SCIGEN 101/101G : Communicating in a Knowledge Society


2024 Semester Two (1245) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Effective communication is required for specialists in all fields to engage meaningfully with society. In this course students gain an understanding of the important role communication plays in a knowledge society. Through case studies and practical experience students learn about the responsibilities and skills required to communicate with a variety of audiences. They learn how to effectively manage and present data and practice oral, written, visual and electronic communication.

Course Overview

 Today, knowledge is produced and disseminated at a scale and pace greater than ever before.  SCIGEN 101/101G provides you with foundational communication skills that are required be an effective communicator of specialist information.  The course also enables you to understand and explore why effective communication is essential for addressing complex societal issues.

The course explores the theory and practice of communication with a focus on the communication of specialist knowledge - the knowledge you learn in your disciplines. You will learn how to communicate this specialist knowledge to audiences inside and outside your discipline. You will also explore how mathematical evidence is communicated. You will however, not undertake mathematical analyses! Instead, you will be learning essential skills to understand and interpret data that involve statistics and mathematical modeling.  

You will also critically examine real-world cases where knowledge experts have engaged with a wide range of people. Sometimes these endeavors have been successful, while other times, the experts have faced many difficulties. You will also participate in a ‘real world’ discussion to see how effectively you and your peers can deliberate about complex societal issues. 

SCIGEN 101/101G attracts students from across a range of faculties and year levels. We welcome this diversity. Through the coursework you will develop and demonstrate written, visual, oral and data communication skills in a topic of your choice. SCIGEN 101/101G Students value choice in assignment topics, as they can make the topic relevant to their own interests.

Employers want graduates who are good communicators. Practical communication skills will assist you with assignments in all subjects and differentiate you from other students when looking for jobs.  No matter what specialty you are from, the theory, concepts, and skills you learn in this course will be used during your time at university and beyond.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: People and Place
Capability 3: Knowledge and Practice
Capability 4: Critical Thinking
Capability 5: Solution Seeking
Capability 6: Communication
Capability 7: Collaboration
Capability 8: Ethics and Professionalism
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Understand and critically evaluate the role communication plays in a knowledge society. (Capability 1, 3 and 4)
  2. Understand and critically evaluate models of communication to explore how knowledge specialists communicate within society (Capability 3 and 4)
  3. Develop and demonstrate collaborative learning and networking skills in peer networks (Capability 6, 7 and 8)
  4. Access interpret, synthesise, and effectively communicate academic research to a diverse audience (Capability 3, 4 and 6)
  5. Demonstrate effective ways of managing and presenting data (Capability 3, 4 and 6)
  6. Demonstrate an ability to effectively communicate specialist knowledge using a range of communication skills (Capability 3 and 6)
  7. Critically examine the communication challenges faced by knowledge specialists when engaging with society to address complex societal issues (Capability 1, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8)
  8. Engage in a 'real world' dialogue session dealing with a complex societal issue (Capability 4, 5, 6 and 7)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Coursework 50% Group & Individual Coursework
Final Exam 50% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Final Exam


Tuākana Science is a multi-faceted programme for Māori and Pacific students providing topic specific tutorials, one-on-one sessions, test and exam preparation and more. Explore your options at

The University of Auckland Tuākana Programme is a complementary approach to Western academic methods of learning. It recognizes, and is based upon, Māori and Pacific cultural values and practices. 

The SCIGEN 101 Tuākana Programme focuses on encouraging Māori and Pacific students to achieve their full academic potential. The course is assigned a tuākana (tutor/mentor), who has achieved excellent academic results in SCIGEN 101 and who has the knowledge and skills to assist you. 

The tuākana program enables you to meet other students, discuss lecture and studio material and clarify any information that you may be unsure about. Assignment and exam workshops are also organized as needed. 

Students who registered in Student Services Online as being of Māori or Pacific descent will receive an email from our tuākana tutor inviting you to join our Tuākana Programme.

Key Topics

  • Communication in a Knowledge Society.
  • Communication models
  • Communicating complexity
  • Communication tools and skills (written, oral, visual)
  • Communication of quantitative data and models
  • Dialogue and networking
  • Communication in Action: Real-world case studies

Special Requirements

Students are required to attend a minimum of six studio sessions during the semester, including at least two of the three peer-review workshops held during studios. Engagement marks are awarded and contribute towards the 4% TEAMMATES assessment. 
Studio sessions are timetabled weekly. They involve group work and are associated with practical tasks and skill development linked to assignments (individual). 
  • Students must enrol in a studio time that does not clash with other compulsory commitments.   
  • Topics for studio sessions are advertised in Week 1

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15-point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15-point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 34 hours of lectures, 10 x 1-hour studios, 26 hours of reading and thinking about the content, and 50 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at all scheduled lectures, some of which take the format of interactive workshops.
Attendance is required at studios to complete and receive credit for components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. However, where lectures involve workshop-style interactions or 'flipped classrooms' the recordings will not capture the associated discussions.
Other learning activities including studios will not be available as recordings.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.
Where possible, study material will be released progressively throughout the course.
Staff office hours will be available either in-person or via Zoom

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.


Health & Safety


Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

 Weekly studio sessions were added to the course in 2022. Student feedback indicated that these interactive sessions were appreciated and supported students to engage and progress. 

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed for potential plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct, using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

This information was correct on 23 December, 2023
Published on 15/01/2024 01:53 p.m.