AGSM9272 Change Skills - 2023

Subject Code
Study Level
Commencing Term
Term 1
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
Delivery Mode
Online Weekly
This course outline is provided in advance of offering to guide student course selection. Please note that while accurate at time of publication, changes may be required prior to the start of the teaching session. To view other versions, visit the archives .

1. Course Details

Summary of Course

Key features of Change Skills

The focus in Change Skills is on you and your skills development as a change agent.

In order to gain maximum benefit from the course, it is important to:

  • use the Change Skills Audit to evaluate your skills and to obtain feedback from others who have seen something of your work as a change agent
  • continually apply the ideas in the course in reflecting on your skills, on ways of more skillfully handling the challenges of organisational change, and on ways to develop your skills
  • translate your reflections into action plans
  • create or take opportunities to implement your action plans during the course.

The online dialogues will provide opportunities to share your reflections about your skills and your plans for developing them, and to support and encourage the skills development of your colleagues in the course. Your contributions to five online dialogues comprise the first assessment in the course.

The three videoconferences will also provide forums in which you can report on your reflections on your skills, on how you have been trying out more skillful ways of handling challenges, and on steps you have taken to progressively develop particular skills.

There are three written assessments:

  • The first asks you to review your self-management skills, drawing in part on the data from the Change Skills Audit.
  • The second focuses on the use of process facilitation skills in coaching and asks you to conduct two coaching sessions in which you use these skills to help someone explore a skill development issue. You are asked to write an evaluation of your effectiveness in the coaching sessions, to outline a lesson that you have learned about process facilitation, and to say how you will apply the lesson in your work as a change agent.
  • In the final assessment, you will outline a skill development plan to develop a skill (selected by you) that will unlock many possibilities for you as a change agent.

The online dialogues and the written assessments will give you the opportunity to practically apply the ideas presented in the course in a way that is meaningful to you.

Teaching Times and Locations

Please note that teaching times and locations are subject to change. Students are strongly advised to refer to the Class Timetable website for the most up-to-date teaching times and locations.


View course timetable

Course Policies & Support

Course Aims and Relationship to Other Courses

Change Skills focuses on the development of your skills as a change agent. The course aims to enable you to:

  • analyse, critique and strengthen your approach to skills development
  • identify a range of core skills required for leading, managing and facilitating change and deepen your understanding of these core skills
  • assess your competence in each skills area - recognising your strengths and identifying skills that you need to strengthen in order to be a more effective change agent
  • frame improvement plans for ways to handle particular change-management challenges more skillfully and implement some of these plans during the course
  • frame development plans to progressively develop key skills and start to implement these plans during the course.

Additional Course Details

3. Staff Contact Details

Position Name Email Location Phone Consultation Times
Facilitator in ChargeGeoffrey Mortimore

Facilitator in Charge

Each course has a Facilitator in Charge who is responsible for the academic leadership and overall academic integrity of the course. The Facilitator in Charge selects content and designs assessment tasks, and takes responsibility for specific academic and administrative issues related to the course. Facilitators in Charge oversee Facilitators and ensure that the ongoing standard of facilitation in the course is consistent with the quality requirements of the program.


The role of your Facilitator is to support and enhance the learning process by encouraging interaction among participants, providing direction in understanding the course content, assessing participant progress through the course and providing feedback on work submitted. Facilitators comprise academics and industry practitioners with relevant backgrounds.

4. Learning and Teaching Activities

Approach to Learning and Teaching in the Course

The ten Units in the course present a variety of concepts, frameworks, theories, methods and tools to help you to:

  • progressively develop some core self-management and communication skills for change management
  • develop and practise an effective approach to systematically building your change agent skills.

Students are encouraged to use a variety of learning activities to reflect on these ideas, theories and methods and to identify ways of applying them in their work as change agents. These learning activities include:

  • completing the exercises in each Unit
  • engaging in the five online dialogues and the three videoconferences
  • interacting with others in learning partnerships or study groups
  • preparing your written assessments, which - in the case of Assessment 3 - includes conducting two coaching sessions.

