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ANTH324 – Doing Ethnography

2018 – S2 Day

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Associate Professor and Convenor
Dr Lisa Wynn
Contact via by e-mail
Australian Hearing Hub
by appointment (please e-mail)
Credit points Credit points
3
Prerequisites Prerequisites
(39cp at 100 level or above including (9cp from ANTH units including 3cp from ANTH units at 300 level)) or admission to GDipArts
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
What tools do cultural anthropologists use to observe humans and make sense of their actions in the world? This unit provides an introduction to the practical, methodological, and ethical dimensions of ethnographic research. As the primary goal of the unit is to teach students how to conduct ethnographic fieldwork, over the semester students engage in first-hand research projects where they regularly participate in and observe a cultural scene of their own choosing. Weekly meetings frame the fieldwork process as students learn anthropological research methods under the guidance of an experienced staff member, and then apply this knowledge to their ethnographic study. These meetings provide students an opportunity to share their fieldwork experiences with each other, discuss the methodological issues, and workshop concerns raised by their own studies. Simultaneously students will read several classic ethnographies to develop an understanding of the relationship between ethnographic research and ethnographic writing. The program culminates in a report (or mini ethnography) due at the close of the semester.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://students.mq.edu.au/important-dates

Learning Outcomes

  1. By the end of this unit, students should be able to do the following:
  2. • Understand the use of a variety of ethnographic research methods, including their strengths and the sorts of projects for which they might be most useful.
  3. • Practice doing ethnographic research
  4. • Gain familiarity with a variety of methodological techniques
  5. • Receive regular feedback and have opportunities to discuss what they have learned with peers and instructors.
  6. • Prepare a sample research proposal for a feasible participant-observation ethnographic study; for those students considering advanced academic study, this proposal might be a stepping-stone.
  7. • Acquire the knowledge and confidence to competently discuss and apply field research techniques and seek employment as a field researcher in a variety of occupational fields.
  8. • Students will develop their oral presentation and communication skills through class presentations and workshop discussions.
  9. • Students will develop their research skills through active practice.
  10. • Students will improve their critical skills by learning how research data is produced and how choices made by researchers affect the outcome.
  11. • Students will improve problem-solving skills through research design activities and by engaging in various forms of data analysis.

General Assessment Information

Threshold requirements: mandatory seminar attendance and final papers

  • Please note that, in order to pass this unit, you need to attend a minimum of two-thirds of all seminar sessions, you must complete ethics training and show you’ve passed the ethics quiz, and you must submit a final paper.  Failure to complete these threshold requirements will result in a failing mark, regardless of your performance in other aspects of the unit. 

Late submissions

  • Late submissions on any assignment will incur a penalty of 2 percentage points per day, for up to 7 days from the due date (including weekends).  After that, no submission will be accepted unless you have been granted an extension under the Special Consideration policy (i.e. because of certificated medical problems or 'unavoidable disruption' – see Undergraduate Student Handbook for details about applying via ask@mq.edu.au). 
  • Discussion preparation guides must be presented within the first 5 minutes of class and will not be accepted after that under any circumstances – so don’t be late to class! 
  • Failure to attend class when you are scheduled to present your research results will result in no marks for that assessment task, unless you can document absence because of medical problems or ‘unavoidable disruption’ and have submitted an application for disruption to studies. 

Exceeding the word limit

You will receive a penalty for exceeding the word limits for the research proposal and mini-ethnography. You will be deducted 1 percentage point for each 10 words you exceed the word limit. Please take the word limit very seriously and try to make your argument concisely and clearly. It is unfair to fellow students if one person has much more space to argue their case while another student sticks firmly to the length guidelines. The word limit is designed to level the essay-writing field, so to speak. You should provide a word count on the cover page when you submit your work.

No consideration for lost work

It is the student’s responsibility to keep a copy of all written work submitted for each unit. No consideration will be given to claims of ‘lost work’, no matter what the circumstances.

Returning assignments

Student work will usually be marked and returned within three weeks of receipt. Ethnographic journals will be returned within two weeks.  Students who hand their work in before the due date will not have it returned early.  Students who hand in work late can expect to receive feedback and marks late. 

