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PCM5200 Identifying and Researching Sources

Semester 2, 2019 Online
Short Description: Ident & Researching Sources
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Humanities & Communication
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 100700 - Communication & Media Studies
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Andrew Hickey


The rapid pace of change in digital technologies has generated an unprecedented global inundation of information and disinformation. Students need to be equipped with the knowledge to enable them to: discern the credibility and reliability of information; authentically and ethically use primary and secondary materials; and produce communications content that reflects quality professional practice.


Students in this course develop knowledge and skills to become more discriminating producers and consumers of content. The course seeks to help students recognise reliable information, and teaches them how to apply critical-thinking skills to act on such information. Information and media literacy skills, and their application to professional contexts, are an important focus of this course.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. identify, select and interview credible and relevant talent for interviews
  2. identify, select and ethically incorporate credible and relevant primary and secondary source materials for communications content
  3. sort, scrutinise and articulate different types of information
  4. simplify specialist or complex information into engaging communications formats.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Ethical and effective research 35.00
2. Talent selection 20.00
3. Effective interviewing techniques 20.00
4. Structuring information into communications content 25.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Material needed by students will be available via journal articles and ebooks held by the Library, or via web materials.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Material needed by students will be available via journal articles and ebooks held by the Library, or via web materials.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 40.00
Independent Study 125.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
RESEARCH TASK 100 25 15 Aug 2019
INTERVIEWS 100 25 19 Sep 2019
PROJECT 100 50 24 Oct 2019

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students’ responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative items for the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There is no examination in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Referencing in assignments must comply with the Harvard (AGPS) referencing system. This system should be used by students to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (APGS) style to be used is defined by the USQ library’s referencing guide. This guide can be found at

Evaluation and benchmarking

In meeting the University’s aims to establish quality learning and teaching for all programs, this course monitors and ensures quality assurance and improvements in at least two ways. This course:

  1. conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement.
  2. forms part of the Graduate Certificate of Professional Communication and is benchmarked against the internal USQ accreditation/reaccreditation processes which include (i) stringent standards in the independent accreditation of its academic programs, (ii) close integration between business and academic planning, and (iii) regular and rigorous review.