SCIE11024 - Science Investigation

General Information

Unit Synopsis

This unit provides students with essential theoretical knowledge and practical skills for developing, conducting, and communicating scientific research. Students will study fundamental scientific theory, including the derivation of testable hypotheses, ideal sampling methodology and elementary methods of graphing and data analysis. Students will liaise with academic staff throughout term to design and conduct a scientific experiment based on their area of interest. They will then be guided through the analysis, interpretation and presentation of their results.

Details

Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 1
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites There are no pre-requisites for the unit.

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

There are no availabilities for this unit on or after Term 3 - 2018

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 10%
2. Practical and Written Assessment 30%
3. Presentation 20%
4. Written Assessment 40%

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: Moodle feedback
Feedback
Students appreciated the structure of the residential school, being able to link the learning outcomes from prior assessments to aid them in their residential school project.
Recommendation
Retain current assessment structure and links.
Action Taken
Current assessment structure retained
Source: Moodle feedback
Feedback
Students noted a need for greater individualised feedback for assessment items, in addition to the class-level feedback.
Recommendation
Individual feedback is usually a hallmark of this unit, yet with the sudden change in coordinator at a crunch time of term, there simply wasn't enough time to provide individual written feedback and return assessments on time for all students. Students were encouraged to seek verbal feedback, and some took up this offer. The high level of individual feedback will return in the next offering.
Action Taken
Students received consistent and timely feedback on all assessment items in 2018.
Source: Moodle feedback.
Feedback
One student raised the question of why there were limited additional readings/references for the unit.
Recommendation
Additional supporting content has typically been provided through short pre-recorded 'tutorial-style' videos via Moodle, given the ease with which this fits the mixed-mode offering at CQU. Additional written readings/references will be included for the next offering to further improve the unit content accessibility.
Action Taken
Additional tutorials and reading materials were provided online and during the residential school to improve unit content.
Source: Moodle feedback
Feedback
As in 2016, students called for a greater diversity of research projects.
Recommendation
A chemistry-themed project was included in the 2016 offering, and further development of these new projects will continue for 2017 to cater to a broader range of scientific interests among the students.
Action Taken
Time constraints and the inclusion of new support staff in the unit limited the capacity to develop and introduce new projects in 2018. However, current projects were frequently modified at the beginning of the residential school based on detailed discussions with each group about what they would like to research, compared to what was prescribed for them. In most cases, these changes were readily accommodated and gave a further benefit of allowing students to practice skills in research project development.
Source: Moodle feedback In-person feedback
Feedback
Several students commented that their experience of the residential school was the highlight on the unit as it tied the lecture and tutorial content together, and allowed them to practice doing real science.
Recommendation
Retain the overall structure of the unit regarding residential school design and lecture content.
Action Taken
Nil.
Source: Moodle feedback In-person feedback
Feedback
Some students commented that the group project report wasn't an ideal experience for them, as they had a group member that they didn't get along with or felt was not contributing their fair share of the work.
Recommendation
Retain the current group report structure. This feedback is provided in each offering, fortunately from only two-to-three individuals. A self-and-peer assessment task is now included (worth 12 % of the unit grade) for the students to provide feedback on group performance, and help reflect individual contribution in the final unit grades. Several students noted their appreciation of this. Additionally, teaching staff go to great lengths to emphasize that scientific research is almost always a team activity, and that the residential school is designed to simulate that 'real world' scenario, including the odd team member who doesn't pull their weight. This aspect of the project work will continue to be emphasized.
Action Taken
Nil.
Source: Moodle feedback
Feedback
One students comments that the unit was "not overly challenging", while others noted the assessment difficulty increased through the term or that it was "tough" and "firm but fair", suggesting the assessment items are a good fit overall for a first-year unit.
Recommendation
Retain current assessment structure.
Action Taken
Nil.
Source: Moodle feedback Email feedback
Feedback
Students appreciated access to a live Zoom link for each lecture, better facilitating their access and weekly engagement with the class.
Recommendation
Retain the live Zoom link for all lectures.
Action Taken
Nil.
Unit learning Outcomes

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

  1. Develop a plan to address a theoretical or practical research question.
  2. Select and utilise appropriate sampling methods and equipment to undertake a scientific investigation.
  3. Analyse information gathered during a science investigation to reach conclusions that address the investigation’s research question.
  4. Demonstrate project and time management skills by making efficient use of resources to complete a field investigation in a timely manner.
  5. Communicate the outcomes of the science investigation in an appropriate format for the target audience.

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