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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 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
View Unit Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 3 - 2018

Term 1 - 2019 Profile
Mixed Mode
Rockhampton
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

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: Student Unit evaluation and verbal comments at residential school.
Feedback
ASSESSMENT Positive feedback was received regarding the assessment tasks and their reflection of course content. Students indicated that the seminar caused some anxiety but that the non-judgmental atmosphere made it enjoyable. Overall, the seminar was a worthwhile assessment as it helped support learning outcomes. The residential school in-class test received some criticism from students due to the increased study load. Students enjoyed the autonomy associated with the final assignment topic - a report following the field trip and data collection.
Recommendation
The unit will continue to be structured in the same format with similar assessment items. In particular, the seminar and the assignment should remain in the current format. The Unit coordinator should examine and consider an alternative to the in-class test.
Action Taken
Following positive feedback on the seminar and scientific report, these two assessments were structured in a similar manner in 2019. The seminar was again run in a supportive and non-judgemental environment. The in-class test was removed in 2019, and greater weighting was given to the seminar and to an early written assessment on the same topic as the seminar. The exam was also removed in 2019, to allow the scientific report assessment to be a primary assessment tool (worth 50% of final grade).
Source: Student Unit evaluation
Feedback
LECTURES and CONTENT The lecture format was evaluated positively. The Lecturer received positive feedback.
Recommendation
Lectures and course materials should be offered in the same format.
Action Taken
The lectures and course materials (study guide, readings, links to relevant information), were updated with current information and were provided online in a similar format to the 2018 offering.
Source: Student Unit evaluation and verbal comments during residential school.
Feedback
RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL The format and content of the residential school was evaluated positively on several occasions.
Recommendation
Residential school should be offered in the same format and should include engagement with industry.
Action Taken
The residential school was offered in a similar format to 2018, including the visit to the Fitzroy Basin Association.
Source: Student Unit evaluation
Feedback
UNIT FORMAT The Moodle site navigation was evaluated. A suggestion was made that it should contain tabs with topics not just dates.
Recommendation
The Unit Co-ordinator will include dates as well as topics in the weekly tabs to improve Moodle page navigation.
Action Taken
Topics were included in the weekly tab headers to allow for improved Moodle page navigation.
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
Nil.
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
Nil.
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
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