SCO399 Design-X

Design-X is a semester-long solution-driven project that aims to advance critical inquiry into a range of local issues using a cross-disciplinary perspective. It is meant for those who have a keen interest in finding and constructing new insights to systemic and social issues (for example using critical, systems and design thinking approaches) and who want to work with faculty members to explore and develop solutions to address community concerns. Students can form project teams of 2 to 4 members to prepare and submit a project proposal. Successful projects will be considered for the service-learning component for graduation.

Credit value: 10 cu; Duration: 12 weeks (July – Nov); Frequency of Contact Time: every fortnight (weeks 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11); week 12 – poster presentation

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Scheme of Assessment

Pre-course Project Proposal This pre-course component must be completed and submitted before the course commences. Students must attain at least 60 marks before they can commence the course. Only submissions using the Pre-Course Project Proposal Form (Appendix A) will be considered.10%
Project Proposal and Milestone Requirements

This assignment consists of 2 parts.

Section A: Refined proposal write-up (5%)

This consists of responding to the gaps raised in the pre-course project proposal. This should lead to some of the following: a more refined research problem, answering to the importance/urgency of the issue, development of original insight into the issue or developing novel solutions, etc.

Section B: Milestone requirements are defined by supervisors and can comprise of (25%)

  • Literature review
  • Acquisition of skills identified appropriate for research project (e.g. ethnography, design-thinking, system thinking, quantitative statistics)
  • Data collection
  • Brain-storming and evaluation
  • Prototyping solutions and applications
  • Feedback loops and iteration
  • Findings and analysis
  • Problem-solving and decision-making
Project ReportFull-length 3500-word research study project report40%
Project Presentation

This assignment will consist of 2 parts:

  1. Poster
    A poster capturing the key details of the research study (thesis, methodology, findings, analysis, limitations, future plans)

  2. Project presentation
    This is a 10-min oral presentation followed by a Q&A.

To enrol in this course, students must do the following:

  • Apply for SCO399 Design-X as an unrestricted SUSS Core elective during the April eCR.
  • Form groups (2 – 4 students) to prepare a project proposal using Pre-course Project Proposal Form (Appendix A). The details of this project proposal and rubrics used for assessment are found in Annex A.
  • Submit the completed Pre-course Project Proposal Form (Appendix A) to by 11:55pm on 11 June 2021.
  • Annex B comprises a list of useful methodologies/approaches on the 'hows' of conceptualising and carrying out a project. Students should consult these sources to gain a good grasp of what social science research is about.
  • Refer to Annex C for a list of potential supervisors and their areas of interest. Students are strongly encouraged to speak with potential supervisors when drafting their project proposal.

The Pre-course Project Proposal will receive a score from 2 assessors, contributing to 10% of the final marks for the course if the proposal is accepted. Students will be able to commence the course by attaining at least 60 marks (out of 100 marks) overall. They will be allocated a project supervisor and considered to be accepted into the course.

The Pre-course Project Proposal Form (Appendix A) must be submitted to by 11:55pm on 11 June 2021.

Project proposal write-up (100 marks)

Students are to use the form for the project proposal write-up using the Pre-course Project Proposal Form (Appendix A). The following attributes detail how the project proposals (out of 100 marks) will be scored:

Criteria (Score)Descriptors
(20 marks)
Are the approaches or concepts used novel?
Do the approaches or concepts used challenge existing paradigms?
Does the project clarify and add new information to certain aspects of current knowledge of a social issue?
Does the project create a new understanding of the social issue?
Is/are the proposed solution(s) to the social issue novel in this field?
(20 marks)
Does the proposal address an important social issue?
How does the effect of the result on the concepts or approaches drive the field of study?
How do the findings add to the current knowledge of this issue?
Quality of research design and analysis
(20 marks)
Is/are the research question(s) clearly articulated?
Is the project design clearly described (e.g. research method and procedures, limitations, anticipated issues, etc.)
Are the methods and analyses appropriate for the project design?
Conclusions and/or solutions
(20 marks)
Are the conclusions and/or solutions clearly stated?
How well are the conclusions justified by the research design and analysis (i.e. are the conclusions overstated)?
Are the solutions feasible and sustainable?
Quality of write-up
(20 marks)
Is the proposal clearly written and easily understandable?

Social research

Writing help

Singapore social issues

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