SCIENCE 1420 - Science or Fiction (Mineral Geoscience) I

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2019

In this course students will question and then explore the accuracy and potential validity of the Science found in movies, television, across a wide range of media formats and more broadly on the internet. Students will develop the skills required for future courses and careers with a focus on; communication to a non-specialist audience using a variety of formats, digital literacy, data interpretation, interdisciplinary collaboration and group investigations. The final section of the course will focus on what are some of the present science controversies.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code SCIENCE 1420
    Course Science or Fiction (Mineral Geoscience) I
    Coordinating Unit Sciences General
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Incompatible SCIENCE 1101WT, SCIENCE 1100, SCIENCE 1200, SCIENCE 1300, SCIENCE 1400, SCIENCE 1410
    Restrictions Available only to BSc (Mineral Geoscience) students only
    Assessment Reviews and reports
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Rosalind King

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    The anticipated knowledge, skills and attitudes to be developed by the student in this course are:
    1 Locate, access and evaluate scientific concepts
    2 Understanding of the process of science and how it is undertaken
    3 Research skills (including acquisition and analysis of data and its interpretation)
    4 Develop scholarly arguements using scientific evidence
    5 Communication skills to scientific and non-scientific audiences
    6 Collaborate in small groups to discover knowledge
    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)
    2, 3, 4, 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, 3, 4
    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
    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, 3, 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
    4, 5, 6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    A mobile device capable of accessing the Univeristy of Adelaide wifi network, e.g. mobile phone
    Online Learning
    MyUni: Teaching materials and course documentation will be posted on the MyUni course page. Communication will be primarily through MyUni announements.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course will be delivered by the following means:
    • One three-hour compulsory workshop per week

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

    A student enrolled in a 3-unit course, such as this, should expect to spend, on average 12 hours per week on the studies required. This includes both the formal contact time required to the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision).
    Learning Activities Summary
    Module Weeks Assessment Value
    Science of Science Fiction 1-4 20%
    How to be a good scientist 5-9 40%
    Scientific Controversies 10-12 40%
    Specific Course Requirements
    A mobile device capable of accessing the Univeristy of Adelaide wifi network, e.g. mobile phone
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Students will work with a discipline expert on a five-week SGDE experimental and research project in Marine Biology/Mineral
    Geoscience.  This project will form unique content for the Marine Biology/Mineral Geoscience degree program.

  • 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 Tasks Assessment Type Percentage of Total Assessment Hurdles
    Yes or No
    Learning Outcomes Assessed
    Hypothesis Formative/Sumative 5 No 1, 2, 5, 6
    Refined Hypothesis and Justification Formative/Sumative 5 No 1, 2, 5, 6
    Movie Review Formative/Sumative 10 No 1, 4, 5
    Literature Review Formative/Sumative 10 No 1, 2, 3, 5
    Experiment Report Formative/Sumative 30 No 1-6
    Science Controversy Formative/Sumative 40 No 1, 3, 4, 5, 6
    Assessment Detail
    See MyUni for further details
    Submission of assessment tasks
    Details of submission requirements for each piece of assigned work will be made available on MyUni. Some tasks may require submission through Turnitin (

    Return of assessed work
    Work that has been assessed will be returned in class (where this is a practical). Work which is not returned in class can be collected from the Faculty of Sciences Office.

    Extension for Assessment Tasks
    Extensions of deadlines for assessment tasks may be allowed for reasonable causes. Such situations would include compassionate and medical grounds of the severity that would justify the awarding of a supplementary examination. Evidence for the grounds must be provided when an extension is requested. Students are required to apply for an extension to the Course Coordinator before the assessment task is due. Extensions will not be provided on the grounds of poor prioritising of time. The assessment extension application form can be obtained from: (see under ‘Forms for Students’).

    Late submission of assessments
    If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply. 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.
    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.

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