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MRES700 – Research Communications

2017 – S2 Day

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Convenor
Florence Chiew
C5C 314
By appointment
Credit points Credit points
4
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to MRes and 4cp at 700 level
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
This unit explores the ways in which our disciplinary mindsets, habits and practices shape how we relate and communicate with other researchers. We will consider why and how we conform to certain academic conventions of style in our disciplines and the impact this has on our perception of ourselves as scholars. In doing so, we confront a central issue in research communication practices: If our disciplinary training shapes how we think, read, write and speak to each other, how can a person from one discipline understand someone from a different background? What do we need to translate complex findings and discipline-specific concepts into a language, format and context that non-experts can understand? Why and to whom does this matter? The course will debate these questions and discuss strategies for engaging with wider and non-specialist audiences. As effective communication relies on responsible communication, we will also pay close attention to the ethical dilemmas that can emerge from the research encounter, and through this deepen our appreciation of research integrity and responsibility.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at http://students.mq.edu.au/student_admin/enrolmentguide/academicdates/

Learning Outcomes

  1. adapt your research interests for a non-expert or non-specialist audience,
  2. display more advanced writing and critical thinking skills,
  3. provide constructive feedback on others’ writing,
  4. recognise the ideas, debates and dilemmas around research ethics and integrity.

General Assessment Information

Applying for an extension

To request an extension for an assignment, students should submit a Disruption to Studies Notification within 5 working days of the commencement of the disruption. The Disruption to Studies Notification must be submitted online through www.ask.mq.edu.au. Information on what constitutes a disruption and how to apply for an extension can be found on the MQ students' Disruption to Studies webpage.

Students with a pre-existing disability/health condition or prolonged adverse circumstances may be eligible for ongoing assistance and support. Such support is governed by other policies and may be sought and coordinated through Campus Wellbeing and Support Services.

Late submissions

Unless an extension is granted, work that is submitted after the due date will attract a penalty of 10% of the total marks for each week it is overdue (i.e. -10% for 1-6 days late; -20% for 7-13 days late; -30% for 14-20 days late). Work submitted more than 20 days late will not be accepted.

 

 

 

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Critical reflection 30% Week 4 and 11
Research pitch 30% Week 7
Oral/Poster Presentation 20% Weeks 11-13
Class participation 20% Assessed throughout semester

Critical reflection

Due: Week 4 and 11
Weighting: 30%

Initial Task, due in Week 4, 500 words 

Pick one theme or issue covered in the topic or readings in Weeks 2, 3 and 4. In your critical reflection, explore why this particular theme or issue interests you. Use the corresponding weekly questions and prompts as a guide. Your response should aim to strike a balance between your personal perspective and the requirements of good academic practice and rigorous thinking. This means: 

  • avoiding simple agree/disagree answers, 
  • going beyond a summary or description of the course content or readings, 
  • developing a coherent line of reasoning through good use of evidence or examples to illustrate your reflections, 
  • demonstrating considerable effort to engage with course themes by drawing on specific points in readings or lecture and tutorial materials, 
  • approaching readings and course material with an open mind and a willingness to explore ideas even if you think the ideas are odd or confusing or extreme. 

A strong critical reflection demonstrates that you have comprehensively explored the relationship between your own experience/practice and the course theme in question. 

 

Second Task, due in Week 11, 800 words 

Base this critical reflection on one or more 3 Minute Thesis (3MT) presentations that you attended. You may also want to reflect on the 3MT event as a whole. Draw out your analysis by making use of specific readings and course themes. What does the 3MT say about research communication in the 21st century? How does it relate to your understanding or experience of research culture? As with the initial task, your response should do more than describe the 3MT talks you attended. Emphasise the connections between some of the issues covered in the course and contemporary academic communication strategies/platforms.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • adapt your research interests for a non-expert or non-specialist audience,
  • display more advanced writing and critical thinking skills,
  • recognise the ideas, debates and dilemmas around research ethics and integrity.

