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31265 Communication for IT Professionals

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2018 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Information Technology
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:

Undergraduate

Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.
Anti-requisite(s): 48230 Engineering Communication

Description

This subject focuses on developing the academic written and spoken language skills required for undergraduate study in information technology and for the professional workplace. Students take a critical and analytical approach to understanding and producing written and spoken texts appropriate for IT professionals in the Australian context. Students consider the ethical and social issues that IT raises within both society and the IT industry. Accordingly, students undertake a range of listening, speaking, reading and writing activities individually and in groups to maximise the development of their written and spoken communication and academic literacy.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

1. Construct written, spoken, and visual communication with accuracy and clarity
2. Articulate personal ethical beliefs and consider specific scenarios from an ethical perspective and in a professional context
3. Obtain and critically evaluate resources and information
4. Synthesise the words and ideas of others ethically and appropriately by following formal referencing methods
5. Respond critically to the social impact of IT and the IT industry across diverse cultural groups and from global perspectives
6. Manage time and work professionally both individually and in teams

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the development of the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs):

  • Demonstrate research skills (B.6)
  • Manage own time and processes effectively by prioritising competing demands to achieve personal goals (Manage self) (D.1)
  • Communicate effectively in ways appropriate to the discipline, audience and purpose. (E.1)
  • Work as an effective member or leader of diverse teams within a multi-level, multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural setting (E.2)
  • Appreciate ethical implications of professional practice (F.2)
  • Understand cross-cultural issues (regions or workplaces) (F.3)
  • Be aware of global perspectives (needs, rules/regulations, and specifications) (F.4)

Teaching and learning strategies

The subject will consist of 1 lecture only, alongside 11 weekly 3-hour workshops. These workshops will consist of a range of diverse tasks, including individual and group exercises, presentation practice, analytical exercises, assignment planning and drafting and research skills training. During these workshops you will receive various types of feedback within a collegial, discursive learning context, from your fellow students as well as from your tutor. Specifically, students will receive feedback from both by students and the tutor in the first workshop to assist in topic selection and preparation of their mini-presentations.

Students are expected to consult the program section of this subject outline for instructions regarding required pre-reading and preparation to be undertaken before each class. Workshop and pre-reading materials and activities for all workshops will be made available on UTSOnline.

In Orientation Week, students will undertake a Language Task (OPELA Quiz) to assess their written English language proficiency. Lecturers will then place each student into the appropriate workshop to ensure that all students can develop the written and oral communication skills required to be successful in their studies, as well as in their future careers in the IT industry.

Content (topics)

This subject introduces techniques for developing written and spoken communication in the context of the ethical and social implications of IT and the IT industry. For written communication, we will cover research skills and source evaluation, the planning and structuring of a report, paragraph and sentence structure, referencing and other topics to do with written communication. For spoken communication we will focus on the development and structure of a spoken presentation, as well as focusing on techniques to help you engage an audience.

Initially, ethical theories will be introduced theoretically, and also in the context of ethical dilemmas that may arise within an IT workplace. Students then focus on topics relating to particular facets of the ethical and social impact of information technology. Some of these will include:

  • political effects of IT: privacy, intellectual property, surveillance, cyberactivism, gender, culture and race;
  • economic effects of IT: health, education, outsourcing and automation, advertising, blockchain technologies and industry disruption;
  • social effects of IT: effects on children, teenagers or the elderly, gaming, social media and on indigenous Australians and first peoples;
  • global effects of IT: the developing world and the digital divide, virtual communities, e-government, open data, and the effects of changes in communication methods.

Assessment

Assessment task 1: Professional Engagement with Learning

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives (SLOs):

1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following course intended learning outcomes (CILOs):

B.6, E.1, E.2, F.2, F.3 and F.4

Type: Exercises
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 10%
Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Insightfulness and thoughtfulness of in-class participation 50 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 B.6, E.1, E.2, F.2, F.3, F.4
Accuracy and thoroughness of homework and online participation 50 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 B.6, E.1, E.2
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Information Search and Evaluation (Individual)

Intent:

The summarisation and critical evaluation of research resources is essential to the development of professional quality written reports within an industry context. This assessment task focuses on the development of these skills, with the intent of leading towards assessment 4, where these research resources will be utilised in the development of an argument.

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives (SLOs):

1, 2, 3 and 4

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following course intended learning outcomes (CILOs):

B.6, E.1 and F.2

Type: Literature review
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 20%
Length:

1,200 - 1,500 words

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Accuracy and Thoroughness of Research into Ethical Issues 50 2, 3 B.6, E.1, F.2
Fluency and Structure of Written Communication 50 1, 2, 4 E.1, F.2
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 3: Careers Project (Teamwork)

Intent:

Assessment task 3 focuses on the development of professional identity and an understanding of the IT workplace through an interview of an IT professional and research on a role within the IT industry. Communication skills are developed through the presentation of this material to the class in a clear and organised format.

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives (SLOs):

1, 2, 4, 5 and 6

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following course intended learning outcomes (CILOs):

B.6, D.1, E.1, E.2, F.2, F.3 and F.4

Type: Presentation
Groupwork: Group, group and individually assessed
Weight: 30%
Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Accuracy and Thoroughness of Research into IT Career Role and Ethical Issues 25 2, 5 B.6, F.2, F.3, F.4
Effectiveness, Organisation and Structure of Oral Communication 25 1, 4 E.1, E.2
Creativity and Quality of Vodcast Production 25 1 E.1
Thoroughness of Planning, Time Management and Team Communication 25 6 D.1, E.2
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 4: Research Report (Individual)

Intent:

The ability to write a clear, well-argued and consistently formatted report is an essential professional skill for the workplace, and this assessment task develops this capacity.

