University of Technology Sydney

977914 In-country Study and Fieldwork Project 1: Costa Rica

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 2020 is available in the Archives.

UTS: International Studies: International Studies and Global Societies
Credit points: 24 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

Description

In-Country Study and Fieldwork Project (ICS & FP) 1 is the first part of the capstone in the Costa Rica major in the Bachelor of Arts in International Studies. It entails two sessions of In-Country Study (ICS) at a UTS partner institution and reflective and research assessments about the host society. This subject is designed to enable students to live and study in another country and is guided by the principles of cultural immersion and reflection, inquiry-based learning and self-reliance. It fosters in students a capacity for critical reflection – in particular the ability to identify and question one’s cultural assumptions, values and beliefs, and thus to acknowledge and empathise with the perspectives of people from other cultures.

Experiential learning in a partner university and the assessments allow students to develop their intercultural capabilities via critical reflection on host and home culture(s). This subjects also scaffolds the learning and work toward a major project (to be completed in the second capstone subject) investigating an aspect of contemporary relevance for the host society. Students work with an academic supervisor to devise an appropriate topic for a project, engage with relevant secondary sources to deepen their understanding and conduct small-scale investigations using social science or humanities research methods.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

a. Demonstrate a broad and coherent understanding of the historical, political, cultural, social and/or economic situations of the host society.
b. Develop oral and written communication skills in both English and the language(s) of the host society.
c. Develop intercultural understanding by critically reflecting upon the behaviours and values in host and home cultures.
d. Design and conduct independent, small-scale research in an international setting.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject engages with the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs), which are tailored to the Graduate Attributes set for all graduates of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (INT = International Studies CILOs):

  • Conduct independent research into contemporary societies and cultures. (INT.2.1)
  • Evaluate research findings and creatively use research methods in International Studies. (INT.2.2)
  • Reflect on and use knowledge of contemporary societies to engage with diverse cultures. (INT.3.1)
  • Communicate effectively for everyday and/or professional purposes in an additional language. (INT.3.2)
  • Value Indigenous knowledges and sovereignty in Australian and international settings. (INT.4.1)
  • Develop capacity to engage with current issues and to act ethically in Australian and international settings. (INT.5.1)
  • Communicate clearly and effectively in written and spoken English. (INT.6.1)

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject builds on skills and knowledge gained in Language & Culture classes, Foundations in International Studies and Contemporary Society subjects. Students complete one reflective and two research assignments under the guidance of a UTS academic supervisor in addition to an agreed-upon course of study at a UTS partner university. All aspects of the subject promote the development of international knowledges, understandings of cultural difference, interpersonal skills and ethical practices.

The reflective assessment, completed early in the session at the host university, draws upon real exposure to and experience with students’ host and home cultures. Students will reflect on preconceived ideas about the host society, as well as the unchallenged assumptions they might have about their home culture(s). Feedback on this assessment should inform the second reflective assessment in ICS & FP 2 and guide students in the development of their intercultural understanding. The research assessments in this subject are scaffolded and build toward a major project in ICS & FP 2 on a topic of the student’s choosing.

Students are provided with general guidance on these assignments, including research design and ethics, through online resources and through ongoing conversations with their academic supervisor. The Academic Skills Modules provide instructional screencasts, annotated exemplars, advice from past students and exercises for improving one’s academic writing. Detailed assessment briefs and rubrics are also available online. Specific guidance and feedback from academic supervisors, the main pedagogical component of the subject, is provided via distance supervision and a face-to-face block teaching session. Students should seek advice from their academic supervisor, especially in relation to the selection of the topic for their research assessments. Timely and detailed feedback, including on written communication, will support student learning as they progress through the assessments.

Given the distance-learning nature of the subject, students are reminded that they have additional responsibilities, not limited to remaining in contact with UTS professional and academic staff and representing UTS in line with host university and UTS requirements. Full details about student responsibilities while overseas are available online in the administration folder. Please note that assessment due dates and feedback are configured around the university calendars in the host society, not the UTS academic calendar.

Assessment

Assessment task 1: Host University Classes

Objective(s):

a and b

Weight: Mandatory task that does not contribute to subject mark
Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Satisfactory completion of approved host university classes 100 a, b INT.3.2
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: First Impressions Report

Objective(s):

a, b and c

Weight: 30%
Length:

2000 words

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Engagement with host society 20 a, c INT.5.1
Depth of critical reflection on host society 50 a, c INT.3.1
Coherence of organisation, clarity of expression and presentation 30 b INT.6.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 3: Literature Review

Objective(s):

a, b, c and d

Weight: 35%
Length:

2,500 words

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Relevance of topic choice and pertinence of scholarly literature 30 a, d INT.2.1
Depth of analysis of literature 40 a, c, d INT.2.2
Coherence of organisation, clarity of expression and presentation 30 b INT.6.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 4: Methodology

Objective(s):

a, b, c and d

Weight: 35%
Length:

2500 words. For students electing the Virtual Landscape Tour: 1500 words plus the multimedia component.

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Relevance and manageability of research question/hypothesis 10 a, d INT.2.1
Appropriateness of research design and application of method 30 a, d INT.2.2
Attentiveness to principles of ethical research, including for First Peoples 10 a, c, d INT.4.1
Depth of critical reflection on findings 20 a, c, d INT.3.1
Coherence of organisation, clarity of expression and presentation 30 b INT.6.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Minimum requirements

Students must pass Assessment Task 1: Host University Classes, the experiential learning component of the subject, and earn a total of 50 marks or more on the remaining assessment tasks. Students who fail Assessment Task 1 will be awarded an X- Fail grade (unsatisfactory performance in a compulsory component of the subject) even if other assessment components have been completed successfully.

Required texts

The Assessment Resources folder on UTS Online contains essential information and resources for completing your assessments. Among the resources you will find:

  • Comprehensive assessment briefs and rubrics that outline requirements and detailed marking criteria
  • The ICS Academic Skill Modules, which contain instructional screencasts, advice from previous students and annotated exemplar assignments
  • PDF versions of all readings
  • Writing guides
  • Examplar assignments from past students

Students should be aware of the Policies and Procedures for Assessment of Coursework Subjects.

References

See individual assessment tasks for references.