Course Title: Apply writing and presentation skills within a justice environment

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2015

Course Code: JUST5726

Course Title: Apply writing and presentation skills within a justice environment

School: 365T Global, Urban and Social Studies

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4323 - Certificate IV in Justice

Course Contact: Irene Pagliarella, Program Manager

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4581

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Sandra Reitano

Nominal Hours: 40

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

In this course you will develop the skills and knowledge required to research, analyse and evaluate, document and present information that meets organisational requirements across a range of justice environment contexts.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VU20870 Apply writing and presentation skills within a justice environment


1. Plan for writing complex document/s for a justice environment context

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Purpose and objectives, format and specific requirements of document/s are determined
1.2 Function and suitable use of descriptive, analytical, evaluative interpretative and investigative reports is reviewed
1.3 Research information and required resources are delineated
1.4 Appropriate use of language, including grammar and syntax is examined and practised
1.5 Research referencing requirements for range of written materials is examined and practised


2. Research and develop complex document/s for a justice environment context

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Resources are determined and accessed
2.2 Research is conducted and collated
2.3 Document/s is developed in designated format, to discipline standard and suitable for dissemination objectives
2.4 Feed back on suitability of document is obtained according to organisational requirements


3. Present information in a justice environment context

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Presentation strategies, format and delivery methods that match the requirements of the target audience location, resources and required personnel are determined and practised
3.2 Presentation is conducted according to determined strategies, format and delivery methods
3.3 Feedback is sought from key personnel and used to inform future practice

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course you will have developed and applied the skills and knowledge required to demonstrate competency in the above elements and the following;

• Conduct research for a report or document
• Effectively use written and oral skills, to industry standard, in the development and presentation of a researched document
• Reference sources of information through in-text referencing and bibliography according to specific citation system
• Understand the knowledge of research and presentation methods
• Understand the knowledge of privacy legislation, regulations and standards

Details of Learning Activities

Learning activities are designed to develop competencies in individual students. The expectation is that students will organise and present their learning, thinking and research activities in a number of different formats. These may include, but will not be limited to: -
• essays
• reports
• tutorial papers
• book or article reviews
• oral presentations
• journals
• group presentations
• projects
Students will develop knowledge and skills required to document and present information to a high standard that meets organisational requirements within the Criminal Justice Field.

Teaching Schedule

Week One:
1. Introduction including review of course guide and assessments.
2. In class activity
3. Group Rules and Expectations
Week Two:
1. Introduction to writing skills.
2. Introduction to communication skills
3. In class activity
4. Formative Assessment Task - LLN
Week Three:
1. Academic writing
2. Research Skills
3. Presentation Skills
4. In class activity
Week Four:
1. Critical Analysis
2. Literature Reviews
3. In class activity – Criminal Justice writing (Case Note recording)
4. Formative Assessment Task
Week Five:
1. Referencing systems (APA)
2. Plagiarism
Week Six:
Week Seven:
1. Referencing Systems (APA)
2. In Class Activity – Witness Statements
3. Formative Assessment Task
Week Eight:
1. Effective Presentation skills
2. Oral Presentation Skills
3. Verbal communication skills
Week Nine:
1. Group Oral Presentations – preparation week
Week Ten:
1. Group Oral Presentations
2. In Class activity – Police Reports
3. Formative Assessment Task
Week Eleven:
1. In class activity
2. Criminal Justice Field – including legislative frameworks.
3. Examples of Reports
Week Twelve:
1. Literature review
2. In class activity – Court Reports
3. Formative Assessment Task
Week Thirteen:
1. Critical analysis skills
2. Literature review workshops
Week Fourteen:
1. Writing styles; meeting your audience
2. In class activity
3. Formative Assessment Task
Week Fifteen:
1. Research methods
2. In class activity
Week Sixteen:
1. Literature Review & Critical analysis
2. Formative Assessment Task
Week Seventeen:
1. Overview
2. In class activity
Week Eighteen:
1. Literature review Due

NOTE: While your teacher will cover all the material in this schedule, the order is subject to change depending on class needs and availability of speakers and resources.

Attendance -
It is strongly advised that you attend all sessions in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain the competency.

We expect that students engage in learning through a combination of lectures, individual reading and study, meaningful feedback on written work and structured activities that encourage critical thinking and the development of discipline specific knowledge and practical skills.

Students are active participants and this course prioritises learning by doing. It is essential that students take ownership of their studies and work on developing skills as independent learners in time allocated away from lectures and class time.

As a student you need to demonstrate both knowledge and practical skills relevant to the course content within the classroom environment. Engagement with educators and other students is critical to you maximising learning opportunities and achieving satisfactory results. Participation in classroom discussion and activities will allow educators to apply observational assessment during role-plays, exercises and assignments and provide you with feedback.

