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ACSC100 – Academic Communication in Science

2017 – S1 Day

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Convener
Deanna Wong
Administration
Margaret Wood
Tutor
Christine Joyce
Tutor
Dana Skopal
Tutor
Louise Katkins
Credit points Credit points
3
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
This unit is designed to support students in their transition to university by enabling them to understand and achieve standards of performance required in an academic environment. The unit provides a three-level focus which is initiated by facilitating the development of academic practices, behaviours and values. Secondly, it fosters a level of familiarity with the disciplinary language, texts and conventions used when studying in programs offered by the Faculty of Science. Finally, it raises an awareness of the impact of scientific knowledge and the role of scientists when they act to solve problems and implement innovations affecting contemporary society. Learning and assessment activities are designed to build the capacity for independent and collaborative approaches to learning. Students are guided to develop their capacity for reading, thinking and expressing ideas effectively and critically.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at http://students.mq.edu.au/student_admin/enrolmentguide/academicdates/

Learning Outcomes

  1. Read efficiently to gather specific information and ideas from discipline-specific sources.
  2. Demonstrate an ability to interpret and apply concepts from sources used in the discipline.
  3. Analyse the purpose, language and features of academic, disciplinary and professional genres.
  4. Critically evaluate information and ideas from academic, disciplinary and professional sources.
  5. Express ideas using appropriate language and structure for academic and professional purposes in written and/or oral texts.
  6. Apply academic referencing conventions accurately and appropriately.
  7. Apply reasoning to formulate and support a position or argument.
  8. Plan and produce texts to reflect academic and disciplinary standards.
  9. Engage in independent and collaborative learning activities.

General Assessment Information

Assignment Submission

For all but the oral presentation, you are expected to bring a completed first draft of the assignment to your tutorial, usually one week before the final submission is due. The draft will be  peer-reviewed and edited in the tutorial, following which you have a week to re-write the assignment and produce a final copy for submission and marking.

Peer review will take place in groups, so you MUST bring a printed copy of your draft for each member of your group. Please note that it is not sufficient to bring an electronic copy of your draft, nor is it appropriate to bring an incomplete version. Peer review is a requirement of ACSC100. If you do not bring a draft copy of your assignment to the appropriate tutorial, your mark for that assignment may be reduced by 20%. If you are unable to attend a tutorial in which peer-review is carried out, you MUST submit a formal request to be excused through the ask.mq.edu.au web portal.  Supporting documentation (eg a medical certificate) must be provided.

All assignments (except the oral presentation) need to be submitted to Turnitin using the link available on the ACSC100 iLearn website:   

Presentation of Assignments

Add a footer to each page of the assignment, with page numbering, student name and student number, and the unit code in the footer, for example:

Robin Brown              40112333                    ACSC100

All assignments should be word-processed, double-spaced and printed using black ink. Turnitin will mark the assignment with submission time and date.

Please keep a copy of all assignments in case of misadventure.

Extensions

Extensions are granted only on grounds of illness or misadventure, and appropriate supporting documentation must be submitted.

If you need an extension, you MUST put in a request through ASK@mq before the due date for the assignment. You need to outline the reason for your request and suggest a new submission date. In suggesting an alternative date, you need to consider what is reasonable, both from your own point of view and from that of your tutor. A request for a two week extension is not likely to succeed!

Late Submission of Assignments

Assignments that are submitted after the due date (without an extension) will attract a penalty of 5% for each day it is overdue (i.e. -5% for 1 day late; -10% for 2 days late; - 15% for 3 days late). Work submitted after the return of marked assignments, and without an extension, will not be accepted.

 

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Due
Information report 30% Friday March 31st, 5.00pm
Group Oral Presentation 15% Week 8 tutorial
Research report 40% Friday May 26th, 5.00pm
Brochure 15% Friday June 16th, 5.00pm

Information report

Due: Friday March 31st, 5.00pm
Weighting: 30%

An information report for an academic audience outlining a major issue with regard to a topic of social concern, indicating potential areas of further research

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Read efficiently to gather specific information and ideas from discipline-specific sources.
  • Demonstrate an ability to interpret and apply concepts from sources used in the discipline.
  • Analyse the purpose, language and features of academic, disciplinary and professional genres.
  • Critically evaluate information and ideas from academic, disciplinary and professional sources.
  • Express ideas using appropriate language and structure for academic and professional purposes in written and/or oral texts.
  • Apply academic referencing conventions accurately and appropriately.
  • Apply reasoning to formulate and support a position or argument.
  • Plan and produce texts to reflect academic and disciplinary standards.
  • Engage in independent and collaborative learning activities.