Plagiarism

The University defines plagiarism in its rules: "Plagiarism involves using the work of another person and presenting it as one's own." Plagiarism is a serious breach of the University's rules and carries significant penalties. You must read the University's definition of plagiarism and its academic integrity policy. These can be found in the Handbook of Undergraduate studies or on the web at https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policies/academic-integrity. The policies and procedures explain what plagiarism is, how to avoid it, the procedures that will be taken in cases of suspected plagiarism, and the penalties if you are found guilty. If plagiarism is suspected, I am required to refer this to the Faculty Discipline Committee for adjudication. Penalties may include a deduction of marks, failure in an assignment, or failure in the unit.

The availability of online materials has made plagiarism easier for students, but it has also made discovery of plagiarism even easier for convenors of units.  We now have specialized databases that can quickly identify the source of particular phrases in a student’s work, if not original, and evaluate how much is taken from sources in inappropriate ways.  My best advice to you is to become familiar with the guidelines about plagiarism and then ‘quarantine’ the files that you are actually planning on turning in; that is, do not cut and paste materials directly into any work file that you plan to submit, because it is too easy to later on forget which is your original writing and which has come from other sources. 

Assessment Rubric

Please see iLearn for the Assessment Rubric for this course.  This assessment rubric is tailored specifically for the ethnographic research paper.  The research proposal will also be assessed using a similar rubric, only without the category “use of ethnographic research evidence,” since obviously you can’t bring ethnographic evidence to bear on a proposal for research that you haven’t yet completed.  Rubrics for the other assessment tasks are found in the assessment information in the Unit Guide and on iLearn where they take the format of clear guidelines structuring the expectations for that assessment task (but I have only provided a grid-style rubric for the ethnographic research paper).

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Ethics Quiz 0% Yes 13 August 2018
Seminar Participation 20% Yes Weekly
Research proposal, peer eval 20% No 3 September 2018
Ethnographic Research Journal 20% No 8 October 2018
Ethnographic Research Paper 30% Yes 29 October 2018, 11am
Oral Presentation of Research 10% No 29 October / 5 November, 2018

Ethics Quiz

Due: 13 August 2018
Weighting: 0%
This is a hurdle assessment task (see assessment policy for more information on hurdle assessment tasks)

Students will take the online ethics module for social science research developed by Wynn, Mason, and Everett (http://www.mq.edu.au/ethics_training/) and the online quiz at the end of the module. 

The online ethics module should be done as homework in the second week of the class.  Upon completion of the quiz, print the certificate of completion and bring to class in Week 3 or e-mail it to the convenor.  The module takes about 3-4 hours to complete. 

Warning: start the quiz well in advance because if you fail any section of the quiz, it will not allow you to proceed to the next section of the quiz until 24 hours have passed, so it’s not a good thing to do at the last minute.

While this isn't a weighted assessment task, it is a threshold requirement: you cannot proceed to do your ethnographic research project and paper until you complete ethics training. 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • By the end of this unit, students should be able to do the following:
  • • Understand the use of a variety of ethnographic research methods, including their strengths and the sorts of projects for which they might be most useful.
  • • Students will improve their critical skills by learning how research data is produced and how choices made by researchers affect the outcome.

Seminar Participation

Due: Weekly
Weighting: 20%
This is a hurdle assessment task (see assessment policy for more information on hurdle assessment tasks)

Each week, you must fill out a Discussion Preparation Guide and bring it to class.  This will help prepare you to participate in seminar discussions.  Each student will take turns leading a discussion of the week’s readings.

 

A sample Discussion Preparation Guide (DPG) is available on iLearn.  You should print and fill one out each week.  When you first come to class, show it to the convenor.  You can use it to take additional notes during the seminar discussion.  At the end of the day, you will hand in your DPG to the unit convenor.  They will be returned the following week in class.

 

Each week, we will break up into smaller discussion groups for a portion of the class, and each person in those groups will take a turn being discussion leader.  Discussion leaders follow the guide provided on iLearn  for leading discussions.  The responsibilities of being a discussion leader should rotate.  The unit convenor will roam from group to group, listening and contributing to discussions.

 

In your verbal contributions to class discussions, we will be looking for remarks that engage thoughtfully with the readings and with the theoretical issues raised by the methods you are trialling in your ongoing research projects.  It is also important that you engage respectfully with your peers.  If you don’t understand or agree with something someone says, ask them to clarify, or explain respectfully why you disagree.  Everyone should feel free to speak up in class.  Please do not drown out quieter voices, interrupt, or otherwise dominate seminar discussion. 

 

If you are having trouble speaking up in class discussion, please come to speak with the unit convenor privately and together we can strategise ways to facilitate your contribution to the seminars.

