PATHOL 3104 - Investigative Cell Biology

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2021

Investigative Cell Biology will provide students with a foundation to be effective researchers by providing an understanding of current areas of medical research and knowledge of a variety of laboratory and analytical skills used to investigate these. This course will develop the research skills to prepare students for both a research position as well as postgraduate study. Investigative Cell Biology specifically investigates methodology used to answer real life research questions. Assessment tasks are given during the semester and will develop skills as a scientific researcher such as communication and critical analysis. Investigative Cell Biology has been designed to enable students to develop and improve various skills such as critical thinking, critical evaluation and analysis as well as academic writing, time management and an understanding of planning and conducting research. This exciting and stimulating course will be based around several themes and will be presented by internationally recognised researchers from the Faculty of Health Sciences. Each theme will have a biology and pathology background component introducing students to the lecturers' field of research. This will be followed by review and discussion of research techniques and findings in their research fields and laboratories. Tutorials/workshops will be held with a specific emphasis on the theory and process of current techniques/models, including the application of the method, via videos and examples from scientific ppr. In workshops students may be asked to critically evaluate the information gained from and limitations of the use of particular technique to answer research questions in scientific publications/examples. Students are expected to come along to workshops and be prepared to interact with the lecturer/tutors. This course will stimulate an interest in biological and pathological processes and how scientific research and methodology investigates these. Each of the different assessment components is aimed at developing and improving each student's research skills.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PATHOL 3104
    Course Investigative Cell Biology
    Coordinating Unit Medicine
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites HLTH SC 2104 or PATHOL 2200 or PATHOL 3101
    Incompatible ANAT SC 3104
    Course Description Investigative Cell Biology will provide students with a foundation to be effective researchers by providing an understanding of current areas of medical research and knowledge of a variety of laboratory and analytical skills used to investigate these. This course will develop the research skills to prepare students for both a research position as well as postgraduate study. Investigative Cell Biology specifically investigates methodology used to answer real life research questions. Assessment tasks are given during the semester and will develop skills as a scientific researcher such as communication and critical analysis.

    Investigative Cell Biology has been designed to enable students to develop and improve various skills such as critical thinking, critical evaluation and analysis as well as academic writing, time management and an understanding of planning and conducting research. This exciting and stimulating course will be based around several themes and will be presented by internationally recognised researchers from the Faculty of Health Sciences. Each theme will have a biology and pathology background component introducing students to the lecturers' field of research. This will be followed by review and discussion of research techniques and findings in their research fields and laboratories.

    Tutorials/workshops will be held with a specific emphasis on the theory and process of current techniques/models, including the application of the method, via videos and examples from scientific ppr. In workshops students may be asked to critically evaluate the information gained from and limitations of the use of particular technique to answer research questions in scientific publications/examples. Students are expected to come along to workshops and be prepared to interact with the lecturer/tutors.

    This course will stimulate an interest in biological and pathological processes and how scientific research and methodology investigates these. Each of the different assessment components is aimed at developing and improving each student's research skills.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Tania Crotti


    Helen Tsangari
    email: eleni.tsangari@adelaide.edu.au
    Dr Stephanie Plummer
    email: stephanie.plummer@adelaide.edu.au
    Please place ICB in subject heading
    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    This course has been designed to support you to achieve course learning outcomes and develop broad skills that can be used in your academic and professional work. 

    1. Identify current and emerging research techniques in human health and disease
    2. Generate, illustrate and interpret experimental results in a medical research setting
    3. Explain how the structures at the level of cells, tissues and organs relate to their overall function in both health and disease states
    4. Critically evaluate scientific literature used in medical research
    5. Assemble and record a range of medical scientific literature
    6. Communicate self-generated medical research findings in written/oral format
    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, 4
    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, 4, 5
    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
    1,2, 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, 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
    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
    1, 2, 3, 4,5, 6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    No text book required. All lecture material is examinable and where possible URL links and references will be provided for additional information to support the content.
    Online Learning
    Please bring laptop/ipad to workshops for active participation and online quizes
    Lectures will be uploaded as PDFs and recorded in Echo360 and available through CANVAS
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Course structure and expectations