You will be required to sign an attendance sheet and if you are absent from class, it is your responsibility to advise your educator and complete any written tasks that may have been allocated.
Students are required to carefully plan and use their time productively and submit assessments as required. All assessments tasks should be researched and drafted well in advance of the set submission dates.

The course will use blended learning techniques, including; lectures, discussions, activities in class and learner directed activities supported by a range of resources available in class and on Blackboard system

Feedback - You will receive verbal and written feedback on your work. This feedback also includes suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects. Student feedback at RMIT

Student Progress - Monitoring academic progress is an important enabling and proactive strategy to assist you to achieve your learning potential. Student progress policy

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Overview of Assessment

Assessments may incorporate a variety of methods including role-plays, observations, lectures, tutorials, class discussion, reports, group/individual training workshops, and audio-visual presentations.

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 the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.


A student charter summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online:;ID=c15i3ciaq8ca

Assessment Tasks

All assessment tasks are based on the requirements of the performance criteria, range statements and the assessment guidelines of the course and include:

1. The assessable tasks are as follows:
Formative Assessment Tasks; a range of justice related writing pieces will be completed (Weeks 3, 6, 10 and 14). These writing tasks are linked to the Summative Assessment Task Two (Portfolio) and form part of your scaffolded writing submission (Summative Assessment Task 1).

There will also be short group oral presentations on criminal justice organisations (Weeks 12 and 13) that the students will have to prove competent in. The presentation is a Formative task. Groups will be allocated in Week Two and a Group Agreement will need to be completed. Groups are required to submit ONE powerpoint slide with their presentation.

Summative Assessment Task 1. There will be a three online knowledge tests for the students to successfully complete within a specified time frame. The on-line tests are a Summative task worth 30% of your total grade. These knowledge tests will be focused on developing your competency in the elements of the course, including Referencing (APA) systems.

Summative Assessment Task 2. A scaffolded portfolio of writing including the 3 of the following will be submitted;

• A justice case note (Descriptive writing) – 150 words
• A justice court report summary and recommendation (Analytical) – 250 words
• An Incident report (investigative writing) – 250 words
• A Witness statement and/or Police report – 250 words (Investigative and Narrative writing)

In addition, students will need to submit as part of their portfolio an essay of 750 words on a specific criminal justice topic with a minimum of 3 academic references. This essay needs to demonstrate a level of factual and theoretical knowledge. Students will develop research and writing skills and will have class time to workshop their essay plan, research and practice writing prior to submission. Students will also need to work independently and use their class time effectively to manage their Portfolio writing task and essay.

The portfolio is a Summative Task and worth a combined total of 70% of your final grade.

Students must achieve competency IN ALL assessment tasks to PASS this subject.

Assessment Matrix

Assessment Grading Table
The assessments have been designed to cover all Learning Outcomes and will be graded in accordance with RMIT’s Mark Table which is as follows:

CHD Competent with High Distinction
CDI Competent with Distinction
CC Competent with Credit
CAG Competency Achieved - Graded
NYC Not Yet Competent
DNS Did not Submit for Assessment

Grades which apply to course delivered in accordance with competency-based assessment (not-graded)

CA Competency Achieved
NYC Not Yet Competent
DNS Did Not Submit For Assessment

Assessment Deadlines
Any due date for any assignment is to be considered a deadline. You can submit work at any time prior to the submission date; it must be submitted into the Assessment Box on level 2, in Building 37 with a signed cover sheet, or electronically submitted into the Justice VET email box with an electronically attached cover sheet, by close of business on the day the submission is due.

Assessment Format
A major part of your course requires writing, for essays, research and reports. ALL Justice VE educators will expect you to maintain a high standard of presentation in your writing. These standards include the following:

1. For a CERTIFICATE IV written assessment task/s – no less than 1500 words, 3 academic references and ONE in-text citation per paragraph.
2. A paragraph is usually between 200 – 250 words.
3. A sentence is usually between 20 - 25 words.
4. American Psychological Association (APA) Referencing Style is the EXPECTED referencing style for the school of Criminal Justice (VE).
5. We highly recommend that all students download a copy of the APA Referencing Guide which is available on the Blackboard or purchase a Pocket Guide to APA style from the campus bookshop.
6. APA Referencing system is to be used and all in-text citations must be recorded according to APA standards.
7. An academic reference is a scholarly source (journal articles that are peer reviewed, a published book, an approved government or organisation website etc).
8. Written reports, research projects or essays are to demonstrate an understanding of the concepts and familiarity with the prescribed or negotiated topics
9. It is expected that all submitted work will be well written, with clear and consistent grammar, expression and punctuation. It must be well structured and address the issues raised in the chosen topic in a logical ordered and organised manner.
10. Written submissions must demonstrate appropriate preparation, reading and research.
11. Double or 1.5 spacing and a font size of 10-12 must be used in either Arial or Times Roman. Do not submit double paged assessments.
12. All assignments to be submitted via the Drop Box (Building 37, level 2) and submitted via email to the Advanced Diploma email address to verify submission ( Assessments must be submitted by 5pm (close of business).
13. Written assessments will also be submitted with a Turnitin Report attached (as instructed by your Educator).

