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GEOP4080 – Planning Experience

2020 – Session 2, Special circumstance

Notice

As part of Phase 3 of our return to campus plan, most units will now run tutorials, seminars and other small group learning activities on campus for the second half-year, while keeping an online version available for those students unable to return or those who choose to continue their studies online.

To check the availability of face to face activities for your unit, please go to timetable viewer. To check detailed information on unit assessments visit your unit's iLearn space or consult your unit convenor.

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff
Greg Walkerden
Credit points Credit points
30
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to BPlan and (GEOP2080 or GEOP212) and (GEOP3080 or GEOP370) and permission by special approval
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description

This unit provides an off-campus, work-integrated learning experience or student consulting team experience, with a real client, in the planning field. Placements and consultancies may be undertaken across a range of sectors (such as government, industry, non-profit, industry and professional associations). Students use reflective practice to improve their understanding of workplace or client project needs, and their own strengths and weaknesses, to develop their professional skills. Platform skills, including stakeholder analysis and negotiation, are focused on. As far as possible, placements and consulting projects are arranged in accordance with each student's background, skills, experience, professional/academic interests and career aspirations. Students must complete 175 hours on placement or the client project plus attend workshops. Students must submit a Special Permission request to enrol in this unit no later than 1 month prior to the start of semester to enable placements to be arranged.

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

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: Work effectively in a professional planning environment
  • ULO2: Demonstrate understanding of the skills required of the practising planner
  • ULO3: Use reflective practice to improve performance in a professional workplace
  • ULO4: Evaluate personal needs for professional development and continuous learning

General Assessment Information

Assessment Standards

Many specific aspects of your work are important (as identified in the following standards), but it is the overall quality of the completed work that is important. Assignments will be assessed holistically. The following bands are ‘ideal types’: lists of the features of typical examples of assignments at each level. The standard of each assignment is obviously important - good grades demonstrate that your work is competent, proficient or excellent. But from a learning perspective, it is equally important to look at your own work developmentally: to look for gradual improvement, deepening insight, and broadening competency. Grades for assignments assess the standard of your work. Comments on assignments are intended to be helpful developmentally: indicating what you have achieved, and how you could improve your work.

For a grade of High Distinction (>= 85%)

  • use and synthesis of a variety of high quality sources not mentioned in class or on reading lists;
  • considered use of dictionary and technical terms, diagrams and/or other sources to define and set the topic in context;
  • incisive and decisive specification of the key issues;
  • prioritisation and exposition of the key issues in a clear and logical sequence;
  • relevant contrary arguments are identified and effectively dealt with;
  • discussion forms a sound basis for clear, justified and comprehensive recommendations and conclusions;
  • independence of thought and obvious originality;
  • demonstrated ability to weigh arguments and form clear, considered personal viewpoints;
  • proficient use of the English language;
  • references presented at ‘publishable’ standard.

Overall, your work demonstrates, in an interesting or challenging way, originality based on proficiency in all the learning objectives.

For a grade of Distinction (75-84%)

  • use and synthesis of some high quality sources not mentioned in class or on reading lists, and reference to some others;
  • adequate use of dictionary and technical terms, diagrams and/or other sources to define and set the topic in context;
  • clear specification of the key issues;
  • key issues generally presented in a logical sequence;
  • relevant contrary arguments raised but might not be fully resolved;
  • discussion leads to clear and justified recommendations and conclusions;
  • independence of thought and significant originality;
  • general ability to weigh arguments and form personal viewpoints;
  • clear use of the English language;
  • references largely error free.

Overall, your work demonstrates a comprehensive awareness and understanding of the topic of the assignment.

For a grade of Credit (65-74%)

  • use and synthesis of some high quality sources, and reference to some additional good quality material;
  • use of dictionary and technical terms to define and contextualise the topic;
  • overall awareness of the key issues;
  • the selected key issues generally presented in a logical sequence;
  • some contrary arguments raised with inadequate appreciation of their significance;
  • a clear statement of conclusions and recommendations;
  • some independent thought but limited originality;
  • difficulties in weighing arguments and presenting personal viewpoints;
  • sometimes proficient and always passable use of the English language;
  • some errors of omission or detail in presentation of references.

Overall, your work demonstrates the ability to use and apply fundamental concepts and skills.

For a grade of Pass (50-64%)

  • limited use and synthesis of good quality sources;
  • use of dictionary or vernacular definitions in an attempt to identify and set the topic in context;
  • some awareness of the key issues;
  • some attempt to order the argument, but flaws in logical discipline;
  • few contrary arguments raised and little appreciation of their significance or resolution;
  • a generally clear statement of conclusions and recommendations;
  • little independent thought and minimal originality;
  • little weighing of argument and lack of clarity in personal viewpoints;
  • passable use of the English language;
  • some errors of omission or detail in presentation of references.

Overall, your work satisfies the basic learning requirements of the assignment.

