CQUniversity Unit Profile
GEOG11023 Physical Geography of Australia
Physical Geography of Australia
All details in this unit profile for GEOG11023 have been officially approved by CQUniversity and represent a learning partnership between the University and you (our student).
The information will not be changed unless absolutely necessary and any change will be clearly indicated by an approved correction included in the profile.
General Information

Overview

This unit surveys the major patterns of Australian landscapes and the processes which have produced them. Topics include the geology, climates, landforms, soils and ecology of Australia.

Details

Career Level: Undergraduate
Unit Level: Level 1
Credit Points: 6
Student Contribution Band: 8
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load: 0.125

Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

There are no requisites for this unit.

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Offerings For Term 1 - 2018

Distance
Rockhampton

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Class and Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Class Timetable

Bundaberg, Cairns, Emerald, Gladstone, Mackay, Rockhampton, Townsville
Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney

Assessment Overview

1. Practical and Written Assessment
Weighting: 30%
2. Written Assessment
Weighting: 40%
3. Online Quiz(zes)
Weighting: 30%

Assessment Grading

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%). Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades.

Previous Student Feedback

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Feedback from Feedback and self assessment

Feedback

Some students would like the number of weekly quizzes to be reduced.

Recommendation

The 12 weekly quizzes will be reduced to 5 quizzes over the term. Each quiz will cover the study of each main module of the unit.

Feedback from Self assessment

Feedback

Some students would like more materials on how to develop their essay writing skills.

Recommendation

The unit will be updated with some materials about general reading and research skills.

Unit Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. explain fundamental processes responsible for the development of Australian climates, landforms, soils and biogeography
  2. describe major patterns of climates, landforms, soils and biogeography in Australia.

Important skills objectives include the development of abilities to:

  • find particular information when required that is contained in your online material, textbook or other study resources
  • demonstrate information literacy skills concerning the use of the CQU Library online catalogue and the development of search strategies for research paper topics
  • research and analyse information relating to the physical geography of Australia
  • write annotated bibliographies and research papers.

In a broader educational context, it is worth noting that the design of this unit is intended to assist students to develop independent life-long learning skills, and in particular the ability to successfully cope with online learning environments, such as is presented in this unit.

Alignment of Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Graduate Attributes
N/A Level
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Professional Level
Advanced Level

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2
1 - Practical and Written Assessment - 30%
2 - Written Assessment - 40%
3 - Online Quiz(zes) - 30%

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
5 - Team Work
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
9 - Social Innovation

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes

Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1 - Practical and Written Assessment - 30%
2 - Written Assessment - 40%
3 - Online Quiz(zes) - 30%
Textbooks and Resources

Textbooks

Prescribed

The Australian Physical Environment 1st (2008)

Authors: Bridgman, H., Dragovitch, D., Dodson, J.
Oxford University Press Australia
South Melbourne South Melbourne , VIC , Australia
ISBN: 13-978-0-19-554109-0
Binding: Other

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
  • Microsoft Word
Referencing Style

All submissions for this unit must use the referencing style: Harvard (author-date)

For further information, see the Assessment Tasks.

Teaching Contacts
Jiaping Wu Unit Coordinator
j.wu@cqu.edu.au
Schedule
Week 1 Begin Date: 05 Mar 2018

Module/Topic

Structure of the Earth and Plate Tectonics

Chapter

Ch.1: Australia in the Physical World

Ch.2: The Earth in Space and Time

Ch.8: The Development of the Landscape (only pp. 163-171)

Events and Submissions/Topic

Note: All 5 quizzes are available from the first day of the term; but each quiz is due in different weeks. Please mark each of the due dates in your calendar.

Week 2 Begin Date: 12 Mar 2018

Module/Topic

Geological Evolution of Australia

Chapter

Ch.14: The Internal Processes of McKnight and Hess’s Physical Geography (available on the unit’s Moodle site).