In these learning activities, one of the resources on which you will be able to draw will be the feedback from your Change Skills Audit about your change agent skills.


Learning Activities and Teaching Strategies

Online dialogues

There are five online dialogues in Change Skills, together counting towards 35% of the grade. Each dialogue is an important forum for sharing your ideas, experiences and learning with fellow students and with your Facilitator.

  • Week 2: Dialogue 1, Units 1 & 2
  • Week 4: Dialogue 2, Units 3 & 4
  • Week 6: Dialogue 3, Units 5 & 6
  • Week 8: Dialogue 4, Units 7 & 8
  • Week 10: Dialogue 5, Units 9 & 10

Detailed advice about how to get the most value from the online dialogues will be posted in your Moodle class site.


There will be three videoconferences with your Facilitator during the course:

  • Week 1 videoconference - an opportunity to clarify course requirements, learning processes and resources, to discuss reflections on Unit 1, and to clarify the requirements for Assessment 2
  • Mid-term videoconference - a discussion of the use of process facilitation skills in coaching, to help you prepare for conducting the two coaching sessions that will provide the basis for writing Assessment 3
  • Third videoconference - an opportunity to share learnings from the course and to discuss topics for the skill development plan that you will outline in Assessment 4.

These videoconferences will be recorded for students who are unable to attend.

Course Structure

Becoming a more effective change agent

Unit 1 outlines a mindful approach to learning and skill development, using the action learning cycle. This is a core learning method in the course. We discuss some possible impediments to skills development and ways of avoiding them.


Unit 2 invites you to review the values that guide you in your work as a change agent, to identify your core ethical values and principles, and to examine how you apply your values in ethical decision-making. The Unit aims to help you understand the diversity of ethical perspectives that you might encounter in your work, including the ethical perspective that focuses on sustainability and corporate responsibility.

Self-management skills

Units 3 and 4 consider the contribution of self-management to a change agent's effectiveness. Unit 3 focuses on skills for aligning your choices and actions with your values, and on skills for ensuring that you are in an enabling rather than a restrictive mindset. Unit 4 examines skills for managing your performance, for managing stress and for building important elements of 'psychological capital' such as resilience and confidence.

Communicating to influence

Units 5, 6, 7 and 8  focus on skills for building productive relationships and communicating to influence.

  • Unit 5 (Communications skills) provides an overview of core communication skills, including setting your communication goals, relationship-building, advocacy, inquiry, listening and process facilitation.
  • Unit 6 (Coaching skills) focuses on the use of process facilitation skills in coaching - assisting someone in their learning and development by facilitating their processes of reflection, diagnosis, solution-finding and action-planning.
  • Unit 7 (Skills in inquiry and listening) looks more closely at the skills involved in inquiry and active listening.
  • Unit 8 (Communicating to influence) applies and extends the ideas explored in Units 5, 6 and 7 to explore the challenges of communicating persuasively. The Unit examines some suggested recipes for successful persuasion and how we might need to adapt our communication to key characteristics of the people we intend to influence, e.g. their decision-making styles and their cultures.

Dealing with differences

Unit 9 outlines some ways of analysing and understanding the roots and dynamics of conflict and some alternative approaches to managing conflict, including the process of mediation. The Unit outlines a model of a principled, collaborative, interests-focused, problem-solving approach to negotiation and examines the skills required for using the model.

Working with teams

Unit 10 examines a number of key factors impacting on team effectiveness. The Unit starts by looking at the design of the team and the taskwork processes used to complete its tasks. However, the primary focus of the Unit is on teamwork processes, i.e. the communication and interpersonal processes that a team uses in working together to complete its tasks and achieve its goals.

6. Course Resources

In Change Skills, the following resources are available to you:

  • the online Moodle classroom
  • course materials
  • the Change Skills Audit
  • your Facilitator
  • technical and administrative support.

The online classroom

Within your Moodle class site, you will be able to access course materials, engage in dialogue with your colleagues and the class facilitator, and find guidance about the course.