 

Because this unit is run as a seminar and because learning in this unit relies so heavily on class participation and discussion, it is not recorded on iLecture, so it is not possible to make up non-attendance or non-participation in this class unless you have applied for and received “special consideration” for illness or misadventure under MQ’s Disruption to Studies Policy.  In order to pass this unit, you need to attend a minimum of two-thirds of all seminar sessions.  This is a threshold unit requirement.  Failure to do so will result in a failing mark, regardless of your performance in other aspects of the unit.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • By the end of this unit, students should be able to do the following:
  • • Understand the use of a variety of ethnographic research methods, including their strengths and the sorts of projects for which they might be most useful.
  • • Practice doing ethnographic research
  • • Gain familiarity with a variety of methodological techniques
  • • Receive regular feedback and have opportunities to discuss what they have learned with peers and instructors.
  • • Acquire the knowledge and confidence to competently discuss and apply field research techniques and seek employment as a field researcher in a variety of occupational fields.
  • • Students will develop their oral presentation and communication skills through class presentations and workshop discussions.
  • • Students will develop their research skills through active practice.
  • • Students will improve their critical skills by learning how research data is produced and how choices made by researchers affect the outcome.
  • • Students will improve problem-solving skills through research design activities and by engaging in various forms of data analysis.

Research proposal, peer eval

Due: 3 September 2018
Weighting: 20%

Research proposals will be original project designs for ethnographic research projects.  Your research proposal should be a formal description of the ongoing project of ethnographic description that you are engaged in for this class.  You will use your proposal, plus the feedback you get on it, as the basis for crafting your ethnographic research paper.

Details: The ~1000-word proposal should include the following sections:

  • Proposal title: provide a short descriptive title of no more than 20 words.
  • Abstract: This should be a short summary of the project, maximum 100 words.
  • Background: Discusses the academic literature to set up the research question.  What other researchers have tackled this issue?  What have they said about the topic?  What are the points of difference between theorists? How is your project similar to, or different from, those of other researchers?
  • Aims: What will this research concretely demonstrate or accomplish?
  • Methods: This should include a detailed discussion of research methods, rationales for choice of methods, background readings on the research questions as they are relevant to methodology, and a plan for completion. 
  • Significance: What is the significance of this project?  What new insight will it shed on the research question?
  • References: See the essay writing guidelines on iLearn for citation and referencing guidelines (you should use in-text citations and Harvard-style referencing).

You will submit both electronically through Turnitin on a link available in iLearn, and bring 2 hard (paper) copies of your research proposal to seminar, so that your research proposals can be peer-evaluated. Each student will read 2 other research proposals, randomly distributed.  One week after proposals are submitted, students will return their comments in class to the convenor, who will provide a grade.  Your grade on this assignment will be based on a combination of the research proposal you submit (10%) AND the feedback you give to your peers (10%).

Comments on your peers’ research proposals should focus on:

  • Does the abstract do a good job of summarising the project?
  • Does the background section show how the research project relates to an academic body of literature and what makes it distinctive compared to other researchers’ approaches to similar problems?  Can you think of any theorists that might be relevant to the project that haven’t been included?
  • Are the aims clear?
  • Does the methods section seem like it offers the best methodological solution for addressing the project aims?
  • Is the significance of the research project clear?
  • Is the research proposal well-written, clear and understandable for someone who doesn’t specialise in this area of knowledge?
  • Is the writing concise?  Does it make the most of every one of those thousand words, or is there “fluff” that could be pared down?
  • Are the references done correctly?

Try to give constructive criticism: don’t just tell them what you think is wrong, but also what they could do to fix it, and be sure to provide positive feedback, too.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • By the end of this unit, students should be able to do the following:
  • • Understand the use of a variety of ethnographic research methods, including their strengths and the sorts of projects for which they might be most useful.
  • • Receive regular feedback and have opportunities to discuss what they have learned with peers and instructors.
  • • Prepare a sample research proposal for a feasible participant-observation ethnographic study; for those students considering advanced academic study, this proposal might be a stepping-stone.
  • • Acquire the knowledge and confidence to competently discuss and apply field research techniques and seek employment as a field researcher in a variety of occupational fields.
  • • Students will develop their research skills through active practice.
  • • Students will improve their critical skills by learning how research data is produced and how choices made by researchers affect the outcome.
  • • Students will improve problem-solving skills through research design activities and by engaging in various forms of data analysis.