Research pitch

Due: Week 7
Weighting: 30%

There are two parts to this assignment.

Step 1

Imagine you need to explain your research interest to a panel of non-experts, and to convince them of its significance. This panel will consist of:

  1. an academic from another faculty (e.g. if you are in biology imagine an ancient historian on your panel),
  2. an interested member of the public,
  3. a representative from a potential funding body (who is not an academic)
  4. a journalist for the Sydney Morning Herald

Give an overview of your area of research interest in language that is accessible to this diverse audience. Explain the idea, problem or question you are interested in, and highlight its significance. Aim for about 1000 words.

Step 2

Organise yourself into a pair (or a group of 3) with another student/s. You will have time to do this in your tutorial.

Bear in mind that while there are advantages to working with someone from your discipline or who knows your topic area well, there are also advantages in having input from someone outside your field. You may well be surprised by how useful it is to have a reader who isn’t from your discipline.

Once you have partnered or teamed up, you need to swap a current version of your draft (activity in Step 1) with each other. You will give feedback to your partner or group member on their piece of writing. You will also receive feedback from your partner or group member on your piece of writing. Remember, this is only a draft at this stage; the writing does not need to be polished.

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • adapt your research interests for a non-expert or non-specialist audience,
  • display more advanced writing and critical thinking skills,
  • provide constructive feedback on others’ writing,
  • recognise the ideas, debates and dilemmas around research ethics and integrity.

Oral/Poster Presentation

Due: Weeks 11-13
Weighting: 20%

Presentations will run in tutorials between Weeks 11 and 13. 

Prepare an oral or a poster presentation on a theory, concept or debate in your field. This can relate to your thesis topic but should not be a repetition of your research pitch (assignment 2). Your audience is your tutorial group. Remember that not all your classmates are from your discipline or faculty, so please prepare a presentation in language that is accessible to an intelligent but non-specialist audience. 

In your presentation, you will need to explain why you are interested in this theory, concept or debate, and draw out its broader significance. You have 5 minutes to give your presentation. Be prepared to answer questions about your talk from your tutor/classmates.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • adapt your research interests for a non-expert or non-specialist audience,
  • provide constructive feedback on others’ writing,

Class participation

Due: Assessed throughout semester
Weighting: 20%

Participation in this unit is based on consistent tutorial attendance and participation, active and thoughtful engagement with readings, course content and online discussion forums on iLearn.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • display more advanced writing and critical thinking skills,
  • provide constructive feedback on others’ writing,
  • recognise the ideas, debates and dilemmas around research ethics and integrity.

Delivery and Resources

MRES700 is delivered as follows:

  • 3 hours face-to-face teaching each week: 1 hour lecture and 2 hour tutorial
  • The timetable for classes can be found on the University website at: https://timetables.mq.edu.au/2017/​
  • The lecture is held on Mondays 9am-10am in W5A T1.
  • The lecture is available as an Echo360 recording via the MRES700 ilearn site.

Students will be automatically enrolled into the online MRES700 iLearn unit. This unit enables students to receive announcements, download and submit assignments, access lecture recordings, handouts and slides, and participate in online discussion forums. Readings will be available for download via the iLearn site.

 

 

Unit Schedule

Week

Lecture

Tutorial Schedule

1

31/7-4/8

Introduction: research and communication

No tutorials

2

7/8-11/8

Academic communication: Writing and disciplinary identity

 

Tutorials begin

3

14/8-18/8

Academic communication: Explaining complex concepts

 

 

 

 

4

21/8-25/8

Academic culture: Dialogue and feedback 

Initial critical reflective task due

-Form peer writing groups

5

28/8-1/9

Academic culture: Slowness in the research process 

- Peer review session

 

6

4/9-8/9

Academic culture: Confidence and ignorance

 

- Peer review session

 

 

7

11/9-15/9

Research ethics and integrity

(with indigenous methodologies and perspectives)

 

Research pitch due

 

Recess

 

