ENV BIOL 4020A - Honours Environmental Biology Project Pt 1
North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2016
General Course Information
Course Code ENV BIOL 4020A Course Honours Environmental Biology Project Pt 1 Coordinating Unit School of Biological Sciences Term Semester 1 Level Undergraduate Location/s North Terrace Campus Contact By supervision Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N Incompatible ENV BIOL 4000A/B, ENV BIOL 4005A/B Restrictions Available only to students admitted to the relevant Honours program Course Description The focus of this course is about the execution of a piece of original research, and on implementing the research proposal developed in the Adv Env Biol (Hons) course (ENV BIOL 4015A/B). The two courses are closely aligned and are designed to be done in parallel at the same time, and interact. The two courses complement each other and form the Honours program in Ecology, Evolution and Landscape Sciences. Students investigate an area of animal, plant and/or environmental biology and discover interesting phenomena to observe, one or more original questions to answer and corresponding hypotheses to test. The project includes the design, execution, analysis and reporting of a discrete research project. The student is largely responsible for the conduct of the project, but receives counsel and direction from a member of staff with relevant expertise.
Course Coordinator: Associate Professor David Paton
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning OutcomesA successful student in this course should be able to:
1 Develop the attributes of a creative, independent and effective Environmental Biology research scientist; 2 Design and manage a substantial research project within constraints of time and budgets; 3 Collect data using a range of appropriate techniques; 4 Analyse and interpret data with appropriate statistical methods; 5 Present data in clear, instructive figures and tables; 6 Prepare a critical discussion of the research in relation to the literature, that also identifies weaknesses and opportunities for further research 7 Write a well organised, clear and concise research paper (thesis); 8 Prepare and defend an oral presentation.
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)
1,2,6 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
1,2,3,4,5,6 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
3,4,5,6 Career and leadership readiness
- technology savvy
- professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
- forward thinking and well informed
- tested and validated by work based experiences
1,2,5,6 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
5,6 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
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesThe research project provides an opportunity for students to develop their skills as a scientist by executing a defined research project, guided by one or more academic staff. The execution of the research project includes the collection, analysis and interpretation of data, and communicating the findings in written (research paper) and oral (seminar) forms. This is an experiential learning process with students learning while doing but supported with appropriate mentorship and collegiality. Although the students focus on executing their own research project they are expected to be actively involved in lab or research group meetings where research is discussed and reviewed, and also expected to attend seminars given by other researchers. These activities will vary in volume and type from research group to research group but are aimed at exposing students to the practice of science which the students can then consider applying to their own research.
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.A student enrolled in this course should expect to spend, on average 30 hours per week executing the research project including data collection, analysis, and the writing of the research paper and attending specialist research group meetings and seminars
Learning Activities SummaryStudents in this course are taught the attributes that make an effective, innovative and independent researcher with the capacity and confidence to collect, analyse, interpret and report on research findings at a high level.
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 Task Type Due Weighting Learning Outcome Research Project
Formative & Summative
Last week in October or mid November
90% 1-8 Seminar presentation Formative & Summative First Week in November 10% 1-8
Assessment DetailResearch Project (90%) and Oral Defence (0%)
The research project equates to about 22 weeks of full time work, resulting in a research paper (thesis). There will also be a final seminar (assessed) that is presented after the written project is submitted (see below) and an oral defence.
The project will be written up in the format of a paper suitable for submission to a scientific journal appropriate to specific area of research. Papers should be a maximum of 40 pages of text. Students are required to attend a clarification session with their examiners.
Final seminar (20 minutes including questions; 10%)
A seminar presentation is given after completion of the project and submission of the written paper and is assessed. The seminar will be for 20 minutes including question time. Assessment is based on the presentation style, including the clarity of the presentation and ability to engage with the audience and ability to effectively answer questions.
SubmissionIf 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:
NOG (No Grade Associated) Grade Description CN Continuing
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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