Ethnographic Research Journal

Due: 8 October 2018
Weighting: 20%

From the third week of class (after you have completed the online ethics module and taken the quiz), you will be asked to keep a research journal that documents your own life ethnographically in a series of dated fieldnotes.

Obviously, you can’t document your entire life in a journal, or you’d be writing all day.  You will be picking a narrow area of your daily experience to focus on.  Will it be your school life and encounters with other students?  Encounters with teaching staff and uni bureaucracy?  Will it be your work life?  Will you document your personal grooming practices and aesthetic choices – how you dress, shop, style your hair, wear makeup?  Will you document your experiences on public transportation?  Will you document a particular sport or hobby – surfing, softball, music performances, World of Warcraft, canyoneering, snake catching?

This should be a participant-observation record of your own experiences, but you should also document the advantages and disadvantages posed by the key method you’ll be using: what can participant observation tell you that you can’t discover from a quantitative survey?  What can a quantitative survey or a formal interview tell you that you wouldn’t find out through participant observation?  You may also collect and index materials related to your project (texts, music, video, pop culture ephemera, etc).  The research journal may be digital or paper in format, or both (if digital, please include materials on a CD and submit along with any paper materials in one folder).  These fieldnotes will form the basis of your mini-ethnography research paper.

From the beginning of this project, you will be expected to adhere to the highest ethical standards of research, data collection, and data storage.  Although you are essentially documenting your everyday life in writing and even though the unit convenor is the only person to whom you will submit your mini-ethnography, you still interact in your everyday life with lots of other people, and it’s essential to protect their privacy, so you should not write about anyone else’s private life without their explicit oral consent.  Be mindful of the difference between public interactions and private conversations.  It’s one thing to describe how you interact with the salesperson in a shop when you’re buying jeans, and it’s another thing to write about a private conversation with a friend (whether that conversation takes place in person or on Facebook).  Protect the identities and privacy of your informants by using pseudonyms in your fieldnotes, storing your data in a locked filing cabinet and/or in password-protected computer files, and, if necessary, changing identifying details in the final written mini-ethnography research paper.  Do not document any illegal activity in your field notes or your final paper.  Do not pressure anyone into participating in your research.  Consult with the course convenor before you write about anyone who is in a relationship of social hierarchy with you (i.e. a child, employee, etc).  Document your life, but do not experiment with it: do not indulge in idle social experiments on other people for the sake of your research!  Above all, be respectful and kind in all that you do (and not just in your research!).

Please see “talking about your research project with your informants” protocol on iLearn for more detailed guidelines on how to ethically approach this process of writing about your everyday interactions with others, and give everyone you wish to write about an information sheet (on iLearn).

You will be assessed based on both frequency of journal entries (*you should make journal entries at least twice weekly) and the thoughtfulness with which you analyse the experiences documented.  Several entries will be selected randomly to assess the journal, but the entire journal will not be read by the course convenor.  If there’s are any particular entries that you do not want me to read, please mark this by noting “private” at the top of the entry next to the date, and I will not read it.  You will receive a grade with a brief assessment of the overall journal, but you will not be assessed on any particulars of the journal assignment (i.e. I will not be making notes in the margins!), because this project is primarily about writing for yourself, not about writing for the course convenor.

All of your journal materials should be placed in a sealed envelope (so that only the convenor will read them) and submitted to the convenor.  If you have kept a digital journal, you can copy it onto a flash drive and submit that.  Your journals will be returned to you in seminar the following week.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • By the end of this unit, students should be able to do the following:
  • • Understand the use of a variety of ethnographic research methods, including their strengths and the sorts of projects for which they might be most useful.
  • • Practice doing ethnographic research
  • • Gain familiarity with a variety of methodological techniques
  • • Receive regular feedback and have opportunities to discuss what they have learned with peers and instructors.
  • • Students will develop their research skills through active practice.
  • • Students will improve their critical skills by learning how research data is produced and how choices made by researchers affect the outcome.
  • • Students will improve problem-solving skills through research design activities and by engaging in various forms of data analysis.

Ethnographic Research Paper

Due: 29 October 2018, 11am
Weighting: 30%
This is a hurdle assessment task (see assessment policy for more information on hurdle assessment tasks)

You will write an ethnographic research paper of approximately 2,500 words based on the data that you have collected in your ethnographic research journal.  You are encouraged to model your ethnographic writing on the style of one of the ethnographic articles or ethnographies we have read over the semester, to learn anthropological writing conventions. 

