PHYSIOL 2520 - Physiology IIB: Systems & Homeostasis
North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2016
General Course Information
Course Code PHYSIOL 2520 Course Physiology IIB: Systems & Homeostasis Coordinating Unit Medical Sciences Term Semester 2 Level Undergraduate Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 6 hours a week Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y 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 the endocrine system maintain homeostasis and health. Themes in this course include: the functions of the central and peripheral nervous systems; the roles of endocrine glands and the hormones they secrete; the gastrointestinal tract in providing nutrition to the body; and the renal system in the regulation of fluid and ion levels. Practical laboratory sessions support learning of physiological mechanisms and concepts covered in lecture modules plus provide an opportunity for students to develop and practice scientific research skills, including data collection, presentation, analysis and interpretation. Online practorials that focus on appropriate research methods; ethical conduct and statistical analysis complement the practical component of the course.
Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Elizabeth BeckettCourse Coordinator: Dr Elizabeth Beckett
Phone: +61 8 8313 5311
Location: Room N417, Medical School North
Additional teaching staff:
Professor Andrea Yool
Phone: +61 8 8313 3359
Location: Room N405, Medical School North
Dr Joanne Bowen
Phone: +61 8 8313 1374
Location: Room 410, Medical School North
Dr Nichola Thompson
Phone: +61 8 8313 6395
Location: Room 404a, Medical School North
Medical Sciences Teaching Resource Centre
Location: Level 4, Medical School South
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.The course timetable will be available on the MyUni site.
Course Learning Outcomes
1 Display an integrated knowledge and understanding of the fundamental principles of homeostasis involved in the maintenance of health. 2 Recognise and describe the main components of the endocrine, digestive, renal and nervous systems and demonstrate knowledge of how they contribute to the maintanence of homeostasis. 3 Demonstrate and apply understanding of the concepts of adequate experimental design, experimental controls, sound experimental technique, data analysis and interpretation. 4 Locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesize information relevant to the testing and evaluation of a scientific hypothesis. 5 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. 6 Use appropriate professional skills (including ethical conduct, teamwork and effective time management) when addressing a scientific problem. 7 Assemble and communicate research findings in appropriate scientific 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) 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)
1 - 7 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
3 - 7 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
6 - 7 Career and leadership readiness
- technology savvy
- professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
- forward thinking and well informed
- tested and validated by work based experiences
5 - 7 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
6 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
Required ResourcesOne of the following textbooks is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (but not REQUIRED):
Sherwood, Human Physiology: From Cells to Systems (7th edition – 9th edition) Cengage
Silverthorn, Human Physiology: An Integrated Approach (4th edition – 6th edition) Pearson
The publishers of these textbooks offer both electronic and hardcopy versions of these texts.
Additional course materials and assessment activities will be provided on-line (via MyUni Blackboard)
Recommended ResourcesIndividual 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:
MyUni support tutorials for students:
Online LearningThe following course materials will be provided online via MyUni:
- Course handbook
- Course timetable (including both lecture and practical session timetables)
- Lecture notes
- Lecture recordings (audio and video where appropriate)
- Links to recommended readings
- Ethics resources and guides
- Data analysis and statistics resources
- Supporting materials on experimental design
The following course assessment activities will be provided online via MyUni:
- Online research methods practorials and quizzes (3 practorials with quizzes)
Students can obtain information regarding marks obtained for assessment items via Gradebook on MyUni
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesLectures
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 reinforce physiological concepts and mechanisms.
Online research methods practorials and quizzes
The practical component of the course is supported by on-line research methods practorials and quizzes, which cover topics that include: ethical considerations, sound experimental design and data analysis methods utilised in scientific research.
In-lab practical sessions
In laboratory sessions, students participate in research experiments related to parallel lecture blocks. Students are encouraged to consider how hypotheses are formulated and tested, the importance of keeping up-to-date with relevant research literature and appropriate methods for the collection, analysis and presentation of data. Thus practical sessions not only help to illustrate and reinforce concepts covered in lecture sessions, but provide a forum for discussion of appropriate research methodology, including appropriate experimental design, controls, the potential for error and working safely and ethically in a research environment.
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.
Students are reminded that the overall predicted workload for a full time student is an average of 48 hours per week per teaching semester. This includes contact and non-contact hours and includes general study and time to complete assignments.
As PHYSIOL IIB: Systems & Homeostasis is a 3 unit course then it is expected that you spend approximately 12 hours per week studying this course (including contact hours). The table below gives a suggestion as to how you may divide your time between the various learning activities - bearing in mind that this can be flexible depending on each student's individual learning methods.
