EDUC 4510A - Biology Curriculum & Methodology A (UG)

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015

The course aims to present information on a range of methodologies and develop a variety of pedagogical skills that will prepare students for the start of their teaching career in senior school biology

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code EDUC 4510A
    Course Biology Curriculum & Methodology A (UG)
    Coordinating Unit School of Education
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact 2 hours per week, in addition to a 2 hour common lecture focussing on Planning and Teaching
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Prerequisites Pass in 6 courses of Biological Science
    Restrictions Available to B Teaching students only
    Assessment essay, unit of work, online tasks, designing pracs & investigations
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Mr Maurice Wetherall

    Maurie Wetherall LECTURER
    Course Timetable

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

    Monday 1PM - 3PM
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    On Successful completion of this course student will be able:

    APST Standard

    AQF7/8 GA
    Semester One

    Demonstrate deep knowledge and understanding of the complexity of the discipline and theteaching strategies of the learning area. 2.1 Knowledge 1,2,3,5,6,7


    Design and sequence unit and lesson plans based on essential content of the subjectarea, curriculum, including effective assessment principles. 2.2 & 2.3 & 3.2 Application 1,2,3

    Assemble a range of subject-appropriate resources, including online, that engage a diversity of students in their learning. 2.6 & 3.4 Application 2, 4, 5, 8

    Integrate relevant research and theory to develop a broad repertoire of subject-appropriate teaching and learning strategies, including use of ICT. 3.3 7 3.2 Skills 2,3,5

    Assemble relevant and appropriate sources of professional learning for teachers including subject professional associations. 6.2, 6.3 & 7.4 Knowledge
    & Skills
    4, 5, 6, 7, 8

    Demonstrate a commitment to work ethically and collaboratively so as to meet the professional expectations required of teachers 6.2, 6.3, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4 Knowledge, Skills & Application 3,4,8

    Demonstrate communication skills to present a clear and coherent exposition of knowledge and ideas to a diverse range of students 3.5, 4.2, 5.5 Knowledge, Skills & Application 2,4

    Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST): 

    Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF): 

    Graduate Attributes: University of Adelaide Graduate Attributes:
    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. 1,2
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1,2,3,4,7
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1,2,4,6
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 3,5,6,7
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 1,3,4,5,
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1,5
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 1,5
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 3,5,6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    SACE Stage 1 and 2 Biology Course outlines from SACE website.
    Recommended Resources
    (Not required to buy these but may be referred to during the course. Some of these can be purchased from me for a very low cost.)
    • Ruthven, Simon. Biology SACE 1 Key Ideas
    • Crierie A and Greig D. Biology Key Ideas (4rd edition)
    • Crierie A and Greig D. Biology SACE 2 Essentials Workbook (3nd edition)
    • Crierie A and Greig D. Stage 2 Practical Manual (2013 version)
    • Chambers W and Wetherall M. Revision Guide (2014 edition)
    • Dierks T and LeCornu B. Levels of Life Text book
    • Dierks T and LeCornu B. Workbook
    • Knox, Ladiges, Evans, Saint. Biology An Australian Focus (3rd edition) McGraw Hill
    • SASTA (South Australian Science Teachers Association) Revision Guide and Workbook.
    • Biozone workbooks for year 11 and 12
    Online Learning
    Some of the material will be available on Myuni
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Workshop style lectures with extensive opportunities to view and discuss teaching methodology as it relates to SACE Biology. Students will be exposed to multiple resources for their teaching programs so that they may individualise future teaching according to the needs and context of their students. Students will mark current year 11 and 12 examples of different levels of assignments and tests according to SACE performance standards.