    Lectures – this course benefits from the real-time delivery of content. Research active academic staff and affiliates from disciplines within the Adelaide Medical School deliver lectures specific to cell biology, pathology and current research techniques for investigations. These lectures are supported by workshops/tutorials, whereby smaller groups of students will learn more about techniques and their application.  Lecture recordings are released in line with the timetable to offer synchronous learning opportunities and reduce cognitive overloading. Review of the lecture material and support notes is critical to understanding complex descriptions and terminology.
    As much of the content for this course is NOT supported by textbooks, and in line with University expectations, we support the audio and video capture of lecture content not only to aid in revision but in support of those unable to attend or with additional learning requirements. 

    Workshops/Tutorials – weekly sessions will enable research discovery through teacher - peer and peer-peer interaction as we explore the application and limitations of techniques.

    Discussion board – constructive use of the course discussion board is encouraged in order to provide an interactive portal for students to post questions that may be of common interest to the group.

    Workload

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

    This is a 3 unit course, and we expect that students should be spending;
    2 hours per week attending/listening to lectures
    1 hour in class workshops/tutorials (including reading and writing)
    2 hours per week on revision for tests and examinations and prep for workshops.
    1-2 hrs per week on semester long assignment
    Learning Activities Summary
    Investigative Cell Biology has been designed to enable students to develop and improve various skills such as critical thinking, critical
    evaluation and analysis as well as academic writing, time management andan understanding of planning and conducting research.

    Lectures:
    Several themes and will be presented by internationally recognised researchers from the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.
    Each theme will have a biology and pathology background component introducing students to the lecturers' field of research.
    This will be followed by review and discussion of research techniques and findings in their research fields and laboratories.

    Tutorials/workshops:
    Will be smallar group activities with an emphasis on the theory and process of current techniques/models, including the application of
    the method, via videos and examples from scientific ppr.
    In workshops  students may be asked to critically evaluate the information gained from and limitations of the use of particular technique to answer research questions in scientific publications/examples.
    Students are expected to come along to workshops and be encouraged to interact with the lecturer/tutors and other students.

    Online tests throughout the course will be an opportunity to revise and inteegrate information from the lecture and workshop material presented in previous few week. They are designed to break down learning in preparation for the end of semester test,

    This course will stimulate an interest in biological and pathological processes and how scientific research and methodology investigates
    these.
    Each of the different assessment components is aimed at
    developing and improving each student's research skills.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Small Group Discovery Experience (SGDE)Investigative Cell Biology  runs semester long small group projects, which can be considered a
    “Small Group Discovery Experience”. Students will work in small groups of three or four and will be matched with a topic provided by an
    experienced research active senior academic for the duration of the semester.
    Students will research literature around the  pathology and research findings in the field with theoretical concepts and provide additional opportunities to clarify complex procedures,  descriptions and terminology.
    The review will extend skills by encouraging students to identify gaps in research areas and propose aims and ways to investigate these.
  • 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 Assessment Task Weighting
     Learning Outcome(s) 
    being addressed
    Online tests Summative 3X 10% 1,3
    Proposal/review
    (SGDE)
    Summative 20% 4,5,6
    End-of-Semester Examination Summative 50% 1, 2, 3
    Assessment Detail
    Open Book Online Test through CANVAS- To encourage revision and break down learning of key concepts

    These will be completed during your workshop
    Bring electronic device to be able to log on

    Extended Review (small group assignment)

    Investigative Cell Biology runs semester-long small group project. Students will work in small groups of two or three and self-select from a range of topics that align with themes delivered by experienced research-active senior academics during the course.
    This enables students to research literature around the pathology and research findings in the field with theoretical concepts and provide additional opportunities to clarify complex procedures, descriptions and terminology.
    The review will extend skills by encouraging students to identify gaps in research areas and propose aims and ways to investigate these.  This develops skills in line with those required for grant and manuscript writing.

    End of Semester Exam (50% of final grade)
    There will be a two-hour theory examination for this subject. 
    Important information about exams that all students should be aware of can be found at

    www.adelaide.edu.au/student/current/exams/
    Tests and examinations will be graded using marks.

