Is polluting our environment done for the common good?
Does perpetuating discrimination respect the dignity of the individual?
These are just two examples of the many real challenges we face as individuals functioning as members of our community. They highlight the fact that as humans, we are all individuals, and yet none of us lives in isolation. The African concept of ‘ubuntu’ is helpful here: I am what I am, because of who we are - this concept is consistent with the principles of Catholic social thought. Understanding these principles helps us to determine how issues relating to the dignity of the human person and the realization of the common good may be addressed in our personal and professional lives now and in the future. This knowledge and understanding is a foundation for the development of the skills needed to be able to propose ways to address challenges where shared responsibility for the common good is not being realized. Given the pervasiveness of such problems in our community, addressing this need is important to our success as a community in realizing a more just world – and your role as an individual who can, and must, be part of that.
Therefore, this unit will aim to equip you with knowledge and understanding of the ideas of "self" and "community" as interrelated concepts, and develop basic skills to enable you to contribute to a more just society.
This unit is offered in multi-mode. This means you are required to complete activities in LEO prior to face-to-face classes. The activities are designed to support your completion of the assessment tasks. It is vital to the successful completion of the unit that you engage in both these learning modes.
10 week semester. You should anticipate undertaking 90 hours of study for this unit, including class attendance, readings and assignment preparation. This unit is the first of two units which are part of the University Core Curriculum.
On successful completion of this unit, you should be able to:
1. Describe coherently in writing the principles of Catholic Social Thought (CST), and through a personal written commentary on each one, explain how the concepts of 'self' and 'community' are interrelated.
2.Analyse and evaluate the principles of CST in order to write an argument that shows how issues relating to the dignity of the human person and the realisation of the common good may be addressed by you in your professional practice (ie. the degree program you are studying) now and in the future.
Each unit in your course contributes in some way to the development of the ACU Graduate Attributes which you should demonstrate by the time you complete your course. You can view the ACU Graduate Attributes for all courses at http://www.acu.edu.au/204356. All Australian universities have their expected Graduate Attributes – ACU’s Graduate Attributes have a greater emphasis on ethical behaviour and community responsibility than those of many other universities. All of your units will enable you to develop some attributes.
On successful completion of this unit, you should have developed your ability to:
GA1demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity
GA2recognise your responsibility to the common good, the environment and society
GA4think critically and reflectively
GA7work both autonomously and collaboratively
GA8locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information
GA 9demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media
Topics will include:
• The Good Life and the Golden Rule
• I am because we are; individual and society
• The history and principles of Catholic social thought
• Human flourishing and the common good
• The common good
• Case study - Challenges to the common good – freedoms and the common good
• Advocacy: personal and professional challenges of Catholic social teaching
Student Evaluation of Learning and Teaching (SELT) are usually conducted at the end of the teaching period. Your practical and constructive feedback is valuable to improve the quality of the unit. Please ensure you complete the SELT survey for the unit. You can also provide feedback at other times to the unit lecturers, course coordinators and/or through student representatives.
This unit is designed to employ active learning techniques which require you to have completed the readings and activities for each module before attending the small group face-to-face classes. The readings and activities are designed to help inform you for the learning activities in each class.
In order to pass this unit, you are required to:
1.Submit a credible attempt for each and every assessment item that is measured via the Criteria Referenced Assessment matrix for each assessment task
2.Obtain a minimum of a pass mark overall (from the combination of marks for all two assignments)
Create a feature article about the topics of ‘self’ and ‘community’. Demonstrate your understanding of the principles of Catholic Social Thought (CST) in relation to ‘self’ and ‘community’.
Assessment No.1 is designed to assess the first intended learning outcome, namely:
1.Describe coherently in writing the principles of Catholic Social Thought (CST), and through a personal written commentary, explain that the concepts of 'self' and 'community' are interrelated.
The readings from tutorials 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the unit available to you via the LEO (i.e. Module 1 - The Good Life and the Golden Rule; Module 2 - I am because we are; individual and society; Module 3 - The history and principles of Catholic Social thought; Module 4 - Human Flourishing and the Common Good) and through any wider or further reading you wish to include. Please note that you are not required to read outside of the reading list in the unit in order to achieve a high distinction in this assessment task.