Group Oral Presentation

Due: Week 8 tutorial
Weighting: 15%

Group oral presentation on scientific information regarding a social issue.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Read efficiently to gather specific information and ideas from discipline-specific sources.
  • Demonstrate an ability to interpret and apply concepts from sources used in the discipline.
  • Analyse the purpose, language and features of academic, disciplinary and professional genres.
  • Critically evaluate information and ideas from academic, disciplinary and professional sources.
  • Express ideas using appropriate language and structure for academic and professional purposes in written and/or oral texts.
  • Apply academic referencing conventions accurately and appropriately.
  • Apply reasoning to formulate and support a position or argument.
  • Plan and produce texts to reflect academic and disciplinary standards.
  • Engage in independent and collaborative learning activities.

Research report

Due: Friday May 26th, 5.00pm
Weighting: 40%

Formal report on research


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Read efficiently to gather specific information and ideas from discipline-specific sources.
  • Demonstrate an ability to interpret and apply concepts from sources used in the discipline.
  • Analyse the purpose, language and features of academic, disciplinary and professional genres.
  • Critically evaluate information and ideas from academic, disciplinary and professional sources.
  • Express ideas using appropriate language and structure for academic and professional purposes in written and/or oral texts.
  • Apply academic referencing conventions accurately and appropriately.
  • Apply reasoning to formulate and support a position or argument.
  • Plan and produce texts to reflect academic and disciplinary standards.
  • Engage in independent and collaborative learning activities.

Brochure

Due: Friday June 16th, 5.00pm
Weighting: 15%

Brochure aimed at a popular audience


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Read efficiently to gather specific information and ideas from discipline-specific sources.
  • Demonstrate an ability to interpret and apply concepts from sources used in the discipline.
  • Apply reasoning to formulate and support a position or argument.
  • Engage in independent and collaborative learning activities.

Delivery and Resources

Attendance

ACSC100 incorporates 2 weekly one hour lectures and a 2 hour tutorial. Students are strongly encouraged to attend all lectures and tutorials, as failure to do so is likely to impact on assignment marks. In particular, students should attend tutorial 3, when an in-class summary writing exercise will allow tutors to identify problem areas and suggest possible remedial action.  They should also attend tutorials 4, 5, 10 and 13, which will involve peer review of draft assignments, and tutorial 8, during which student group oral presentations will be made.

Expectations

Students are expected to submit all assignments. They are also expected carry out extensive reading and to bring draft copies of assignments to tutorials for evaluation, editing and feedback. Failure to bring a draft copy of Assignments 1, 3 and 4 to the relevant tutorial for peer review may result in a 20% reduction in the final mark for the assignment.

Text book

ACSC100 has a set text book: Brick, J, Herke, M & Wong, D  2016, Academic Culture: A student's guide to studying at university, 3rd edn, Melbourne: Palgrave Macmillan

iLearn and Echo

Lecture notes and tutorial worksheets will be posted on the iLearn site for ACSC100 (https://ilearn.mq.edu.au)

Lectures will be recorded on Echo.

 

Unit Schedule

Wk

Lecture

Lecture

Tutorial

Assessment

1

Feb 27 – March 3

 

1

Introduction to ACSC100

  • Course Overview & Expectations
  • What is a People Unit?

 

  • Organising research groups
  • Identifying features of the language of science

 

 

2

Evaluating academic sources

  1. The Authority test
  2. The Audience test
  3. The Transparency test
  4. The Objectivity test
  5. The Currency test

2

March

6 - 10

 

3

Developing effective reading skills

  • Reading for Academic Purposes (4S System)

 

  • Evaluating reliability of academic readings
  • Identifying key points

Using the 4S System

  • Identifying argument structure

 

 

4

Critical thinking/critical reading

  • Understanding academic questions
  • Critical reading

3

March

13-17

 

5

Writing summaries

  • Purpose and audience of a summary
  • Writing effective summaries
  • Writing a summary

This exercise allows your tutor to identify any major difficulties you have in writing and to suggest remedial action if necessary

 

6

Writing reports

  • Purpose and audience of information reports
  • Report structure

 

4

March

20 - 24

 

7

Expressing your voice and referring to the work of others

  • What is voice?
  • Distinguishing between your voice and the voice of others
  • Deconstruction of information report
  • Peer review Assignment 1

 

Draft Assignment 1 (Information report)

8

Referring to the voices of others

  • Voices in other types of text
  • Using reporting verbs
  • Writing bibliographies and reference lists

5

March

27 - 31

 