Course materials

The course materials comprise the Course Outline, the Assessment Details document, and 10 Units.

Each Unit comprises outlines of a variety of topics, together with associated exercises and readings. The outlines and readings provide concepts, frameworks and theories, plus methods and tools, to help you to reflect on your skills and devise plans to improve your effectiveness as a change agent. The exercises encourage you to continually apply the course ideas to yourself and to your work as a change agent, and to explore their practical implications for your development.

All course materials are posted in your Moodle class site.

The Change Skills Audit

The Change Skills Audit (details provided in your Moodle class site) will provide a systematic way for you to evaluate your skills and obtain evaluative feedback from others about your skills.

Your Facilitator

Your Facilitator will support your learning by:

  • conducting the three videoconferences
  • facilitating the five online dialogues
  • giving guidance about course content and assessment requirements
  • providing feedback on the assessments that you complete during the course
  • assessing your progress through the course.

Your Facilitator can be contacted by email or via Moodle, and can assist you with any matters to do with course content or the learning processes in the course.

Learning partner/study group

Your learning partner/study group will add a great deal of value to your learning in the course. In forming your learning partnership/study group, it will be helpful to read the introductions that members of the class post in the online classroom.

The timing and frequency of meetings is for you to decide. Weekly meetings are helpful in providing an incentive to keep up with your reading and reflections, and preparing for the online dialogues.

Other resources

BusinessThink is UNSW's free, online business publication. It is a platform for business research, analysis and opinion. If you would like to subscribe to BusinessThink, and receive the free monthly e-newsletter with the latest in research, opinion and business then go here.

7. Course Evaluation & Development

Continual Course Improvement

AGSM courses are reviewed each time they run, with updated course outlines and assessment tasks developed. 

Additionally, the data collected in the myExperience survey provides anonymous feedback from students on the quality of course content and materials, class facilitation, student support services and the program in general. This student feedback is considered during all course revisions.

Student Response

In the student evaluation of the course, students valued:

- The "well-structured and comprehensive" course materials

- Their collaboration with their colleagues in the class and the opportunities in the online dialogues to learn from their colleagues' experience

- The practical focus of the course on usable skills and the opportunity to immediately apply their learnings in their work

One student comments "The change skills that I learned from this course are unique. These skills are beneficial and practical, which I can learn, grow, and thrive both personally and professionally."

Suggestions for improvement were made about:

- The time demands of the course

- The assessment load at the end of the course.


    Response to Student Feedback

    In the presentation of the course in Term 1, 2023:

    - The grading criteria for Assessment 2 have been clarified.

    - The length of the final assessment has been reduced.

    - Clearer advice will be given about how to use a selective focus in reading and reflection to focus on the topics and concepts that are particularly relevant to the challenges that each student is handling, or expects to handle, in their work as a change agent.







    8. Course Schedule

    Week Activity Topic Detail/Engagement Assessment Task
    Week 1 Videoconference; Introductory dialogueUnit 1

    Videoconference 1 (recorded for those who are unable to attend)

    Week 2 Dialogue 1Units 1 & 2
    Assessment 1 : Contributions to online Dialogues 1 to 5
    Week 3 -Units 3 & 4
    Week 4 Dialogue 2Units 3 & 4
    Assessment 1 : Contributions to online Dialogues 1 to 5
    Week 5 -Units 5 & 6
    Week 6 Dialogue 3; Submit Assessment 2Units 5 & 6
    Assessment 1 : Contributions to online Dialogues 1 to 5
    Assessment 2 : Analysis and evaluation of your self-management practice
    Week 7 VideoconferenceUnits 7 & 8

    Videoconference 2 (recorded for those who are unable to attend)

    Week 8 Dialogue 4Units 7 & 8
    Assessment 1 : Contributions to online Dialogues 1 to 5
    Week 9 -Units 9 & 10
    Week 10 Dialogue 5; Submit Assessment 3Units 9 & 10
    Assessment 1 : Contributions to online Dialogues 1 to 5
    Assessment 3 : Analysis and evaluation of your use of process facilitation skills in coaching
    Week 11 Videoconference

    Videoconference 3 (recorded for those who are unable to attend)

    Week 12 Submit Assessment 4
    Assessment 4 : Skill development plan

    9. Policies and Support

    Information about UNSW Business School protocols, University policies, student responsibilities and education quality and support.

