PHYSIOL 2520 - Physiology IIB: Systems & Homeostasis

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2014

Physiological interactions between the nervous system and endocrine system maintain homeostasis and health. Themes in this course are the functions of the central and peripheral nervous system; the renal system (kidney) in regulation of fluid and ion levels; the gastrointestinal tract (gut) in providing nutrition to the body; the endocrine (hormone) system; and integration of the two interacting control systems involving hormonal and neural signaling. In the practical laboratory sessions, students undertake a research project that includes the testing of a hypothesis, review of the relevant research literature, collection and analysis of data, and presentation of results and conclusions. The practical component is supported by on-line workshops that lead to a deeper understanding of research methods, ethical considerations, experimental techniques, and data processing in scientific research.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PHYSIOL 2520
    Course Physiology IIB: Systems & Homeostasis
    Coordinating Unit Physiology
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact 3x 1hour lectures, 1x 1 hour tutorial, 1x 4hour practical per week
    Prerequisites Any two of the following courses: CHEM 1100; CHEM 1101; CHEM 1200; CHEM 1201; BIOLOGY 1101; BIOLOGY 1201; ANAT SC 1102; ANAT SC 1103
    Assumed Knowledge PHYSIOL 2510
    Course Description Physiological interactions between the nervous system and endocrine system maintain homeostasis and health. Themes in this course are the functions of the central and peripheral nervous system; the renal system (kidney) in regulation of fluid and ion levels; the gastrointestinal tract (gut) in providing nutrition to the body; the endocrine (hormone) system; and integration of the two interacting control systems involving hormonal and neural signaling. In the practical laboratory sessions, students undertake a research project that includes the testing of a hypothesis, review of the relevant research literature, collection and analysis of data, and presentation of results and conclusions. The practical component is supported by on-line workshops that lead to a deeper understanding of research methods, ethical considerations, experimental techniques, and data processing in scientific research.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Elizabeth Beckett

    Course Coordinator: Dr Elizabeth Beckett
    Phone: +61 8 8313 5311
    Email: elizabeth.beckett@adelaide.edu.au
    Location: Room N417, Medical School North

    Lecturer: Professor Andrea Yool
    Phone: +61 8 8313 3359
    Email: andrea.yool@adelaide.edu.au
    Location: Room N405, Medical School North

    Lecturer: Dr Joanne Bowen
    Phone: +61 8 8313 1374
    Email: joanne.bowen@adelaide.edu.au
    Location: Room 410, Medical School North

    Lecturer: Dr Nichola Thompson
    Phone: +61 8 8313 6395
    Email: nichola.thompson@adelaide.edu.au
    Location: Room 404a, Medical School North

    Medical Sciences Teaching Resource Centre
    MSTRC Coordinator: Dr Adrian Elliott
    Phone: +61 8 8313 4732
    Email: mstrc@adelaide.edu.au
    Location: Level 4, Medical School North
    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Display an integrated knowledge and understanding of the fundamental principles of homeostasis involved in the maintenance of health.
    2 Demonstrate and apply understanding of the concepts of adequate experimental design, experimental controls, sound experimental technique, data analysis and interpretation.
    3 Locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesize information relevant to the testing and evaluation of a scientific hypothesis.
    4 Use contemporary approaches and techniques (including scientific databases, data acquisition equipment and analysis software) to test a scientific hypothesis and for the presentation of research findings.
    5 Use appropriate professional skills (including ethical conduct, teamwork and effective time management) when addressing a scientific problem.
    6 Assemble and communicate research findings in oral and written formats.
    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. 1-6
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 4-6
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 2-4
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 5
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 3, 4
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 4-6
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 2, 5
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    One of the following textbooks is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (but not REQUIRED):

    Sherwood, Human Physiology: From Cells to Systems (6ed – 8ed) Cengage
    OR
    Silverthorn, Human Physiology: An Integrated Approach (4ed – 6ed) Pearson

    Additional course materials and assessment activities provided on-line (via MyUni Blackboard)
    Recommended Resources
    Individual lecturers within the course will direct students to the appropriate textbook sections and additional resources to support the content of their lectures.

