BIOL13031 - Ecology: Theory and Application

General Information

Unit Synopsis

Ecology is the study of the natural world: how organisms interact with one another and with their physical environment, and such knowledge is essential for any study in biology. In this unit, students will study ecology at different levels: the population, community, and evolutionary levels. Practical application of ecology will be emphasised in the study of principles of experimental design, and in the conduct of group research projects.

Details

Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 3
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

(ZOOL11005 Foundation Animal Biology and BOTN11004 Foundation Plant Biology) or (BIOL11099 Living Systems and BIOL11100 Functional Biology)

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).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School Compulsory Residential School
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Unit Availabilities from Term 3 - 2018

Term 2 - 2019 Profile
Mixed Mode
Rockhampton
Term 2 - 2020 Profile
Mixed Mode
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

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Written Assessment 15%
2. Practical and Written Assessment 25%
3. Presentation 10%
4. Examination 50%

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

No previous feedback available

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: Personal comments, Moodle evaluation
Feedback
Numerous positive comments regarding course content, structure, and assessment authenticity and student centredness were received.
Recommendation
These aspects will be maintained, and strengthened where possible.
Action Taken
These elements were maintained.
Source: Personal comments, email, Moodle evaluation
Feedback
Some uncertainty continued to present in students unsure of their skills in Excel.
Recommendation
A formal ALC tutorial will be arranged and trialed for next offering, and a more proactive role in linking students to the ALC will be pursued. Other sources of online help etc. will continue to be highlighted and made available.
Action Taken
A formal ALC tutorial was arranged and presented whilst students were on-campus for the CBP. Content and examples were focussed on the assessment task and used real data. Not all students attended. Additional You Tube videos were sourced for the students. The high level of lecturer guidance was maintained.
Source: Moodle evaluation
Feedback
Assignment return was considered too tardy.
Recommendation
I will improve this and other related course component aspects (e.g., task feedback) for next offering by better planning of submission dates and marking around residential schools and other commitments.
Action Taken
Assignment return was improved and within stated timelines. Feedback quality and detail was maintained.
Source: Moodle evaluation
Feedback
Some students considered the unit Moodle site difficult to navigate at times.
Recommendation
I will review site layout and improve organisation of resources appropriately.
Action Taken
Unit Moodle site layout was reviewed and minor changes made.
Source: Formal unit student evaluations, informal student comment
Feedback
Numerous positive comments regarding course content, structure, and content and assessment authenticity and student centredness and support elements were received.
Recommendation
These components will be maintained, and where possible refined further.
Action Taken
Nil.
Source: Formal unit student evaluation
Feedback
One comment was made (for the first time) suggesting consideration of peer assessment in marking student participation in field work (because of the perception 'not everyone contributed equally').
Recommendation
This will be explored with expert peers and with future student cohorts, because transferable skills (like teamwork) are important for employability.
Action Taken
Nil.
Source: Formal unit student evaluation
Feedback
Whilst student feedback included how well unit information covered real-world ecology well, a student commented some unit content was dated 2010.
Recommendation
This material, even if foundational, will be reviewed and updated, however this is less likely for component foundational animations (due to complexity of the undertaking).
Action Taken
Nil.
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Comprehend and analyse the elements, concepts, and theories of population and community structure and dynamics.
  2. Comprehend and evaluate the selected elements, concepts, and theories of evolutionary ecology.
  3. Integrate and apply your knowledge of population, evolutionary, and community ecology to real world situations.
  4. Develop further and utilise the skills necessary to undertake ecological fieldwork successfully and to analyse ecological data.
  5. Comprehend and apply the concept, and its elements, of good experimental design.
  6. Evaluate critically the scientific work of others in ecology.
  7. Integrate your comprehension of ecological theory with your comprehension and application of good experimental design to allow you to draw sound conclusions from ecological study.
  8. Communicate your knowledge and findings clearly both orally and in writing.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Practical and Written Assessment
3 - Presentation
4 - Examination
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
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
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Practical and Written Assessment
3 - Presentation
4 - Examination