In order to pass the course and receive a grading, you need to meet the following requirements:
- Mandatory attendance during all course activities: in order to pass the course you need to be present at all lectures, seminars, museum visits and in all activities during the entire field work period.
- Read the course literature and prove that by correctly answering reading quiz questions at the seminars.
- Actively participate in discussions during seminars and during field work.
- Write an essay in cooperation with other students.
Examination: The course is examined in three ways – 1) by active participation in discussions on the course literature and correct answers on the literature quizzes, 2) by collecting field data from all field visits (museums, mining sites and natural environments) in a note book and 3) by writing the above mentioned essay.
The course uses the grading system of KTH and SU – the ECTS grading scale. This grading scale ranges from F (fail) to A (excellent), according to the following:
A = excellent
B = very good
C = good
D = satisfactory
E = sufficient
F = fail
A distinction is made between the grades FX and F that are used for unsuccessful examinations. FX means: “fail- some more work required to pass” and F means: “fail – considerable further work required”.
Passing the examination in ak1214 requires active participation in discussions during lectures and seminars, as well as writing and presenting an essay. In other words, the overall grading is based on the major learning activities, which are a) lectures and excursions, b) field work c) seminars and d) writing the final examination essay. The grading is made according to the following principle:
1) 10% active participation in lectures, seminars and excursions
2) 30% active participation in field work and compiling field documentation i n a field notebook
3) 50% the examination essay
4) 10% presentation of the examination essay
The grading is related to the learning objectives of the course, according to which the students should be able to:
1. Recount climatic and environmental changes in the Arctic
2. Describe and explain the main processes of societal change in the region
3. Conduct basic field research through documentation of natural phenomena, cultural remains and interviews
4. Perform simple research tasks by using and combining the different sources.
5. Critically analyze current events in the Arctic, in relation to the course contents
These learning outcomes can be achieved in all of the above mentioned learning activities. However, since 60% of the grading is related to the examination essay, the grading of this essay is of special importance.
Criteria for grading
In order to get an E (1-20), the student should accomplish the following:
1) Display sufficient general knowledge regarding major climatic and environmental changes in the Fennoscandian Arctic, in discussions and quizzes.
2) Display sufficient general knowledge about cultural and societal change in the history of the Fennoscandian Arctic, in discussions and quizzes.
3) Display results of field work (documentation of natural phenomena, built environments and interviews) in the note book and the essay.
In addition the student should accomplish the following in order to get a D (21-40):
4) In the essay display satisfactory knowledge regarding major climatic and environmental changes in the Fennoscandian Arctic, exemplified by clear references to lectures, literature and field work, using proper citations.
5) In the essay display satisfactory knowledge regarding societal and cultural change in the European Arctic, exemplified by clear references to lectures, literature and field work, using proper citations.
6) In the essay, having used and combined the field data (natural phenomena, built environment and interviews) in order to perform a simple research tasks.
7) The research task presented in the examination essay should have a logic disposition and a clear narrative, with headlines and sections.
8) The essay should have a proper introduction with questions, delimitations, sources and methods. It should have an analyses section and end with conclusions where the questions are answered.
In addition the student should accomplish the following in order to get a C (41-60) (in the essay):
9) Discuss the relation between environmental changes and societal changes in the Arctic.
10) Voice separation: the student displays an ability to separate his / her voice from the voice of the sources (literature, lectures, interviews etc).
In addition the student should accomplish the following in order to get a B (61-80)(in the essay)
11) In the analyses, the student show an ability to use his / her field work data together with other course materials (literature and lectures), in order to discuss the relation between environmental changes and societal changes in the Arctic.
12) Critically analyze current events in the Arctic, in relation to the course contents.
In addition the student should accomplish the following in order to get an A (81-100) )(in the essay):
13) Present conclusions that not only summarize the results and answers the questions, but also interpret the results, discuss and make reflections on a higher level of abstraction, and/or suggest alternative interpretations.
14) Display a critical approach when using and analyzing the sources (natural phenomena, statements by actors and the built environment).
7.2 The essay
The examination essay is written by work groups and should consist of an introduction, analyses dealing with two interrelated research problems and a conclusion. The students should write the introduction and the conclusion sections as a group, while the analyses should contain individually written sections (clearly indicated with names). The essays should first and foremost be based on data the students collect during field work, but with clear references made to the overall literature and the lectures of the course.
The essay shall be between 5000-7000 words, distributed according to the following: Introduction 1000 words, Analyses section 2000 + 2000 words and conclusions 1000 words.
The essay should be structured in the following way:
The introduction should present how the group’s chosen topic(s) fits in the context of the overarching objectives and research questions presented in the lectures of the course regarding historical and current changes in the Arctic (environmental as well as societal changes).
Here the authors should present the research questions which will guide their analyses and choice of sources. (Remember that the data collected in the field should be central in these research questions.)
Sources and methods
In this section the authors describe the methods used to obtain and analyze the sources that will be collected – observations of natural phenomena, your recorded interviews of people, and documentation of the built environment. It should introduce a summary explanation of the critical approach(es) that will be used in the following individual essays.
This section is comprised of two individually-written essays, introduced by a brief transition paragraph. The documentation from your field note book should be included as an appendix to the essay.
A) Environmental changes in the Arctic
This section should describe a change in an Arctic natural system which could be forced by climate change, social change or both. The section should include a description of the change, a discussion of how and why the change is occurring and an analysis of how the environmental change impacts both natural and social systems. The timeframe over which the change is occurring should be a focus of this section and consideration of change over a range of timescales is encouraged.
B) Societal changes in the Arctic
This section should deal with societal changes in the Arctic resulting from global economic trends, focusing on:
- Economic activities (for example mining, tourism, reindeer herding) and the consequences of these activities for people and the environments in which they live and work, preferably dealing both with problems and opportunities.
- Implications for how cultural narratives impact people's view of the environment and how environment informs cultural narratives. Here it will be essential to draw from class discussions of literature, film, the arts and visual culture.
This section should include historical perspectives on the described changes, discussing how the past relates to the present and the future (from the authors' and/or the actors' perspective).
Discussion and conclusion
In this final chapter you should bring together and relate your results from the two sections of the analyses (described above). This chapter should answer the overall questions of the essay, which you presented in the introduction.
Note that you should try to lift your essay to a higher level of abstraction in the conclusions than was presented in the introduction. You can do that by addressing the overall research problem of the course – the relation between environmental and societal change and human action in the Arctic. How should we understand that relation? Why do changes take place in the Arctic? What can we learn from the past and present in order to better deal with the future?
7.3 Communication and educational tools
All information will be given through the web-based system at KTH called Bilda. As soon as students are registered, they can access the course webpage in Bilda (see).