PLANT SC 7245WT - Plant Health A
Waite Campus - Semester 1 - 2014
General Course Information
Course Code PLANT SC 7245WT Course Plant Health A Coordinating Unit School of Agriculture, Food and Wine Term Semester 1 Level Postgraduate Coursework Location/s Waite Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 7 hours per week Incompatible PLANT SC 7131WT Assumed Knowledge Undergraduate courses in general biology Course Description This course covers the biology, ecology and management of a variety of pests in agricultural ecosystems, especially arthropods, plant pathogens and weeds. It considers what organisms and abiotic stresses cause disease or reduced growth, and the economic, environmental and social implications of disease and stress. Cultural, biological, physical, and chemical pest suppression practices are considered within the framework of the principles of integrated pest management (IPM). Practical sessions provide an opportunity to learn techniques and approaches to plant protection. The key concepts of the course are integrated in a series of case studies, and students enhance their ability to apply them to novel situations in problem-solving sessions.
Course Coordinator: Emeritus Professor Michael Keller
Name Role Building/Room A/Prof Michael Keller Course Coordinator Waite/GN05 firstname.lastname@example.org A/Prof Amanda Able Lecturer Waite/GN12 email@example.com Prof Eileen Scott Lecturer Waite/N106 firstname.lastname@example.org A/Prof Christopher Preston Lecturer Waite/GN08 email@example.com
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning OutcomesSuccessful students will be able to:
1. Diagnose causes of plant damage, especially by pests, and describe the biological characteristics of damaging pests.
2. Explain the influence of biological and ecological processes on (a) pest populations and (b) the outcomes of pest management practices and programs.
3. Explain how a variety of practices are used to manage insects, diseases and weeds and apply this knowledge to pest management.
4. Explain the benefits and limitations of various practices that are used to manage pests.
5. Sample pest populations and use sampling data to make informed decisions about pest management practices.
6. Evaluate economic factors that constrain pest management practices and explain economic optimisation of pest management.
7. Explain the benefits of an integrated approach to pest management, and compare and contrast integrated approaches to those based on one or two main pest suppression practices.
8. Critically evaluate a pest management program.
9. Use a spreadsheet to construct a simple mathematical model.
10. Clearly communicate their thoughts and understanding orally and in 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. 1-8 The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 8 An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 8 Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 10 A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 9 A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 7,8 An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 4,6,7
Required ResourcesAll course materials are available online through the University’s MyUni portal. These include the course handbook, lecture and practical notes, recorded lectures, and example of a past examination paper, and lists of readings. Each week students must complete an online quiz to prepare for the scheduled practical session.
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesLectures are supported by assigned readings that build student’s knowledge in the area of pest biology and management. The hands-on learning approach in the practicals helps to develop deeper understanding of these topics and assists students in their development of practical skills such as diagnosis, robust sampling and resistance management.
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.A student enrolled in a 3 unit course, such as this, should expect to spend, on average 12 hours per week on the studies required. This includes both the formal contact time required to the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision).
Learning Activities SummaryThere is a series of lectures that cover the influence of damaging microorganisms, invertebrates and weeds on plant health, and the means to manage plant health in a cost effective and sustainable manner. Practical sessions consider diagnosis, quantification and management of organisms that damage crops in the field and after harvest.
Specific Course Requirements1. Attendance at lectures is optional, but strongly encouraged.
2. Attendance at practicals is required, and all practical sessions are assessed. Students must complete an online quiz before each practical, which gives formative feedback and ensures they are aware of key technical, health and safety issues.
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 Type of Assessment Percentage of total assessment for grading purposes Hurdle Yes or No Learning Outcome being assessed/achieved Practical exercises (in-class) Formative & Summative
No 1-10 Practical reports Formative & Summative 15.3% No 1,3,4,10 Case Study report Summative 5.4% No 3,6,7,8,10 On-line quizzes Formative 0% No 1,2,3,4,5,6,9 Essay or consultant's report Summative 10% No 8,10 Final exam Summative 54% No 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,10
Practical exercises (in-class) – a total of 15.3% from in-class tasks during 6 practical classes as follows:
Pest Forecasting Practical (3.6%)
Students prepare a spreadsheet that includes a regression analysis and equations for a degree-day model to forecast the development of a selected insect pest. Students are assessed on the precision and accuracy of their work (learning outcome 9), the extent to which their spreadsheet displays elements of best practice (9), and the quality and depth of answers to questions about the exercise (9,10). The assignment is submitted at the end of the practical session and feedback is given within two weeks.
