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 - 2020

Online
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 survey

Feedback

Some students struggled with the quiz questions

Recommendation

Review the quiz questions and design better quizzes that both encourage students to regularly read and motivate them to learn.

Feedback from feedback survey

Feedback

One student complained about the amount of reading required.

Recommendation

Reduce the amount of reading material for some weekly topics.

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

Additional Textbook Information

Paper copies can be purchased from the CQUni Bookshop here: http://bookshop.cqu.edu.au (search on the Unit code)

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
  • Micorsoft Office
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: 09 Mar 2020

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 will be due on different weeks during the term. Please mark each of the due dates in your calendar.

Week 2 Begin Date: 16 Mar 2020

Module/Topic

Geological Evolution of Australia

Chapter

Ch.2: Tectonic Setting of Australia (Saygin, 2007), provided in the unit’s Moodle site.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 3 Begin Date: 23 Mar 2020

Module/Topic

Global Climatic Processes

Chapter

Ch.3: The Global Energy System

Ch.4: Atmospheric Circulation

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 4 Begin Date: 30 Mar 2020

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: 06 Apr 2020

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: 13 Apr 2020

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 6 Begin Date: 20 Apr 2020

Module/Topic

Geomorphology: Regional Patterns

Chapter

Ch.11: Aeolian Landforms

Ch.12: Coastal Landforms

Events and Submissions/Topic

Quiz 1 due

Week 7 Begin Date: 27 Apr 2020

Module/Topic

Soil Forming Processes

Chapter

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

Events and Submissions/Topic

Written Assessment: Term paper proposal Due: Week 7 Friday (1 May 2020) 11:45 pm AEST
Week 8 Begin Date: 04 May 2020

Module/Topic

Soil Classification & Regional Patterns

Chapter

Ch.7: Groundwater—lifeblood of the continent (Brodie et al. 2016), provided in the unit's Moodle site.

Events and Submissions/Topic

quiz 2 due

Week 9 Begin Date: 11 May 2020

Module/Topic

Ecosystems

Chapter

Ch.13: Historical Biogeography

Events and Submissions/Topic

quiz 3 due

Week 10 Begin Date: 18 May 2020

Module/Topic

Biomes

Chapter

Ch.14: Ecological Biogeography

Events and Submissions/Topic

quiz 4 due

Week 11 Begin Date: 25 May 2020

Module/Topic

Australian Flora

Chapter

Ch.15: Communities and Ecosystems

Ch.9: Vegetation’ (Carnahan 1977), provided in the unit’s Moodle site.

Events and Submissions/Topic


Week 12 Begin Date: 01 Jun 2020

Module/Topic

Australian Fauna

Chapter

Ch.4: The Ecosystems (Heathcote, 1994), provided in the unit’s Moodle site.

Ch.2: Biogeography of Australian Flora and Fauna (Smith, 1986), provided in the unit’s Moodle site.

Events and Submissions/Topic

quiz 5 due


Written Assessment 2 Term paper Due: Week 12 Friday (5 June 2020) 11:45 pm AEST
Review/Exam Week Begin Date: 08 Jun 2020

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Exam Week Begin Date: 15 Jun 2020

Module/Topic

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Assessment Tasks

1 Practical and Written Assessment

Assessment Title
Written Assessment: Term paper proposal

Task Description

Students are required to select a region in Australia to study for both the written assessments in this unit.  The first assessment is to locate some useful sources and provide guidance for your second assessment – the term research paper. Therefore, you should read the second assessment task before you commence your work on this first assignment.

This assessment includes two separate but interrelated parts. 

The first part is to write a short research proposal. The proposal should clearly define the region that you are choosing to study for your term research paper. The research proposal should include a working title for the term paper and clearly explain:

· What Australia's region you will study?
· Why is it interesting?
· What main areas of physical geography of the choosing region you are going to investigate?
· How are you engaging the literatures?

The proposal should be 800–1,000 words in length (not including references in the word count). Detailed instructions including examples  of proposal will be provided in the moodle site.

The second part is an annotated bibliography. The task is to find and evaluate 10 information sources (books, book chapters, journal articles, etc.) that you have carefully read in relation to your study area. The bibliography should include

· the bibliographical information (the citation) of the ten sources
· the explanatory paragraphs (the annotation) of each of the sources

The citation of each entry must follow Harvard Referencing Style. The annotation of each source should be around 100 words in length. It should provide:

· a summary of the main arguments or ideas presented by the author.
· an evaluation of the relevancy of the information and how useful you found the source.
· a reflection on how you will use the source in your term paper.


Assessment Due Date

Week 7 Friday (1 May 2020) 11:45 pm AEST

Online submission


Return Date to Students

Week 9 Friday (15 May 2020)

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 based on the criteria 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

Following the research proposal of the assessment 1, this assessment requires students to complete the term research paper. In the paper, you need to describe patterns and interpret the processes of the five elements of the physical geography of the region that you chose to study. These are:

  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.

Your paper should be 2,500--3,000 words in length. (The word count is considered from the first word of the introduction to the last word of the conclusion. It excludes the cover page, abstract, contents page, reference page and appendices. It includes in-text references and direct quotations).


Assessment Due Date

Week 12 Friday (5 June 2020) 11:45 pm AEST

Online submission


Return Date to Students

The assessment will be marked and returned in two weeks 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

This assessment contains 5 online quizzes. Each quiz consists of 10 multiple-choice questions. Students will select the most appropriate answer for each question from the given options to complete the quiz.

More details about the quizzes and how to complete them are provided in the unit's Moodle site.


Number of Quizzes

5


Frequency of Quizzes

Other


Assessment Due Date

By 11.45pm on Sunday of the due week.


Return Date to Students

The online quizzes will be marked automatically following submission


Weighting
30%

Assessment Criteria

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?