    Program Learning Outcomes

    The Business School places knowledge and capabilities at the core of its curriculum via seven Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs). These PLOs are systematically embedded and developed across the duration of all coursework programs in the Business School.

    PLOs embody the knowledge, skills and capabilities that are taught, practised and assessed within each Business School program. They articulate what you should know and be able to do upon successful completion of your degree.

    Upon graduation, you should have a high level of specialised business knowledge and capacity for responsible business thinking, underpinned by ethical professional practice. You should be able to harness, manage and communicate business information effectively and work collaboratively with others. You should be an experienced problem-solver and critical thinker, with a global perspective, cultural competence and the potential for innovative leadership.

    All UNSW programs and courses are designed to assess the attainment of program and/or course level learning outcomes, as required by the UNSW Assessment Design Procedure. It is important that you become familiar with the Business School PLOs, as they constitute the framework which informs and shapes the components and assessments of the courses within your program of study.

    PLO 1: Business knowledge

    Students will make informed and effective selection and application of knowledge in a discipline or profession, in the contexts of local and global business.

    PLO 2: Problem solving

    Students will define and address business problems, and propose effective evidence-based solutions, through the application of rigorous analysis and critical thinking.

    PLO 3: Business communication

    Students will harness, manage and communicate business information effectively using multiple forms of communication across different channels.

    PLO 4: Teamwork

    Students will interact and collaborate effectively with others to achieve a common business purpose or fulfil a common business project, and reflect critically on the process and the outcomes.

    PLO 5: Responsible business practice

    Students will develop and be committed to responsible business thinking and approaches, which are underpinned by ethical professional practice and sustainability considerations.

    PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

    Students will be aware of business systems in the wider world and actively committed to recognise and respect the cultural norms, beliefs and values of others, and will apply this knowledge to interact, communicate and work effectively in diverse environments.

    PLO 7: Leadership development

    Students will develop the capacity to take initiative, encourage forward thinking and bring about innovation, while effectively influencing others to achieve desired results.

    These PLOs relate to undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs.  Separate PLOs for honours and postgraduate research programs are included under 'Related Documents'.

    Business School course outlines provide detailed information for students on how the course learning outcomes, learning activities, and assessment/s contribute to the development of Program Learning Outcomes.



    UNSW Graduate Capabilities

    The Business School PLOs also incorporate UNSW graduate capabilities, a set of generic abilities and skills that all students are expected to achieve by graduation. These capabilities articulate the University’s institutional values, as well as future employer expectations.

    UNSW Graduate CapabilitiesBusiness School PLOs
    Scholars capable of independent and collaborative enquiry, rigorous in their analysis, critique and reflection, and able to innovate by applying their knowledge and skills to the solution of novel as well as routine problems.
    • PLO 1: Business knowledge
    • PLO 2: Problem solving
    • PLO 3: Business communication
    • PLO 4: Teamwork
    • PLO 7: Leadership development

    Entrepreneurial leaders capable of initiating and embracing innovation and change, as well as engaging and enabling others to contribute to change
    • PLO 1: Business knowledge
    • PLO 2: Problem solving
    • PLO 3: Business communication
    • PLO 4: Teamwork
    • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence
    • PLO 7: Leadership development

    Professionals capable of ethical, self-directed practice and independent lifelong learning
    • PLO 1: Business knowledge
    • PLO 2: Problem solving
    • PLO 3: Business communication
    • PLO 5: Responsible business practice

    Global citizens who are culturally adept and capable of respecting diversity and acting in a socially just and responsible way.
    • PLO 1: Business knowledge
    • PLO 2: Problem solving
    • PLO 3: Business communication
    • PLO 4: Teamwork
    • PLO 5: Responsible business practice
    • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

    While our programs are designed to provide coverage of all PLOs and graduate capabilities, they also provide you with a great deal of choice and flexibility.  The Business School strongly advises you to choose a range of courses that assist your development against the seven PLOs and four graduate capabilities, and to keep a record of your achievements as part of your portfolio. You can use a portfolio as evidence in employment applications as well as a reference for work or further study. For support with selecting your courses contact the UNSW Business School Student Centre.

    Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

    Academic Integrity is honest and responsible scholarship. This form of ethical scholarship is highly valued at UNSW. Terms like Academic Integrity, misconduct, referencing, conventions, plagiarism, academic practices, citations and evidence based learning are all considered basic concepts that successful university students understand. Learning how to communicate original ideas, refer sources, work independently, and report results accurately and honestly are skills that you will be able to carry beyond your studies.

    The definition of academic misconduct is broad. It covers practices such as cheating, copying and using another person’s work without appropriate acknowledgement. Incidents of academic misconduct may have serious consequences for students.


    UNSW regards plagiarism as a form of academic misconduct. UNSW has very strict rules regarding plagiarism. Plagiarism at UNSW is using the words or ideas of others and passing them off as your own. All Schools in the Business School have a Student Ethics Officer who will investigate incidents of plagiarism and may result in a student’s name being placed on the Plagiarism and Student Misconduct Registers.

    Below are examples of plagiarism including self-plagiarism:

    Copying: Using the same or very similar words to the original text or idea without acknowledging the source or using quotation marks. This includes copying materials, ideas or concepts from a book, article, report or other written document, presentation, composition, artwork, design, drawing, circuitry, computer program or software, website, internet, other electronic resource, or another person's assignment, without appropriate acknowledgement of authorship.

    Inappropriate Paraphrasing: Changing a few words and phrases while mostly retaining the original structure and/or progression of ideas of the original, and information without acknowledgement. This also applies in presentations where someone paraphrases another’s ideas or words without credit and to piecing together quotes and paraphrases into a new whole, without appropriate referencing.

    Collusion: Presenting work as independent work when it has been produced in whole or part in collusion with other people. Collusion includes:

    • Students providing their work to another student before the due date, or for the purpose of them plagiarising at any time
    • Paying another person to perform an academic task and passing it off as your own
    • Stealing or acquiring another person’s academic work and copying it
    • Offering to complete another person’s work or seeking payment for completing academic work

    Collusion should not be confused with academic collaboration (i.e., shared contribution towards a group task).

    Inappropriate Citation: Citing sources which have not been read, without acknowledging the 'secondary' source from which knowledge of them has been obtained.

    Self-Plagiarism: ‘Self-plagiarism’ occurs where an author republishes their own previously written work and presents it as new findings without referencing the earlier work, either in its entirety or partially. Self-plagiarism is also referred to as 'recycling', 'duplication', or 'multiple submissions of research findings' without disclosure. In the student context, self-plagiarism includes re-using parts of, or all of, a body of work that has already been submitted for assessment without proper citation.

    To see if you understand plagiarism, do this short quiz:


    The University also regards cheating as a form of academic misconduct. Cheating is knowingly submitting the work of others as their own and includes contract cheating (work produced by an external agent or third party that is submitted under the pretences of being a student’s original piece of work). Cheating is not acceptable at UNSW.

    If you need to revise or clarify any terms associated with academic integrity you should explore the 'Working with Academic Integrity' self-paced lessons available at:

    For UNSW policies, penalties, and information to help you avoid plagiarism see: as well as the guidelines in the online ELISE tutorials for all new UNSW students: For information on student conduct see:

    For information on how to acknowledge your sources and reference correctly, see: If you are unsure what referencing style to use in this course, you should ask the lecturer in charge.

    Student Responsibilities and Conduct

    ​Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to university policies in relation to class attendance and general conduct and behaviour, including maintaining a safe, respectful environment; and to understand their obligations in relation to workload, assessment and keeping informed.

    Information and policies on these topics can be found on the 'Managing your Program' website.