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 3 Begin Date: 19 Mar 2018

Module/Topic

Global Climatic Processes

Chapter

Ch.3: The Global Energy System

Ch.4: Atmospheric Circulation

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 4 Begin Date: 26 Mar 2018

Module/Topic

Australian Climates

Chapter

Ch.5: Hydrologic Systems and Atmospheric Processes

Ch.6: Ocean Atmosphere Interactions

Ch.7: Climatic Environments

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 5 Begin Date: 02 Apr 2018

Module/Topic

Geomorphology: Principles & Patterns

Chapter

Ch.8: The Development of the Landscape (pp. 171-187)

Ch.9: Landscapes, Sediments and Soil Development (pp. 188-197)

Ch.10: Water in the Landscape (pp.215-241)

Events and Submissions/Topic


Vacation Week Begin Date: 09 Apr 2018

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 6 Begin Date: 16 Apr 2018

Module/Topic

Geomorphology: Regional Patterns

Chapter

Ch.11: Aeolian Landforms

Ch.12: Coastal Landforms

Events and Submissions/Topic

Quiz 1 cut off

Week 7 Begin Date: 23 Apr 2018

Module/Topic

Soil Forming Processes

Chapter

Ch.9: 'Soils' section (pp. 198-214)

Events and Submissions/Topic

Practical and Written Assessment Due: Week 7 Friday (27 Apr 2018) 11:45 pm AEST
Week 8 Begin Date: 30 Apr 2018

Module/Topic

Soil Classification & Regional Patterns

Chapter

Brodie et al. 2016, ‘Groundwater—lifeblood of the continent.’ (available on the unit's Moodle)

Events and Submissions/Topic

quiz 2 cut off

Week 9 Begin Date: 07 May 2018

Module/Topic

Ecosystems

Chapter

Ch.13: Historical Biogeography

Events and Submissions/Topic

quiz 3 cut off

Week 10 Begin Date: 14 May 2018

Module/Topic

Biomes

Chapter

Ch.14: Ecological Biogeography

Events and Submissions/Topic

quiz 4 cut off

Week 11 Begin Date: 21 May 2018

Module/Topic

Australian Flora

Chapter

Ch.15: Communities and Ecosystems

Carnahan 1977, ‘Vegetation’ (available on the unit’s Moodle site)

Events and Submissions/Topic


Week 12 Begin Date: 28 May 2018

Module/Topic

Australian Fauna

Chapter

Heathcote 1994, 'The Ecosystems' & Smith 1986, 'Biogeography of Australian Flora and Fauna' (available on the unit's Moodle site).

Events and Submissions/Topic

quiz 5 cut-off

Review/Exam Week Begin Date: 04 Jun 2018

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Written Assessment 2 Term paper Due: Review/Exam Week Wednesday (6 June 2018) 5:00 pm AEST
Exam Week Begin Date: 11 Jun 2018

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Assessment Tasks

1 Practical and Written Assessment

Assessment Title
Practical and Written Assessment

Task Description

This assignment relates directly to Assessment item 2 and you should read the details of that assessment task as you commence your work on this first assignment.

[As a secondary objective, this assignment should help you make an early start on identifying sources which may be helpful to you for your second assignment—the term research paper].

The primary objectives of this assignment (Assessment item 1) are to help you to learn how to develop a search strategy to obtain sources for term papers and similar assignments, and to write an annotated bibliography of sources identified by such a search strategy. These are essential skills in the development of information literacy.

The assignment is also intended to help you to learn how to write good research papers, an important skill in the overall objectives of this unit.

Detailed instructions, requirements and resources for completing the assessment are provided on the unit's Moodle site.

Following the instructions and using the resources, write a paper that outlines and reports on the outcome of a search strategy designed to obtain resources that would be useful for your term paper assignment (Assignment 2). The paper will also include an annotated bibliography of some of the sources that you have identified by using your search strategy. These sources should be ones that might be useful to you in writing your term paper (Assignment 2) about the physical geography of some selected region in Australia (see information regarding Assignment 2 provided on the course Moodle site).


Assessment Due Date

Week 7 Friday (27 Apr 2018) 11:45 pm AEST

Online submission


Return Date to Students

Week 9 Friday (11 May 2018)

Assessments will be marked and returned in two weeks after the due date or as soon as practicable


Weighting
30%

Assessment Criteria

Your work will be assessed using the criteria sheet that will be provided in the unit's Moodle site.