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives (SLOs):

1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following course intended learning outcomes (CILOs):

B.6, D.1, E.1, F.2, F.3 and F.4

Type: Report
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 40%
Length:

2,200 - 2,500 words

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Accuracy and Thoroughness of Research and Evaluation into Ethical Issues 25 1, 2, 3, 4 B.6, F.2, F.3, F.4
Coherence and Strength of Argument Development 25 1, 2, 5 E.1, F.2
Fluency and Structure of Written Communication 25 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 E.1, F.2
Thoroughness of Planning, Time Management and Team Communication 25 6 D.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Minimum requirements

In order to pass this subject students must:

  • Achieve a mark of 50% or greater in Assessment Task 4, and
  • Achieve an overall mark of 50% or greater in the subject.
Students who do not meet these minimum requirements but achieve an overall mark of 50% or greater will fail the subject and receive their overall mark with an "X" (fail) grade.

References

Brick, J. 2006, Academic Culture: A Student’s Guide to Studying at University, NCELTR, Macquarie University, Sydney. [378.170281 BRIC]
Dyson, L. E., Hendriks, M. & Grant, S. (eds.) 2007, Information Technology and Indigenous People, InfoScience, Hershey, USA. [303.4833 DYSN]
Edgar, S. L. 2003, Morality and Machines: Perspectives on Computer Ethics, 2nd edn., Jones & Bartlett, Sudbury, USA. [174.90904 EDGA (ED.2)]
Harcourt, W. (ed.) 1999, Women@Internet, ZED Books, London and New York. [303.483 HARC]
Liebowitz, J., Agresti, W. & Djavanshir, G. R. 2006, Communicating as IT Professionals, Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, USA. [004 LIEB]
Morley-Warner, T. 2010, Academic Writing is ... A Guide to Writing in a University Context, Association for Academic Language & Learning, Sydney. [808.066 MORL]
Spinello, R. A. 2003, Cyberethics: Morality and Law in Cyberspace, 2nd edn., Jones & Bartlett, Sudbury, USA. [303.4834 SPIN (ED.2)]
Spinello, R. A. & Tavani, H. T. (eds.) 2004, Readings in CyberEthics, 2nd edn., Jones & Bartlett, Sudbury, USA. [175 SPIN (ED.2)]
Rosenberg, R. S. 2004, The Social Impact of Computers, 3rd edn., Elsevier, San Diego and London. [303.4834 ROSE (ED.3)]
Tavani, H. T. 2004, Ethics and Technology: Ethical Issues in an Age of Information and Communication Technology, Wiley, Hoboken, USA. [174.90904 TAVA]
UTS 2006, Guide to Writing Assignments, 2nd edn., Faculty of Business, University of Technology, Sydney [808.02 GUID (2006)]

Online references
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (2005), Programs, Working Groups and Projects, CPSR, Stanford, viewed 26 January 2010, http://www.cpsr.org/about/projects.
UTS (2017), 'English Language', viewed 14 July 2017,http://www.lib.uts.edu.au/help/english-language.
UTS (2017), 'HeadsUp', Giving you a head start at uni, viewed 14 July 2017, http://www.lib.uts.edu.au/headsup.
UTS (2006), 'Harvard (UTS) Reference Guide', viewed 14 July 2017, http://www.lib.uts.edu.au/help/referencing.
UTS (2007), 'Avoiding Plagiarism', viewed 14 July 2017, https://avoidingplagiarism.uts.edu.au/.
UTS (2008), Coursework Assessment Policy and Procedure Manual,viewed 14 July 2017,http://www.gsu.uts.edu.au/policies/assessment-coursework.html.
UTS Library (2008), 'RefWorks Bibliographic Software', viewed 14 July 2017, http://www.lib.uts.edu.au/help/referencing/refworks.
UTS Library (2008), 'Endnote', viewed 14 July 2017, http://www.lib.uts.edu.au/help/referencing/endnote.

Other resources

UTSOnline: https://online.uts.edu.au
Copies of learning materials, assignments and general messages will be available on this website. You may also post questions about the subject and the assignments. To access materials, you must logon with your student ID and password (enquire at ITD support if you have problems).

In addition important messages will be sent each week to students’ Faculty email accounts. You must check your UTS email as it is the official mode of communication with students - if you do not wish to check your UTS email frequently then you can have your UTS email diverted to your personal email address.

Academic Misconduct: UTS has Rules which are collectively known as the ‘Student and Related Rules’. These rules apply to all students of UTS and cover academic and non-academic issues. These rules outline student responsibilities at UTS including, but not limited to; fees, enrolment, assessment, examination, progression, graduation, student misconduct, library use, results and grades.

Each student is required to maintain an acceptable standard of conduct at all times while on University premises, undertaking any work in relation to his or her University course, while engaged in any activity related to his or her study at or through the University in relation to both academic and non-academic matters. This includes not prejudicing the good name or academic standing of UTS.

If proven that a student has breached a rule, student misconduct penalty may apply. The penalties can range from a formal warning, a zero grade for assessment or subject, suspension or even exclusion from the University.

Specifically, carefully review this documentation to obtain information about what constitutes plagiarism, and what penalties can be applied:

http://www.uts.edu.au/research-and-teaching/teaching-and-learning/assessment/preventing-plagiarism/what-plagiarism

Please note that submitting material that you have submitted for another assignment or for another class is not acceptable. All work you do in this class should be original work.

Students who behave improperly or inappropriately towards staff, students and others at UTS will not be tolerated and student misconduct penalties will be imposed.

For a list of the 'Student and Related Rules' and associated procedures, please visit this link - http://www.gsu.uts.edu.au/rules/student-index.html