• Construct a feature article describing in writing, the 9 principles of Catholic Social Thought (CST) as outlined in the unit, and draw upon these principles to demonstrate the interrelationship between the concepts of 'self' and 'community'. The 9 principles you are to write about are: Dignity of the Human Person; Common Good; Preferential Option for the Poor; Subsidiarity; Universal Purpose of Goods; Stewardship of Creation; Promotion of Peace; Participation; Global solidarity
• From this assessment you will receive constructive feedback to assist you in completing the assessment 2.
• The article is to be no more than 1,200 words in length.
• The feature article may have illustrations/artwork that relate to the content of your article. Try and make your article interesting and engaging for readers.
• The article must refer to the extracted readings in the unit reading list for tutorials 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. You may refer to other material you have read around the topic in order to gain a greater understanding of the topic but note that you are not required to read outside of the reading list in the unit in order to achieve a high distinction in this assessment task.
• All material must be referenced (see the notes on the UNCC100 LEO page for how to reference according to your discipline area). References do not count in the word limit.
• This assessment will be worth 50 marks.
Write an Op-Ed (opinion-editorial) piece that allows you to demonstrate an understanding of how issues relating to the dignity of the human person and the realization of the common good may be addressed by you in your professional practice now and in the future. You will need to select an issue that relates to the degree program you are studying and write a concise but persuasive opinion piece on an issue or problem relating to the dignity of the human person and the realisation of the common good that relates to your future professional practice.
The readings of the unit available to you via LEO and through any wider or further reading you wish to include. Please note that you are not required to read outside of the reading list in the unit in order to achieve a high distinction in this assessment task. Further, you should read the articles on LEO that explain more fully what an Op-Ed piece is before commencing this assessed task.
• Create an evocative and engaging Op-Ed that applies insights from Assessment 1 (knowledge base) on an issue or problem relating to the dignity of the human person and the realisation of the common good that relates to your professional practice (ie the degree program you are studying). For example, how does your chosen profession treat its clients’ privacy and how does what you have learned about human dignity and human rights impact on that treatment?
• The Op-Ed should clearly explain to readers what the issue or problem is and how your understanding of the knowledge you have acquired in the unit addresses the issue or problem and relate to the discipline area you are studying in. Please note that you do not have to come up with the ‘definitive solution’ rather provide a well-argued view in order to move forward on the issue or problem.
• The Op-Ed is to be no more than 700 words long (papers which fall beyond 770 words will not be marked beyond this point). The idea is to express your thoughts clearly and concisely and make your argument as directly as you can – just like a journalist or writer. Do not assume that this assignment is easy given the word length. The challenge is to present a persuasive argument in a concise manner!
• Although Op-Ed’s do not usually require referencing, for this academic work, referencing is required. References do not count in the word limit. See referencing guidelines on the UNCC100 LEO page (You can find it under Assessment>How do I reference course materials for UNCC units?). • This assessment will be worth 50 marks.
This unit requires you to use the referencing system used by your discipline area. See the Academic Referencing Skills page from the Academic Skills Unit for more details.
It is your responsibility to read and familiarise yourself with ACU policies and regulations, including regulations on examinations; review and appeals; acceptable use of IT facilities; and conduct and responsibilities. These are in the ACU Handbook, which is available from the website.
You must read the Assessment Policy and Assessment Procedures in the University Handbook: they include rules on deadlines; penalties for late submission; extensions; and special consideration. If you have any queries on Assessment Policy, please see your Lecturer in Charge.
You have the responsibility to submit only work which is your own, or which properly acknowledges the thoughts, ideas, findings and/or work of others. The Framework for Academic Integrity and the Academic Honesty Policy are available from the website. Please read them, and note in particular that plagiarism, collusion and recycling of assignments are not acceptable. Penalties for academic dishonesty can vary in severity, and can include being excluded from the course.
The ‘Turnitin’ application (a text-matching tool) will be used in this unit, in order to enable:
• students to improve their academic writing by identifying possible areas of poor citation and referencing in their written work; and
• teaching staff to identify areas of possible plagiarism in students’ written work.
