HEALTH 2000 - Experimental research in health sciences (Adv) II

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2016

This course develops students' formal knowledge of the design and implementation of experimental research with animals or humans. Topics will include the principles of experimental design, choice of animal model, features of rigorous randomized controlled trials, and high-quality systematic reviews of trials. Students will gain skills in the construction of hypotheses, basic statistical analysis and interpretation, and critical appraisal of published research. Students will also consider ethical conduct, science communication, and knowledge translation. Active-learning and real-world examples are emphasized in this course.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code HEALTH 2000
    Course Experimental research in health sciences (Adv) II
    Coordinating Unit Health Sciences Faculty Office
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Assumed Knowledge ANAT SC 1102, ANAT SC 1103, PUB HLTH 1001, PUB HLTH 1002
    Restrictions BHlthSc(Adv) Students only
    Course Description This course develops students' formal knowledge of the design and implementation of experimental research with animals or humans. Topics will include the principles of experimental design, choice of animal model, features of rigorous randomized controlled trials, and high-quality systematic reviews of trials. Students will gain skills in the construction of hypotheses, basic statistical analysis and interpretation, and critical appraisal of published research. Students will also consider ethical conduct, science communication, and knowledge translation. Active-learning and real-world examples are emphasized in this course.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Vivienne Moore

    Course Coordinator: Professor Vivienne Moore
    Phone: +61 8313 0116
    Location: Level 8, Hughes Building

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1  Explain the principles of experimental design and hypothesis testing
    2 Summarise considerations for choosing a specific animal mode
    3 Describe sources of bias in randomized controlled trials in humans, and strategies to reduce bias; apply this knowledge to appraise the quality of published trials
    4 Deliberate the ethical considerations in experimental research with animals and humans
    5 Select and calculate descriptive statistics, as appropriate to normal and non-normal distributions; construct hypotheses, analyse experimental data and interpret results using independent samples t-test, the chi-square test of association, or linear  regression, as appropriate
    6 Describe the structure of a journal article presenting experimental research, explain the purpose of each section, locate specific information, and interpret basic statistical results
    7 Provide a rationale for systematic reviews of randomized controlled trials, outline the main steps involved, and interpret main findings; locate systematic reviews
    8 Discuss knowledge translation and related processes, and justify the need for translational research
    9 Explain best practice principles in science communication and identify challenges for researchers  when disseminating result to
    the community
    10 Critically examine the role and value of experimental studies, and the inherent concept of causation, in the wider context of research to improve health and wellbeing
    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)
    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, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10
    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, 8, 9
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    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, 8, 9, 10
    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
    2, 3, 4, 9, 10
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Glaser AN.  High-yield biostatistics, epidemiology and public health.  Fourth edition. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2014. 

    In addition, a set of readings, including journal articles, will be made available to students electronically. This will be supplemented by  web-links for specific topics, as relevant.
    Recommended Resources
    Online Learning
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    a) Lectures are used to introduce and illustrate concepts.  Lectures will not be a 50 minute didactic experience, but will incorporate opportunities for active learning.

    b) Practicals provide an interactive forum to clarify and apply concepts from lectures and strengthen understanding.

    c) Tutorials require students to engage with readings and solve problems in advance, and provide an opportunity to consolidate this
    learning through discussion and comparison with the work of others.

