ENVR12001 - Soil Science and Conservation

General Information

Unit Synopsis

Soils are the physical and chemical foundation of terrestrial ecosystems and Australian soils are among the oldest and most fragile in the world. In this unit you will learn the origin of soils and how they are affected by geology, geography, climate, living organisms and time. You will develop soil classification and testing skills in the laboratory and in the field, and study the conservation, management and remediation of Australian soils.

Details

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

Pre-requisites:

CHEM11043 Atoms, Molecules and Matter

or

CHEM11041 Chemistry for the Life Sciences

and

BIOL11099 Living Systems

or

BIOL11102 Life Science Laboratory


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
View Unit Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 1 - 2020

Term 1 - 2020 Profile
Mixed Mode
Rockhampton
Term 1 - 2021 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. Practical and Written Assessment 30%
2. Presentation and Written Assessment 40%
3. Examination 30%

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: Have your say
Feedback
Students appreciated the exam being weighted at 30%.
Recommendation
We will maintain the exam weighting.
Action Taken
We maintained the exam weighting.
Source: Have your say
Feedback
Students found the guest speakers to be very useful and engaging.
Recommendation
We will use the same speakers or equivalent next year. Their time slots should be 30 minutes longer, as most speakers ran out of time to answer student questions in one hour.
Action Taken
We engaged the same speakers for longer and students enjoyed the effort again.
Source: Have your say
Feedback
The weighting of the group assessment was not commensurate with the work it required.
Recommendation
Weighting will be transferred from Assessment 1 (Prac Report) to Assessment 2 (Group Report) to better reflect the effort put into these assessments.
Action Taken
We re-weighted Assessment 1 and Assessment 2 to better reflect student effort.
Source: Unit coordinator
Feedback
Better use of professional soil methods for determining grain-size need to be used in the residential school
Recommendation
Unit Coordinator will use the methods outlined in the Australian Soil and Land Survey Field Handbook, 3rd Edition (the "Yellow Bible") to determine soil size in the 2019 practical.
Action Taken
We employed the hydrometer method of soil texture determination in this year's residential school with success.
Source: Unit Coordinator
Feedback
Extremely negative and personal comments about one lecturer in the Have Your Say.
Recommendation
The Unit Coordinator will remind students that all teaching staff are able to view the Unit Feedback, and that civil and constructive comments are the best way to ensure that useful changes are made.
Action Taken
Students were reminded to keep comments constructive. There were no negative or personal comments about any particular lecturer.
Source: Student Feedback
Feedback
Students in Geraldton requested a lecturer from CQUni attend their residential school.
Recommendation
I'll request to travel to Geraldton during Term 1 2020 to meet with students during the residential school or before. This travel will depend on student enrolments in Geraldton. This travel would also support student learning by ensuring the lecturer is familiar with the soils and equipment that students will be assessing and using, respectively, during their residential school.
Action Taken
Nil.
Source: Student Feedback
Feedback
Students commented positively about the tri-partate nature of the unit, the fairness of the exam, and the availability of the lecturers outside of lecture and residential school times.
Recommendation
We will continue these aspects of the unit.
Action Taken
Nil.
Source: Lecturer feedback
Feedback
There were no complaints about assessment weighting.
Recommendation
This suggests we now have the assessment weighting correct and we will maintain it as is.
Action Taken
Nil.
Source: Student and lecturer feedback.
Feedback
Late return of assessments was an issue.
Recommendation
The lecturer will be more attentive to assessment return deadlines.
Action Taken
Nil.
Unit learning Outcomes

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

  1. Describe the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of soil
  2. Describe and classify a range of soils
  3. Plan and conduct soil tests in the laboratory and field
  4. Discuss the major challenges for the sustainable management and remediation of Australian soils.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Practical and Written Assessment
2 - Presentation and Written Assessment
3 - Examination
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
5 - Team Work
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
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 - Practical and Written Assessment
2 - Presentation and Written Assessment
3 - Examination