    All lecture and workshop content is assessable. The examination aims to examine and integrate a student’s understanding of the topics that have been covered during the semester.  The total possible mark for the exam will be specified on the test/ examination. Marks for individual questions in the examination will be stated on the question paper to provide a guide as to how much you should write in your answer relative to each question.

    Course Learning outcome:
    Identify current and emerging research techniques in human health and disease
    Explain how the structures at the level of cells, tissues and organs relate to their overall function in both healthy and disease states
    University attributes

    Deep discipline knowledge:

    Critical thinking and problem solving

    Submission
    Submission of a dot plan of the review via CANVAS to encourage early collaboration within groups and enable feedback and clarification around the topic and content.

    Submission of Research review via TurnIT in CANVAS
    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 (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.

    Comments from 2019 SELTS
    Overall satisfaction with the course was 92% broad agreement.

    Overall Content
    “Gave me an understanding of why specific tests are used and how they answer certain research questions. Prior to this course, I didn't know really anything about the different types of tests used in scientific research ......”
    “I liked the focus on clinical investigations, like bone imaging and biomarkers.”
    “Very interesting and detailed information on valuable pathology tools”
    “I retained a lot of information in this course and it was interesting to learn about topics including prostate cancer, stem cell therapy through the eyes of really a lab-based perspective. I loved the special guests for the lectures and asking them questions was very helpful. “
    “useful for those pursuing research in the future”
     
    Workshops
    Pro
    “We applied the information learnt in lectures to answer specific research questions.”
    “They put things into context”
    “Learning about laboratory techniques was helpful”
     
    To improve
    “needed a bit more help creating hypotheses in regards to the workshop content”

    Response: We will review our time allocation and workshop content to align
     
    “Would've preferred if tutorials were to solidify information for lectures and online
    quizzes, not to introduce new information.”
    Response: Workshops have been designed to complement, expand upon and solidify lecture content. Lecturers provide an overview of the
    techniques in their areas of research and pathology but do not have the opportunity to point out other techniques that could have
    been used and why/not they would have been chosen.

    Staff
    “Helpful, knowledgeable and approachable”
    “Welcomed any questions about any of the content”
    “Felt comfortable asking questions in workshops, which I usually feel too shy to do in other courses.”
     
    Assessment
    Pro
    “Open book quizzes”
     
    Need improvement
    “Rubric and what was wanted from the dot point plan and essay were a bit vague.”
    Response- The dot plan was introduced in 2019 to gauge interpretation of the topic and give feedback early. We have
    further refined it in light of feedback
     
    Research
    review-
    “The word count on the needed to be far longer, 4 people writing a 1000 word review”
    Response: This had been revised to 1500 in 2019. Part of research writing is also the skill of clarity and brevity.
     
    Exam
    “Maybe introduce some short answer questions in the online tests, so students can have experience with them before the final exam.”

    Response-The online MCQs were introduced to break down revision of content so not “crammed” in at the very end during SWOT.  The same concepts are assessed in an extended integrated form in the exam. The online tests during the semester provide a balance between different modes of assessment and reduce weighting and pressure of exam conditions.
     Although not assessed, we have designed the workshops to provide the opportunity to practise handwritten responses that align to the
    exam. That said, we will review the design of the tests within CANVAS to better align with the exam design.
     

    Background:
    In 2018, the Bachelor of Health/Medical Sciences Program changed to incorporate research projects for all students to be run centrally. As such, course design and assessments were required to undergo major modifications as we could no longer offer a lab-based project as part of the experience in PATHOL3104.
    Assessment tasks have been revised in response to feedback on load and in response to changes in the program and research experience management.

    The workshops were introduced in 2018. They are designed to complement lecture material across the course and expand on a student's understanding of ethical practise, application and information gained by current research techniques as well as the limitations of techniques. 
    ·      
    Ethics workshop-relates to all research discussed over the course of the semester

    Animal well being and behaviour-relates to all studies using animals in all fields of research
         
    Imaging analysis-relates to not only musculoskeletal but cancer research

    Protein analysis and biomarkers- optimal biomarkers design and implementation is critical to reliable diagnosis and prognosis in the clinic



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