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Unit of study_

EDPC5024: Systems, Change and Learning

Semester 2, 2020 [Normal evening] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

In this core unit we will use 'systems inquiry' as a conceptual framework to explore change and learning processes, on the individual, group and organisational level. We focus on a theory-based approach to change management and organisational learning, so that students can come to appreciate the complexity and non-linearity of bringing about change in schools, corporations and other organisations. Drawing on contemporary research in the learning sciences, we will explore group and individual learning and conceptual change processes. Students will apply modern conceptual change approaches to investigate their own learning process, and will gain hands-on experience as they apply systems inquiry concepts and methods to analyse change problems in their own professional environment.

Unit details and rules

Unit code EDPC5024
Academic unit Education
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Peter Reimann,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Presentation Oral presentation
Guide your peer students through an exercise on a skills component
20% Ongoing 45-60 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO4 LO6 LO5
Assignment group assignment Learning resource development
Group task: development of an online learning resource
30% STUVAC Equivalent to 1800 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO5 LO6
Assignment Essay
Essay on a key topic of the course.
50% STUVAC 3000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

  • For  assignment 1  the quality of the presentation and of the information provided to peers during tutoring will be graded. 
  • For assignment 2 (group project on learning resoource development) a Canvas page will be created with multimedia content, MCQ questions and exercises on a skills component. 
  • For assignment 3 (individual essay) students select at topic from the conceptual part of the course and write an argumentative essay. There will be opportunity to get feedback on an extended outline of the essay. 

Assessment criteria

Assessment will be graded based on checklists and rubrics described on Canvas. 

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

Late penalties apply as per Faculty policy.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Multiple weeks Social network theory and educational change Seminar (12 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6
Application of Agent-based modelling to educational change and to learning theory Seminar (10 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
Week 01 Introduction to topics, assignments, ways of working, and technologies. Seminar (2 hr) LO1
Week 02 Introduction to innovation diffusion and adoption theories in education Seminar (2 hr) LO3

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Understand key concepts of complexity science
  • LO2. Know applications of complexity concepts in educational research and for school development and management.
  • LO3. Have in-depth knowledge of innovation diffusion and innovation acceptance models (in education)
  • LO4. Be able to interpret and critique studies that use Social Network Analysis
  • LO5. Be able to interpret and critique studies that use agent-based modelling in education
  • LO6. Be able to conduct basic forms of descriptive network analysis

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

Changes from the last time this unit was offered have been made mainly in respect to the topics covered; social network analysis is now included.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.