Details: There is no self-evident logical progression between method and writing.  Margery Wolf’s book, A Thrice Told Tale, demonstrates how the ethnographer’s theoretical approach and stylistic writing decisions radically shape the presentation of ethnographic data.

Over the semester, we will be reading large excerpts from a couple of classic ethnographies (both old and new).  We’ll also be reading shorter ethnographic excerpts from other ethnographers, as well as other forms of writing including journalistic accounts and ethnographic fiction.  During seminars, we will be discussing these authors’ stylistic choices in writing ethnography.  How do they describe and analyse?  How is description linked with method?  What are the rhetorical techniques that they use to persuade the reader of the validity of their analysis or method?  What political and ethical positions lie behind the writing decisions they make?  These discussions should inform the decisions you make when you write your own ethnographic research paper.

What this entails, first and foremost, is carefully analysing their writing techniques.  Will you write a detached yet sympathetic account of belief and practice like Evans-Pritchard, using the language of scientific rigour and generalisations (e.g. “the Azande believe this...”)?  Will you write an etic account of your own life as Horace Miner did for the Nacirema?  Will you write ethnographic fiction like Wolf?  Will you write in the literary style of an analytical memoir like journalist Julian Dibbell?  Will you write a humanistic account that emically portrays the emotional worlds and individual idiosyncrasies behind cultural rules and norms like Abu-Lughod? 

In addition to writing the mini-ethnography, you must also include an appendix (up to 500 words) detailing how you ensured ethical research practice.  This appendix should outline the steps you took to ensure (a) informed consent, (b) informant privacy and confidentiality, and (c) secure data collection and storage.

(Please see “talking about your research project with your informants” protocol at the end of this unit outline for more detailed guidelines on what key areas of ethical research practice should be included in this appendix.)

You will be assessed based on a number of elements (see assessment rubric for details), but what I will be principally looking for is clear writing, rigorous ethnographic analysis situated within a body of academic scholarship, creativity, and ethical research practice. 

There is a strict word limit of 3,000 words MAXIMUM for the ethnography part of this assignment.  See “exceeding the word limit” in this unit outline for details.  An additional 500 words is allocated for the ethical research appendix (i.e. the appendix is not included in the word limit for the ethnography).

Please note that, in order to pass this unit, you must submit a final paper (“ethnographic research paper”).  Failure to do so will result in a failing mark, regardless of your performance in other aspects of the unit.  It is a threshold requirement.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • By the end of this unit, students should be able to do the following:
  • • Understand the use of a variety of ethnographic research methods, including their strengths and the sorts of projects for which they might be most useful.
  • • Practice doing ethnographic research
  • • Gain familiarity with a variety of methodological techniques
  • • Receive regular feedback and have opportunities to discuss what they have learned with peers and instructors.
  • • Acquire the knowledge and confidence to competently discuss and apply field research techniques and seek employment as a field researcher in a variety of occupational fields.
  • • Students will develop their research skills through active practice.
  • • Students will improve their critical skills by learning how research data is produced and how choices made by researchers affect the outcome.
  • • Students will improve problem-solving skills through research design activities and by engaging in various forms of data analysis.

Oral Presentation of Research

Due: 29 October / 5 November, 2018
Weighting: 10%

The last 2 weeks of class will be devoted to in-class presentations of your research projects this semester. 

Details: You will have precisely 10 minutes to present and you will be strictly timed and cut off at 10 minutes, so please plan your presentation very carefully.  The presentation should touch on the following: your area of interest, your research question, what research techniques you used and what kind of data you were and were not able to gather using the method of participant-observation.  Please also discuss the stylistic approach you decided to take in writing up your research for your mini-ethnography and how your methods of ethnography connected (or disconnected!) with your writing of ethnography. You will be assessed based on how well you cover the above points and on your clarity of presentation.

In your presentation, it is imperative that you do not use the real names of your research informants or any identifying details.  You will lose marks if there is any sign that you have failed to protect the confidentiality of your informants in this presentation.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • By the end of this unit, students should be able to do the following:
  • • Understand the use of a variety of ethnographic research methods, including their strengths and the sorts of projects for which they might be most useful.
  • • Gain familiarity with a variety of methodological techniques
  • • Receive regular feedback and have opportunities to discuss what they have learned with peers and instructors.
  • • Acquire the knowledge and confidence to competently discuss and apply field research techniques and seek employment as a field researcher in a variety of occupational fields.
  • • Students will develop their oral presentation and communication skills through class presentations and workshop discussions.
  • • Students will improve their critical skills by learning how research data is produced and how choices made by researchers affect the outcome.
  • • Students will improve problem-solving skills through research design activities and by engaging in various forms of data analysis.

