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EVST13014 - Freshwater and Marine Systems

General Information

Unit Synopsis

This unit builds on Botany of Aquatic Environments and Invertebrate Zoology and focuses on aquatic ecology with an emphasis on freshwater systems. You will develop an understanding of Australian freshwater systems and their community and ecosystem dynamics. You will consider the management of freshwater systems and you will develop the skills needed for studying these systems through field and laboratory work.

Details

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

Pre-requisites:

BOTN12010 or ZOOL12009

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 - 2016

Term 1 - 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 20%
2. In-class Test(s) 10%
3. Presentation 10%
4. Examination 60%

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 1 - 2020 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 4 (on a 5 point Likert scale), based on a 33.33% 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: Verbal comments from students at residential school, Unit Evaluation comments and reflections of unit coordinator
Feedback
ASSESSMENT. Assessment tasks were updated in 2019, placing emphasis on analysis, interpretation and communication skills, through two written assessments and a seminar presentation. In the Unit Evaluation on Moodle, there was one comment that an exam would be preferred to three assessments.
Recommendation
The assessments provided opportunities for students enrolled in the unit to demonstrate their understanding of the learning material, and to read further on topics that interested them. The skills gained by providing written reports and seminar presentations are highly relevant to future employers. Students regarded the seminar presentation positively because of the collegiate and supportive environment provided during the residential school. The comment on preferring exams could be addressed in several ways, including by reinstating an exam or by specifically requiring the scientific report to provide information on all topics covered in the learning materials (this was implied). Recommended action - review Assessment 3.
Action Taken
Assessment 2 (oral presentation) was amended to a recorded video presentation in 2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions and cancellation of the residential school. Assessment 3 was also amended and a dataset provided for analysis, instead of collected during the residential school. Abundant online learning materials were provided to demonstrate and detail the methods that are normally demonstrated at the residential school.
Source: Verbal comments from students at residential school, Unit Evaluation comments and reflections of unit coordinator
Feedback
RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL. Positive feedback on the residential school was received in 2019. In the Unit Evaluation there was a comment that the field trip at residential school was definitely the highlight and that it was helpful to practically apply learnings from readings. There was also a suggestion that the macroinvertebrate identification lab be revised as it wasn't possible to analyse all of the samples collected within the time allocated. This was partly due to the small cohort in 2019 (fewer students to sort and identify macroinvertebrate samples).
Recommendation
The residential school should be retained, particularly the visit to a local creek to collect water quality, fish and macroinvertebrate data for use in the scientific report. Macroinvertebrate collection and identification is a key skill in freshwater ecology, so it is important to continue to demonstrate and conduct sampling, and to incorporate the macroinvertebrate identification lab. However, to reduce the perception that all samples need to be analysed in the lab, consider retaining samples from fewer replicate sites. The number of retained samples can be varied depending on student enrolment numbers.
Action Taken
The residential school was replaced this year with an online learning module, including various video demonstrations, activities, lectures and detailed reading material. This change was made as a result of Covid-19 restrictions. Students were invited to contact the unit coordinator with any questions, and many students engaged with the learning material by email or through forum discussions.
Source: Unit Evaluation rankings and reflections of unit coordinator
Feedback
UNIT MATERIALS. Students appeared to follow the structure and organisation of the learning material. The students who completed the Unit Evaluations ranked all categories as "Strongly Agree". It was unclear whether the study guide was utilised by students.
Recommendation
Retain general structure of Moodle site and organisation of materials. Review whether the study guide is still required, as material is covered in the lectures, textbook and readings.
Action Taken
Moodle structure was retained and students appeared to follow the structure and organisation. Students were invited to advise the unit coordinator if there was any confusion about the provided materials and none were raised.
Source: Student emails, phone calls and forum discussions throughout the term
Feedback
Support during Covid-19 changes
Recommendation
Students provided positive feedback regarding the level of teaching support provided during the unit, in light of changes required due to Covid-19 restrictions. No recommendation as 2020 was the final year that this unit will be delivered.
Action Taken
Nil.
Source: Student evaluation
Feedback
Timing of Assessment 1 and 2 feedback
Recommendation
One student expressed concerns that feedback on Assessment 1 wasn't provided until after Assessment 2 was completed. This was because the two assessments were on the same topic, but one was a written assessment (report) and the other an oral presentation. The marking criteria were different and were clearly described on assessment task sheets. No recommendation as 2020 was the final year that this unit will be delivered.
Action Taken
Nil.
Unit learning Outcomes

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

  1. Describe the classification and features of aquatic habitats (including streams, lakes, estuaries and oceans).
  2. Explain stratification and mixing processes and how they impact on the chemical composition of waters including nutrient cycles and gases.
  3. Discuss the ecology of the major components of aquatic biota, the relationships between them and the management of freshwater systems.
  4. Use standard methods to sample abiotic and biotic components of aquatic systems, analyse the data obtained, and interpret and communicate the results.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Written Assessment
2 - In-class Test(s)
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
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
5 - Team Work
6 - Information Technology 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 - In-class Test(s)
3 - Presentation
4 - Examination