GEOG 1005 - Social Science Techniques I

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2019

The course aims to provide students with a perspective on the role of social sciences within contemporary society, especially in Australia, and teach a number of fundamental skills which are expected of professional social scientists in the contemporary world. These skills are an important acquisition for students, whether they seek to gain employment in the public and private sectors or to proceed to higher level research within their chosen social discipline. Students of this course should emerge from it with a sound background in the main sources of social science information and data available in Australia, and the major methods of analysing information from these sources. Topics include measurement, exploratory data analysis, descriptive statistics, data collection, hypothesis testing, regression analysis, correlation, and graphical procedures. Computer Workshops provide hands-on training and skills in data analysis. No prior background or knowledge in computing, mathematics or statistics is assumed. The aim is to teach students a range of data analysis techniques and how to interpret the results.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code GEOG 1005
    Course Social Science Techniques I
    Coordinating Unit Geography, Environment and Population
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Incompatible GEOG 2132, SOCI 2002, GEST 2100
    Course Description The course aims to provide students with a perspective on the role of social sciences within contemporary society, especially in Australia, and teach a number of fundamental skills which are expected of professional social scientists in the contemporary world. These skills are an important acquisition for students, whether they seek to gain employment in the public and private sectors or to proceed to higher level research within their chosen social discipline. Students of this course should emerge from it with a sound background in the main sources of social science information and data available in Australia, and the major methods of analysing information from these sources. Topics include measurement, exploratory data analysis, descriptive statistics, data collection, hypothesis testing, regression analysis, correlation, and graphical procedures. Computer Workshops provide hands-on training and skills in data analysis. No prior background or knowledge in computing, mathematics or statistics is assumed. The aim is to teach students a range of data analysis techniques and how to interpret the results.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Yan Tan

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Understand basic methods and techniques of data analysis in the social sciences and the ways in which they can be used in research.
    2 Develop skills in analysing and interpreting social, demographic and economic data, such as the Australian Census of Population and Housing, to competently present data by means of tables and graphs.
    3 Perform descriptive statistics, statistical testing, and multiple regress analysis of survey data using SPSS software.
    4 Develop an awareness of the social applications of geographical information systems (GIS) in mapping and interpreting spatial variations in social, demographic and economic data.
    5 Develop skills in selecting the appropriate techniques for various types of data, and presenting results of data analysis with high quality written 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)
    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)
    1, 2, 3, 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, 2, 3, 5
    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, 4, 5
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    2, 3, 4
    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
    5
    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
    1, 5
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Publications relating to the content of the census and other information relating to surveys and data sources provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) can be found on the ABS website at: http://www.abs.gov.au



  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course lectures provide basic factual information and information on data and techniques of analysis in the social sciences, introducing social issues, measurement, sources of data, interpretation and presentation. The workshops are linked to the lectures and together with readings each week follow a sequence of modules. The first based on census data examines population and socio-economic trends using EXCEL to show social indicators, tables and graphs. This module also uses GIS to map patterns of spatial variation and accessibility. The second is based on the collection of survey data and analysis using SPSS. The third focuses upon statistical analysis using SPSS to provide ways of summarising social, demographic and economic data and provides both description and explanation.



    Workload

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

    WORKLOAD – STRUCTURED LEARNING TOTAL HOURS
    2-hour lectures per week 24 hours per semester
    1-hour Workshop per week 12 hours per semester
    WORKLOAD – SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING TOTAL HOURS
    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 = 156 hours per semester
    Learning Activities Summary
    Schedule
    Week 1 Introduction: Secondary Data Sources
    Week 2 The Australian Census: Applying Census Data to Social Sciences Study
    Week 3 Social Indicators: Quantitative and Qualitative Measurement
    Week 4 GIS & Social Sciences: Demographic, Social and Environmental Research
    Week 5 Survey Methods: Sampling and Questionnaire Design
    Week 6 Preparation for Undertaking a Survey: Ethics in Research and Ethical Conduct
    Week 7 Analysis of Survey Data
    Week 8 Data to Answer Research Questions: Hypothesis Testing
    Week 9 Descriptive Statistics: Summarising Data, Report Writing and Presentation
    Week 10 Multi-variate Analysis: Correlation and Regression
    Week 11 Interviewing and Discourse Analysis
    Week 12 Summary and Exam Review
    Specific Course Requirements

    A course requirement is that students submit all three Workshop Assignments. Attendance and satisfactory participation in the Workshops is a major component of the course. Failure to attend them will make it very difficult to pass this subject and could preclude you from undertaking the exam.



    Small Group Discovery Experience

    This course is designed to encompass focussed computer workshops to develop skills in data analysis and presentation with small group discovery around interpretation of the outcomes.



  • 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
    Workshop participation Formative and Summative 10% 1-5
    Workshop assessment tasks Formative and Summative 50% 1-5
    2-hour final exam Summative 40% 1-5
    Assessment Related Requirements
    N/A
    Assessment Detail

    Workshop Participation (10%):
    Students must attend and participate in Workshops. Students are requested to notify the Course Co-ordinator as soon as possible if you have to miss a workshop. You need written evidence (e.g. medical certificate; note from employer; counsellor’s letter) if you have to miss more than one. Students are expected to be well prepared for each workshop and to actively participate.

    Workshop Assessment Tasks (50%):
    Some weekly workshops will include an assessment task which allows students to demonstrate both the successful completion of the workshop tasks, and their understanding and application of the techniques and skills which they learn each week.  Students need to submit various Workshop Assessment tasks on the following: (1) analysis of Census data and mapping social and demographic data; (2) analysis of survey data using SPSS; (3) using SPSS for statistical analysis. Full details of the Workshop Assessments will be provided at the start of each workshop.

    Final Examination (40%):
    There will be a 2-hour examination held during the university exam period. The exam will consist of two components: (1) a series of short answer questions which cover all aspects of the course; and (2) an essay question where students write on one topic from a given selection.

    Submission

    Online submission MyUni for assignments - Information available on enrolment.

    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.

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.