Delivery and Resources

iLearn

The material in this unit outline is all available on the iLearn page for this unit.  In addition, you'll find other useful links and resources there.  You should check the announcements page on iLearn regularly for any updates or changes to the schedule.

Library eReserve

Most of the required readings (except for some key texts -- see below) are available digitally on eReserve.  Go to library.mq.edu.au, click on the "unit readings" tab, and enter "ANTH324" to find the required readings.  (You can search within the large list of readings to find exactly what you need.)

Texts

We will be reading from several ethnographies in this class.  The amount we will be reading from each book is substantial enough that copyright law prevents us from making full excerpts available in the course reader.  One chapter of each ethnography will be available on eReserve.  The books will be available for short-term loan from the library reserve desk.  You may also purchase the books; the books we are reading are extremely popular texts and can often be found very cheaply (often used) from online sources or used bookstores, so I have not ordered copies from the Coop.  (Try bookdepository.com or betterworldbooks.com.)

  • Margery Wolf (1992).  A Thrice Told Tale: Feminism, Postmodernism & Ethnographic Responsibility.  Stanford: Stanford University Press.
  • E. E. Evans-Pritchard (1976).  Witchcraft, Oracles, and Magic among the Azande.  Oxford: Clarendon Paperbacks.
  • Lila Abu-Lughod (2008/1993).  Writing Women’s Worlds: Bedouin Stories.  Berkeley: University of California Press.

Unit Schedule

Abbreviated Outline of Weekly Topics (and due dates)

Week   Date            Topic

1            30 July           Introduction: Studying Culture

2            6 Aug        The Ethics of Ethnography

3            13 Aug        Participant Observation and Taking Field Notes

                                   13 August: Ethics Quiz Certificates Due in Class

4            20 Aug        Unobtrusive Observation and Time Allocation Surveys

5            27 Aug        Interviewing

6            3 Sep          Writing Ethnography

                                 3 Sept: Research Proposals due in class

7            10 Sep        Cultural Domain Analysis

                                 10 Sept: Peer Feedback of Research Proposals due in class

              Mid-semester Recess (17 – 30 October)

8            1 Oct            Labour Day (no class!)

9            8 Oct         Emic vs Etic Description

                                   8 Oct: Ethnographic Research Journals Due

10          15 Oct         Guest Lecture: Doing Ethnography

                                   15 Oct: Ethnographic Research Journals Returned

11          22 Oct         Rhetorical styles: Ethnography vs Creative Nonfiction Journalism

                                   29 Oct, 11am: Ethnographic Research Papers Due Online

12          29 Oct           Student In-Class Presentations

13          5 Nov           Student In-Class Presentations, continued

See iLearn for a detailed account of the weekly seminar topics and readings.

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Undergraduate students seeking more policy resources can visit the Student Policy Gateway (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/student-policy-gateway). It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

If you would like to see all the policies relevant to Learning and Teaching visit Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/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/study/getting-started/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

Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

We want our graduates to be capable of reasoning, questioning and analysing, and to integrate and synthesise learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments; to be able to critique constraints, assumptions and limitations; to be able to think independently and systemically in relation to scholarly activity, in the workplace, and in the world. We want them to have a level of scientific and information technology literacy.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • By the end of this unit, students should be able to do the following:
  • • Understand the use of a variety of ethnographic research methods, including their strengths and the sorts of projects for which they might be most useful.
  • • Practice doing ethnographic research
  • • Gain familiarity with a variety of methodological techniques
  • • Receive regular feedback and have opportunities to discuss what they have learned with peers and instructors.
  • • Prepare a sample research proposal for a feasible participant-observation ethnographic study; for those students considering advanced academic study, this proposal might be a stepping-stone.
  • • Acquire the knowledge and confidence to competently discuss and apply field research techniques and seek employment as a field researcher in a variety of occupational fields.
  • • Students will develop their oral presentation and communication skills through class presentations and workshop discussions.
  • • Students will develop their research skills through active practice.
  • • Students will improve their critical skills by learning how research data is produced and how choices made by researchers affect the outcome.
  • • Students will improve problem-solving skills through research design activities and by engaging in various forms of data analysis.

