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    Theoretical communication principles about complex information with non-specialist audiences are used to develop communication strategies and resources that connect science and society, for museum exhibitions, education resources or persuasive communication.

    In SCOM 406 you will explore creative approaches to communicating in science engagement settings, including museums, science centres, national parks and other natural areas, participatory citizen science programmes, and science events. In this paper, you will learn basic theoretical principles of communication about complex information with non-specialist audiences, with emphasis on science communication for personal action and lifelong learning.

    This theoretical foundation will inform your development of a communication strategy for a real world client and help you design appropriate and effective communication resources for that client. You will have opportunities to improve your written and oral presentation skills, provide constructive feedback to your peers, prepare and present a professional consultancy report, and design and develop communication resources. You will produce science communication resources to add to your professional portfolio.

    About this paper

    Paper title Science Communication Strategies and Resources
    Subject Science Communication
    EFTS 0.1667
    Points 20 points
    Teaching period Not offered in 2024 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,448.79
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    Normally available only to postgraduate students.
    Teaching staff

    Professor Nancy Longnecker

    Paper Structure

    This paper will meet for one session each week. The weekly sessions comprise various activities including lectures, group discussions, practicals and field trips as appropriate.

    The structure of this class's sessions will vary from week to week. Discussions will be based on readings and activities that relate to assignments (e.g. brainstorming for communication strategies and resources). Some weeks, the class will meet at another venue for a field trip, as per the paper schedule.

    Teaching Arrangements
    One 3-hour session each week.
    Textbooks are not required for this paper.
    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Cultural understanding, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this unit you should have:

    • An understanding of current theories of communication;
    • The ability to identify and access relevant scholarly visitor studies and informal education literature, and the ability to write about science communication with reference to that scholarly literature;
    • The ability to identify objectives and audiences and appropriate communication approaches for those different objectives and audiences;
    • The ability to develop a communication strategy and produce a professional consultancy report about it;
    • Familiarity with effective displays, exhibits, and interpretation;
    • The ability to participate in resource design and create engaging material; and
    • Reflected on your learning process.


    Not offered in 2024

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system
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