9

Visuals in scientific writing

  • Role of visuals
  • Selecting appropriate visuals
  • Integrating voices
  • Writing bibliographic citations
  • Peer review Assignment 1 (visuals/use of voices)

Final submission Assignment 1

Friday March 31st 5.00pm

10

Visuals in scientific writing

  • Writing data commentaries

6

April

3 - 7

11

The writing process

  • Planning, drafting, editing proof-reading
  • Grammar of scientific English

 

12

Grammar of scientific English:

  • Writing effective sentences

7

April

10 – 13

 

13

Academic presentations

  • Differences between speaking and writing
  • Effective academic speaking
  • Multimodality:  Integrating power point slides and spoken presentation
  • Plan academic presentation

 

14

Planning an oral presentation

  • Group work and oral presentations
  • Planning oral presentations

                                                                        Mid-Semester break                                          

                                                                      Friday April 14 –  May 1              

 

8

May 1-5

15

 Writing a research report

  • Purpose & structure of a research report
  • Introduction & thesis/hypothesis statement
  • Oral presentations

Assignment 2:

Oral presentations

Tutorials Week 8

16

Writing a research report

  • Methodology, results and discussion
  • Writing abstracts

9

May

8-12

17

Expressing judgement

  • Expressing identity using hedging, attitude markers & boosters
  • Deconstructing a research report
  • Expressing judgment & engaging with the reader

 

 

18

  •  
  • Expressing identity using pronouns, directives, questions & shared knowledge

10

May

15-19

 

19

Developing an effective argument

  • Developing a cohesive and coherent argument
  • Topic sentences
  • Peer review and tutor review: Assignment 3 –Research report

Draft Assignment 3 (Research Report) peer-reviewed in tutorials

20

Developing an effective argument

  • Paragraph structure
  • Developing a cohesive paragraph

11

May

22 - 26

 

21

Developing an authoritative voice

  • Nominal groups
  • Expressing judgment & engaging with the reader
  • Developing an effective argument
  • Nominal groups and nominalisation

Final submission: Assignment 3: Research Report

 

22

Developing an authoritative voice

  • Nominalisation
  • Exploring technical language

12

May 29 – June 2

 

23

Writing for a popular audience

  • Organising information in popular texts
  • Academic language and popular language
  • Writing for a popular audience

 

24

Writing for a popular audience

  • Deconstructing an informative brochure

13

June

5-9

 

25

Unit summary

  • Peer & tutor review of Assignment 4

Draft Assignment 4

26

  • Questions and answers about the language of science

14

June

12 - 16

 

 

 

Final submission Assignment 4: Brochure

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central. Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

Assessment Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy_2016.html

Grade Appeal Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html

Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/complaint_management/procedure.html​

Disruption to Studies Policy http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html The Disruption to Studies Policy is effective from March 3 2014 and replaces the Special Consideration Policy.

In addition, a number of other policies can be found in the Learning and Teaching Category of Policy Central.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/student_conduct/

Results

Results shown in iLearn, or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au.

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Graduate Capabilities

Discipline Specific Knowledge and Skills

Our graduates will take with them the intellectual development, depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content in their chosen fields to make them competent and confident in their subject or profession. They will be able to demonstrate, where relevant, professional technical competence and meet professional standards. They will be able to articulate the structure of knowledge of their discipline, be able to adapt discipline-specific knowledge to novel situations, and be able to contribute from their discipline to inter-disciplinary solutions to problems.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Read efficiently to gather specific information and ideas from discipline-specific sources.
  • Demonstrate an ability to interpret and apply concepts from sources used in the discipline.
  • Analyse the purpose, language and features of academic, disciplinary and professional genres.
  • Critically evaluate information and ideas from academic, disciplinary and professional sources.
  • Express ideas using appropriate language and structure for academic and professional purposes in written and/or oral texts.
  • Apply academic referencing conventions accurately and appropriately.
  • Apply reasoning to formulate and support a position or argument.
  • Plan and produce texts to reflect academic and disciplinary standards.
  • Engage in independent and collaborative learning activities.

Assessment tasks

  • Information report
  • Group Oral Presentation
  • Research report

Problem Solving and Research Capability

Our graduates should be capable of researching; of analysing, and interpreting and assessing data and information in various forms; of drawing connections across fields of knowledge; and they should be able to relate their knowledge to complex situations at work or in the world, in order to diagnose and solve problems. We want them to have the confidence to take the initiative in doing so, within an awareness of their own limitations.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Read efficiently to gather specific information and ideas from discipline-specific sources.
  • Demonstrate an ability to interpret and apply concepts from sources used in the discipline.
  • Analyse the purpose, language and features of academic, disciplinary and professional genres.
  • Critically evaluate information and ideas from academic, disciplinary and professional sources.
  • Express ideas using appropriate language and structure for academic and professional purposes in written and/or oral texts.
  • Apply academic referencing conventions accurately and appropriately.
  • Apply reasoning to formulate and support a position or argument.
  • Plan and produce texts to reflect academic and disciplinary standards.
  • Engage in independent and collaborative learning activities.

