GEO2138 : Community Volunteering: A Geography Perspective
- Offered for Year: 2017/18
- Module Leader(s): Dr Helen Jarvis
- Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
- Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
|Semester 1 Credit Value:||10|
|Semester 2 Credit Value:||10|
This is a placement module. This course aims to give students an opportunity to develop critical understanding of the theories, practices and politics of community-based research and the ethics and governance of community organising and voluntary social and/or environmental action.
Working in small groups, in collaboration with a community-based partner, the placements are intended to give undergraduates a chance to experience research-led and participatory learning and to develop key skills and capabilities of cooperation, team-working, effective communication and personal responsibility.
Alongside the experience of group-work the course aims to give students the chance to reflect independently on first-hand experience of working in a voluntary sector, non-profit or social enterprise setting.
To develop students’ skills in developing, undertaking and reporting on a collaborative research activity.
To give students an opportunity to develop graduate employability skills and gain an insight into Geography-related graduate careers.
This module differs from the NCL career development modules in that these placements are with geography-specific local community organisation, to conduct a defined piece of (team-based) research co-designed with/ for the direct benefit of- the partner organisation. This way the module provides students with the opportunity to develop key transferable skills that are immediately relevant to a geography graduate career.
Outline Of Syllabus
Semester 1 and 2 (exact split flexible to suit the needs of the partner organisation)
4 x 3 hour lecture and workshop
1: Introduction to the module; group-work briefing; understanding a continuum of community organising
2: Collaborative research methods, practice expectations and influence (guest speaker: social enterprise and cooperatives)
3: Co-designing defined research with through group-work (guest speaker: volunteer organisations)
4: Frameworks for developing your proposal. Ethics and safety. Assessment.
6 x 2 hour small-group teaching to reflect on an practice ‘soft’ skills specific to group-work, e.g.
Working with consensus decision-making
Fund-raising and media issues for non-profit organizations
Critical engagement with volunteering and localism
2 x 2 hour small-group teaching with Careers Service/ Go Volunteer, e.g.
Identifying relevant transferable skills: how to write a covering letter
How to write winning applications
Personal and professional presentation techniques
Interview techniques and professional interaction with placement professionals
Placement – minimum 70 hours in work place/community setting
12 x 1 hour placement supervision/consultation
Study sessions – students must attend regular project surgeries with the module leader
Oral presentations, group project de-briefing
|Guided Independent Study||Assessment preparation and completion||1||50:00||50:00||N/A|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Lecture||4||3:00||12:00||Module leader (and guest speakers)|
|Guided Independent Study||Skills practice||1||70:00||70:00||Work Placement (ML liaison)|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Small group teaching||2||2:00||4:00||Careers Service/ Go Volunteer sessions|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Small group teaching||6||2:00||12:00||Module leader|
|Guided Independent Study||Independent study||1||40:00||40:00||N/A|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Dissertation/project related supervision||12||1:00||12:00||ML group supervision (fortnightly)|
Teaching Rationale And Relationship
The teaching methods relate to the different aspects of this module. The lectures will be mainly for the provision of key information about aspects of the module, notably how the placement works, expectations of collaboration and partnership working and background to the voluntary sector. The study sessions provide small group learning opportunities focusing on key employability skills development, and also preparing for their placements. The drop-in sessions provide an opportunity for students to see the ML to discuss any aspect of the module throughout the academic year.
The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners
|Oral Presentation||20||2||M||20||Organised by School - Focusing on fieldwork and partnership, identifying and developing graduate skills with the placement|
|Prof skill assessmnt||1||M||10||Work Placement Plan - To be completed and assessed before placement begins|
|Report||2||M||20||1500 words Collaborative Research Report - Report defining the research activity and the stages and process of collaboration|
|Essay||2||M||50||2,000 word essay assessing the linkages between the placement and themes in academic geography|
Assessment Rationale And Relationship
The four modes of assessment for this module provide the opportunity to assess the students in a variety of ways. The community-based placement plan ensures that the placement is well-organised and fits the requirements of the module. It assesses the student’s ability to explain how the placement will work and what they will gain from it. The supervisor’s reports provide them with the opportunity to grade the student’s work within the placement environment, during and at the end of the placement. The oral presentation provides the students with an opportunity to develop their skill set by verbally presenting an assessment of the skills their placement has enabled them to develop, and also assesses their ability to answer questions posed by the marker. This will be similar to the type of competency questions many may face in a ‘real life’ interview situation. The course essay assesses the ability of the student to make connections between their placement and debates and research foci within academic geography.