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

    Students are required to utilise an equal amount of time in independent study as time spent in lectures. This may involve reading, research or resource gathering. More time may be required to produce summative tasks. Students are required to spend at least 3 hours observing me teaching during Semester 1. This can be during lectures, tutorials, classes with year 11 Biology or at Holiday Revision programs for Adelaide Tuition Centre.
    Learning Activities Summary
    • Perceptions of Biology
    • Biological language
    • A look at junior secondary Biology in the Science program
    • An overview of SACE Stages 1 and 2 Biology
    • An analysis of the SACE course outlines and the Learning and Assessment Plans for Stage 1 and 2
    • Looking at areas of the curriculum that many students find difficult and investigating varying approaches to these challenges
    • Planning Units of work and topics for Stage 1 Biology and some resources for Stage 1
    • Planning lessons, how to use time effectively
    • Successful classroom teaching of Biology
    • How to organise and assess practical work.
    • Some ideas about setting and assessing the Investigations Issues essay part of the course
    • Meaningful assessment, including setting of topic tests and assignments, and marking in accordance with SACE Performance Standards.
    • Stage 2 Biology-Key concepts, depth of knowledge required
    • Choosing texts and workbooks for Stage 1 and 2 Biology
    • Setting up resources for teaching in the future
    • Using appropriate handouts for students
    • Using the internet for Biology
    • Using virtual practicals eg. Enzyme lab and dissections
    • Marking standards for classroom and SACE including some practise marking current student work, using appropriate SACE performance standards.
    • Professional Development and teaching support groups
    • Using ‘Moodle’ to create electronic assessment items.
    Week 1 2nd March 1.10pm till 3pm Introduction
    What makes a good Biology teacher?
    Perceptions of Biology, Biological language
    An overview of stage 1 and stage 2 Biology
    Week 2 9th March Public Holiday- no class in lieu of observation times
    Week 3 16th March 1.10pm till 3pm An in depth look at SACE Course Outlines and Assessment Plans for stage 1 and 2.
    Must Know Lists for SACE stage 2 Biology.
    Week 4 23rdMarch 1.10pm till 3pm
    Concepts that students find difficult, and some approaches to teaching these.
    Planning topics for stage 1 Biology. Some useful resources for stage 1
    Marking according to Performance Standards- some work to mark from Stage 1
    Week 5 30th March 1.10pm till 3pm Unit Plans and Planning lessons
    Classroom teaching and practical sessions
    Meaningful assessment
    Writing Multiple Choice Questions.
    Week 6 6th April 1.10pm till 3pm Public Holiday- no class in lieu of observation times

    Week 7 27th April 1.10pm till 3pm Stage 2 Biology, Key concepts, depth of knowledge required,
    Choice of texts. Practical work.
    Setting up assessment criteria that make sense to students
    Marking standards, some examples from my Stage 2 classes
    Week 8 4th May 1.10pm till 3pm Guest speaker on misconceptions in Senior Biology
    Specific Course Requirements
    • the use of specialised facilities (Basic Laboratory and Workshop Safety Guidelines (unrevised)) or equipment (Plant/Equipment Safety Management (includes Electrical Equipment) (unrevised));
    • external placements and work experience including insurance information and frequently asked questions;
    • fieldtrips Field Work policy and guidelines (unrevised) and insurance information;
    • the input of other organisations such as SAPOL (eg police checks) Police Record Checks procedure policy(unrevised);
    • the use facilities out of hours (eg Computing laboratories, Music studios);
    • ancillary fees and charges Fees for Award Programs and Courses policy (revised);
    • the requirement for students with Colour Vision Impairment ('colour blindness') to obtain advice on how to participate in Electrical Engineering workshops.
  • 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
    Two assessment pieces are required

    1. Assignmen 1: Due date: end of week 4. Weighting 30%. Learning objectives 1,2,4

    2. Assignment; writing multiple choice questions in small groups during class of week 6.
    Weighting 20%.
    • Attendance, contribution and active participation in workshops and class exercises, collaboration with colleagues and sharing of resources with each other (20%) (ATST standards: 6.3, 6.2, 3.4)
    • Individual preparation of a lesson plan to teach a stage 2 biology topic that many students have difficulty understanding. (30%) (ATST standards: 1.2, 1.5, 2.1, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, )
    • Writing of Multiple Choice Questions in small groups during class time. (20%) (ATST standards: 2.2, 2.3, 3.4, 5.1)
    • Attend answer questions and discuss about at least two lessons (or 3 hours) of classroom observation in my year 11 or 12 classes at University Senior College, or holiday revision programmes with Adelaide Tuition Centre. This is a required assessment item and must be completed in semester 1. (30%) (ATST standards: 1.1, 1.2, 1.5, 2.3, 3.3, 3.4, 6.2, 6.3, 7.4)
    Assessment Detail

    No information currently available.


    No information currently available.

    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
  • 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.