Biology and diagnosis of invertebrate pests (2.7%)
Students answer questions about practical pest diagnostic problems and mount and label insects to enable authoritative identification. Students are assessed on the quality and depth of answers to questions about the exercise (1,10), and their technical skill in mounting and labelling specimens (1). The assignment is submitted at the end of the practical session and feedback is given within two weeks.
Disease diagnostics (2.7%)
Students work in groups of four to examine a range of plant diseases and subsequently use of computer and textbook resources to identify one disease and the causal organism, and recommend control measures. Students are assessed on the quality of answers to questions in the three page report template, prepared as a group, and a short individual verbal presentation to the class expanding an aspect of the report (1, 3, 10). The written assignment is submitted at the end of the practical session and feedback is given within two weeks.
Biological control of insects (1.8%)
Students prepare a brief written report (~4 pages, including graphs) on a small experiment and answer questions about observations made in the field and of live specimens that they view in the laboratory. Students are assessed on their analysis and interpretation of experimental data (3,4), and quality and depth of answers to questions about their observations (3,4,10). The assignment is submitted at the end of the practical session and feedback is given within two weeks.
Postharvest Pest Management (2.7%)
Students work in groups to discover the elements of a chosen supply chain, determine the key pest control points and then apply their knowledge to develop a method that will maintain or improve the end product. This is then presented to the class as an informal hand-drawn poster/diagram. They choose a crop and product of interest to them (horticultural, agricultural or viticultural) the week before the practical to allow them time to identify resources (textbooks, websites, journal articles) in preparation. Students will be assessed, as a group, with regards to the quality, reasoning and depth of the analysis and solutions presented (2, 3,4), and their ability to communicate their poster and ideas to the class (10). The assignment is submitted at the end of the practical session and feedback is given within two weeks.
Root Disease Management (1.8%)
Students prepare a brief group assignment (3 page form with questions) on the interpretation of root disease testing measurements and appropriate ways to take advantage of them in managing root diseases for a selected crop. The assignment is submitted at the end of the practical session and feedback is given within two weeks
Practical reports – a total of 15.3% for 4 practicals as follows:
Diagnosis of herbicide damage (2.7%)
Students are provided with a case study and have to prepare a two page report outlining the steps they would take to determine the likely cause of damage. Students are assessed on their ability to assess the problem (1), identify the information required to make an informed judgement about the cause of the problem and to communicate that information (10). The assessment is submitted one week after the practical session and feedback is provided within one week of submission.
Sampling and decision making (5.4%)
Students analyse and interpret an extensive class data set that is collected during a field excursion. Students are assessed on the precision and accuracy of their work (5), the extent to which their spreadsheet displays elements of best practice (9), and the quality and depth of answers to questions about the exercise (5,10). The assignment is submitted one week after the practical session and feedback is given within three weeks (includes two weeks of mid-semester break).
Pesticide chemistry and application (3.6%)
Students prepare a three page report on the results of three short experiments. Students are assessed on their analysis and interpretation of experimental data (3,4,5), and quality and depth of answers to questions about their observations (3,4,5,10). The assignment is submitted one week after the practical session and feedback is provided within one week of submission.
Pesticide resistance management (3.6%)
Students prepare a four page report on the results of a computer simulation. Students are assessed on their ability to analyse and communicate the results of the simulation (4,7,8) and the quality and depth of their answers to questions about the results of the simulation (4,7,8,10). The assignment is submitted one week after the practical session and feedback is provided within one week of submission.
Essay or Consultant’s report (10%)
Students choose to write either an essay or a consultant’s report (1800-2200 words). An essay critically reviews and analyses a selected subject in the area of plant health. A consultant’s report critically evaluates how pests are currently suppressed on a farm or in a region in light of the principles of Integrated Pest Management. Either type of report must be thoroughly supported with primary references, Students are assessed on the critical assessment of the topic (2,3,4,6,7,8), the support for their arguments from authoritative references and the clarity of their writing (10). The assignment is submitted at the end of week 13 and feedback is given within 2 weeks.
Case study (5.4%)
Students choose one of the field excursions (Biology and management of pests of cereals OR protected crops) as the basis for an extended report (1200-1500 words). Students are assessed on their description of the type of production enterprise (10), the pests that affect the crops (2-8,10), and a critical evaluation of pest management practices (8,10). The assignment is submitted no later than one week after the second excursion and feedback is given within two weeks
Theory exam (54%)
The final theory exam will examine all components of the course. It will consist of short answer and long answer questions.
If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply. A 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.
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.
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.
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