Contact sessions Number of sessions Duration of each
Lectures 25 1 25 Practicals 4 4 16 Revision lectorials/
open office sessions
4 1 4 In-class exams 3 1 3
Non-contact Number Expected preparation
Pre-readings and preparation
4 4 16 Weekly review of lecture
material and associated reading
12 3 36 Online practorials and
3 5 15 Exam preparation 6 6 36
Total workload (hrs/semester): 151
Expected workload/week (hrs): 11-12
Learning Activities SummaryAn up-to-date timetable of course activities can be downloaded from MyUni.
The course is organised into 4 teaching modules, with an examinations to test comprehension of theory concepts scheduled at the end of each module. In-class module exams will contribute to the final course grade (10% for each exam) and therefore it is important that students factor these examination sessions into their schedules. (See assessment section for more details).
Online research skills activities are to be completed by the end of week 3 in preparation for laboratory practical sessions which will commence in week 4 or Week 5 (depending on students enrollment choices). The aim of practical sessions is to provide application to the theoretical knowledge gained in lectures, demonstrate concepts and hone students teamwork and research skills. As the practical sessions will relate closely to the material delivered in lectures it is imperative that students stay 'up-to-date' with the course content as the semester progresses. Practical sessions will be of greatest benefit to those who have already familiarised themselves with the main concepts delivered via lecture sessions.
Specific Course RequirementsIn order to pass Physiology IIB: Systems & Homeostasis students are required to attain an overall grade of 50% AND achieve a composite score of 50% in the theory component of the course (in-class and end-of-semester module exams).
In circumstances where students do not meet this barrier but satisfactorally pass the practical component, the course coordinator may use their discretion to permit repeating students to be exempt from the practical sessions. In this instance satisfactory achievement in the practical component is defined as attaining at least 40% in the end-of-semester research skills exam.
Absence from a practical class will require the provision of appropriate paperwork documenting medical and/or compassionate reasons for non-attendance at the relevant session.
Small Group Discovery ExperienceThe Physiology IIB: Systems & Homeostasis course provides opportunity for small group discovery experience throughout the semester. Each practical group of 5-7 students works together with an assigned demonstrator (often a post-doctoral fellow or academic staff member). Students are able to discuss the hypothesis being addressed, their research ideas and experimental results with their peers and staff in a small group setting.
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 Assessment Type Weighting Learning Outcome(s) being addressed Paper A in-class exam Summative 10 1, 2 Paper B in-class exam Summative 10 1, 2 Paper C in-class exam Summative 10 1, 2 Paper D Summative 10 1, 2 Paper E (Integrative Exam) Summative 15 1, 2 Online practorial quizzes Summative 6 3 Practical worksheets Summative 20 3 - 7 Practical demonstrator mark Summative 4 6 Practical Skills Exam Summative 15 3, 4, 7
Assessment Related RequirementsStudents should be aware that they are required to attend in-class module exams scheduled throughout the semester. Failure to attend these exams will result in forfeiting the marks assigned to these assessment activities. The course timetable available on MyUni will clearly indicate the dates and times these examinations will take place. If attendance at an in-class or end-of-semester exam is missed due to severe medical or compassionate circumstances, students will be required to apply for a replacement assessment using the appropriate university application form, with the relevant sections completed by a health professional. It should be noted that, in line with University regulations, students will not be granted a replacement exam if they have already attended the original examination session.
In order to pass Physiology IIB: Systems & Homeostasis students are required to attain an overall grade of 50% AND achieve a composite score of 50% in the theory component of the course (in-class and end-of-semester module exams).
In circumstances where students do not meet this barrier but satisfactorily pass the practical component, the course coordinator may use their discretion to permit repeating students to be exempt from the practical sessions. In this instance satisfactory achievement in the practical component is defined as attaining at least 40% in the end-of-semester research skills exam.
Absence from a practical class will require the provision of appropriate paperwork documenting medical and/or compassionate reasons for non-attendance at the relevant session.
Assessment DetailTheory examinations (55% of total course grade)
The theory 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 blocks 1-3. Papers D and E are taken during the end of semester university examination period. Paper D will assess understanding of the 4th lecture block and Paper E will present integrative physiology questions, related to the overall theme of the course. Students must achieve at least 27.5 out of 55 total exam marks (50% in exams) in order to pass the course.
