Postgraduate Course: Future Governance (fusion on-site) (EFIE11072)
|Edinburgh Futures Institute
|College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)
|SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
|Available to all students
|This course examines how technology and data is used within governance and public policy; in the policy process; in political communication; and more widely how big data, algorithms and artificial intelligence are and can be used within government. We will engage critically with the interface between governance/public policy and technology especially technological innovation and change in liberal democracies. We will consider how technology is, and may be, used in the delivery of public services. We address the limitations of these approaches and highlight how they can go radically wrong. This course will be hands on with plenty of discussion and evaluation of approaches using real world data.
The course is designed to explore the ways in which government has become digital, data driven and more technologically functional. We investigate future opportunities for such changes and evaluate the lessons learned from experience.
We will engage critically with the interface between governance/public policy and technology especially technological innovation and change in liberal democracies. This will include access to and engagement with government services from agenda setting through to implementation and evaluation. We will consider how technology is, and may be, used in the delivery of public services. The processes of data analysis in the era of 'big data' will be investigated. We will evaluate emerging technologies in artificial intelligence and the opportunities and limitations presented by these developments. We will investigate how social media has been used as a communication tool in both political messaging and campaigning and will discuss the possible impact this has had. We will investigate the likely direction of innovation and future development.
This course will be taught in a hybrid format.
In the one week pre-intensive stage, the students are allocated into a peer-reading groups where each student is allocated a key article. All articles will be discussed within seminars as part of the intensive sessions.
In the 2-day intensive section, we cover four specific topics 1) governance and public policy, 2) data and artificial intelligence, 3) political communication and 4) a sceptical view of data. The hybrid delivery format will be a combination of lectures, external talks from industry and collaborative seminars involving on-campus and online students, with options for asynchronous collaborative input. We will use real-world data in a group exercise to provide hands on experience of data analysis.
The 3 week post-intensive part of the course is an individual student project where each student evaluates how a real-life data set can be used in policy development. During the post-intensive session peers will form study groups to discuss their work and provide peer formative feedback. The assessed work will be a 1500 word evaluation of the data and the appropriateness for use in informing policy decisions.
Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI) - On-Site Fusion Course Delivery Information:
The Edinburgh Futures Institute will teach this course in a way that enables online and on-campus students to study together. This approach (our 'fusion' teaching model) offers students flexible and inclusive ways to study, and the ability to choose whether to be on-campus or online at the level of the individual course. It also opens up ways for diverse groups of students to study together regardless of geographical location. To enable this, the course will use technologies to record and live-stream student and staff participation during their teaching and learning activities.
Students should be aware that:
- Classrooms used in this course will have additional technology in place: students might not be able to sit in areas away from microphones or outside the field of view of all cameras.
- Unless the lecturer or tutor indicates otherwise you should assume the session is being recorded.
As part of your course, you will need access to a personal computing device. Unless otherwise stated activities will be web browser based and as a minimum we recommend a device with a physical keyboard and screen that can access the internet.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Course Start Date
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 6,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 5,
Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 4,
Other Study Hours 5,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Additional Information (Learning and Teaching)
Other Study: Scheduled Group-work Hours (hybrid online/on-campus) - 5
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
The course will be assessed by means of the following assessment components:
1) Journal Club Participation (25%)
Students will receive a participation mark that encompasses participation in the journal club from the pre-intensive and participation in the intensive study days.
This pre-coursework blog will be marked using the Quality of Reflection Grade descriptor (100%)
The participation aspect will be marked using Proficiency in a Given Medium or Creative Practice (50%) and Quality of Reflection (50%)
The participation mark will be evaluated from participation in class discussion, participation in group work (all groups will produce a document on teams summarizing their discussion), and participation in group presentations.
Advice to students: How can I participate well in class?
Contributed interesting and reflective points during discussions.
Prepare well and closely consider the class materials and readings.
Listen to others, consider their point of view, and reflect on what is discussed.
Listen to others and expanded it to a wider context.
Take the initiative: ask questions, lead or contribute to the discussion, act as a scribe, use your skills, expertise, and experience gained elsewhere, and give feedback in group work.
Participate in group presentations
2) 1500 Word Evaluation (75%)
The second assessment component is a 1500 (75%) word evaluation which describes if and how appropriately data sets, which are presented in course, can be used to answer specific policy questions.
|Feedback on the formative assessment may be provided in various formats, for example, to include written, oral, video, face-to-face, whole class, or individual. The course organiser will decide which format is most appropriate in relation to the nature of the assessment.
Feedback on both formative and summative in-course assessed work will be provided in time to be of use in subsequent assessments within the course.
Feedback on the summative assessment will be provided in written form via Learn, the University of Edinburgh's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).
- Discussion of project proposals (formative feedback by peers and academic staff).
- Formative feedback on journal club synopsis (by peers).
- Summative feedback on the final report submission.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate a critical understanding of the main areas of study linked to the use of technology in government.
- Identify and describe key technologies.
- Develop original and creative responses to data driven problems.
- Demonstrate their ability to deliver - in verbal and written form - coherent, balanced arguments surrounding the use of data.
- Work in a peer relationship and make an identifiable contribution to change and development and/or new thinking.
|Indicative Reading List:
Hood, C. and Margetts, H., 2007. The tools of Government
Chen, Y.C. and Ahn, M.J., 2017. Routledge handbook on information technology in government. Routledge
Gonzalez-Zapata, F. and Heeks, R., 2015. The multiple meanings of open government data: Understanding different stakeholders and their perspectives. Government Information Quarterly, 32(4), pp.441-452.
Heeks, R. and Bailur, S., 2007. Analyzing e-government research: Perspectives, philosophies, theories, methods, and practice. Government information quarterly, 24(2), pp.243-265.
Kim, G.H., Trimi, S. and Chung, J.H., 2014. Big-data applications in the government sector. Communications of the ACM, 57(3), pp.78-85.
Llewellyn, C., Cram, L., Hill, R.L. and Favero, A., 2019. For Whom the Bell Trolls: Shifting Troll Behaviour in the Twitter Brexit Debate. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies.
Tufekci, Z., 2014, May. Big questions for social media big data: Representativeness, validity and other methodological pitfalls. In Eighth International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|On completion of this course, the student will gain experience in the following attributes and skills:
- Thy will have been encouraged to be curious thinkers and to critically evaluate how and when technology and data should be used in governance and public policy;
- They will have been challenged to be creative problem solvers and to work with real life data in groups to consider policy decision making processes;
- They will have been asked to be both critical and reflective thinkers when considering and discussing the appropriate theory in both the technology and political science domains and display this in a skilled way when interacting with peers and academic staff;
- They will have gained sophisticated communication skills, through work in collaborating on the practical elements of the course.
|Mrs Clare Llewellyn
|Mr Lawrence East