Monday September 18: Macquarie University 3MT Finals

1.30-3.30pm, Macquarie Theatre

 

 

Recess

 

 

8

2/10-6/10

No lecture

Workshops (except Monday Oct 2, labour day public hol)

 

9

9/10-13/10

No lecture

 

 

Workshops

10

16/10-20/10

Lecture on oral/poster presentations 

 

 

Workshops

11

23/10-27/10

Working routines

 

Tutorial presentations begin

Second critical reflective assignment due

12

30/10-3/11

Concluding lecture and student panel discussion

 

 

Tutorial presentations

13

6/11-10/11

No lecture

 

 

Tutorial presentations

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central. Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

Assessment Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy_2016.html

Grade Appeal Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html

Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/complaint_management/procedure.html​

Disruption to Studies Policy (in effect until Dec 4th, 2017): http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html

Special Consideration Policy (in effect from Dec 4th, 2017): https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policies/special-consideration

In addition, a number of other policies can be found in the Learning and Teaching Category of Policy Central.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/student_conduct/

Results

Results shown in iLearn, or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au.

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Graduate Capabilities

PG - Discipline Knowledge and Skills

Our postgraduates will be able to demonstrate a significantly enhanced depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content knowledge in their chosen fields.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • adapt your research interests for a non-expert or non-specialist audience,

Assessment task

  • Oral/Poster Presentation

PG - Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

Our postgraduates will be capable of utilising and reflecting on prior knowledge and experience, of applying higher level critical thinking skills, and of integrating and synthesising learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments. A characteristic of this form of thinking is the generation of new, professionally oriented knowledge through personal or group-based critique of practice and theory.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • adapt your research interests for a non-expert or non-specialist audience,
  • display more advanced writing and critical thinking skills,
  • provide constructive feedback on others’ writing,
  • recognise the ideas, debates and dilemmas around research ethics and integrity.

Assessment tasks

  • Critical reflection
  • Oral/Poster Presentation
  • Class participation

PG - Research and Problem Solving Capability

Our postgraduates will be capable of systematic enquiry; able to use research skills to create new knowledge that can be applied to real world issues, or contribute to a field of study or practice to enhance society. They will be capable of creative questioning, problem finding and problem solving.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • adapt your research interests for a non-expert or non-specialist audience,
  • recognise the ideas, debates and dilemmas around research ethics and integrity.

Assessment task

  • Oral/Poster Presentation

PG - Effective Communication

Our postgraduates will be able to communicate effectively and convey their views to different social, cultural, and professional audiences. They will be able to use a variety of technologically supported media to communicate with empathy using a range of written, spoken or visual formats.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • adapt your research interests for a non-expert or non-specialist audience,
  • display more advanced writing and critical thinking skills,
  • provide constructive feedback on others’ writing,

Assessment tasks

  • Critical reflection
  • Research pitch
  • Oral/Poster Presentation
  • Class participation

PG - Engaged and Responsible, Active and Ethical Citizens

Our postgraduates will be ethically aware and capable of confident transformative action in relation to their professional responsibilities and the wider community. They will have a sense of connectedness with others and country and have a sense of mutual obligation. They will be able to appreciate the impact of their professional roles for social justice and inclusion related to national and global issues

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • adapt your research interests for a non-expert or non-specialist audience,
  • provide constructive feedback on others’ writing,
  • recognise the ideas, debates and dilemmas around research ethics and integrity.

Assessment tasks

  • Critical reflection
  • Research pitch
  • Oral/Poster Presentation
  • Class participation

PG - Capable of Professional and Personal Judgment and Initiative

Our postgraduates will demonstrate a high standard of discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgment. They will have the ability to make informed choices and decisions that reflect both the nature of their professional work and their personal perspectives.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • provide constructive feedback on others’ writing,
  • recognise the ideas, debates and dilemmas around research ethics and integrity.

Assessment tasks

  • Critical reflection
  • Research pitch
  • Oral/Poster Presentation