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

    A combination of Lectures, Tutorials and Practicals. Approximately 3 hours contact time per week.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Using statistics to describe data that are normally or non-normally distributed
    Introduction to hypothesis testing; analysis of continuous outcomes using independent samples t-test
    Experimental research with humans: the randomized controlled trial and ethical considerations
    Sources of bias in randomized controlled trials
    Critical appraisal of randomized controlled trials
    More on hypothesis testing; analysis of categorical outcomes using the chi-square test of association
    Fundamentals of linear regression
    Communicating results of scientific research: principles and perils
    Systematic reviews of randomized controlled trials
    How are research results translated into changes in practice or policy?
    The place of experiments in the universe of health research
    Specific Course Requirements
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    A number of sessions will be dedicated to a small group project in which groups chose a specific scenario (from a range available) that presents ethical or science communication issues. Students will undertake self-directed investigation of the issues, with academics available as mentors.  This will culminate in a presentation to the class to share what was learned a[VM1] nd a short individual piece  of written work (together worth 10% of the marks for the course).
  • 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 Task Type Weighting Learning Course Objective(s) being addressed
    Written assignment Summative 20% 1-3
    Written assignment Summative 20% 5-6
    Group project - presentation and individual written work Summative 10% 4, 10
    Exam Summative 50% 1-10
    Assessment Related Requirements
    1. Students are expected prepare for tutorials by attempting the tutorial questions before the session.

    2. Students are expected to actively participate in tutorial and practicals.
    Assessment Detail
    WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT 1 - 20% (approx. 1000 words)

    The first written assignment will involve answering a series of questions explaining the principles of experimental design, choice of  animal model, opportunities for bias in randomized controlled trials, and strategies to minimise bias. It will involve reading extracts from published journal articles. 

    WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT 2 - 20% (approx. 1000 words)

    The second assignment will require students to read a published journal article and answer a series of questions concerning the structure of the paper, the statistical analysis undertaken, and the interpretation of results.


    Students will give a group presentation to the class, based on their small group work, in which they present and deliberate ethical or science  communication issues relevant to a specific scenario (chosen from a range available).  Each student will also submit a short individual piece of written work on the project.

    EXAM - 50% (2 hours, closed book)

    An exam will cover all material in the course, and comprise a mix questions requiring short or extended answers, basic statistical  calculations, reading and interpreting published abstracts.
    All extensions for assignments must be requested, at the latest, by the last working day before the due date of submission.   Extensions will generally be granted only on medical or genuine compassionate grounds.  Supporting documentation must be  provided at the time a student requests an extension.  Without documentation, extensions will not be granted.  Late requests for extension will neither be accepted nor acknowledged.

    Only the Course Co-ordinator(s) may grant extensions.

    Supporting documentation will be required when requesting an extension. Examples of documents that are acceptable include: a  medical certificate that specifies dates of incapacity, a police report (in the case of lost computers, car & household theft etc.), a  letter from a Student Counsellor, Education and Welfare Officer (EWO) or Disability Liaison Officer that provides an assessment of  compassionate circumstances, or a letter from an independent external counsellor or appropriate professional able to verify the student’s situation.  The length of any extension granted will take into account the period and severity of any incapacity or impact on the student.  Extensions of more than 10 days will not be granted except in exceptional circumstances.

    Late submission
    Marks will be deducted when assignments for which no extension has been granted are handed in late.

    All assignments, including those handed in late, will be assessed on their merits.  In the case of late assignments where no  extension has been granted, 5 percentage points of the total marks possible per day will be deducted.  If an assignment that is 2  days late is awarded 65% on its merits, the mark will then be reduced by 10% (5% per day for 2 days) to 55%.  If that same  assignment is 4 days late, the mark will be reduced by 20% (5% per day for 4 days) to 45%, and so on.

    The School of Public Health reserves the right to refuse to accept an assignment that is more than 7 days late.

    Assignments submitted after the due date may not be graded in time to be returned on the listed return dates.

    Students submitting examinable written work who request (and receive) an extension that takes them beyond the examination  period are advised that there is no guarantee that their grades will be processed in time to meet usual University deadlines.
    If a student is dissatisfied with an assessment grade they should follow the Student Grievance Resolution Process  <>.  Students who are not satisfied with a particular assessment result should raise their concerns with Course Co-ordinator(s) in the first instance.  This must be done within 10 business days of the  date of notification of the result.  Resubmission of any assignment is subject to the agreement of the Course Co-ordinator(s) and  will only be permitted for the most compelling of reasons.
    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.