Course Title: International Development Fieldwork Methods

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: International Development Fieldwork Methods

Credit Points: 12.00

Terms

Course Code

Campus

Career

School

Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)

HUSO2430

City Campus

Postgraduate

365H Global, Urban and Social Studies

Face-to-Face or Internet

Sem 1 2021

Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Yaso Nadarajah

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3542

Course Coordinator Email: yaso.nadarajah@rmit.edu.au

Course Coordinator Location: 37.5.28

Course Coordinator Availability: email for appointment


Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

None


Course Description

This course will begin by addressing what constitutes the field, and how ideas of the ‘field’ and ‘fieldwork’ have been historically constructed and developed. Many questions – practical, political, ethical, cultural and personal are raised when conducting fieldwork; and you will discuss what it means to do fieldwork through these questions, and across places: with local communities, indigenous and tribal lifeworlds, public and private sectors, non-government organisations, and contemporary network movements or alliances. Such discussions will also be informed by multiple de/colonizing discourses.  

Throughout the course, you will critically explore a range of fieldwork methods enabling you to build relevant and creative skills to being in the field, leaving the field, writing back from the field; and returning your research to the field. Fieldwork is not only about becoming practically aware of insider-outsider relations between the researcher and the researched; but also, about how one can develop critical self-reflexivity that interrogates one’s own understanding, ethical engagement and representations, recognising often the case of unequal power relationships in the field.   

The course will also facilitate engagement with “real-world” case studies that will enable you to reflect upon the interface between the field, learning and experiences; and develop your fieldwork practice in ways that are of substantive and theoretical depth as well as of practical significance to those with whom you work. 


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Course Learning Outcomes  

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:  

  1. identify and work through methods to effectively, culturally and ethically access, collect and manage data in the field
  2. manage plans and decisions regarding fieldwork (prior to, during and post) as part of your overarching fieldwork strategy
  3. identify and work on improving research productivity through more effective and efficient fieldwork
  4. demonstrate the development of skills and aptitudes needed for designing your fieldwork from being in the field to writing up from the field
  5. demonstrate an understanding of complex and hostile environments and have confidence to be able to manage risks whilst undertaking effective fieldwork 


Learning activities will provide opportunities for you to explore, critique and form both knowledge of and ability to employ a range of fieldwork methods for fieldwork within the discipline or field. Activities will include small group discussion, reviewing materials and case scenarios, including audio/visual content, and interactive lectures; and particularly to enable you to work on key questions arising from targeted fieldwork issues and complex situations that keeps evolving in parallel to transformations in the global development landscape. 

Primary learning activities include fortnightly questions and case scenarios to examine and discuss key ideas and concepts. It is expected that students will work in groups, on specific case studies. Key questions will be posted fortnightly to enable students to work on targeted issues and questions arising from key readings, lectures, case studies and discussions. 


Overview of Learning Activities

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.  

You will have access to key readings and audio-visual materials for class discussions, and a list of recommended readings for an overview of key literature, concepts and processes in fieldwork methods for undertaking a field project, research or workplace placement. Additional references are also provided for students wishing to follow fieldwork methods in more detail.  

RMIT will provide you with additional resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems via myRMIT Studies, and additional sources, links and postings of relevant material will be made available online. 

You are expected to read materials available online and refer to these reading materials in their assessment tasks. It is advisable to take notes as you read and constantly reflect on the questions raised. 

There are services available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal


Overview of Learning Resources

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. You will be able to develop your work in relation to your own specific areas of interest in your fieldwork practice. 

Case study reviews (30%) - CLOs 1, 3 & 6 – 1000 words

Reflexive -participation & discussions  (30%) – CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 4- 1,000 words

Essay, visual or portfolio compilation (40%) - CLOs 2, 3 & 5 & 6 – 2,500 words 

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks. 

If you have a long-term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more. 

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions


Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. You will be able to develop your work in relation to your own specific areas of interest in your fieldwork practice. 

Assessment Tasks 

Case study reviews (30%) - CLOs 1 & 3 -1,000 words

Reflexive  participation & discussions  (30%) – CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 4 -1,000 words

Essay, visual or portfolio compilation (40%) - CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 5- 2,500 words

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks. 

If you have a long-term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more. 

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions