ENV BIOL 3221 - Research Methods in Marine Biology III
North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2015
General Course Information
Course Code ENV BIOL 3221 Course Research Methods in Marine Biology III Coordinating Unit School of Biological Sciences Term Semester 2 Level Undergraduate Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 6 hours per week Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y Assumed Knowledge Completion of Level I and II of BSc (Marine Biology) Restrictions Available to BSc(Marine Biology) students only Course Description This course demonstrates fundamental approaches and specialist techniques required of contemporary investigations in marine biology and ecology. It promotes an awareness of modern research programs of governmental and non-governmental agencies and demonstrates key analytical techniques. The course combines current thinking (theory) and practical measurement (practice) used to understand natural influences and human domination of top-down processes (e.g. Marine Protected Areas and fishing) and bottom-up processes (e.g. waste water treatment, catchment management) that maintain and disrupt ecosystem function and sustainability. Particular emphasis is placed on temperate coasts for which the Australian population is largest and most dense, coastal-ocean problems most expensive and intense, and career opportunities most diverse and numerous.
Course Coordinator: Dr Pablo Munguia
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning OutcomesA successful student in this course should be able to:
1 Demonstrate field-based sampling and experimental skills; 2 Define logical observations,models and hypotheses to shape research questions; 3 Apply statistical techniques to real dataand correctly interpreting the outcome; 4 Demonstrate team-oriented management of projects, especiallycommunication with peers; 5 Use conventions in technical writing, the structure of scientificpapers and graphical methods for presenting data; 6 Recognise a range of different approaches to marine biologicalresearch; 7 Explain the need of method(s) to eliminate unrealistic theory; 8 Develop rigorous sampling designs and apply them to the real world; 9 Develop anddemonstrate scientific communication skills in both written and oral form (i.e.with peers).
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) Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1-9 The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1-9 An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1-9 Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 2,3,4,5,9 A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 1,2,6 A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1-9 A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 1-9 An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 8,9
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesThis course is delivered by the following means:
- 1 X 2-hour lectures per week
- 1 x 4-hour workshop or field workshop per week
- 2 X 6-hour field trips during scheduled course times.
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.A student enrolled in a 3 unit course, such as this, should expect to spend, on average 12 hours per week on the studies required. This includes both the formal contact time required to the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision).
Learning Activities SummaryStudents are taught the scientific method. Class activities centre on hypothesis generating and hypothesis testing exercises. During practicals, students are taught how to design experiments and collect data. Students are also taught how to process and analyse data. Finally, students are taught how to synthesize and present results. Topics include but are not limited to: experimental design, how to test for species interactions, how to test for abiotic stressors, experimental designs for categorical data, experimental designs for continuous data, pulse and press experiments.
Specific Course RequirementsTwo of the practicals involve field trips and field work.
Small Group Discovery ExperienceThis is a Small Group Discovery Experience course. The course is led by experienced academics and it is primarily centered on hands-on, active participation of students. Because the main objective is for students to experience research activities, the course focuses on a formal collaboration between students and instructors.
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
Assessment Task Type of Assessment Percentage of total assessment for grading purposes Hurdle
Outcomes being assessed/
Due Date Class Activities Formative and Summative
No 1,2,6,7,8 Weeks 2-8 Class Project Formative and Summative 20% No 1-9 Week 8 Project Report Formative and Summative 20% No 1-9 Week 12 Project Presentation Formative and Summative 20% No 1-9 Week 12
Class Activities (40% of total)
Hypothesis generating exercise (10%) – students will be assessed on how to construct hypotheses. This will be conducted in written quiz format, approximately 20 minutes in class.
Experimental design exercise (10%) – students will be assessed on experimental design. This will be conducted in quiz format, approximately 20 minutes in class.
Literature review (10%) students will be assessed in discussion of primary scientific literature, the principles of scientific reports and, evaluation of new ideas to further scientific knowledge. approximately 20 minutes in class.
Group project design (10%) Students will be assessed on the proposal for a group project (see below) that they will then conduct in the field. Each student will submit a proposal. Maximum of 2 pages.
Class Project Report (20%)
The class project is an experiment conducted by everyone in the class to demonstrate design, collection and analysis of data. The field and practical components during the first half of the course are designed to teach students how to carry out the different aspects behind research. The evaluation of these components is a report using data collected by the entire class and it is handed in individually with a length of approximately 1,500 words.
Group Project Report (20%)
Group projects are conducted in groups of 2-3 students where each group designs and carries out an experiment, including hypothesis generating, testing, collecting and analysis of data. The project report is turned in at the end of the semester. Each group will write a report of approximately 2,000 words.
Group Project Presentation (20%)
Student oral communication and ability to synthesize projects will be assessed at the end of the semester through individual class presentations.
SubmissionIf 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 the assignment 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 late or more without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the marks available for that assignment
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.
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 (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) 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.
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