PLANT SC 7228WT - Research Project (Plant Biotechnology)

Waite Campus - Semester 1 - 2019

This course focuses on a research project that is carried out over five months. Students also develop advanced communication skills in tutorial sessions. This aspect focuses on written and oral communication as they relate to the plans and results of the project. Each student reports the results of their research in a scientific manuscript for publication.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PLANT SC 7228WT
    Course Research Project (Plant Biotechnology)
    Coordinating Unit School of Agriculture, Food and Wine
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s Waite Campus
    Units 12
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Assessment To be advised
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Diane Mather

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    Students will:

    1. Develop the basic skills required for the practice of independent scientific research
    2. Develop an appreciation of the scientific method and the application of problem solving in plant biotechnology
    3. Demonstrate an original and critical approach in the assimilation of the current stage of knowledge in a particular area of research
    4. Demonstrate an appreciation of current gaps in our understanding and the future areas for experimental investigation in a particular area of research
    5. Develop the capacity to identify and evaluate a problem and define the important elements required for its solution (appreciating the risks and benefits of alternate approaches)
    6. Demonstrate mastery of the basic techniques required for the experimental study of a research question
    7. Develop rigorous and systematic approach to the maintenance of laboratory records and the collection, storage and analysis of experimental data
    8. Be able to communicate scientific information clearly and concisely in written and spoken English appropriate for an international audience.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Students will undertake a research project which will require guidance by a supervisor in research skills and experimental design. Workshops and consultations in communication will guide student learning in oral and written communication and in research skills.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The contact time for Research Project (Plant Biotech) Extended Part 1 is 10 hours per week the first two weeks of the course.

    It is expected that a student will spend a further 10 hours outside of this contact time for the first two weeks of the course preparing their research proposals and literature review for assessment.

    It is expected that a student will spend a further number of hours (to be determined by the student and the research project supervisor) sufficient to carry out the designed research project.
    Learning Activities Summary
    The course is made up of workshops, training sessions, tutorials (face-to-face), seminars in the form of a research proposal presentation and a research project which will require guidance by a supervisor.

    Tutorials prepare students for project work and develop writing and presentation skills.

    The skills learnt in the set lectures and tutorials can then be used by the students in presenting and reporting their research projects.

    Students gain experience in presenting their work in the form of reports, laboratory note books and oral presentation.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    The Extended Research Project (Plant Biotech) course takes place over two semesters and it is therefore divided into two parts Part 1 PLANT SC 7229AWT and Part 2 PLANT SC 7229BWT. Both parts will be marked as a single unit with individual assessments contributing to the final grade.
    Assessment task Task Type Weighting Learning outcome(s) Semester
    Literature analysis and research plan Formative/summative 20% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 1
    Introductory seminar Formative/summative 5% 3, 4, 5, 8 1
    Final seminar Formative/summative 10% 6, 8 2
    Thesis and associated research Formative/summative 60% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 2
    Communication and engagement Formative/summative 5% 8 2
    Assessment Detail
    Literature review and research plan: The literature review and research plan are submitted together. The combined literature review and research plan should be up to 5000 words (approximately 3000 to 3500 words for the literature review and 1500 to 2000 words for the research plan).

    Introductory seminar: Each student will present an introductory seminar, focusing on the research question(s) that they aim to answer in their research project. This seminar should include background information, clear statements of the project aims or hypotheses and a description of the experimental approach. Twenty minutes will be allocated for this seminar, with 15 minutes for the talk itself and five minutes for questions.

    Final seminar: Each student will present a final seminar in which they present an aspect of their project that has contributed to answering a research question. This seminar should be similar to what they might present at a research conference in their field. It should include background information, aims or hypotheses, a description of the experimental methods used, presentation, interpretation and discussion of results, and a summary of key findings. Twenty minutes will be allocated for this seminar, with 15 minutes for the talk itself and five minutes for questions. As this is not sufficient time for a detailed presentation of all aspects of the research project, it will be important for the student to select an interesting and important component of their work to present.

    Communication and engagement: Students will be assigned marks based on the following aspects of their work: engagement and participation in the drafting and revision of the manuscript; uptake of feedback; attendance and engagement in skill development workshops; and evidence of use in final draft of concepts taught re structure, flow and self-editing.

    Thesis: The thesis will include a title page, declaration, table of contents, a preface and a scientific manuscript, and may include appendices with additional information (e.g., information about research conducted during the year that was not included in the manuscript). The scientific manuscript will be prepared by the student as it would be for submission to an appropriate peer-reviewed journal. Supplementary material may be included if it is referred to in the manuscript and if it meets the journal’s guidelines. Regardless of the journal chosen, the total word count should not be more than 7000 words (excluding References and Supplementary Material). To pass the course, students must achieve a mark of at least 30/60 on the thesis and associated research.

    If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply. A penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment for each calendar day that is late (i.e. weekends count as 2 days), up to a maximum of 50% of the available marks will be applied. This means that an assignment that is 5 days or more late without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the mark.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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