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Submission Instructions
There will be a submission link placed on the Moodle website

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • describe major patterns of climates, landforms, soils and biogeography in Australia.


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Information Literacy
  • Information Technology Competence
  • Cross Cultural Competence
  • Ethical practice

2 Written Assessment

Assessment Title
Written Assessment 2 Term paper

Task Description

Write a term research paper about the physical geography of a choosing region in Australia. In the paper, you need to describe and interpret the processes of the five elements of the physical geography of the study region:

  1. geology
  2. climate
  3. landforms
  4. soils
  5. biogeography

Detailed instructions, requirements and resources for completing the assessment are provided in the unit's Moodle site. These include guides for a term research paper and a ‘model paper’ illustrating the style for the term papers in general.


Assessment Due Date

Review/Exam Week Wednesday (6 June 2018) 5:00 pm AEST


Return Date to Students

The assessment will be marked and returned through the Moodle site.


Weighting
40%

Assessment Criteria

This assessment piece will be marked based on the criteria sheet provided in the unit's Moodle site.


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Submission Instructions
There will be a submission link placed on the Moodle website

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • explain fundamental processes responsible for the development of Australian climates, landforms, soils and biogeography


Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Information Literacy
  • Team Work
  • Information Technology Competence
  • Cross Cultural Competence
  • Ethical practice

3 Online Quiz(zes)

Assessment Title
Online Quizzes

Task Description

As a replacement for an end-of-term comprehensive final examination, a series of 5 online quizzes have been prepared as part of the assessment items for this unit.

Each quiz consists of 10 multiple-choice questions; and for each question, you need to select the best response.

More details on the quizzes and how to complete them are presented in the ‘Introduction to quizzes' page on the unit's Moodle site.


Number of Quizzes

5


Frequency of Quizzes

Other


Assessment Due Date

By 11.45pm on Sunday of the week.


Return Date to Students

The online quizzes will be marked automatically following submission


Weighting
30%

Assessment Criteria

Each quiz question has just one best response. The question will be marked 'correct' if you chose the right answer. Scores are based on the number of correct answer only. There are no marks deducted for incorrect responses.


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • explain fundamental processes responsible for the development of Australian climates, landforms, soils and biogeography
  • describe major patterns of climates, landforms, soils and biogeography in Australia.


Graduate Attributes
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Information Literacy
  • Information Technology Competence
  • Ethical practice

Academic Integrity Statement

As a CQUniversity student you are expected to act honestly in all aspects of your academic work.

Any assessable work undertaken or submitted for review or assessment must be your own work. Assessable work is any type of work you do to meet the assessment requirements in the unit, including draft work submitted for review and feedback and final work to be assessed.

When you use the ideas, words or data of others in your assessment, you must thoroughly and clearly acknowledge the source of this information by using the correct referencing style for your unit. Using others’ work without proper acknowledgement may be considered a form of intellectual dishonesty.

Participating honestly, respectfully, responsibly, and fairly in your university study ensures the CQUniversity qualification you earn will be valued as a true indication of your individual academic achievement and will continue to receive the respect and recognition it deserves.

As a student, you are responsible for reading and following CQUniversity’s policies, including the Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure. This policy sets out CQUniversity’s expectations of you to act with integrity, examples of academic integrity breaches to avoid, the processes used to address alleged breaches of academic integrity, and potential penalties.

What is a breach of academic integrity?

A breach of academic integrity includes but is not limited to plagiarism, self-plagiarism, collusion, cheating, contract cheating, and academic misconduct. The Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure defines what these terms mean and gives examples.

Why is academic integrity important?

A breach of academic integrity may result in one or more penalties, including suspension or even expulsion from the University. It can also have negative implications for student visas and future enrolment at CQUniversity or elsewhere. Students who engage in contract cheating also risk being blackmailed by contract cheating services.

Where can I get assistance?

For academic advice and guidance, the Academic Learning Centre (ALC) can support you in becoming confident in completing assessments with integrity and of high standard.

What can you do to act with integrity?