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This assessment exposes you to the concept of a discussion paper – what it looks like and what its role is in the consultation phase of the policy cycle. A discussion paper is an important consultation tool used in tourism planning and policy development and in workplaces. Familiarity with discussion papers is a key employment skill. A good discussion paper addresses all elements of the policy cycle (see Textbook Fig. 6.1). While the tool itself is used as part of the consultation stage, it addresses the early parts of the policy cycle by identifying the issue, providing context and analysis, and identifying potential policy solutions & instruments. It also addresses the latter parts of the cycle by outlining some alternatives and providing suggestions regarding implementation and evaluation. Thus Assessment 2 gets you to actively think about all parts of the policy cycle while preparing you for Assessment 3, where you will write a discussion paper from scratch.
You are to assume the position of an independent tourism planning expert and are required to source, critique and compare two publically available tourism discussion papers on topics of your choice. These may be found online via a search of the internet or specific government sites. The policy planning cycle provides the framework for your critical evaluation of each individual paper and the comparison between them. Your assessment piece will conclude with a reflection section on lessons you learnt through doing this critique and how it might assist you in writing your own Discussion Paper (Assessment 3).
In order to complete the task you are required to:
• Identify and introduce two relevant tourism related discussion papers and highlight the key issues they address (6 marks).
• Critique the structure of the discussion papers against the framework of the policy planning cycle (6 marks).
• Critique the content of the discussion papers with regards to sufficiency for relevant stakeholders (6 marks).
• Succinctly compare & contrast the two discussion papers with regards to structure, quality and effectiveness (i.e. your perception of the paper’s effectiveness in communicating with the target audience) (6 marks).
• Reflect on what you have learnt from this critique and comparison; how this assessment has/has not improved your awareness, professional skills and knowledge relating to tourism planning environments; and how it might benefit you in writing your own Discussion Paper (Assessment 3) (i.e. you need to engage with the Task for Assessment 3 for this) (6 marks).
1. Make sure you are using two Discussion Papers, NOT journal articles, submissions to discussion papers or working papers. If still unclear, check with your tutor.
2. Review the Marking Rubric and use it as a guide for writing your critique.
3. The two discussion papers do NOT need to be about the same or similar topic or theme. Your comparison is based on their structure (measured against the policy cycle as explained in the Textbook) and on your adopted stakeholder perspective about the sufficiency of information provided – i.e. do you as a stakeholder have enough information to provide good input into the issue and do they cover your perspectives sufficiently? Thus the topic per se does not matter.
Criteria High Distinction Distinction Credit Pass Fail
Introducing relevance & issues
• Two relevant papers identified and key issues they address are highlighted.
6 marks Outstanding introduction.
identified, succinctly6 & Papers are clearly
effectively described & key issues clearly defined.
marks Very good introduction. identified &5 described Papers are clearly
well & key issues are clearly defined.
marks Competent introduction. described 4quite well & Papers are identified & key issues are defined.
marks Adequate introduction. somewhat described.3 Papers are identified &
Key issues are hinted at but could have been developedmarks further. Inadequate introduction.
described0 clear-2ly. The issues Papers are not identified &
are not outlined well or in enough depth.
Structure critique – policy cycle
• The structure of each paper is examined with regards to the policy cycle – what elements are/aren’t adequately addressed?
6 marks Outstanding critique.
Structure of paper is effectively examined6
against all stages of the policy planning cycle & strengths & gaps are well
identified.marks Very good critique.
Structure of paper is examined against5 all
stages of the policy planning cycle & strengths & gaps are
identifiemad. rks Competent critique.
Structure of paper is examined against4 most
stages of the policy planning cycle & some
strengths & gaps are identimarksfied. Adequate critique.
Structure of paper is examined against3 some
stages of the policy planning cycle. Some
strengths & gaps are identifimarksed though with
little rationale. Inadequate critique.
Structure of paper is not adequately0 related-2 to the
policy planning cycle. Strengths & gaps are barely addressed and without
Content critique – stakeholders
• The content of each paper is examined with regards to its key issue/topic – is the information sufficient/lacking for stakeholders to provide informed input? How so?
6 marks Outstanding critique.
Critically examines each paper with 6depth &
identifies strengths and/or weaknesses of each very
clearly & succinctly with referencemarks to key
stakeholders. Very good critique.
Critically examines each paper with depth5 &
identifies strengths and/or weaknesses of
each clearly & with referencemarks to key
stakeholders. Competent critique.
Critically examines each paper & identifies4 some strengths and/or weaknesses of each.
marks Adequate critique.
Examines each paper & notes some 3strengths
and/or weaknesses of each but with little rationale.
marks Inadequate critique.
Little if any critical engagement0 -with2 the
content of the papers and minimal if any identification
of strengths and/or weaknmarksesses.
Compare the two discussion papers:
• Two papers are compared and contrasted with regards to strengths and weaknesses in structure, quality and perceived effectiveness
6 marks Outstanding comparison.
Comprehensively compares & contrasts strengths & weaknesses of each paper very clearly and succinctly.
Addresses their6 structure and provides strong reference to the policy cycle.
Comparesmarks their quality and
perceived effectiveness in communicating with the target audience with strong evidence. Very good comparison.
Comprehensively compares & contrasts differences, strengths & weaknesses with clarity and brevity.
Addresses their5 structure and provides very good reference to the policy cycle.
Comparesmarks their quality
and perceived effectiveness in communicating with the target audience with evidence. Competent comparison.
Compares & contrasts some differences, strengths & weaknesses but could be more
comprehensive & succinct. 4
Addresses their structure and provides good reference to the policy
Compares elements of quality and touches on effectiveness in communicating with the target audience. Adequate comparison.
Some comparison & contrasting of strengths & weaknesses but could be more comprehensive, clear and succinct.
Addresses their3 structure and provides some reference to the policy cycle.
elements of quality and touches on effectiveness in communicating.
Fails to compare strengths and weaknesses in either a succinct or clear way.
Barely addresses structure and provides little if any reference0 to -the2 policy cycle.
Barely addresses quality communication with stakeholders.marks
Reflect on learning:
• How assessment has/has not improved your awareness, professional skills and knowledge relating to tourism planning environments; what are areas of strength or need for further upskilling.
• How assessment might benefit you in writing your own discussion paper
6 marks Outstanding reflection.
There is strong evidence of deep thinking and consideration6
marks Very good reflection.
There is evidence of very good reflective consideration 5 processes, thinking and
marks Competent reflection.
There is good evidence of a considered good insights 4 reflection and some
marks Adequate reflection.
There is some evidence of thought and have been developed 3 consideration but could
further beyond a noting of facts.
marks Inadequate reflection.
Little evidence of depth of thought and consideration. facts but does not show 0-2 There is a recording of some
thinking and reflective practice.