If you have any difficult with understanding or completing these writing standards, please speak with your Educator or the Program Manager.

Other Information

Please refer to RMIT student page for extensive information for extensive information about study support, assessment, extensions, appeals and a range of other matters:

All assessment tasks are required to be completed to a satisfactory level. If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment by a due date, you will need to apply for an extension. Special consideration, appeals and discipline.

In accordance with RMIT policy, you may apply for an extension where there have been unexpected or extenuating circumstances, e.g.

• Hospital admission, serious injury, severe asthma, severe anxiety or depression. This does not include minor illness such as a cold, period pain or hay fever.
• Loss or bereavement – e.g. death of a close family member, family/relationship breakdown.
• Hardship/trauma – e.g. victim of crime, sudden loss of income or employment, severe disruption to domestic arrangements.
You must keep a copy of your assessment until the graded submission has been returned or marks have been posted.

All email communications will be sent to your RMIT student email address.

An extension up to seven calendar days may be granted if good reason can be demonstrated. Include supporting evidence (such as medical certificates) with your application.

Extensions beyond seven calendar days cannot be granted by Course coordinators or individual educators.

Longer extensions

Extension of time longer than 7 days can only be granted through special consideration.

Other Information Please refer to the RMIT student page for extensive information about study support, assessment, extensions, appeals and a range of other matters:

Applying for Special Consideration
If you are seeking an extension of more than seven calendar days (from the original due date) you must lodge an Application for Special Consideration form, preferably prior to, but no later than two working days after the official due date. Late applications will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances.
For information about Special Consideration and how to apply, see:

Penalties for Late Submission
If you have not been granted an extension or special consideration, late submission of assignments will be penalised as follows:
Assessment tasks submitted after the due date of submission shall receive a penalty of five per cent of the grades available for that assessment per day for each working day late.
No assessment task shall be accepted more than three weeks after the due date.

Cover Sheet for Submissions
You must complete a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work, including online submissions. This signed sheet acknowledges that you are aware of the plagiarism implications.

Assessment Appeals
If you believe your assessment result or final result is wrong please contact the course coordinator and provide the reason why you think your result is incorrect. Valid reasons for seeking a review of results include:
• You believe an error has occurred in the calculation of the grade; or,
• You believe the assessment did not comply with criteria published in the Course Guide; or,
• You believe the assessment did not comply with University Policies on Assessment (i.e. an error in process has occurred).
• Full details of the procedure (including appeals procedure) can be located at this RMIT site:

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism - RMIT University has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic integrity. Please refer to the website for more information on this policy go to Academic Integrity.

Academic integrity means honesty and responsibility in scholarship through respecting the work of others whilst having the freedom to build new insights, new knowledge and ideas. RMIT University upholds the values of academic integrity as fundamental to the scholarship undertaken by all members of its community. Whenever you refer to another person’s research or ideas (either by directly quoting or paraphrasing them) you must acknowledge your source.
If you are even in doubt about how to properly cite a reference, consult your lecturer or the academic integrity website:

The RMIT library provides tools to assist with your referencing

Plagiarism and Collusion
Plagiarism and collusion constitute extremely serious academic misconduct, and are forms of cheating. You are reminded that cheating, whether by fabrication, falsification of data, or plagiarism, is an offence subject to University disciplinary procedures. Plagiarism is the presentation of the work, idea or creation of another person as though it is your own. It is a form of cheating and is a very serious academic offence that may lead to expulsion from the University. Plagiarised material can be drawn from, and presented in, written, graphic and visual form, including electronic data, and oral presentations. Plagiarism occurs when the origin of the material used is not appropriately cited. Plagiarism is not acceptable.

Examples of plagiarism include:
• Copying sentences or paragraphs word-for-word from one or more sources, whether published or unpublished, which could include but is not limited to books, journals, reports, theses, websites, conference papers, course notes, etc. without proper citation;
• Closely paraphrasing sentences, paragraphs, ideas or themes without proper citation;
• Piecing together text from one or more sources and adding only linking sentences;
• Copying or submitting whole or parts of computer files without acknowledging their source;
• Copying designs or works of art and submitting them as your original work;
• Copying a whole or any part of another student’s work; and
• Submitting work as your own that someone else has done for you.
• Enabling Plagiarism: the act of assisting or allowing another person to plagiarise or to copy your own work is also an offence.
For further information, please see the RMIT Plagiarism Policy –;ID=sg4yfqzod48g1 – and the RMIT Student Discipline Statute and Regulations -;ID=11jgnnjgg70y

Plagiarism Software
The originality verification software Turnitin may be used in this course. For details, see:

Course Overview: Access Course Overview