    Course materials (or appropriate references) will be accessible via MyUni course pages.
    Links to additional library resources (including scientific databases such as Pubmed and Medline) will be available via the MyUni course pages in addition to a number of ethics, statistics and referencing guides.

    Information Technology Services:
    http://www.adelaide.edu.au/its/

    MyUni support tutorials for students:
    http://www.adelaide.edu.au/myuni/student/tutorials/
    Online Learning
    The following course materials will be provided on-line via MyUni:

    - Course handbook
    - Course timetable (plus lecture and practical session timetables)
    - Lecture notes
    - Lecture recordings (audio and video where appropriate)
    - Links to recommended readings provided by individual lecturers
    - Ethics resources and guides
    - Statistics resources and Graphpad Prism guide
    - Supporting materials on experimental design

    The following course assessment activities will be provided on-line via MyUni:

    Module revision quizzes (3 to 4)
    Research methods quizzes (3)
    Digital dropboxes for submission of individual and group assignments (standard and turnitin dropboxes)
    Google docs will be utilised for the submission of peer assessment scores

    Students can obtain information regarding marks obtained for assessment items via Gradebook on MyUni

    https://myuni.adelaide.edu.au
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Lectures
    In lectures the physiological systems which underpin the body's regulation of its internal environment and its responses to external threats are covered. Lecture modules include: the role of endocrine glands and their hormones in the ongoing maintenance of a suitable internal environment; the function of the central and peripheral nervous systems in sensing and responding to changes in the external environment; the gastrointestinal tract in providing nutrition to the body and; the renal system in regulation of fluid and ion levels. The consequences if these control systems become dysfunctional or fail are also considered.

    Revision lectorials (and/or open office tutorial sessions)
    Optional revision class meetings (50 mins duration) with the module lecturer are used to revise concepts from the lectures, answer students' questions, and to provide guidance and feedback on any formative study questions that may be provided by the lecturer. Revision lectorials help students confirm their mastery of concepts, identify areas in which further study will be beneficial and provide students with study questions which are illustrative of the types of questions that can be expected in the module exams.

    Fortnightly practical sessions
    In the practical laboratory sessions, students undertake a research project that includes the testing of a hypothesis, review of the relevant research literature, collection and analysis of data, and presentation of results and conclusions. The practical component is supported by the on-line research methods quizzes, which reinforce concepts including ethical considerations for research involving humans, sound experimental design and statistics methods utilised in scientific research.
    Workload

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

    Contact sessions Number of sessions Duration of each session (hrs) Total hours (hrs/semester)
    Lectures 25 1 25
    Practicals 6 4 24
    Revision lectorials/open office sessions 4 1 4
    In-class exams 3 1 3
    Non-contact Number Expected preparation time (hr)
    Practical & oral presentation preparation 6 3 18
    Practical report writing
    - ethics form
    - final individual report

    1
    1

    5
    26

    5
    26
    Online quiz preparation & completion 6 2.5 15
    Weekly reading & exam preparation 36