Assessment tasks

  • Ethics Quiz
  • Seminar Participation
  • Research proposal, peer eval
  • Ethnographic Research Journal
  • Ethnographic Research Paper
  • Oral Presentation of Research

Creative and Innovative

Our graduates will also be capable of creative thinking and of creating knowledge. They will be imaginative and open to experience and capable of innovation at work and in the community. We want them to be engaged in applying their critical, creative thinking.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • By the end of this unit, students should be able to do the following:
  • • Understand the use of a variety of ethnographic research methods, including their strengths and the sorts of projects for which they might be most useful.
  • • Practice doing ethnographic research
  • • Gain familiarity with a variety of methodological techniques
  • • Prepare a sample research proposal for a feasible participant-observation ethnographic study; for those students considering advanced academic study, this proposal might be a stepping-stone.
  • • Acquire the knowledge and confidence to competently discuss and apply field research techniques and seek employment as a field researcher in a variety of occupational fields.
  • • Students will improve problem-solving skills through research design activities and by engaging in various forms of data analysis.

Assessment tasks

  • Seminar Participation
  • Research proposal, peer eval
  • Ethnographic Research Journal
  • Ethnographic Research Paper
  • Oral Presentation of Research

Capable of Professional and Personal Judgement and Initiative

We want our graduates to have emotional intelligence and sound interpersonal skills and to demonstrate discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgement. They will exercise initiative as needed. They will be capable of risk assessment, and be able to handle ambiguity and complexity, enabling them to be adaptable in diverse and changing environments.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • By the end of this unit, students should be able to do the following:
  • • Understand the use of a variety of ethnographic research methods, including their strengths and the sorts of projects for which they might be most useful.
  • • Receive regular feedback and have opportunities to discuss what they have learned with peers and instructors.
  • • Acquire the knowledge and confidence to competently discuss and apply field research techniques and seek employment as a field researcher in a variety of occupational fields.
  • • Students will improve their critical skills by learning how research data is produced and how choices made by researchers affect the outcome.
  • • Students will improve problem-solving skills through research design activities and by engaging in various forms of data analysis.

Assessment tasks

  • Ethics Quiz
  • Seminar Participation
  • Research proposal, peer eval
  • Ethnographic Research Paper

Discipline Specific Knowledge and Skills

Our graduates will take with them the intellectual development, depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content in their chosen fields to make them competent and confident in their subject or profession. They will be able to demonstrate, where relevant, professional technical competence and meet professional standards. They will be able to articulate the structure of knowledge of their discipline, be able to adapt discipline-specific knowledge to novel situations, and be able to contribute from their discipline to inter-disciplinary solutions to problems.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • By the end of this unit, students should be able to do the following:
  • • Understand the use of a variety of ethnographic research methods, including their strengths and the sorts of projects for which they might be most useful.
  • • Practice doing ethnographic research
  • • Gain familiarity with a variety of methodological techniques
  • • Receive regular feedback and have opportunities to discuss what they have learned with peers and instructors.
  • • Prepare a sample research proposal for a feasible participant-observation ethnographic study; for those students considering advanced academic study, this proposal might be a stepping-stone.
  • • Acquire the knowledge and confidence to competently discuss and apply field research techniques and seek employment as a field researcher in a variety of occupational fields.
  • • Students will develop their oral presentation and communication skills through class presentations and workshop discussions.
  • • Students will develop their research skills through active practice.
  • • Students will improve their critical skills by learning how research data is produced and how choices made by researchers affect the outcome.
  • • Students will improve problem-solving skills through research design activities and by engaging in various forms of data analysis.

Assessment tasks

  • Ethics Quiz
  • Seminar Participation
  • Research proposal, peer eval
  • Ethnographic Research Journal
  • Ethnographic Research Paper
  • Oral Presentation of Research

