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

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2016

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
    Course Description 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
    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.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On Successful completion of this course student will be able:

    Course Learning Outcomes


    GA Arts
    GA Uni
    Both Semesters
    Assemble a range of subject-appropriate resources, including online, that engage a diversity of students in their learning. 2.6 & 3.4 1, 2 1, 2
    Integrate relevant research and theory to develop a broad repertoire of subject-appropriate teaching and learning strategies, including use of ICT. 3.2 & 3.3 2 2
    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 6 6
    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 3, 5 3, 5
    Develop a broad repertoire of subject-appropriate teaching and learning strategies, including use of ICT. 2.1, 2.6, 3.2 & 3.3 2, 3 2, 3
    Semester One
    Demonstrate thorough knowledge and understanding of the complexity of the discipline and the teaching strategies of the learning area. 2.1, 3.2 & 3.3 1, 2 1, 2
    Design and sequence unit and lesson plans based on essential content of the subject area, curriculum and assessment principles. 2.2, 2.3 & 3.2 1, 2 1, 2
    Assemble relevant and appropriate sources of professional learning for teachers including subject professional associations. 6.2, 6.3 & 7.4 4, 6 4, 6
    Semester 2
    Demonstrate broad knowledge of strategies that can be used to evaluate teaching programs to improve student learning. 3.6 & 5.4 3, 4, 6 3, 4, 6
    Identify and interpret student learning needs and design learning strategies so as to respond to student diversity. 5.1 & 5.2 2, 3, 5 2, 3, 5
    Formulate a range of feedback and assessment strategies, including informal and formal, diagnostic, formative and summative approaches to assess student learning in the subject area and for various curricula eg SACSA, SACE, ACARA, IB. 5.1, 5.2, 5.5 & 7.2 2, 3, 5 2, 3, 5
    Demonstrate understanding of assessment, moderation and its application to support consistent and comparable judgements of student learning. 5.3, 5.4 & 5.5 2, 3, 5 2, 3, 5

    Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST): 

    Graduate Attributes: Faculty of Arts Graduate Attributes:

    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)
    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, 6, 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
    1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12
    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
    4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    8, 9
    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
    4, 10, 11, 12
    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
    3, 8, 9
  • 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 Introduction
    What makes a good Biology teacher?
    Perceptions of Biology, Biological language
    An overview of stage 1 and stage 2 Biology
    Week 2 Public Holiday- no class in lieu of observation times
    Week 3 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
    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 Unit Plans and Planning lessons
    Classroom teaching and practical sessions
    Meaningful assessment
    Writing Multiple Choice Questions.
    Week 6 Public Holiday- no class in lieu of observation times

    Week 7 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 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. Assignment 1: Due date: end of week 4. Weighting 30%. Learning objectives 1,2,4

    2. Assignment 2: 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%) (APST standards: 6.3, 6.2, 3.4) Learning Objectives 1, 3, 8, 
    • Individual preparation of a lesson plan to teach a stage 2 biology topic that many students have difficulty understanding. (30%) (APST standards: 1.2, 1.5, 2.1, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, ) Learning Objectives 1, 2, 4, 5, 6
    • Writing of Multiple Choice Questions in small groups during class time. (20%) (APST standards: 2.2, 2.3, 3.4, 5.1) Learning Objectives 1, 7
    • 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%) (APST standards: 1.1, 1.2, 1.5, 2.3, 3.3, 3.4, 6.2, 6.3, 7.4) Learning Objectives 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8
    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.