    It is expected that you will spend at least ten to twelve hours per week studying for a course except for Summer Term courses which have a minimum weekly workload of twenty to twenty four hours. This time should be made up of reading, research, working on exercises and problems, online activities and attending classes. In periods where you need to complete assignments or prepare for examinations, the workload may be greater. Over-commitment has been a cause of failure for many students. You should take the required workload into account when planning how to balance study with employment and other activities.

    We strongly encourage you to connect with your Moodle course websites in the first week of semester. Local and international research indicates that students who engage early and often with their course website are more likely to pass their course.

    View more information on expected workload


    Your regular and punctual attendance at lectures and seminars or in online learning activities is expected in this course. The Business School reserves the right to refuse final assessment to those students who attend less than 80% of scheduled classes where attendance and participation is required as part of the learning process (e.g., tutorials, flipped classroom sessions, seminars, labs, etc.).

    View more information on attendance

    General Conduct and Behaviour

    You are expected to conduct yourself with consideration and respect for the needs of your fellow students and teaching staff. Conduct which unduly disrupts or interferes with a class, such as ringing or talking on mobile phones, is not acceptable and students may be asked to leave the class.

    View more information on student conduct

    Health and Safety

    UNSW Policy requires each person to work safely and responsibly, in order to avoid personal injury and to protect the safety of others.

    View more information on Health and Safety

    Keeping Informed

    You should take note of all announcements made in lectures, tutorials or on the course web site. From time to time, the University will send important announcements to your university e-mail address without providing you with a paper copy. You will be deemed to have received this information. It is also your responsibility to keep the University informed of all changes to your contact details.

    Student Support and Resources

    ​The University and the Business School provide a wide range of support services and resources for students, including:

    Business School EQS Consultation Program
    The Consultation Program offers academic writing, literacy and numeracy consultations, study skills, exam preparation for Business students. Services include workshops, online resources, individual and group consultations. 
    Level 1, Room 1035, Quadrangle Building.
    02 9385 4508

    Communication Resources
    The Business School Communication and Academic Support programs provide online modules, communication workshops and additional online resources to assist you in developing your academic writing.

    Business School Student Centre
    The Business School Student Centre provides advice and direction on all aspects of admission, enrolment and graduation.
    Level 1, Room 1028 in the Quadrangle Building
    02 9385 3189

    UNSW Learning & Careers Hub
    The UNSW Learning & Careers Hub provides academic skills and careers support services—including workshops, individual consultations and a range of online resources—for all UNSW students. See their website for details.
    Lower Ground Floor, North Wing Chancellery Building.
    02 9385 2060

    Student Support Advisors
    Student Support Advisors work with all students to promote the development of skills needed to succeed at university, whilst also providing personal support throughout the process.
    John Goodsell Building, Ground Floor.
    02 9385 4734

    International Student Support
    The International Student Experience Unit (ISEU) is the first point of contact for international students. ISEU staff are always here to help with personalised advice and information about all aspects of university life and life in Australia.
    Advisors can support you with your student visa, health and wellbeing, making friends, accommodation and academic performance.
    02 9385 4734

    Equitable Learning Services
    Equitable Learning Services (formerly Disability Support Services) is a free and confidential service that provides practical support to ensure that your health condition doesn't adversely affect your studies. Register with the service to receive educational adjustments.
    Ground Floor, John Goodsell Building.
    02 9385 4734

    UNSW Counselling and Psychological Services
    Provides support and services if you need help with your personal life, getting your academic life back on track or just want to know how to stay safe, including free, confidential counselling.
    Level 2, East Wing, Quadrangle Building.
    02 9385 5418

    Library services and facilities for students
    The UNSW Library offers a range of collections, services and facilities both on-campus and online.
    Main Library, F21.
    02 9385 2650

    Moodle eLearning Support
    Moodle is the University’s learning management system. You should ensure that you log into Moodle regularly.
    02 9385 3331

    UNSW IT provides support and services for students such as password access, email services, wireless services and technical support.
    UNSW Library Annexe (Ground floor).
    02 9385 1333