SCIGEN 301G : Engaging in a Knowledge Society


2020 Semester Two (1205) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Addressing complex issues requires knowledge experts to engage with a variety of people. Solutions will be gained from collaborations that co-produce knowledge in transdisciplinary partnerships that lead to new ways of thinking. This course explores meaningful ways to engage with communities, and reassesses current ways of knowing and doing.

Course Overview

This course is about how we engage in partnerships and use knowledge to address complex challenges. Today’s increasing mistrust in experts, coming at the very moment expertise across all disciplines is most needed, is a dual challenge that requires a new understanding of science’s foundations, its social role, and changes to how this role is enacted. Solutions will be gained from collaborations that co-produce knowledge in transdisciplinary partnerships that lead to new ways of thinking. This course explores and unpacks assumptions about how science is done, how it is communicated, and how we might achieve more meaningful ways to engage with society to pose questions, reinterpret, and reassesses our current ways of knowing and doing.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: University

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Critically examine theoretical underpinnings and principles that should underpin meaningful engagement (Capability 1, 2 and 6)
  2. Demonstrate and undersatanding of how science is shaped by political, cultural and other values (Capability 1, 2 and 6)
  3. Understand and apply contexts and methods for community engagement (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  4. Critically explore effective ways to engage in community-based research. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6)
  5. Engage with community through a real world engagement experience (Capability 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  6. Understand and apply through groupwork the multiple ways in which science and policy can work together; (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  7. Appreciate and apply in a learning simulation the importance of ethics in the development, uses and governance of science and technology (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6)
  8. Demonstrate an understanding of of the concepts of risk and uncertainty in evidence use and how this affects decision making (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Assignments 20% Individual Coursework
Field trip and Blog 20% Individual Coursework
Quizzes 20% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 40% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Field trip and Blog
Final Exam

Key Topics

Week 1:  What is engagement?
Week 2:   THE ENGAGED SCIENTIST: Trust, responsibility and impact 
Week 3:  THE ENGAGED CITIZEN - THE GLOBAL NCD CRISIS: A complex issue demanding evidence-based multi-sectoral action
Week 4:  ENGAGEMENT IN ACTION – Community engagement and Social Licence to Operate
Week 5:  ENGAGEMENT IN ACTION:  Citizen Science
FIELDTRIP: Local One Day Field-trip (strongly encouraged to attend but not compulsory). For those who do not attend, alternative arrangements will be made to explore the case remotely.
Week 6:  Engaging in Science through the Arts  
Week 7: Schools as a setting for engagement.
Week 8:  MEASURING IMPACTS- Perspectives on what defines impact 
Week 9:  ENGAGEMENT IN ACTION:  National and Local Action.
Week 10: Science and Governance
Week 11: Learning Simulation
Week 12:  Lived Experience vs Evidence Based Research

Learning Resources

All required learning resources are made available through canvas and the course talis reading list. You are however expected to independently access quality library sources for your assignments.

Special Requirements

FIELDTRIP: A local one-day field-trip occurs on the last Sunday of  August.  This  will involve a trip to Titirangi to engage with citizen scientists.   Transport will be provided to and from University.  

Students are strongly encouraged to attend,  but it is not compulsory.  For those who do not attend, alternative arrangements will be made to explore the citizen science case remotely. 

The fieldtrip will comply with all health and safety requirements and students will be given ample information about this during the course.

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 hours of tutorial;  6 hours fieldtrip; 40 hours of reading and thinking about the content during the entire semester and 30 hours of work on assignments during the entire semester.

Digital 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.

The course resources are made available to all students through Canvas.  This enables students to  support their on-campus learning at home or undertake this course remotely.


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.

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 against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

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 at

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.

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.

100% of students agreed or strongly agreed that  SCIGEN 301/301G is an effective course in the 2018 and 2019 SET evaluations.

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 you may be asked to submit your 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. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 24/01/2021 06:39 p.m.