Mapping Our World
Task: Australia is often considered to be a multicultural place, but is that only true in certain areas? What about your suburb or neighbourhood? The aim of this assignment is for students to do some research into the suburb in which they live or reside now as a local space of international importance, connection and diversity. You will create a digital map of your suburb and reflect on the mix of cultures and nationalities found there and your relation to them. This assignment springboards from a central premise of this subject, and the broader Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, that the “international” begins here, where we are now.
The assignment has two parts:
1): students make a digital map of their suburb or neighbourhood that features six sites that in some way signal or identify the “international” as it may be manifested in the suburb. Specific instructions on how to make and save the map are available below.
2): students write a 400-word reflection on the map that justifies the choice of local sites as “international” sites and that locates the student in that setting. To the reflection students should add references to two texts (a book, a book chapter, an academic article, a piece of media coverage, a government website) that focus on their suburb or neighbourhood and that provide historical background about its cultural and demographic makeup. This reflection will also include the URL to the map.
Due: Friday 26 March by midnight. Formative feedback will be provided online week 2 to week 5. Final feedback will be provided within two weeks of submission.
Submit the reflection (containing the URL to your map) via Turnitin on UTSOnline (Turnitin records the time & date of submission).
Making your digital map Instructions. Please follow the following steps:
1): Go to https://maphub.net
2): Create an account.
3): Click on “New Map”, top right hand corner.
4): Using the plus and minus function locate your selected neighbourhood on the map.
5): Use the line marker to provide a rough boundary or borderline to the selected suburb or neighbourhood.
6): In your walks or travels around your neighbourhood note the names and locations of specific sites that indicate local places with international connections of some sort. This can include shops, places of worship, restaurants (but only one per map!), gathering places, etc. You will need six.
7): Use the Point (Tab) marker to indicate the location of each site on your map. Name them, and add any relevant description to the tabs that will appear on the right of the screen once you have placed your tab.
8): Feel free to add images to each tab..
9): On the right hand side, click the Visibility tab and make the map public.
10): An example of a basic map is found at: https://maphub.net/PaulAllatson/FIS-map-example
|Criteria||Weight (%)||Subject Learning Objective||Course Intended Learning Outcome|
|Quality of research design – information gathering, presenting findings||30||e||2.1. Graduates will be able to creatively design and conduct independent, engaged and ethical research in and about other cultural contexts and societies|
|Critical reflection on one’s own local place in relation to the wider world||40||c||5.1. As informed and engaged international citizens graduates will demonstrate cosmopolitan openness, with an awareness of, and commitment to, ethical practices|
|Quality of communication in map self-reflection||30||g||6.1. Graduates will possess a high-level of oral and written communication skills in English and at least one other language|
Intent and skill development: By completing this Mapping Our World assessment task students will:
- Identify specific sites and places in their local neighbourhood that tell stories about local-international connections;
- Generate a short critical reflection on their map and their relation to the wider world, which should touch on some of the key concepts introduced in the subject to date;
- Independently identify and justify the choice of two texts or sources about their neighbourhood; and,
- Present their findings in appropriate academic English.
Within the FIS subject, and the broader BA IS, this assessment task introduces students to the importance of self-reflection as a way of understanding personal links to the broader world.
A reflection is not just a description or a summary; it is an analysis in which the self becomes the object of enquiry. The exercise is really about getting students to understand that the international begins at home, and is all around us. The sites students pick to illustrate this seemingly obvious (but on reflection complex) approach should in some way demonstrate the international at work, e.g. signs of Indigenous history, multicultural sites of eating, gathering or worship, even a student’s own family home, etc. Students must justify their selection of those sites as international sites and then reflect on their own relationship with those sites and their suburb/neighbourhood. Have they noticed these sites before this exercise. Does the map exercise make students rethink their understanding of the world when considered from a local vantage point? Has the student been involved in any of the selected sites, and if so, in what way; if not, why not? Can the student’s personal and familial international links be mapped in their particular neighbourhood? If not, what does that say about the international (e.g., taken for granted, simply part of the landscape, like everyone else or unlike everyone else? etc).
Some helpful tips and some questions
This assessment task is asking students to be proactive learners and to come up with their own solutions to and justifications for the maps they are creating. Some tips:
- Only one restaurant is permitted per map; what is the rationale for the one you have included, if you have done so?
- Sites such as “Flight Centres” are obvious, but not really very helpful or imaginative. Why might this be?
- Have you been paying attention to street names and signs? For instance, does your suburb have a “Cook Street” or a “Banks Street” or an “Imperial Avenue”? Maybe a Mekong Avenue? Are there any streets or locations that derive from Indigenous Australian languages?
- While there is a word limit for the written component of the assignment, there is no word limit for the tabs on each location on the map you have selected. This is a good space to provide the descriptions of the sites you have selected.
- On whose First Nation Country is your suburb located?