Problem Solving and Research Capability

Our graduates should be capable of researching; of analysing, and interpreting and assessing data and information in various forms; of drawing connections across fields of knowledge; and they should be able to relate their knowledge to complex situations at work or in the world, in order to diagnose and solve problems. We want them to have the confidence to take the initiative in doing so, within an awareness of their own limitations.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • By the end of this unit, students should be able to do the following:
  • • Understand the use of a variety of ethnographic research methods, including their strengths and the sorts of projects for which they might be most useful.
  • • Practice doing ethnographic research
  • • Gain familiarity with a variety of methodological techniques
  • • Receive regular feedback and have opportunities to discuss what they have learned with peers and instructors.
  • • Prepare a sample research proposal for a feasible participant-observation ethnographic study; for those students considering advanced academic study, this proposal might be a stepping-stone.
  • • Acquire the knowledge and confidence to competently discuss and apply field research techniques and seek employment as a field researcher in a variety of occupational fields.
  • • Students will develop their oral presentation and communication skills through class presentations and workshop discussions.
  • • Students will develop their research skills through active practice.
  • • Students will improve their critical skills by learning how research data is produced and how choices made by researchers affect the outcome.
  • • Students will improve problem-solving skills through research design activities and by engaging in various forms of data analysis.

Assessment tasks

  • Ethics Quiz
  • Seminar Participation
  • Research proposal, peer eval
  • Ethnographic Research Paper
  • Oral Presentation of Research

Effective Communication

We want to develop in our students the ability to communicate and convey their views in forms effective with different audiences. We want our graduates to take with them the capability to read, listen, question, gather and evaluate information resources in a variety of formats, assess, write clearly, speak effectively, and to use visual communication and communication technologies as appropriate.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • By the end of this unit, students should be able to do the following:
  • • Receive regular feedback and have opportunities to discuss what they have learned with peers and instructors.
  • • Acquire the knowledge and confidence to competently discuss and apply field research techniques and seek employment as a field researcher in a variety of occupational fields.
  • • Students will develop their oral presentation and communication skills through class presentations and workshop discussions.

Assessment tasks

  • Seminar Participation
  • Research proposal, peer eval
  • Ethnographic Research Paper
  • Oral Presentation of Research

Engaged and Ethical Local and Global citizens

As local citizens our graduates will be aware of indigenous perspectives and of the nation's historical context. They will be engaged with the challenges of contemporary society and with knowledge and ideas. We want our graduates to have respect for diversity, to be open-minded, sensitive to others and inclusive, and to be open to other cultures and perspectives: they should have a level of cultural literacy. Our graduates should be aware of disadvantage and social justice, and be willing to participate to help create a wiser and better society.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • By the end of this unit, students should be able to do the following:
  • • Understand the use of a variety of ethnographic research methods, including their strengths and the sorts of projects for which they might be most useful.
  • • Receive regular feedback and have opportunities to discuss what they have learned with peers and instructors.
  • • Prepare a sample research proposal for a feasible participant-observation ethnographic study; for those students considering advanced academic study, this proposal might be a stepping-stone.
  • • Acquire the knowledge and confidence to competently discuss and apply field research techniques and seek employment as a field researcher in a variety of occupational fields.
  • • Students will improve their critical skills by learning how research data is produced and how choices made by researchers affect the outcome.
  • • Students will improve problem-solving skills through research design activities and by engaging in various forms of data analysis.

Assessment tasks

  • Ethics Quiz
  • Research proposal, peer eval
  • Ethnographic Research Journal
  • Ethnographic Research Paper
  • Oral Presentation of Research

Socially and Environmentally Active and Responsible

We want our graduates to be aware of and have respect for self and others; to be able to work with others as a leader and a team player; to have a sense of connectedness with others and country; and to have a sense of mutual obligation. Our graduates should be informed and active participants in moving society towards sustainability.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • By the end of this unit, students should be able to do the following:
  • • Receive regular feedback and have opportunities to discuss what they have learned with peers and instructors.
  • • Students will improve problem-solving skills through research design activities and by engaging in various forms of data analysis.

Assessment tasks

  • Ethics Quiz
  • Ethnographic Research Paper

Commitment to Continuous Learning

Our graduates will have enquiring minds and a literate curiosity which will lead them to pursue knowledge for its own sake. They will continue to pursue learning in their careers and as they participate in the world. They will be capable of reflecting on their experiences and relationships with others and the environment, learning from them, and growing - personally, professionally and socially.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • By the end of this unit, students should be able to do the following:
  • • Understand the use of a variety of ethnographic research methods, including their strengths and the sorts of projects for which they might be most useful.
  • • Gain familiarity with a variety of methodological techniques
  • • Acquire the knowledge and confidence to competently discuss and apply field research techniques and seek employment as a field researcher in a variety of occupational fields.
  • • Students will improve problem-solving skills through research design activities and by engaging in various forms of data analysis.

Assessment task

  • Ethnographic Research Paper