    Total workload (hrs/semester): 156
    Expected workload/week (hrs): 12
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week Topic Lecture
    Week 1 Autonomic and Central Nervous Systems Course Intro & Homeostasis
    Neural Networks
    G-protein coupled receptors
    Week 2 Autonomic and Central Nervous Systems (cont’d) Sympathetic Nervous System
    Parasympathetic Nervous System
    Specialisations of the brain
    Week 3 Autonomic and Central Nervous Systems (cont’d) Mind, Memory & Mood
    Nervous System Revision Lectorial
    Week 4 Endocrine Systems
    + ANS/CNS Exam (Paper A)
    Introduction to Endocrine Signaling
    Hypothalamus & Pituitary
    PAPER A (ANS/CNS) EXAM
    Week 5 Endocrine Systems (cont’d) Growth hormones & Gonadotropins
    Adrenal Glands & Stress
    Pancreas & metabolism
    Week 6 Endocrine Systems (cont’d) Thyroid & Parathyroid glands
    Endocrine Systems Revision Lectorial
    Week 7 Gastrointestinal Physiology
    + Endocrine Exam (Paper B)
    Mouth, pharynx & oesophagus
    Stomach
    PAPER B (Endocrine) Exam
    Week 8 Gastrointestinal Physiology (cont’d) Pancreas & liver
    Intestines 1
    Intestines 2
    Week 9 Gastrointestinal Physiology (cont’d) GI disorders
    GI Physiology Revision Lectorial
    Week 10 Renal Physiology
    +GI Physiology Exam (Paper C)
    Introduction to the renal system
    Filtration
    PAPER C (GI Physiology) Exam
    Week 11 Renal Physiology (cont’d) Reabsorption
    Salt & water balance 1
    Week 12 Renal Physiology (cont’d) +
    Renal Exam (Paper D)
    Salt & water balance 2
    Renal regulation of pH
    PAPER D (Renal) Exam
    Week 13 Study week Study week
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    PHYSIOL 2520 provides a number of opportunities for small group discovery experience throughout the semester. Each practical group of 5-7 students works together with an assigned academic research mentor to generate and test a scientific hypothesis stemming from an identified gap in the research literature. Students are therefore able to discuss their hypothesis, research ideas and outcomes with their peers and an academic staff member in a small group setting. The same research academic is assigned to the same practical groups for the duration of the semester to provide continuity and enable the academic to track the development of the group’s research ideas and progress.
  • 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
    Assessment Task Assessment Type Weighting Learning Outcome(s) being addressed
    Module 1 in-class exam (Paper A) Summative 10% 1
    Module 2 in-class exam (Paper B) Summative 10% 1
    Module 3 in-class exam (Paper C) Summative 10% 1
    Module 4 in-class exam (Paper D) Summative 10% 1
    Integrative exam (Paper E) Summative 10% 2-4
    Practical worksheet Summative 1% 2-5
    Practical ethics form Summative 3% 2, 3, 6
    Practical group oral presentation Summative 12% 1-7
    Practical individual final report Summative 12% 1-7
    Practical peer assessment Summative 3% 6
    Practical demonstrator mark Summative 4% 3, 4, 6
    Revision quizzes Summative 7.5% 1
    Research methods quizzes Summative 7.5% 2-5
    Assessment Detail
    Examinations (50% of total course grade): The examination component of PHYSIOL 2520 is split into 5 separate exams. The first three exams (Papers A-C), each 50 minutes in duration, are in-class exams scheduled throughout the semester to examine the material covered in lecture modules 1 to 3 (ANS/CNS; Endocrine Systems; Gastrointestinal Physiology). 

    Papers D and Paper E will be conducted during the end of semester university examination period.  Paper D will cover the renal physiology material (Module 4) and Paper E will present an integrative physiology question that gives students the opportunity to demonstrate an understanding of lab practical skills (data analysis, graphing data) using data from a hypothetical laboratory practical case; mastery of concepts from the supporting on-line research methods quizzes (ethics, experimental design and statistics) and an ability to use theoretical knowledge to interpret the physiological relevance of the findings.

    The sum of the marks for the five examinations (50) is half of the final total marks for the semester.  Students must achieve at least 25 out of 50 total exam marks (50% in exams) in order to pass the course.


    Online quizzes (15% of total course grade):


    A) Revision quizzes (7.5%) – 3 ‘open book’ multiple-choice style online quizzes designed to revise theory and concepts covered in lecture modules.  Quiz questions are released (at evenly spaced intervals throughout the semester) at least one week before due date and students have one hour to complete each quiz.

    B) Research methods quizzes (7.5%) – 3 ‘open book’ multiple-choice style online quizzes designed to reinforce and promote understanding of concepts delivered through online study guides (on themes of ethics, experimental design and statistics).
     
    Individual practical assessments (19% of total course grade):

    Demonstrator assessment
    (4%) – The class demonstrator will give each student a score (out of 4) based on criteria that include participation, teamwork, punctuality, motivation, leadership, and attention to occupational health and safety guidelines.