For a lower grade of Fail (26-49%)

  • lack of awareness of sources or what the question is about;
  • confused definitions;
  • general inability to identify the key issues;
  • inability to order the argument;
  • few, if any, contrary arguments raised and no appreciation of their significance or resolution;
  • inadequate statement of conclusions or recommendations;
  • no independent thought or originality;
  • no ability to weigh arguments or form personal viewpoints.

For a grade of Serious Fail (< 26%)

  • no reference to suggested sources, generally inappropriate use of materials;
  • no attempt at definitions;
  • no awareness of key issues, such that the paper fails to address or answer the question;
  • arguments unformulated, many errors, unsupported assertions, unjustified generalisations;
  • contrary arguments impugned or ignored;
  • inconclusive outcome to the paper;
  • no independent thought, any originality likely to be illogical;
  • inability to weigh arguments, personal viewpoints absent or inadequate.

Source: Neil DT, Wadley DA, and Phinn SR 1999, 'A generic framework for criterion-referenced assessment of undergraduate essays', Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 23(3) pp. 303-325. See also: Neil DT, Wadley DA, and Phinn SR 1998, Assessment Guidelines, School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management, The University of Queensland.  Used with permission. This text is a very minor adaptation of an excerpt from Neil, Wadley and Phinn (1998). See the full text in either version for further very useful background on these standards, and the criteria they reflect.

Academic Honesty

It is a fundamental principle that all staff and students act with integrity in the creation, development, application and use of ideas and information. This means that:

  • all academic work claimed as original is the work of the author making the claim
  • all academic collaborations are acknowledged
  • academic work is not falsified in any way
  • when the ideas of others are used, these ideas are acknowledged appropriately.

All students should familiarise themselves with Macquarie University's Academic Honesty Policy. The Department recommends that students familiarise themselves with the explanation of plagiarism on the Georgetown University Honor Council website which discusses plagiarism in an easy to understand and comprehensive manner.

If you are struggling to complete an assignment, please contact the Unit Convenor, or make a Special Consideration request via ask.mq.edu.au.

Word Counts

References are not included in the word counts set for each assignment. A tolerance of plus or minus 10% is allowed for, on the set lengths. So for example, a 1,000 word essay could be anywhere from 900 to 1,100 words long. If you submit assignments that are shorter or longer than this, you may be penalised for length.

Submission of Assignments

Write assignments are to be submitted electronically via iLearn before midnight on the due date. Written assignments will be reviewed by Turnitin, which helps us check whether sources are properly acknowledged, and whether assignments submitted are each student's own work.

Extensions & Late submissions

To request an extension, make a request for Special Consideration through ask.mq.edu.au, providing a clear explanation and providing supporting documentation where needed (e.g. a Macquarie Professional Authority form). Unless a Special Consideration request has been submitted and approved, (a) a penalty for lateness will apply – two (2) marks out of 100 will be deducted per day for assignments submitted after the due date – and (b) no assignment will be accepted more than seven (7) days (incl. weekends) after the original submission deadline. Please plan your work for your units at the start of the Session, and keep track of how much time you have available for each assignment. Please get help if you are having trouble completing work on time. Visit a doctor, a Campus Wellbeing service (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/wellbeing), talk to the Unit Convenor for academic help, or whatever else is appropriate.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Stakeholder analysis 20% No 11:59 pm, Friday 14th August
Reflective practice planning 20% No 11:59 pm, Friday 28th August
Work Placement 0% Yes Ongoing during Session
Reflective learning report 50% No 11:59 pm, Sunday 1st November
Job redesign suggestions 10% No 11:59 pm, Friday 6th November

Stakeholder analysis

Assessment Type 1: Practice-based task
Indicative Time on Task 2: 25 hours
Due: 11:59 pm, Friday 14th August
Weighting: 20%

 

Students will undertake a stakeholder analysis of the workplace in which they are being placed or for which they are working. The stakeholders considered will include themselves, their immediate supervisor or mentor, their workgroup, the organisation as a whole, and the clients and other key external stakeholders of the partner organisation. The analysis will focus on stakeholder interests and powers, and how the student’s work is designed to meet the interests of stakeholders at each scale. 1,200 words.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Demonstrate understanding of the skills required of the practising planner

Reflective practice planning

Assessment Type 1: Plan
Indicative Time on Task 2: 25 hours
Due: 11:59 pm, Friday 28th August
Weighting: 20%

 

Students will design ways of developing their professional skills that respond to learning needs, challenges and opportunities identified in the workplace or consulting process. Approaching professional practice experimentally - identifying promising moves to try, hypotheses to test, and situations in which open-ended exploratory practice is appropriate - will play a central role. Students will be expected to ground their reflective exploration of how to be skilful in integrity, consideration, and empathy. 1,200 words.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Demonstrate understanding of the skills required of the practising planner
  • Use reflective practice to improve performance in a professional workplace
  • Evaluate personal needs for professional development and continuous learning