Individual practical assessments (25% of total course grade)
- Online research methods practorial quizzes (6%)- These online activities are designed to reinforce and promote understanding of concepts delivered through online practorial presentations on research ethics, experimental design and statistics. Each of the 3 quizzes contribute 2% to the 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 and attention to occupational health and safety guidelines.
- Research skills exam (15%) – This exam, also conducted during the end-of-semester examination period, will provide students to demonstrate mastery of concepts from the on-line research methods practorials and practical classes (including ethical considerations, experimental design, data presentation and analysis.
Group practical assessments (20% of total course grade)
- Practical worksheets (20%) - Practical worksheets have been designed to guide students through a series of research experiments to study a particular physiological concept, or mechanism. By working through practical worksheets students will answer questions and complete activities designed to challenge students to consider the underlying physiological mechanisms; the most appropriate analysis methods and presentation of the data collected and their interpretation previously published results (from review of primary research articles). Each student group (4-6 students per group) will complete a worksheet for each of the 4 practical sessions, each weighted at 5% of the total course grade.
Group practical worksheets should be submitted to the practical class demonstrator by the end of the scheduled practical session with the corresponding coversheet (completed as per instructions) attached.
Penalties for late submission
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).
Late submissions of any additional assessment items (individual or group) shall be governed according to the School of Medicine late submission policy available on MyUni. This policy will be enforced strictly throughout the course.
Practical attendance requirements to attain practical group marks
If a practical is missed due to a medical or exceptional circumstance a Practical Absence Form (available on MyUni course pages) must be completed and submitted to the course coordinator or MSTRC staff member within 1 week of the missed practical if an opportunity to participate in an alternative practical assessment is to be considered. Failure to submit a completed and signed Practical absence form will result in forfeit of the group worksheet mark for that particular practical class.
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.
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. Module lecturers will provide feedback on revision study questions in revision lectorials and open office sessions. If used appropriately, formative revision quizzes and study questions have also the potential to provide feedback to students on how they are grasping the concepts covered in lecture sessions.
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 (provided on MyUni course pages) has been appropriately completed and submitted to the course coordinator within 5 working days of the original examination date. 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 has been appropriately completed and submitted to the Faculty of Health Sciences Office within 5 working days of the original examination date.
Additional examinations / Academic supplementary 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 a composite score of 50% in theory examinations (even if the overall course grade >50%)
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.Examinations will be held throughout the semester (in-class) and during the end-of-semester university examination period. Dates and times of in-class exminations will be provided at the start of the semester and students are expected to be available to sit both in-class exams and the end-of-semester exam held during the official university examination period. Students who fail to sit exams on the set date and time without satisfactory medical or compassionate reasons submitted in writing in the appropriate time frame, will forfeit the marks for these examinations.
Student requests for replacement in-class examinations are to be directed to the course coordinator using the University application for replacement examination due to a medical or compassionate circumstances. Only one sitting for replacement assessment is offered and students who are present at the original exam are not applicable to apply for a replacement assessment.
Examinations WILL NOT be rescheduled for students on holidays or away attending weddings etc.
Information provided in applications for replacement/additional assessments or extensions for assignments will be treated in confidence
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.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 as well as CEQ surveys and Program reviews.
Student Experience of Learning and Teaching surveys (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.
SELTs will be used to evaluate the course on a yearly basis. The results will be compared with benchmarks established in the Faculty of Health Science and aggregate reports throughout the University.
Feedback provided via SELTs and specialised practical component surveys over the past 3 years have led to a number of important and beneficial PHYSIOL IIB course modifications and therefore student input is encouraged and highly valued.
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).
- Academic Support with Maths
- Academic Support with writing and speaking skills
- Student Life Counselling Support - Personal counselling for issues affecting study
- International Student Support
- AUU Student Care - Advocacy, confidential counselling, welfare support and advice
- Students with a Disability - Alternative academic arrangements
- Reasonable Adjustments to Teaching & Assessment for Students with a Disability Policy
The MSTRC facility provides experimental equipment for the labs, and MSTRC staff are available to provide assistance with matters relating to Physiology IIB practicals.
Policies & Guidelines
This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.
- Academic Credit Arrangement Policy
- Academic Honesty Policy
- Academic Progress by Coursework Students Policy
- Assessment for Coursework Programs
- Copyright Compliance Policy
- Coursework Academic Programs Policy
- Elder Conservatorium of Music Noise Management Plan
- Intellectual Property Policy
- IT Acceptable Use and Security Policy
- Modified Arrangements for Coursework Assessment
- Student Experience of Learning and Teaching Policy
- Student Grievance Resolution Process
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.
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