Course Title: Learning and Participation in Development

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Learning and Participation in Development

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information:

In 2022 this course is titled 'Learning and Participation in Development'
From 2023 this course will be titled 'Program Design and Participation'


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 2 2009


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies

Face-to-Face or Internet

Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 1 2021,
Sem 1 2022

Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Jose Roberto Guevara

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3046

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 37, Level 05, Room 17

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

In this course you will be introduced to the history, philosophy and practice of learning and participatory approaches in development. You will engage with and examine some of the main approaches in adult and community education, participatory action research and participatory development. 

You will also explore some of the limitations and potentials of learning and participatory approaches in development. You will engage with case studies drawn from different institutionalised contexts in both industrialized and less industrialised countries. 

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes  

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:   

You will be assessed on your development of the following program learning outcomes: 

  • Determine and apply the specialist knowledge and technical skills required to creatively solve problems, demonstrating expert judgment and ethical responsibility in your professional practice in international development 
  • Critically analyse, synthesize and reflect on personal awareness and lived experience, theories and practices of development, both local and international, to extend and challenge knowledge and practice in the discipline 
  • Professionally communicate propositions, processes and outcomes relating to international development to address specialist and non-specialist audiences 
  • Provide leadership within your discipline as well as collaborate with others 

Course Learning Outcomes  

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

  1. Identify and defend genuinely inclusive approaches that manage contemporary development challenges and resolve critical development issues both within organizations and in the field
  2. Identify, design and execute appropriate strategies to enhance learning and professional collaboration especially in diverse settings
  3. Design and review learning and participatory approaches to development that encompass issues of culture, language, gender and social inequality
  4. Develop and evaluate international development projects in collaboration with policy and development professionals from different backgrounds. 

Overview of Learning Activities

This course applies the same learning and participatory approaches employed in development practice. This is based on the argument that participatory approaches are best learned through experience. 

A deeper understanding of learning and participatory approaches in development can be achieved through a facilitated process of critical self-reflection through individual journals and group-based project work which is complemented with access to the key literature regarding the history, concepts, practice, debates and future directions about learning and participatory approaches to development. 

The course is highly participatory and activities will utilise a substantial amount of experiential based learning methods for skills development. As a consequence you will benefit most from the course if you are in regular attendance in the workshops (or participate regularly online). 

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. A list of recommended learning resources will be provided by your lecturer, including books, journal articles and web resources. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning. 

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 Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. 

Assessment tasks are designed to provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of key concepts, themes and debates appropriate for studies at postgraduate level and relevant to development practitioners

Assessment tasks 

  • Assessment Task 1: Critical Annotated Bibliography (2,000 words), 30% CLO1, CLO2 and CLO4 
  • Assessment Task 2: Most Significant Change Process (group engagement task), 30%, CLO2 and CLO3 
  • Assessment Task 3 Reflective Report (3000 words), 40% CLO1,CLO2, CLO 3 and CLO4 

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.