SCIENCE 1100 - Principles & Practice of Science I

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015

This course will introduce students to the broad array of scientific endeavour, the integrated nature of scientific disciplines, and the importance of scientific process and critical thinking. A number of key contemporary issues in science will be considered as frameworks for discussion and investigation. Students will also be introduced to skills for learning, academic writing and career development in the Sciences.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code SCIENCE 1100
    Course Principles & Practice of Science I
    Coordinating Unit Sciences General
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 6 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Restrictions Available to BSc students only
    Assessment Writing tasks, oral presentation
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Simon Pyke

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    The anticipated knowledge, skills and attitudes to be developed by the student in this course are:
    1 An understanding of what science is and how it is both practiced and applied
    2 Research skills (including acquisition, analysis and synthesis of complex scientific ideas and information)
    3 Critical and logical thinking
    4 Principles of academic honesty and ethical behaviour
    5 Communication skills (primary emphasis will be on academic & reflective writing)
    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. 1,2,3
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 2,3
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 2,3,5
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 1,2,5
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 1,2,5
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1,2
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 4
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1,4
  • Learning Resources
    Recommended Resources
    A highly recommended writing guide (available as an e-book) is:
    • The Little Penguin Handbook (Lester Faigley: 2nd Edition, Longman; 2013)
    A range of other resources, guides and source materials will be made available through MyUni.
    Online Learning

    MyUni: Teaching materials and course documentation will be posted on the MyUni website (

    A key component of SCIENCE 1100 will be the assessment of students’ writing skills. For this purpose we will be using an online resource (MyWritingLab) that will involve a diagnostic pre-test, a study plan (based on each individual student’s pre-test results) and a summative post-test.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    Classes will be devoted to group and open discussion of what science is and how it works. This will include introducing and developing scientific literacy skills (particularly skills related to finding, reading and interpreting scientific literature), consideration of key elements of scientific practice and utilisation of the developing scientific literacy skills.


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

    Contact time
    Classes 4 hours per week (48 hours total)
    Non-contact time
    Workshop preparation 2 hours per week (24 hours total)
    MyWritingLab (online) 10 hours total
    Researcher profile 20 hours total
    Information search 10 hours total
    Annotated bibliography 15 hours total
    Essay 20 hours total
    Reflective writing 5 hours total
    Learning Activities Summary
    Classes will be devoted to group and open discussion of what science is and how it works. This will include introducing and developing scientific literacy skills (particularly skills related to finding, reading and interpreting scientific literature), consideration of key elements of scientific practice and utilisation of the developing scientific literacy skills.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    The Small Group Discovery Experience in SCIENCE 1100 will take the form of meeting and interviewing an active researcher within the Faculty of Sciences about their development as a scientist and the research they are currently engaged in.
  • 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 Type of
    Percentage of total
    assessment for grading purposes
    Writing skills assessment
    20% (HURDLE)
    Researcher Profile Summative 20%
    Major assignment:
    (i) Information search
    (ii) Annotated bibliography
    (iii) Essay


    30% (HURDLE)
    Reflective writing Summative 10%
    Assessment Detail
    Writing skills assessment:
    Writing skills will be assessed and developed using Pearson’s ‘MyWritingLab’. This task involves a diagnostic ‘pre-test’, which is used to generate an  individually tailored study plan for each student. A predetermined  ‘mastery’ level is set for each study plan component. Once the study  plan has been completed then a summative ‘post-test’ is undertaken that  will contribute 20% to the overall course mark.
    A minimum level of performance (70%) is required in the ‘post-test’ in order to achieve a passing grade for the course.

    Researcher Profile:
    Each group of students (4 students per group) will interview a University of Adelaide researcher (academic staff or affiliate) focussing on the  researcher’s views on science, the science the researcher engages in and the development of the researcher as a scientist. Results of the  interview will be presented as a short video profile.  Summative (20%) – 6 minute (max.) presentation; 300 word reflection.

    Major Assignment:
    This will be on a broad topic in science chosen and developed by each student. The task will consist of three components.

    (i)   Information search:
    This will be the starting point for collection of sources to construct an  evidence base in order to address the chosen topic.  The intention is to focus on primary peer-reviewed sources. Formative & Summative (5%).

    (ii)  Annotated bibliography:
    Development of the information search into the primary literature (a minimum of 6  primary peer-reviewed sources is required).   Formative & Summative  (15%); task length – 2000 words (max.).

    (iii) Essay:
    This will address the chosen topic and will be developed from the Annotated  Bibliography. Summative (30%) – task length 1800-2000 words.
    A minimum level of performance (50%) is required in order to achieve a passing grade for the course.

    Reflective writing assignment:
    For effective learning, new experiences need to be interesting, readily  understood, believable and useful to the student. People often learn  best when they can identify how new experiences alter their existing  knowledge, skills and emotions. Describing and elaborating upon these  experiences is an effective way to promote learning and professional  development. This task will capture the ways in which students react to, or are affected by, their experiences in this course. Summative (10%); task length 450-500 words.
    Submission of assessment tasks
    Details of submission requirements for each piece of assigned work will be made available on MyUni. Some tasks may require submission through Turnitin (

    Return of assessed work
    Work that has been assessed will be returned in class (where this is a practical). Work which is not returned in class can be collected from the Faculty of Sciences Office.

    Extension for Assessment Tasks
    Extensions of deadlines for assessment tasks may be allowed for reasonable causes. Such situations would include compassionate and medical grounds of the severity that would justify the awarding of a supplementary examination. Evidence for the grounds must be provided when an extension is requested. Students are required to apply for an extension to the Course Coordinator before the assessment task is due. Extensions will not be provided on the grounds of poor prioritising of time. The assessment extension application form can be obtained from: (see under ‘Forms for Students’).

    Late submission of assessments
    If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply. 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.

    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.

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