SOCCLEAD 706 : Innovation, Design, Evaluation

Education and Social Work

2023 Semester One (1233) (30 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Evolving approaches to innovating social change and evaluation practice are examined. Topics include contemporary debates on, and approaches to, co-design, collaboration, ethical social innovation, evidence-informed programme design, evaluation models and impact measurement. Using experiential learning, groups of students will be guided through a social innovation design process in response to user needs, and develop robust evaluation proposals.

Course Overview

  1. Social innovation, design and evaluation are best taught in practice. This course uses an online workshop format, in combination with some online and out-of-class components, to enable students to hone and practise key skills associated with innovation, design and evaluation. All of the lecturing and interaction for the course is online, so students from across the motu can participate. The course takes students through the actual design of a social innovation, including generating insights, developing ideas, prototyping solutions, and developing frameworks for evaluation. This is a hands-on course that requires online attendance at the workshops (delivered on Fridays) and an ability to work with others in teams (social innovation and creativity thrive on interdisciplinary approaches). Students from across the University, including from Social Work, Education, Engineering, Law, Arts, and the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences have participated so far. By the end of the course, you will have a working knowledge of the key approaches and debates associated with social innovation, design, and evaluation. 

Course Requirements

Restriction: EDUC 726, SOCCLEAD 701

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

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Critique conventional for-profit and state-centric responses to social needs. (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3)
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the processes, opportunities and challenges of developing ethical and sustainable social innovation programmes in response to identified needs. (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3)
  3. Understand and demonstrate the skills required to engage effectively with stakeholders. (Capability 1.3, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 5.3, 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3)
  4. Apply principles and practices of evidence-informed programming to assess existing enterprises and to design innovative alternatives. (Capability 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Ethical requirements quizzes 5% Individual Coursework
Discovery processes (data collection, analysis, etc.) 35% Individual Coursework
Group presentation and participation components 20% Group & Individual Coursework
Report on the Social Innovation 40% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4
Ethical requirements quizzes
Discovery processes (data collection, analysis, etc.)
Group presentation and participation components
Report on the Social Innovation

To pass this course students must submit all assessments and achieve at least 50% for the overall course.

Workload Expectations

 This course is a standard 30 point course. On average, students are expected to spend 20 hours per week in each 30 point course that they are enrolled in. A typical semester including the study/exam period totals approximately 15 weeks.

This course involves learning-by-doing, it is a mix of hands-on activity and preparation. There is 3 hours a week of workshop teaching for 10 weeks of the semester on Friday Mornings. At some points in the course there are also workshops on Friday Afternoons, but we have tried to keep these to a minimum.

In addition, you can reasonably expect to approximately 240-260 hours of independent learning over the semester. This may include reading, note-taking, engaging in collaborative group work, participant recruitment, undertaking practical tasks, problem solving, writing, accessing learning and study resources, and assignment completion. The course is designed to step you through the practical aspects of the design process, including participant interviewing and recruitment, and no prior experience is required or expected for these aspects.

In addition to the online workshops, there is online content (videos and slides) and readings to review before the online workshop. You will also have direct contact with peers most weeks where you will meet to discuss and conduct your project. We suggest putting time aside in advance on Fridays after lunch to make organising these meetings easy for your teams.

Delivery Mode

Online & Online

Attendance is required at scheduled online activities including the timetabled lecture times to complete components of the course. However, where extraordinary circumstances prevent a student from being able to join the online workshop, a student, with permission of the course director, may request an update from team members about the content covered in the timetabled lecture.

The course will include live online events including group discussions and workshops. The workshops will involve many 'breakout sessions', that,  due to their concurrent nature will not be able to be recorded. As noted, these lectures are designed as hands-on workshops, with real-time feedback directly related to your project. The workshop content is designed to move you through each step of the social innovation process, where you will build on the foundation of the previous workshop. As such attendance is required at workshops to ensure you have the skills and knowledge to complete the project and therefore the course.  

Attendance on campus is not required for the coursework or final report or at anytime. However, some teams may wish to meet in person, and depending on opportunity, the course will include an optional informal get-together for students who can make their own way to Tāmaki Makaurau. 

Study material will be released progressively throughout the course as it is required.

This course runs to the University semester/quarter timetable and all the associated completion dates and deadlines will apply.

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.

In advance of class it would be of value for students to familarise themselves with the Zoom video-conferencing software, and online collaboration tools like Google Docs and Miro Online Whiteboard.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester 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 and respond with summaries and actions.

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

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Following student feedback the next course will include some extra guidance around the use of collaborative brainstorming tools.

Other Information

The course involves a mix of skill development, discovery, innovation, creativity, group work, and online collaboration. Many of these aspects may seem challenging , especially for students who are relatively new to such knowledge or ways of working.

However, the course is designed to coach students through the process. The collaborative focus of the course recognises that people have different strengths that are useful to achieve the desired goals and no single student is expected to know innovation methods, or be proficient in these skills in advance.

Team work and collaboration are cornerstones of social innovation, social change, and leadership, and the course provides fertile ground for learning about these aspects. Group participation is facilitated by the establishment of shared expectations, and a structured and confidential review process to ensure equity. This course does not suit students who do not wish to engage with stakeholders or co-design and collaborative design processes.

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.

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.

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.

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.