University of Technology Sydney

48210 Interrogating Technology: Sustainability, Environment and Social Change

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 2021 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Engineering: Professional Practice and Leadership
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level: Undergraduate

Result type: Grade and marks

Requisite(s): ( 48250 Engineering Economics and Finance OR ((25115 Economics for Business OR 23115 Economics for Business)))

Description

This subject focuses on developing engineering students' approaches to understanding the interactions between engineering and society from a philosophical, sociological and political perspective. The subject introduces students to theoretical frameworks and research tools for researching these interactions. Topical case studies of new technologies and engineering projects are examined to ground the learning in students engineering contexts.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

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

1. Use appropriate research tools to interpret philosophical, sociological and political perspectives.
2. Apply relevant theoretical frameworks to interrogate and represent major ethical position about technology, society and the environment.
3. Evaluate diverse methods and techniques used to assess and mitigate technology impacts on the environment, society and the global commons from the point of view of professionals and communities to securing sustainable futures.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

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

  • Socially Responsible: FEIT graduates identify, engage, interpret and analyse stakeholder needs and cultural perspectives, establish priorities and goals, and identify constraints, uncertainties and risks (social, ethical, cultural, legislative, environmental, economics etc.) to define the system requirements. (B.1)
  • Design Oriented: FEIT graduates apply problem solving, design and decision-making methodologies to develop components, systems and processes to meet specified requirements. (C.1)
  • Collaborative and Communicative: FEIT graduates work as an effective member or leader of diverse teams, communicating effectively and operating within cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural contexts in the workplace. (E.1)

Teaching and learning strategies

In this subject you will develop skills to articulate comprehensive, convincing and informed judgements about technology based on credible sources.

Students need to engage in pre-class tasks on UTS Online including guided reading and responding to set questions. During class students will use their work for peer review/discussions/sprint presentations and tutor feedback. Those classes allow for groups of students to collaborate in preparation for assignments. Feedback for assignments are provided to students in a number of ways including UTS Online one-to-one feedback, group feedback, and peer reviews.

Groups investigate stakeholders that could be affected by a particular technology and construct a convincing case for consultation. Individually, students develop a policy position paper on behalf of one of those stakeholders. This hinges on good communication and research skills which will take the form of reporting, presenting, and debating. Active participation, peer interaction and feedback are critical for achieving the subject learning outcomes.

A program of readings scaffolds the learning required for critical perspectives to interrogate technologies.

Content (topics)

  • Introduction and preview of themes and tasks
  • 'Interrogating Technology’: critical perspectives on sustainability, environment, and social change
  • Preview of Media Watch in groups
  • Researching to ‘Interrogate Technology’: skills and resources
  • Thinking about technological change
  • How do we decide what is ethical?
  • What do we regulate and why?
  • Technology as a driver for policy change
  • Policy as a driver for technology change
  • Public participation and consultation as if people mattered
  • Learning Contract Proposal Preview
  • Sharing expertise: who is an expert?

Assessment

Assessment task 1: Stakeholder consultation submission

Intent:

To examine how technological change is being discussed and understood in the public arena. Be reflexive about own perspectives and therefore more conscious as a professional who engages with stakeholders and non-engineers in the future.

Objective(s):

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

1

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs):

E.1

Type: Report
Groupwork: Group, group assessed
Weight: 25%
Length:

2000 words +/- 5% excluding reference list

Assessment task 2: Learning portfolio submission

Intent:

To monitor the development of students' ‘social literacy’.

Objective(s):

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

2

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs):

B.1

Type: Exercises
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 30%
Length:

Approximately 1000 words excluding list of references

Assessment task 3: Policy Position Paper submission

Intent:

To evaluate students' learning strategies when undertaking an in-depth investigation of a topic relevant to this subject.

Objective(s):

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

3

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs):

C.1

Type: Project
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 45%
Length:

1500 words +/- 5% excluding reference list

Minimum requirements

In order to pass the subject, a student must achieve an overall mark of 50% or more.