    Peer assessment (3%) – Each member of the research group will submit a peer review evaluating contributions of the other members of their group, at the end of semester. Students who do not submit peer reviews will receive a score of zero, regardless of the marks awarded to them by the other students in their group.  The peer mark score for a given student is calculated as an average (mean) value of the scores that are received for that student from the other members of the group.

    Final report (12%) – Each student is required to write an Individual Final Report
     

    Group practical assessments (16% of total course grade):

    Worksheet (1%) - In the first practical session, a resource academic staff member will deliver an overview of the physiological system, providing the ‘theme’ for the research projects taking place in the practical laboratory class (18-21 students per class). The equipment available for physiological monitoring will be introduced and operation explained.  Students will gain first hand-experience of using research equipment and computer software programs by working through a prescribed exercise, presented in the form of a worksheet. The worksheet will be completed as a group and given to the demonstrator at the end of the first practical. Demonstrators will score the worksheet out of 1 (0 – unsatisfactory; 0.5 – borderline; 1.0 – satisfactory).

    Ethics form (3%) – Students in research groups (5-7 students) will be provided with a number of research ideas from which they can choose one area that will be the focus of their group research project.  Students are required to complete an Ethics Form using which they define the aims of their research and briefly explain how these aims will be achieved in a series of steps. Students are also required to consider the benefits of their research; the main risks for subjects and how these risks will be minimised.

    Practical group oral presentation (12%) - The group presentation is an opportunity for students to develop the valuable skill of presenting their work, in a format similar to that used at scientific conferences. As a group, students prepare a 5 slide oral presentation which covers the background, hypothesis, aims, methods, results and main conclusions. The presentation should be designed and prepared to ensure contributions from all group members. The presentation should last no more than 10 minutes, after which the assessors will ask questions for approximately 5 minutes. Students are encouraged to present their findings in a way that engages interest as well as deliver the main findings of their research project.
     

    Note: Group marks will not be applied to students who fail to achieve a satisfactory peer and demonstrator marks for their contribution to the group project and/or fail to attend practical sessions without an appropriate medical/compassionate documentation to explain their absence.  The awarding of group marks to a student will therefore be at the discretion of the course coordinator.
    Submission
    [A] Submission process/requirements

    (i) Specification for electronic submission of assignments including submission through TURNINTIN

    Submission instructions for each group or individual assessment task are provided on the Physiology IIB MyUni course pages. In general it is requested that digital files are submitted in .pdf format.

    Individual final reports are submitted through a TURNITIN digital submission box to identify potential similarities with other student’s work and/or digital resources.

    (ii) The use of cover-sheets

    All assessment items should be submitted with their corresponding coversheets (available on MyUni), filled out as per instructions.
    The ethics form and final report must be submitted using the corresponding templates provided on MyUni.

    (iii) Location for physical submission of peer assessments

    Currently all assessment items apart from peer assessment forms are required to be submitted digitally through digital dropboxes provided on the MyUni course pages. Peer assessment forms may be submitted as hard copies to the help desk at the MSTRC (Level 4, Medical School South Building).

    [B] Penalties for late submission

    Late submissions of assignments (both individual and group) shall be governed according to the School of Medical Sciences late submission policy available in the Course Handbook and on MyUni. This policy will be enforced strictly throughout the course.

    On-line quizzes (and associated materials) will be made available on MyUni at least one week in advance of the quiz deadline. Late submissions are not accepted and will receive no score. Extensions or supplemental assessments will not be provided for on-line quizzes unless there are exceptional extenuating circumstances (at the discretion of the course coordinator).

    [C] Approach to granting of extensions to due dates

    Application for an extension for a written assignment must be made via email to the course coordinator in a timely manner in advance of the original due date. To be considered by the course coordinator application should include a completed ‘Assessment Task Extension or Replacement Examination due to Medical or Compassionate Circumstances’ application form ( http://www.adelaide.edu.au/sas/resources/public/form_exam_supp_application.pdf). Extensions or supplemental assessments will not be provided for on-line quizzes unless there are exceptional extenuating circumstances (at the discretion of the course coordinator).

