SOIL&WAT 4070BWT - Honours Soil Science Project (Two-Year) Final
Waite Campus - Semester 1 - 2020
General Course Information
Course Code SOIL&WAT 4070BWT Course Honours Soil Science Project (Two-Year) Final Coordinating Unit School of Agriculture, Food and Wine Term Semester 1 Level Undergraduate Location/s Waite Campus Units 18 Contact By supervision Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N Incompatible SOIL&WAT 4001AWT/BWT, SOIL&WAT 4040AWT/BWT Restrictions Available only to students admitted to the relevant Honours program Course Description This research project is selected at the start of the Honours year following consultation with the Honours Coordinator and depends on availability of research supervisors in any particular year.
Course Coordinator: Dr Ron Smernik
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning OutcomesOn successful completion of this course students
should be able to:
1 Demonstrate an original and critical approach in
the assimilation of the current state of knowledge in a particular area of
research related to Plant Science.
2 Identify current gaps in our understanding and
the future areas for experimental investigation in a particular area of
research related to Plant Science.
3 Demonstrate mastery of the basic techniques
required for the experimental study of a research question related to Plant
4 Develop a rigorous and methodical approach to
the maintenance of laboratory records and the collection, storage and analysis
of experimental data.
5 Identify and evaluate a problem and define the
important elements required for its solution (appreciating the risks and
benefits of alternate approaches).
6 Communicate scientific information clearly and
concisely in written and spoken English.
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)
1-5 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 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
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
1-6 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
1-6 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 Honours Research Project provides students professional training in a chosen area of specialisation and experience in scientific research. Students will learn new research techniques and broaden their skill base.
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.A student enrolled in an 18 unit, part time course such as this, should expect to spend, on average 18 hours per week on the studies required.
Learning Activities SummaryThe research project will enable students to develop the skills required for the practice of independent scientific research and an appreciation of the scientific method and the application of problem solving strategies in science. Additionally, students will participate in a series of professional development workshops on: Project Development and Management; Experimental Design and Data Analysis; Endnote and Word Skills; Communication Skills; Presentation Skills; and Mentoring and Careers.
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 Plan Seminar Formative March 0% 1,2,6 Final Seminar Formative and Summative November 15% 4-6 Thesis Summative October 70% 1-6 Thesis Defence Summative November 10% 1-6 Supervisor Mark Formative & Summative November 5% 1-6
Assessment DetailResearch Plan Seminar (0%)
Students will give 10-12 minute individual presentations providing insight into the research question that is the focus of their Honours year. This will include coverage of the background information underlying this question, clear aims or hypotheses, the experimental design and a description of the methods to be employed. Students should endeavour to address current controversies in their area, and to give the audience some insight into the main schools of thought, as presented in the literature. 15 minutes are allocated for the first seminar, comprising of a 10-12 minute talk and 3-5 minutes for questions. Although no formal mark is recorded, presentations will be evaluated and feedback given to students .
Final Seminar (15%)
Students will give 20 minute individual presentations presenting the results of their research project, to indicate how their work has contributed to a greater understanding of their research area. Presentations should cover the background and aims of the project, experimental design and techniques, the analysis, presentation and interpretation of results, and the discussion and summary of key findings. Presentation skills also form a component of the assessment.
Students will prepare a maximum 5000 word thesis in the form of a manuscript to be submitted to a scientific journal and comprising the background and aims of the project, experimental design and techniques, the analysis, presentation and interpretation of results, and the discussion and summary of key findings. Communication skills and the ability to analyse and interpret experimental data will be assessed.
Thesis Defence (10%)
The thesis defence will follow directly after your final seminar presentation and take approximately 20-30 minutes. Your examiners and the honours coordinators will ask you questions to explore your understanding of the project. The questions that can be asked are wide and varying, and are likely to include your understanding of key background literature, the techniques you used, how you interpreted your results, strengths and weaknesses of your work and what future research should be done in the area.
Supervisor Mark (5%)
Students’ laboratory and/or field skills will be assessed by their supervisor(s) and a grade awarded based on each student’s understanding of their subject area, skills in scientific research and degree of initiative and originality.
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:
M11 (Honours Mark Scheme) Grade Grade reflects following criteria for allocation of grade Reported on Official Transcript Fail A mark between 1-49 F Third Class A mark between 50-59 3 Second Class Div B A mark between 60-69 2B Second Class Div A A mark between 70-79 2A First Class A mark between 80-100 1 Result Pending An interim result RP Continuing Continuing CN
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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