Communicating Global Issues in a Changing World

Module titleCommunicating Global Issues in a Changing World
Module codeLIB2007
Academic year2020/1
Credits15
Module staff

Dr Mike Finn (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks

1

11

Number students taking module (anticipated)

30

Description - summary of the module content

Module description

Living and working in the 21st Century brings a range of challenges and opportunities at a scale that society has not faced before. A rapidly growing and more demanding world population is putting unsustainable stress on the natural environment. There is on-going inequality in distribution of wealth. For many, the supply of the key resources of water, food and energy is not secure. Climate change is putting additional pressure on already complex problems.

One of the biggest challenges in this context is how to communicate the complexities and challenges of creating and maintaining a sustainable world in a compelling way.

  • How can we communicate the uncertainties in science findings without losing focus of the core message?
  • How can we translate a complex issue into a compelling story that invites positive action?
  • How can we present an attractive image of sustainability solutions?

You will study current sustainability issues and will learn to present your findings in different styles for different target groups.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The module aims to:

  • Discuss and present global sustainability challenges that society faces today and in the future. Propose a way forward to tackle one or more of these challenges through a case study.
  • Explore theories and meanings of sustainable development and sustainability
  • Identify and critique drivers and challenges to sustainable futures
  • Reflect on societal and personal attitudes and values that inform (un)sustainable practices
  • Formulate and contextualise local and global strategies for sustainable futures
  • Enhance key transferable skills through a variety of learning methods: time management, problem-solving and giving an oral presentation
  • Provide compelling cases for sustainability solutions based on current research finding

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Define major global challenges, giving examples of sustainable practices, measures taken towards sustainability and the achievement of achievable goals
  • 2. Describe the principles of sustainable development
  • 3. Use appropriate language and presentation skills to communicate sustainability issues

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Analyse complex global challenges, reflect critically on them and identify key messages

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Work independently and with self-motivation
  • 6. Presenting to different target groups

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Introduction
  • Communication and semiotics – hidden messages
  • Advertising
  • Graphic design and typography
  • Styles of writing – academic, formal, casual, informative
  • Media design – books, newspapers, magazines, web pages
  • Species of the week – two-minute student presentation – the elevator pitch. Two or three per class.
  • Student presentations – two per class in the second half of the module

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad
221280

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching22Lectures, seminars, individual and group teaching presentations
Guided independent study128Studying global sustainability challenges and sustainable development. Studying the theory and practice of communication

Assessment

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Species of the week – individual student 'elevator pitch' to the class about a sustainability issue relating to a plant or animal2 minutes1-6Immediate oral comments from the module coordinator and other students after delivery

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams
75025

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Individual small-group presentation on a current issue relating to sustainability3020 minutes plus discussion1-6Immediate oral comments from the module coordinator and other students after delivery, plus written feedback from the whole class and the module convenor
Journalistic Media (e.g. magazine article, grafic, video) and written rationale, based on your presentation subject or on a different sustainability subject351000 words or equivalent, plus 1000 word rationale1-6Written
Academic article on a current topic of sustainability (a different topic from the presentation and journalistic subject)352000 words 1-6Written

Re-assessment

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Individual small-group presentation on a current issue relating to sustainabilityA presentation, submitted as a set of slides and a word-processed script or a recorded presentation, on a different subject from the original presentation1-6Referral/deferral period
Journalistic Media (e.g. magazine article, grafic, video) and written rationale, based on your presentation subject or on a different sustainability subjectJournalistic Media (e.g. magazine article, grafic, video) and written rationale, based on your presentation subject or on a different sustainability subject1-6Referral/deferral period
Academic article on a current topic of sustainability (a different topic from the presentation and journalistic subject)Academic article on a current topic of sustainability (a different topic from the presentation and journalistic subject), and a different topic from the original submission1-6Referral/deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Resources

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Brown et al., S. (2010), Tackling wicked problems through the transdisciplinary imagination (London, Earthscan) (Streatham library - 507.2 BRO) 
  • Hulme, M. (2009), Why we disagree about climate change: understanding controversy, inaction and opportunity (Cambridge, University Press) (Streatham library - 551.6 HUL)
  • Lovelock, J. (2006) The revenge of Gaia: why the Earth is fighting back – and how we can still save humanity (London, Allen Lane) (St Luke’s library - 301.31 LOV)
  • Klein, N. (2014) This changes everything: capitalism vs. the climate (363.73874 KLE)
  • Mackay, D. (2009) Sustainable Energy - Without the Hot Air (333.794 MAC)
  • McIntosh, A. (2008) Hell and high water: climate change, hope and the human condition (Edinburgh, Birlinn) (Streatham Library - 363.73874 MACI )
  • Weingart, P., Engels, A. and Pansegrau, P. (2000). Risks of communication: discourses on climate change in science, politics, and the mass media. Public Understanding Of Science , 9(3), pp. 261-283.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

  • ELE page: https://vle.exeter.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=6387 
  • Climate Visuals - an evidence-based resource for visual climate change communication - www.climatevisuals.org/
  • The Earth Charter:earthcharter.org/discover/the-earth-charter/
  • FCH Global Futures Facebook group
  • Resilient People, Resilient Planet (The Report of the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability): www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/66/700(2012)
  • ]What is resilience? An introduction to social ecological research: agrilinks.org/library/what-resilienceintroduction-social-ecological-research– Agrilinks, Feed the Future, US Government’s Global Hunger and Food Security Institute.
  • Sell the Sizzle: How to sell climate change: www.wearefuterra.com/2017/06/08/how-to-sell-climate-change/ 

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Sustainability, global issues, green economy, future, sustainable development, resilience, society, communication

Credit value15
Module ECTS

7.5

Module pre-requisites

None

Module co-requisites

None

NQF level (module)

5

Available as distance learning?

Yes

Origin date

26/07/2013

Last revision date

26/02/2019