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SOC3000 Collaborative Community Problem Solving

Semester 2, 2014 Online Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Arts and Communication

Contents on this page


Examiner: Malcolm Brown
Moderator: Bryce Barker


Pre-requisite: 12 course units (though 16 course units is recommended)

Other requisites

Students will require access to e-mail and have internet access to UConnect for this course.
This course should be completed during the studentís last year in the program.


Other courses in the student's program of study engage knowledge and competencies from within particular disciplines. This course expands these studies by challenging the student with a cross disciplinary workplace experience, working effectively and productively with professionals from other disciplines who have different priorities, models and frameworks for conceptualising, managing and solving problems. Complex community issues are the subjects with which teams of students will engage to acquire these skills, while contributing to the understanding of an identified community problem.


Students will work within cross disciplinary project teams consisting of a mix of students, professionals and community members from outside the university. Each team will have a community issue assigned to it. Where possible, this issue will be from an identified community, either within the local area, or from overseas where an international student brings an issue forward. A staff member will facilitate each project team's activities. Students will engage in a series of workshops where they meet as a group and contribute knowledge and competencies from their own experiences and disciplines to critically analyse the components of the issue and define specific challenges, such that further research and consultation can result in a proposed framework for problem solving. Between workshops students will be responsible for researching the issue, consulting with community members personally or electronically, and preparing components of the project report for the team. The deliverable from the course is a report which describes the issue analysis, relevant research and community consultation, and a prospectus on possible management or resolution strategies.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. apply principles of social justice, ethical and legal professional practice, and working with diversity while engaging in community problem solving;
  2. apply knowledge and competencies from their own disciplines to strategic thinking as a member of a multidisciplinary team;
  3. critically analyse complex community problems by integrating theories, systems and frameworks from multiple disciplines and perspectives;
  4. demonstrate an understanding of the roles of various disciplines in the analysis, research, consultation and intervention processes related to a selected community problem;
  5. collaborate effectively and productively with other team members who have different priorities, models, and frameworks for conceptualising, managing and solving problems;
  6. demonstrate professional communication and organisation skills necessary to work effectively within a multidisciplinary team, including group facilitation, leadership, planning, decision making, conflict resolution and effective use of computer mediated communications;
  7. plan community level strategies with processes inclusive of all stakeholders.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Collaborative community problem solving Community as client and community as partner:
i. professional practice issues of interdisciplinary community consultation
ii. challenges of collaborative solutions in political environments
iii. challenges of community participation and empowerment
iv. defining and assessing community capacity from ecological frameworks
v. human, social, environmental and economic capital
vi. understanding challenges to community structures and resources
vii. determining community readiness for change
viii. assessing components of community issues and challenges
ix. analysis that facilitates community development and change
x. strategies to promote action from consultation

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • There are no texts or materials required for this course.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Ife, J & Tesoriero F 2006, Community Development: community-based alternatives in an age of globalisation, 3rd edn, Pearson Education Australia, Frenchs Forest, NSW.
  • Kenny, Susan 2011, Developing communities for the future: community development in Australia, 4th edn, Nelson Thomson Learning Australia, South Melbourne.
  • Sarkissian, W & perlgut, D (eds) 1994, The community participation handbook: resources for public involvement in the planning process, 2nd edn, Institute for Science and Technology Policy, Murdoch University.
  • Florin, P & Wandersman, A 1990, An introduction to citizen participation, voluntary organizations, and community develoopment: Insights for empowerment through research, American Journal of Community Psychology, 18 (1).
  • Lasker, RD & Weiss, ES 2003, Broadening participation in community problem solving: A multidisciplinary model to support collaborative practice and research, Journal of Urban Health, 80 (1).

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 20.00
Private Study 70.00
Report Writing 30.00
Team Meetings 45.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
INDIVIDUAL FINAL REPORT 100 30 14 Nov 2014 (see note 1)
TEAM FINAL REPORT 100 50 14 Nov 2014 (see note 2)
TEAM PROJECT PROPOSAL 100 20 14 Nov 2014 (see note 3)

  1. Each student will write a reflective report on their learning experiences and the effectiveness of their collaborative team. Individuals will evaluate the professional behaviour of themselves and their team members.
  2. The team's final report will summarise the multidisciplinary analysis of the issue with related consultation and research, the possible strategies for addressing the issues and the rationale for the strategy chosen as the preferred option. While the team final report will receive a single mark, the examiner reserves the right to reduce individual marks where individual reports indicate that a student did not contribute adequately to the report.
  3. All members of a team will receive the same mark for this assessment item.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the studentsí responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration. Students must attend and complete the requirements of the Workplace Health and Safety training program for this course where required.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    As there are no examinations in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours if required by the Examiner.

  3. In accordance with University Policy, the Examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  4. If electronic submission of assessments is specified for the course, students will be notified of this in the course Introductory Book and on the USQ Study Desk. All required electronic submission must be made through the Assignment Drop Box located on the USQ Study Desk for the course, unless directed otherwise by the examiner of the course. The due date for an electronically submitted assessment is the date by which a student must electronically submit the assignment. The assignment files must be submitted by 11.55pm on the due date using USQ time (as displayed on the clock on the course home page; that is, Australian Eastern Standard Time).

  5. If the method of assessment submission is by written, typed or printed paper-based media students should (i) submit to the Faculty Office for students enrolled in the course in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail to the USQ for students enrolled in the course in the external mode. The due date for the assessment is the date by which a student must (i) submit the assessment for students enrolled in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail the assessment for students enrolled in the external mode.

  6. The Faculty will NOT normally accept submission of assessments by facsimile or email.

  7. Students who do not have regular access to postal services for the submission of paper-based assessments, or regular access to Internet services for electronic submission, or are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements prior to the submission date.

  8. Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in a course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of a course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded one of the temporary grades: IM (Incomplete - Make up), IS (Incomplete - Supplementary Examination) or ISM (Incomplete -Supplementary Examination and Make up). A temporary grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non directed personal study.

  9. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  10. Students may be assigned an "Incomplete" grade to signify that all the requirements of the course have not yet been met. Students who are graded "I" can pass the course by successfully completing such additional work as prescribed by the examiner by a given date. Students who have been awarded an IM, ISM, IDM or IDB grade must access information regarding further work to be completed, in the Student Centre of U Connect. The Grades Page in the Student Centre contains information about further work to be completed. Students who have not completed the additional work to the satisfaction of the examiner by the given date will receive the appropriate Failing grade.

Other requirements

  1. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in the course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect to achieve the same grades as those students who do possess them.

  2. IMPORTANT NOTE: DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN ANY PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE WITHIN CHILDREN UNDER 18 UNLESS YOU POSSESS A CURRENT 'BLUE CARD'. State law is Queensland requires that ALL adults (including university students, pre-service educators, trainers, vocational teachers, industry educators) working with children under the age of 18 in the state of Queensland* obtain approval before commencing such work. Many education courses include a practical component (professional experience, project work, research, assessment etc) that may require engagement with children under the age of 18. It is your responsibility to ensure that you possess a current suitability card (Blue Card) before commencing any practical components of this course. For further information see: <> *If you are undertaking practical experience outside the State of Queensland, Australia, you should check local requirements.

  3. It is imperative that students check with the Examiner whether they need to obtain ethics clearance for any of their community work in this course.

  4. Students enrolling in WEB courses MUST have ongoing convenient and reliable access to the Internet in order to access course materials and participate in activities that will affect assessment. The levels of equipment required may change from time to time, with the most recent specification listed at // You can check whether your computer system meets these requirements from USQAssist (