Course Outline

DEV701 Development Practice and Evaluation

Course Coordinator:Harriot Beazley ( School:School of Law and Society

2022Semester 1

USC Sunshine Coast

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Please go to the USC website for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


This course will introduce you to advanced issues related to development practice and evaluation in an international context, providing a critical reflection of practices and techniques used by development professionals and community workers in international settings. By emphasising agency, participation, capacity development, gender analysis, and cross-cultural values, you will develop an inclusive process for international community development planning and action. You will gain in-depth knowledge and skills about a range of development models and techniques.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Weekly workshops face to face 2hrs Week 2 9 times
Learning materials – Weekly online learning materials 1hr Week 2 9 times
Seminar – All of cohort seminars 2hrs Week 1 2 times

Course Topics

Key principles in Community Development

Strengths based Approaches to Community Development (Appreciative Inquiry)

Participatory Action Research

Culture and Development

Gender and Development

Children, Young People and Development

Monitoring and Evaluation

Aid Effectiveness

What level is this course?

700 Level (Specialised)

Demonstrating a specialised body of knowledge and set of skills for professional practice or further learning. Advanced application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Understand the conceptual and practice principles, values and frameworks for international community development, including the institutions involved, their discourses and practices. Knowledgeable
2 Comprehend the diversity of perspective and values in international community development, and learn to recognize and appreciate the complexity of scenarios and challenges that development practitioners may face. Knowledgeable
3 Be familiar with community development tools as well as knowledge and skills necessary to be more effective when working on a community development project. Empowered
4 Possess skills and techniques of international community development such as cross-cultural communication, gender analysis, participatory approaches, capacity development and monitoring and evaluation. Ethical
5 Be aware of how to conduct oneself effectively and/or appropriately as a development practitioner Ethical
6 Adopt flexible and adaptive work practices to suit local and national contexts in a variety of settings as well as in key program areas. Empowered

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the USC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


Enrolled in any PGRD Program


Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Not applicable

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

Timely and detailed feedback is provided for each assessment. Feedback is provided both within text and general comments to build scholarly skills. Students are able to seek feedback through face-to-face discussion with the course coordinator. Tutorials will include extended discussion and review of the assessment task requirements and scope.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Quiz/zes Individual 25%
2000 words
Week 6 Online Test (Quiz)
All 2 Oral Individual 35%
15 Minutes
Week 10 In Class
All 3 Case Study Individual 40%
3500 words
Week 13 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All - Assessment Task 1:Online Test
To critically apply your knowledge of key concepts and theories within current development practice
Product: Quiz/zes
You will be required to write short responses to questions that will be posted on Canvas on the Monday of Week 5 and will be available for a week until Monday week 6. You will be required to answer ten questions with a maximum of 200 words for each question
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Degree of knowledge and understanding of the key concepts and principles in development studies
Demonstrates an understanding of the evolution of development theories
Extent to which key concepts are linked with examples and illustrate the answer
2 3
Evidence of understanding of ideas raised from course content
Quality of grammar and spelling
All - Assessment Task 2:Seminar Presentation
You will present an individual seminar which will empower you to critically engage with a development scenario in a location of your interest.
Product: Oral
Submit: Week 6-10. You will choose one week between Week 6 - Week 10 to present an individual seminar on a chosen topic. Choose a development practice issue in a 'developing' region or country in the world that interests you. Prepare a seminar on this issue as it relates to the course materials and readings. In particular you will be expected to focus on community development principles and values. Your scenario is expected to highlight key issues covered in the course, such as cross-cultural communication issues, gender analysis, children and development and participatory approaches to development.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Quality of presentation (verbal and PowerPoint)
Degree of knowledge and understanding of the principles, values and skills for good and sustainable development practice
Quality of additional research undertaken
Degree of links between additional research and required readings analysis
Quality of analysis between course material and chosen subject/ geographical area
Extent to which key concepts for the chosen topic are linked with examples
Adequate referencing to course readings and reference list in Harvard style.
4 5
All - Assessment Task 3:Case Study Review
Critical Review of a Development Project Case Study. An analytical review of 3,500 words which will require you to demonstrate a critical awareness of community development values, ethics and principles within the context of a specific development project. You will be expected to discuss the implications of the critique for an understanding of effective and appropriate community development practice.
Product: Case Study
This final assignment will be in the form of a take home paper that will require a response to a real-life development scenario with specific questions. The emphasis will be to reflect on the community development practice frameworks which will have been discussed during the course, including problem analysis (together with a demonstration of gender and cross-cultural awareness), project design, and monitoring and evaluation. The answer will be approximately 4,000 words. The scenario (and supporting material) will be given out in week 9 and will be posted on Canvas the following day. For this essay, you will be required to provide a critical summary of the community development processes, principles and values which were applied, including relevant contextual factors and discussion of the relevant literature. The purpose of this assignment is to give participants in the course an opportunity to ground their theoretical and practical understanding of sustainable development practice in a particular case study. By linking theory to the issues, questions and dilemmas associated with community development, participants can gain an enhanced understanding of the analytical and practice frameworks presented in the course.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
​​Review clearly demonstrates near-comprehensive knowledge of community development principles and values discussed
High levels of critical analysis and reflection of case study/project and its approach
Demonstrated ability to conceptualise and address the practice dimensions of the community development task.
3 6
Quality of structure, grammar and spelling of submitted paper
Adequate referencing to course readings and reference list in Harvard style​​

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Directed study hours may vary by location. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

Please note that you need to have regular access to the resource(s) listed below. Resources may be required or recommended.

Required? Author Year Title Edition Publisher
Recommended Vandana Desai,Robert B. Potter 0 The Companion to Development Studies 3rd n/a

Specific requirements


How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


USC is committed to a culture of respect and providing a safe and supportive environment for all members of our community. For immediate assistance on campus contact SafeUSC by phone: 07 5430 1168 or using the SafeZone app. For general enquires contact the SafeUSC team by phone 07 5456 3864 or email

The SafeUSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email

Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

Wellbeing Services

Student Wellbeing provide free and confidential counselling on a wide range of personal, academic, social and psychological matters, to foster positive mental health and wellbeing for your academic success.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 1226.

AccessAbility Services

Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Administration of Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Academic Misconduct
  • Students with a Disability

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General Enquiries

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