g. workshop slides, assessment information, web links) are also provided on MyUni.

    Recommended Resources
    To be advised
    Online Learning
    MyUni/Canvas

    MyUni/Canvas is a critical learning tool and means of communication and knowledge exchange in this course. Learning materials are available each week in preparation for our workshop. Other course material (e.g. readings, assessment information) and many features of MyUni/Canvas (e.g. announcements and the discussion board) will help students to organise and manage their study.

    Students need to regularly check the MyUni/Canvas website and use MyUni/Canvas for the different assignments (for information and submission).

    To reach the MyUni website for the course follow the links from the University of Adelaide's Homepage http://www.adelaide.edu.au or go straight to https://myuni.adelaide.edu.au/. You will need to enter your username and password to enter the MyUni website. If you have difficulty accessing MyUni contact the Help Desk at 830 33335 or send an e-mail to myuni.help@adelaide.edu.au (See http://www.adelaide.edu.au/myuni; http://www.adelaide.edu.au/its/help/contact_details/).

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course will involve field trips, online learning, team teaching and small group discovery
    Workload

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

    Students are expected to undertake 3 hours of face to face a week and up to 6 hours a week research and preparation. This is a 6 unit capstone course so students will be expected to do a higher load in terms of assessment and preparatory work.
    Learning Activities Summary

    Key topics to discuss:

    Course Introduction; Introduction to Environmental Issues
    Place
    Urban Transformation Pressure: Population and Policy
    Environmental Policy and Management
    Agri-environment: Policies and Practice
    Water, Place and Policy
    Housing affordability and urban policy
    Field Trip Preparation
    Report Writing
    Migration, Urbanisation, and Inequality in Developing Countries
    Pre-submission Report Feedback
    Course Summary; An Honours Information Session
    Specific Course Requirements
    This is a capstone course for those majoring in Geography: The field trip will ensure students interrogate geographical concepts in real life situations
  • 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 

    Research essay (2,000 words): 35%

    Group field trip report (2,000 words each student): 35%

    Poster presentation: 20%

    Attendance: 10%

    Modified arrangements have been made to assessments and the details provided here reflect recent updates.
    1. Attendance is replaced with Reflective Workshop Journal - weighting 10%.
    Assessment Related Requirements

    To pass this course you must attend all workshops, complete and submit all assessments as described in this course profile. The field trip will be undertaken and students are expected to be able to attend.

    Assessment Detail

    1.      Research Essay:

    The Research Essay provides an opportunity for students to develop and demonstrate research and analytical and critical thinking skills. The topics (or questions) of the essay are centred on geographical and environmental issues and interventions. Students are required to choose one topic (or a question) from a pool of topics (or questions) set by GEP staff teaching into this course and write a paper that critically analyses the strengths and weaknesses of a specific analytical approach or framework for understanding the human-environment nexus, using case studies and peer-reviewed literature. Students are provided opportunities to discuss relevant topics (or questions) suggested by corresponding teaching staff during the seminar session each week. The research essay should include a
    literature review section. In order to conduct a sound literature review, students are expected to reference at least 10 literature sources (e.g. refereed journal articles and books). The suggested reading materials for each week can be used as a starting point, but students need to utilise resources beyond these. Marking will place emphasis on the quality of argument more than quantity. The referencing system that students should use is Harvard (the author-date in-text matched with bibliography).

    In assessing the essay credit will be given to students who have read widely, are able to critically assess the reading in terms of the set topic and who are able to support arguments with case studies (some of which could be discussed during weekly learning activities) and, where appropriate as evidence, such as graphs, tables and frameworks.

     
    2.       Report on Group Field Trip to a local community

     
    The ability to communicate ideas in writing is an essential part of working life for most university graduates. The steps involved in writing a report based on field trip require students to collect and analyse data and information, interact positively with stakeholders and experts, identify and critically engage with other people’s ideas, present key findings, draw out implications from the findings of direct field observations and data analysis, generate an informed point of view or argument and convey that viewpoint in a clear, systematic and rigorous manner.

    This assignment develops and assesses students’ written communication skills in how to apply geography methods to real-world social,
    urban, demographic and environmental issues. The site of the field trip will be chosen by GEP staff, and the fieldwork will be completed during the mid-semester break. Students will be grouped into 5-person clusters. Each group will be required to complete a Field Trip Report (2,000 words each student) based on a series of exercises on the day. The final report draws together a range of new information/data that you will gain from the field trip, knowledge, skills and attributes that you have obtained and developed in your
    study in the Major of Geography and Environmental Studies. It should reflect the collective efforts of your team and be your most satisfying accomplishment.
     

    3.       Poster Presentation

    This assessment seeks to develop and demonstrate research skills in oral presentation and to critically examine the relationship between ‘Policy’ and ‘Place’ when they relate to real-world environmental, urban, social, and population issues. The poster presentation is the chance to showcase the quality of your work and demonstrate the highest standard of ‘public’ communication.

    Students should choose a topic relevant to this course. Consult with the course teaching staff.


    4.      Ongoing attendance and participation and completion of SGDE activities.

    Seminars are the forum in which we discuss the subject matter and have small group work exercises to consolidate the knowledge.
    Students will be reviewed as to their attendance and participation throughout the course. Seminar attendance is a compulsory component of the course and is monitored during the course. Students need to notify the Course Coordinator via email (yan.tan@adelaide.edu.au) as soon as possible if you have to miss a seminar. You need written evidence (e.g. medical certificate; a note from the employer; counsellor’s letter) if you have to miss one. You are required to attend ALL scheduled seminars. All students are
    expected to be well prepared for each seminar and to actively participate in the discussion of the key questions raised by relevant teaching staff and also emerged from each week’s readings.


    Submission
    Submission dates will be advised in due course.
    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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