Work Placement

Assessment Type 1: Work-integrated task
Indicative Time on Task 2: 175 hours
Due: Ongoing during Session
Weighting: 0%
This is a hurdle assessment task (see assessment policy for more information on hurdle assessment tasks)

 

Students are required to complete 175 hours in a professional planning placement or consulting process to a satisfactory standard in order to pass this course.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Work effectively in a professional planning environment
  • Demonstrate understanding of the skills required of the practising planner
  • Use reflective practice to improve performance in a professional workplace

Reflective learning report

Assessment Type 1: Report
Indicative Time on Task 2: 50 hours
Due: 11:59 pm, Sunday 1st November
Weighting: 50%

 

This report will describe what students consider are their most consequential learning(s) from reflective professional practice. Students will describe how they have approached reflective practice (the methods they have used, notably the roles that exploratory practice, move testing and hypothesis testing have played), key learnings, including insights and puzzles, re either or both of (a) focal professional skills (e.g. consulting, development assessment, or strategic planning) and (b) platform skills (e.g. negotiation, self-care, systems analysis), and the report will include an assessment of their future learning needs. 3,000 words

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Demonstrate understanding of the skills required of the practising planner
  • Use reflective practice to improve performance in a professional workplace
  • Evaluate personal needs for professional development and continuous learning

Job redesign suggestions

Assessment Type 1: Professional writing
Indicative Time on Task 2: 20 hours
Due: 11:59 pm, Friday 6th November
Weighting: 10%

 

Reflecting on the design of the job they have been doing, in the light of the interests of stakeholders at every resolution, students will identify changes that might improve the design of the job. Possibilities include identifying ways of better meeting client needs, ways that workflows might be improved, and opportunities to moderate or increase challenges to expand the opportunities for employees to experience flow. Conclusions will be presented in a short professional memo. 600 words.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Demonstrate understanding of the skills required of the practising planner
  • Use reflective practice to improve performance in a professional workplace
  • Evaluate personal needs for professional development and continuous learning

1 If you need help with your assignment, please contact:

  • the academic teaching staff in your unit for guidance in understanding or completing this type of assessment
  • the Learning Skills Unit for academic skills support.

2 Indicative time-on-task is an estimate of the time required for completion of the assessment task and is subject to individual variation

Delivery and Resources

Learning and teaching processes

The main elements of teaching are:

  • key information is laid out in lecture segments;
  • workshop sessions provide opportunities for experiential learning;
  • placements or consulting projects that provide an opportunity to practice and develop professional skills;  
  • assignments that provide opportunities to develop and demonstrate that you have met the Unit Learning Outcomes.

Covid-19 is creating an unusual level of uncertainty over the details of how the unit will be delivered, and it may be that changes will be forced by future outbreaks in Sydney. As a result, it will be essential that you pay close attention to instructions about how to complete the unit on its iLearn site (https://ilearn.mq.edu.au).

Some teaching will be in the form of lecture material, readings, and exercises to be done online in your own time (asynchronous teaching), and some will be face to face, either via Zoom (links will be provided on iLearn) or on campus (synchronous teaching).  Currently we expecting small group work to happen on campus, and large group work to happen on online, but that may change. It will be important to complete the asynchronous work before the sessions where are all working together.

Technology used and required

Students need access to a computer and basic office software (eg. Microsoft Office or OpenOffice), and course web pages to complete assessment tasks.

Using the iLearn site

The Unit's iLearn site (available via https://ilearn.mq.edu.au) is fundamental to delivery of the Unit.  

Using the research literature

Citing peer reviewed research is essential for all assignments. Access peer reviewed journal articles through the University Library’s website; use MultiSearch. Google Scholar is an excellent starting point. If you are off-campus, accessing Google Scholar from the university library's home page (see link below the Search box) will make it easier to get to journal articles. 

The following databases of journal articles accessible through the University Library are also particularly recommended:

  • Academic Search Premier
  • JSTOR
  • Scopus
  • Web of Knowledge
  • Web of Science.

The library has also put together helpful research guides for many disciplines relevant to this unit. See the Unit’s iLearn pages for further information.

Unit Schedule

See the unit's iLearn site (https://ilearn.mq.edu.au) for details of the Schedule. 

Workshop sessions are scheduled to run from 5:00pm to 8:00pm on the following Monday evenings (either via Zoom or on campus).

Monday 27th July: Introduction to the Unit, Consulting Skills and Stakeholder Analysis (Assignment 1) 

Monday 10th August: Introduction to Reflective Practice, Reflective practice planning (Assignment 2) 

Monday 7th September: Advanced Reflective Practice (Assignment 3)

Monday 12th October: Negotiation & Managing Up, Reflective learning report (Assignment 3)

Monday 26th October: Job Design, shaping Careers (Assignment 4) 

This topic outline is indicative, and will be adapted to student needs and the university's ongoing Covid-19 responses.

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:

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 published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) 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 or if you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@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 help you improve your marks and take control of your study.

The Library provides online and face to face support to help you find and use relevant information resources. 

Student Enquiry Service

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

If you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@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.