Credit points: 15

Subject outline

Students of this subject will explore and apply principles and practices of innovation and change management to individuals, groups, communities and their networks in rural contexts including new technologies and their impact on communities and production. Case studies will be used to analyse evidence of the effectiveness and efficiency of extension work in Australian and international contexts. Students will consider the range of roles and opportunities for an extension worker, develop an understanding of collaborative approaches to community engagement, and extend their skills as reflective professionals. Students will undertake a small action learning project to facilitate change on a specific issue in a community, including the demonstration of effective communication and negotiation with stakeholders.

SchoolSchool of Life Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorPenelope Smith

Available to Study Abroad StudentsNo

Subject year levelYear Level 3 - UG

Exchange StudentsNo

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites Admission into SBATE


Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsCommunication for rural innovation: rethinking agricultural extensionRecommendedLeeuwis C, Van Den Ban, A, Hawkins, A & Zijp, W 20043RD EDN, BLACKWELL PUBLISHING, OXFORD.
ReadingsHeartland: The regeneration of rural placeRecommendedMain, G 2005UNSW PRESS, SYDNEY.
ReadingsIn Search of sustainabilityRecommendedGoldie J, Douglas B & Furness B (eds) 2005COLLINGWOOD, CSIRO PUBLISHING.
ReadingsLearning and professional development in advisory services: supporting the reflective practitionerRecommendedPaine M, Nettle, R & Coats, S 20046TH INTERNATIONAL FARMING SYSTEMS ASSOCIATION EUROPEAN SYMPOSIUM, VILA REAL, PORTUGAL, PP. 653-662.
ReadingsRural Links, Rural, 2004ABC, SYDNEY
ReadingsRural and Regional CommunitiesRecommendedGrigorian M 2005NSW DEPT. OF COMMUNITY SERVICES, SYDNEY.
ReadingsSustainability and change in rural AustraliaRecommendedCocklin, C & Dibden, J (eds) 2004UNSW PRESS, SYDNEY

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Identify and describe concepts of rural communities, networks, their social and economic functions and strategies for community engagement

Lectures and tutorials will outline the social concepts of the importance of communities and networks in rural business and life. Case studies of professional, industry and social bodies at the local, regional and national level will be used in tutorials as the basis for discussion.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Ethical Awareness

02. Critique principles and practices of innovation and change in rural communities

Lectures and tutorials will outline the principles and importance of innovation and change in rural and business settings. Case studies analysing both successful and unsuccessful innovations will be studied and discussed. On-going change such as the demise of country towns will be discussed as a pertinent example.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Creative Problem-solving
Ethical Awareness

03. Identify and describe principles and practices of effective communication and negotiation with stakeholders using new technologies to develop networks in rural communities

The use and place of electronic and social media as well as tradition forms of communication will be discussed in lectures and tutorials. Simulated negotiation using role plays and similar techniques to demonstrate principles will be used. Students will set up networks and explore different forms of writing for disparate audiences.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Creative Problem-solving
Ethical Awareness

04. Research and evaluate principles of innovation and change management and apply to rural community based issues

Case studies will be used to evaluate principles to ensure successful change. Students will analyse and discuss their findings in tutorials and the application of these findings to rural community issues.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Inquiry/ Research
Critical Thinking

05. Present innovation and change management practices to rural communities to facilitate community development using academic conventions

Student will discuss the use of a selection of media to facilitate change in a selected community for a specific issue. The promotion of this change will be presented to the class and peer assessed.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Epping, 2018, Semester 2, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorPenelope Smith

Class requirements

WorkShop Week: 31 - 43
Two 2.0 hours workshop per week on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via face-to-face.


Assessment elementComments% ILO*
Essay (2000 words)30 01, 02, 04, 05
Report and presentation (15 minutes)30 04, 05
Tutorial Exercises (4 x group presentations 10 minutes)40 01, 02, 03