Further instruction on how to submit your assignments via Turnitin will be provided prior to submission of your first assignment.
While Turnitin can help in identifying problems with plagiarism, avoiding plagiarism is more important. Information on is available from the Academic Skills Unit web page. For any assignment that has been created to allow submission through Turnitin (check the Assignment submission details for each assessment task), you should submit your draft well in advance of the due date (ideally, several days before) to ensure that you have time to work on any issues identified by Turnitin. On the assignment due date, lecturers will have access to your final submission, and the Turnitin Originality Report.
If you are experiencing difficulties with learning, life issues or pastoral/spiritual concerns, or have a disability/medical condition which may impact on your studies, you are advised to notify your Lecturer in Charge, Course Coordinator and/or one of the services listed below as soon as possible.
• Academic Skills offers a variety of services, including workshops (on topics such as assignment writing, time management, reading strategies, referencing), drop-in sessions, group appointments and individual consultations. It has a 24-hour online booking system for individual or group consultations.
• Campus Ministry offers pastoral care, spiritual leadership and opportunities for you to be involved with community projects.
• The Student Advocacy Service provides you with assistance to navigate, understand and comply with University policies and procedures.
• The Career Development Service can assist you with finding employment, preparing a resume and employment application and preparing for interviews.
• The Counselling Service is a free, voluntary, confidential and non-judgmental service open to all students and staffed by qualified social workers or registered psychologists.
•Disability Services can assist you if you need educational adjustments because of a disability or chronic medical condition; please contact them as early as possible.
• Indigenous student communities and support on each campus provide information and support for students.
• IT information and resources provides information and resources for using ACU email, recorded lectures, WiFi, network storage space, printing and copying. The Services and Support web page provides links for each service.
The LEO page for this unit contains further readings/ discussion forums.
Do we need to (and can we) refer to other readings, or should we refer only to those readings set out in the study guide?
It is always wise to demonstrate knowledge of the prescribed readings but you may read around the topic if it assists your understanding of the topic. You are not required to read outside of the reading list in the unit in order to achieve a high distinction in this assessment task. Further, in relation to assessment 2, you should read the two articles on LEO that explain more fully what an Op-Ed piece is before commencing this assessed task.
What are you, the markers, looking for in the assessment?
On the issue of what is expected with regard to your assessment, your assessed tasks (like any other university assessment) should be well thought-out, demonstrating a sensible, logical and carefully considered analysis of the readings and the arguments, issues etc. that arise within and from them. The readings are scholarly writings by academics well versed in the issues surrounding the topic. How do you think you might meaningfully bring your understanding of the issues and the materials to the debate? We want you to convey what YOU think is the best way to view the readings and issues, supporting and defending your interpretation and argument appropriately. The point is not how the markers would draw connections but how YOU draw connections and - however drawn - that those connections are carefully, concisely and precisely considered, articulated, supported and defended.
What will distinguish the better work?
The assessments are essentially the same as any other task that requires you to submit a piece of scholarly work. While the mode of presentation may be a little different, the scholarly requirements of your work remain the same. Keep in mind that better assessments:
• will demonstrate a good grasp of the issues and arguments in the set readings;
• will be characterised by careful and critical analysis of those issues and arguments;
• will use the literature to support and defend their argument; and
• will be effective methods of communicating your thoughts in order to engage the reader in your argument.
Students should, where appropriate, demonstrate an ability to use language which is clear and grammatically correct, forming paragraphs which show an ability to structure the assessment logically. Where expression detracts from the quality of the assessment, it may be taken into consideration when determining a grade. Where expression is poor, an assessment will not generally be awarded a high distinction regardless of its merits in other respects. Where an assessment is very poorly written, it may be grounds to fail the assessment.
Please do not think that we, the markers, are looking for you to make particular arguments that align with our thinking. The point is not how we would draw connections but how YOU would draw connections and - however drawn - that those connections are carefully, concisely and precisely considered, articulated, supported and defended. In other words, we want YOUR mind on the issues based on a scholarly understanding of the readings (and viewings) not what you think the markers want to read. And also … HAVE FUN!
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