ENV BIOL 4050B - Advanced Ecology and Environmental Science (Hons) Part 2
North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2023
General Course Information
Course Code ENV BIOL 4050B Course Advanced Ecology and Environmental Science (Hons) Part 2 Coordinating Unit School of Biological Sciences Term Semester 2 Level Undergraduate Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 9 Contact Up to 10 Hours per week Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N Prerequisites ENV BIOL 4050A in previous Semester Incompatible ENV BIOL4000A/B, ENV BIOL 4005A/B, ENV BIOL 4015A/B Restrictions BSc Honours Ecology & Environmental Science Course Description This course is part of the Honours in Ecology and Environmental Science degree and runs in parallel with ENV BIOL 4060A/B Honours Ecology and Environmental Science Project. The aim of this course is to help you build essential research, critical thinking and science communication skills. You will develop and improve your ability to synthesise and review the scientific literature, present oral summaries of your research project, and develop technical and analytical skills involved with data analysis and interpretation. In carrying out these tasks you will develop an ability to collect and evaluate information, dissect complex ideas, identify gaps in knowledge, develop an interesting viewpoint, assemble a persuasive argument and draw valid conclusions. An important component is the development of a research proposal that will be implemented and executed in the course ENV BIOL 4050A/B (Honours Ecology and Environmental Science Project 1 & 2).
Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Kate Sanders
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning Outcomes
1 Obtain scientific information in Environmental Biology from library research; 2 Organise scientific information and present it in a logical and structured manner; 3 Evaluate and synthesise information and develop original ideas; 4 Dissect complex ideas; 5 Summarise the information gained (in 1-4 above) in written form (literature review, essay); 6 Prepare a clear and compelling research proposal;
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)
Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth
Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.
Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving
Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.
Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills
Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.
Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness
Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.
Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency
Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.
Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesThe course commences with several tutorials on techniques for searching on-line library data bases and building proficiency in finding and
managing literature (using EndNote). Other tutorials are provided on writing skills and oral presentations early in the course. These expose the students to the techniques and strategies used to be able to assemble information, review this information and deliver it succinctly in written and oral form.
The primary method of teaching involves students learning by doing the assessed tasks, under the guidance of an academic supervisor(s).
Students are expected to meet with the academic supervisor (different supervisors for the different tasks) several times during the
development of the literature review, research proposal, and the broadening essay. These sessions should be student led.
Where possible the course includes a field camp to Kangaroo Island (not compulsory) where workshops on writing, oral presentations
research planning and experimental design are run.
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 18 hours per week on the studies required. This includes both the
formal contact time required (tutorials, workshops, meetings with academic supervisors), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading,
discussing, writing and presenting).
Learning Activities SummaryThe course consists of a series of short tutorials and workshops that provide:
(1) skills for locating, summarising, critically assessing and managing scientific literature;
(2) arranging information into a logical order and developing syntheses of this information;
(3) writing reviews and essays that summarise findings and highlight deficiencies in knowledge that lead to
(4) developing a research proposal.
These tutorials largely provide tools that allow students to produce
(1) a literature review and research proposal; and then
(2) build on and improve those skills with two other written products (essays) on other biological topics and or different purpose to help
broaden communication skills for modern society.
Importantly this course provides opportunities for students to learn by doing and much of the intensive and or specific training is done
through informal interactions and discussions with academic staff and peers.
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 Literature review & Research Proposal Formative &
40% 1-6 Broadening Essay Formative &
Early August 40% 1-6 Short Essay Formative &
Arranged with Honours
Assessment DetailLiterature review and research proposal (40 %)
The literature review and research proposal are completed early on in the Honours year to develop the background for the research
project, formulate questions and plan approaches to doing research. The literature review should be 3000-4000 words and is fully
referenced. The length of the proposal should be 1000-2000 words. Initial seminar based on review and research proposal (15 minutes, including questions). The initial seminar is not assessed.
Broadening essay (3000 - 4000 words; 40 %)
This essay is a review essay that is on a topic unrelated to the research projects. It should take the equivalent of about 6 full weeks of
Short essay (2000 words, 20 %)
This is also a broadening essay that covers material away from the intended area of research. Students arrange a time to receive a topic
from the Honours Coordinator and then have exactly one week to research, write and submit the essay. This essay can be done at any
time during the year after students have received feedback from their literature review.
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.
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