    [D] Attendance requirements and minimum requirements to attain practical group marks

    Attendance at scheduled fortnightly practicals throughout the semester is mandatory. If a practical is missed due to a medical or exceptional circumstance a Practical Attendance Waiver Request Form (available on MyUni course pages) must be submitted to the course coordinator or MSTRC staff member together with the signed medical and/or compassionate certificate ( http://www.adelaide.edu.au/sas/resources/public/form_exam_supp_application.pdf). If a practical is missed the required documentation must be submitted no later than two weeks after the missed practical.

    Three summative assessment items (practical worksheet, ethics form and oral presentation) are ‘group’ assessments; with individual students receiving the group mark for those particular assessment items. Students will however not receive group marks in instances where:
    - Practical or presentation sessions have been missed and the necessary practical attendance waiver request form and medical/compassionate certificate has not been submitted or approved by the course coordinator.
    Or:
    - Unsatisfactory peer and/or demonstrator marks have been attained (scores of 0-1)

    [E] Staff “turn-around” timeline on assessments (including exam results)

    Wherever possible, staff will endeavour to have assignments and/or examinations marked and grades submitted within two weeks of the submission/examination deadline (or in the case of late submissions, within two weeks of the submission date).

    [F] Provision of feedback to students:

    PHYSIOL 2520 contains multiple assessment tasks that are set, submitted, marked and returned to students within two weeks of submission/completion. Students will have opportunity to access examples of previous assessment tasks and the standards expected. Module lecturers will provide feedback on revision study questions in revision lectorials and open office sessions. If used appropriately, revision quizzes have also the potential to provide feedback to students on how they are grasping the concepts covered in lecture sessions.

    [G] Replacement/Additional examination assessment opportunities:

    Replacement examinations:
    Students missing in-class examinations due to medical/compassionate circumstances will be provided with the opportunity to sit replacement examinations at a later date. Applications for replacement examinations will only be considered if the necessary application form (link provided below) has been appropriately completed and submitted to the course coordinator within 5 working days of the original examination date.
    ( http://www.adelaide.edu.au/sas/resources/public/form_exam_supp_application.pdf)

    Students missing end-of-semester examinations due to medical/compassionate circumstances will be provided with the opportunity to sit replacement examinations at a later date. Applications for replacement examinations will only be considered if the necessary application form (link provided below) has been appropriately completed and submitted to the Faculty of Health Sciences Office within 5 working days of the original examination date. ( http://www.adelaide.edu.au/sas/resources/public/form_exam_supp_application.pdf)

    Additional examinations:
    As 5 independent examination papers (and associated replacement exams) are set for this course, additional examinations (formerly academic supplementary examinations) are not offered to students who fail the course due to a failure to meet an average score of 50% in theory examinations.
    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 requests for remarking of assignments and/or examinations may apply directly to the course coordinator using an application form provided on request from the course coordinator.
  • 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 (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.

    SELTs will be used to evaluate the course on a yearly basis. The results will be compared with benchmarks established in the Faculty of Science and aggregate reports throughout the University.

    Feedback provided via SELTs and special practical component surveys over the past 3 years have led to the following course modifications:
  • Student Support
    The Medical Sciences Teaching Resource Centre (MSTRC) laboratories (where practical classes are held) and help desk are located on level 4 of the Medical School South building (Frome Road, North Terrace campus).

    The MSTRC facility provides experimental equipment for the labs, and multimedia support for students enrolled in Physiology IIB including self-paced learning guides, videos and other tutorial resources to assist student’s studies.

    MSTRC staff are available to provide assistance with matters relating to Physiology IIB practicals, research projects, assessment task formats and deadlines, and student records.

    The primary point of contact for these issues is:

    Adrian Elliott (MSTRC Coordinator)
    Email: mstrc@adelaide.edu.au
    Phone: 8313-4732
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.