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AGRI12002 - Weeds, Pests and Plant Diseases

General Information

Unit Synopsis

Sustainable management of pest animals, plant diseases and weeds is paramount to successful agricultural systems. This unit introduces you to the principles of crop protection and the relevant foundation disciplines weed science, plant pathology (the science of plant diseases) and agricultural entomology (insect science). You will learn key aspects of biology and identification of weeds, pests and plant diseases. You will be introduced to ecological principles of their interactions with crops and cropping systems. Guided by this fundamental knowledge you will understand, plan and evaluate protection strategies for a range of crop production systems.

Details

Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 2
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 1
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Prerequisite

AGRI11002 Crop Management Systems

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).

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Residential School Compulsory Residential School
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Unit Availabilities from Term 2 - 2021

Term 2 - 2021 Profile
Bundaberg
Emerald
Online
Rockhampton
Term 2 - 2022 Profile
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).

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.

Assessment Tasks

This information will not be available until 8 weeks before term.
To see assessment details from an earlier availability, please search via a previous term.

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

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 2 - 2020 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 4.8 (on a 5 point Likert scale), based on a 29.41% response rate.

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.

Source: Unit Evaluation
Feedback
The lack of hands on practical sessions was criticised, and field trips would be desirable
Recommendation
At least field trips that involve some hands-on experience would be greatly beneficial, as true practical components may be difficult due to concurrent student placements. Field trips need to be scheduled so students can plan their placement around it. The pending course rejuvenation will remove this clash of work placement unit and this unit, but only come into effect in 2021. For 2020, two field trips at scheduled timetabled times will be organised.
Action Taken
None, due to COVID restrictions.
Source: Unit Evaluation
Feedback
Assessment 1 due date was postponed at students' request, but that left little time for assessment 2.
Recommendation
Earlier due dates for assessments are important to spread workload and receive earlier feedback. The suggestion is to replace the current assessment 1 with a series of online quizzes, collectively worth 60%, and leave more time for assessment 2.
Action Taken
Assessment schedule was kept as advertised. The previous suggestion is still under consideration for a post-COVID incarnation of this unit.
Source: Unit Evaluation
Feedback
As both assessments were worth 50%, there was too much pressure especially on the final one.
Recommendation
A series of online quizzes as per suggestion above would take some pressure of the final assessment.
Action Taken
Assessment schedule was kept as advertised. The previous suggestion is still under consideration for a post-COVID incarnation of this unit.
Source: Self reflection
Feedback
The unit would really benefit from a practical component, ideally weed, pest and disease identification exercises plus fieldtrip(s)
Recommendation
Devise ways of including practical/excursion components that work even though the majority of students may be off campus on field trip.
Action Taken
The next incarnation of this unit should include a residential school to undertake hands-on work and fieldtrips.
Source: Self reflection
Feedback
The organisation of this unit was confusing from the beginning. Most students were on placement and were informed that they could regard this unit like an online unit, but there were a smaller number of students participating as scheduled on campus. Placement tasks also compelled students to ask to move due dates for the first assessment, which in the end compressed too many tasks later in the term.
Recommendation
Clearer communication about the delivery mode of this unit is needed, including at the HoC level, and probably less consideration can be given to clashes with student placements, as these have individual schedules so that no solution fits all students equally.
Action Taken
This is still and will remain an issue until the new version of the degree is rolled out.
Source: "Have your say" feedback
Feedback
The "scientific and knowledge aspects of the unit" and the "super interesting and informative" topics were pointed out as among the best aspects of this unit.
Recommendation
The feedback shows that students appreciate even more challenging scientific concepts, and confirms this lecturer's approach to build industry-relevant knowledge upon a firm scientific foundation.
Action Taken
Nil.
Source: "Have your say" feedback
Feedback
One suggestion for improvement was for more smaller assessments instead of the very large 2nd assessment.
Recommendation
From the lecturer's point of view I agree with this. As a 'consultancy report' on a real-world case study the 2nd assessment was authentic and asked students to integrate and apply the knowledge acquired all through the unit. Unfortunately it was therefore (1) rather large, (2) only feasible as a final assessment (which limits feedback opportunities and adds to the usual end of term assessment load) and (3) did not explicitly encourage earlier engagement with the unit. Assessments should therefore be redesigned to be spread out more evenly during the unit.
Action Taken
Nil.
Source: "Have your say" feedback
Feedback
Physical examination of weeds, pests and diseases would be very insightful.
Recommendation
This was already brought up last year and resulted in the recommendation to add a practical component in form of a residential school with laboratory and excursion components. The recommendation was not implemented this year due to COVID restrictions, but should be considered in a renewed unit.
Action Taken
Nil.
Unit learning Outcomes
This information will not be available until 8 weeks before term.
To see Learning Outcomes from an earlier availability, please search via a previous term.