|School||Cardiff School of Planning and Geography|
|External Subject Code||K400|
|Number of Credits||20|
|Language of Delivery||English|
|Module Leader||Dr Francesca Sartorio|
This module provides an opportunity for students to work in groups and to identify a substantive planning problem in association with a planning authority or agency and produce a report with recommendations. In so doing students will: deploy skills in problem-definition; draw upon, and develop, knowledge of procedures and practice within a substantive planning topic (e.g. retailing in small towns) ; engage in appropriate reflection of values and ethics-related issues ; and appreciate the operational context within which the report will be delivered. Groups will be required to make two group presentations of their work (an initial one that articulates the aims and objectives of the project and a final one presenting results of the work carried out and recommendations) to an audience of staff, practitioners, clients and students and to write a final project report based on their findings.
Apart from the first three lectures, which will be held in a traditional ex-cathedra way, most of the teaching and learning for this module will take the form of seminars, where individual teams will meet up with their respective supervisors/tutors. In the first lecture session, the module aims and objectives will be introduced as well as the assessment criteria. Project briefs will be circulated in the second lecture session, and they will be explained and student groups formed. Also supervisors for student groups will be allocated during this session. Short lectures on professionalism and reflectiveness in practice; and a seminar on managing group work will be held during the third session.
From the fourth scheduled session onwards, students should discuss their interpretation of their chosen brief with their allocated supervisor and their relevant client organisations. Close liaison must be maintained with one nominated officer from the client organisation throughout the period of the study. The groups must first work towards interpreting the brief, re-negotiating the aspects of it if needed and finalising a set of project aims and objectives along with a plan of action and schedule for implementation. This process will be supervised by the supervisor in order to establish the feasibility of the plan at each stage. As a very rough guide, each student is expected to spend about one day per week throughout the second semester working on the project. In addition, a slot will be allocated on thetimetable so that students can meet regularly with officers and/or their supervisor and have sufficient time to complete their group work.
This is a 20 credits module; the nominal working hours for each student are around 200 hours.
A fundamental feature of this project is that students are required to form and work in groups. It is suggested that, ideally, a group comprises of 5 students. Each group is required to address a substantive real-world planning problem. This will involve close collaboration with a local authority/planning agency or community/voluntary group in order to identify and address a particular planning problem. Each group is required to develop a plan or set of recommendations or policies that seek to resolve the substantive planning problem that has been identified by and negotiated with the ‘client’. An additional feature is that groups will be required to make two group presentations of their work to an audience of staff and students and appropriate practitioners, one early in the semester and the second – the final presentation - at the end of it.
The first project presentation (worth 5%of the marks) will take place on Autumn Week 7. This presentation is aimed at presenting the group’s proposed work (i.e., their understanding of the project briefs; the aims and objectives; their rough anticipation as to the ratio literature/primary data needed to fulfil the brief; a research strategy with research methods and a plan of action/detailed schedule). Each presentation should last a maximum of ten minutes.
On Autumn Week 11 teams will have to hand in the literature review. This is subject to pass/fail. The literature review will constitute integral part of the final report and the aim of the deadline is for students to receive feedback for the improvement of the material produced so far.
A second project presentation is scheduled for the Spring Week 9 (worth 10% of the marks). It is expected that – where possible – teams will present on site (i.e., in the area that constituted the focus of their work). A detailed calendar of presentation will be distributed in due course. The presentation should last a maximum of twenty minutes. A forty-five minute slot will be allocated to each group to include time for Q&A. There is no need to have a complete final report at this stage, but a draft should be ready at this time.
Both presentations should make use of visual aids where necessary, and all members of the groups should participate. Marks will be given for clarity of presentation, the use of any visual aids, as well as the substantive content. All members of staff, fellow students and relevant planning officers will be invited to attend the presentations; participation of all groups in presentations given by other groups is welcome.
Appropriate arrangements should be made between groups and project tutors for consultations and submission of preliminary draft reports prior to the final report deadline.
Each group will then prepare a final word processed version of the report for submission by Spring Week 11 (worth 65% of the marks). The report will include text and illustrative material. The word limit for this report is 15,000 words or, in case of graphic material, material produced in a comparable amount of time. The number and nature of material to hand in will have to be agreed with the module leader following the first presentation. The final report will be retained by the School so if members of the group require individual copies, or if the planning authority require final copies, provision should be made for this.
The report is (unless otherwise stated in project briefs) a group piece of work and requires effective delegation of tasks within groups to produce a sizeable piece of work that is of benefit to the client and stands up as an academic research report.
Students will also have to hand in individually reflective practice logbooks. Assessment of these will count towards 20% of the final mark. Students (individually) can submit the first pages of their Individual Reflective Logbook in order to get initial feedback on it on Autumn Week 11. They will also be asked to hand in a form with ratings of other team members’ individual contributions and a form rating the client they have been working for.
This is a Learning Central module. All details, schedules of meetings, handouts, etc will be found on Learning Central. The coursework for this module is ‘non-standard’, hence all elements for assessment will have to be submitted in paper form (2 copies printed and bound) and virtual form (1 copy on CD or similar support) to CPLAN Reception, before 3pm on the day of the deadline.
The assessment is aimed at reflecting the group focus of this module. The presentations are attended by sponsors of the project (local planning organisations or academic staff) and act as a feedback session (Q&A) before the final report is prepared - marks are given for clarity of presentation as well as findings presented on the basis of a set of criteria developed jointly between teaching staff and students at the beginning of the semester.
If team members feel that one (or more) other members are not contributing properly to the group work, they will have to follow the standard procedure for complaint.
They will have to:
Team members might report to the module leader up to two times for each individual case. Each time the module leader will act on the complaint. Once an individual has been warranted three times (once by his/her own group and twice by the module leader) and still fails to contribute to the work of the group his final mark will not mirror that of his/her team colleagues, but will take into account the misbehaviour.
In any case all students will be asked to fill in a form ‘rating’ individual colleagues’ contributions in group work and asked to use their individual reflective logbooks to develop their professional teamworking skills.
If a student feels that s/he may not be able to perform at her/his best due to the nature of the above Assessment, the Module Leader is happy to discuss on an individual basis any aspect of it. She is also open for suggestions for alternative, comparable type of assessment to prove achievement of the stated learning Outcomes, and to adjust any aspect of the assessment in order to accommodate specific requirements dictated by known conditions.
Presentation - Project Presentation 1 (5%)
Report Chapter - Literature Review (Pass/Fail)
Reflective Logbook - Indivdual Reflective Logbook Draft (Pass/Fail)
Presentation - Project Presentation 2 (10%)
Report - Project Report (65%)
Reflective Logbook - Individual Reflective Logbook (20%)
Project Presentation 1
Project Presentation 2
Reflective Log Book
Students attending this module are going to choose one of a set of briefs. T&L sessions are responsive in nature and aimed at orienting and supporting students in their research.
This should be categorised into the following:
Readinglists will be related to the individual projects and as such hints will be given as appropriate to individual groups.
Reading common to all groups and students:
All students should be familiar with the concept of the ‘reflective practitioner’ as defined by Donald Schoen. It would be very good if all students could read the book:
Schoen, D. [alternative spelling Schon sometimes used} (1982), The reflective practitioner: how professionals think in action, Harper Collins
If, for whatever reason, it is not possible to read the book in its entirety, the following parts need to be read:
Part 1, pp 1-75;
Chapter 7, pp 204-235;
Chapter 10, pp. 287-354