Assessment task

  • Research report

Effective Communication

We want to develop in our students the ability to communicate and convey their views in forms effective with different audiences. We want our graduates to take with them the capability to read, listen, question, gather and evaluate information resources in a variety of formats, assess, write clearly, speak effectively, and to use visual communication and communication technologies as appropriate.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate an ability to interpret and apply concepts from sources used in the discipline.
  • Express ideas using appropriate language and structure for academic and professional purposes in written and/or oral texts.
  • Apply academic referencing conventions accurately and appropriately.
  • Apply reasoning to formulate and support a position or argument.
  • Plan and produce texts to reflect academic and disciplinary standards.
  • Engage in independent and collaborative learning activities.

Assessment tasks

  • Information report
  • Group Oral Presentation
  • Research report
  • Brochure

Capable of Professional and Personal Judgement and Initiative

We want our graduates to have emotional intelligence and sound interpersonal skills and to demonstrate discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgement. They will exercise initiative as needed. They will be capable of risk assessment, and be able to handle ambiguity and complexity, enabling them to be adaptable in diverse and changing environments.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate an ability to interpret and apply concepts from sources used in the discipline.
  • Analyse the purpose, language and features of academic, disciplinary and professional genres.
  • Critically evaluate information and ideas from academic, disciplinary and professional sources.
  • Express ideas using appropriate language and structure for academic and professional purposes in written and/or oral texts.
  • Apply academic referencing conventions accurately and appropriately.
  • Apply reasoning to formulate and support a position or argument.
  • Plan and produce texts to reflect academic and disciplinary standards.
  • Engage in independent and collaborative learning activities.

Assessment task

  • Research report

Commitment to Continuous Learning

Our graduates will have enquiring minds and a literate curiosity which will lead them to pursue knowledge for its own sake. They will continue to pursue learning in their careers and as they participate in the world. They will be capable of reflecting on their experiences and relationships with others and the environment, learning from them, and growing - personally, professionally and socially.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Read efficiently to gather specific information and ideas from discipline-specific sources.
  • Demonstrate an ability to interpret and apply concepts from sources used in the discipline.
  • Analyse the purpose, language and features of academic, disciplinary and professional genres.
  • Critically evaluate information and ideas from academic, disciplinary and professional sources.
  • Express ideas using appropriate language and structure for academic and professional purposes in written and/or oral texts.
  • Apply academic referencing conventions accurately and appropriately.
  • Apply reasoning to formulate and support a position or argument.
  • Plan and produce texts to reflect academic and disciplinary standards.
  • Engage in independent and collaborative learning activities.

Assessment task

  • Brochure

Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

We want our graduates to be capable of reasoning, questioning and analysing, and to integrate and synthesise learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments; to be able to critique constraints, assumptions and limitations; to be able to think independently and systemically in relation to scholarly activity, in the workplace, and in the world. We want them to have a level of scientific and information technology literacy.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Read efficiently to gather specific information and ideas from discipline-specific sources.
  • Demonstrate an ability to interpret and apply concepts from sources used in the discipline.
  • Analyse the purpose, language and features of academic, disciplinary and professional genres.
  • Critically evaluate information and ideas from academic, disciplinary and professional sources.
  • Express ideas using appropriate language and structure for academic and professional purposes in written and/or oral texts.
  • Apply academic referencing conventions accurately and appropriately.
  • Apply reasoning to formulate and support a position or argument.
  • Plan and produce texts to reflect academic and disciplinary standards.
  • Engage in independent and collaborative learning activities.

Assessment tasks

  • Information report
  • Group Oral Presentation
  • Research report

Creative and Innovative

Our graduates will also be capable of creative thinking and of creating knowledge. They will be imaginative and open to experience and capable of innovation at work and in the community. We want them to be engaged in applying their critical, creative thinking.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Critically evaluate information and ideas from academic, disciplinary and professional sources.
  • Express ideas using appropriate language and structure for academic and professional purposes in written and/or oral texts.
  • Apply reasoning to formulate and support a position or argument.
  • Plan and produce texts to reflect academic and disciplinary standards.
  • Engage in independent and collaborative learning activities.

Assessment tasks

  • Group Oral Presentation
  • Brochure

Engaged and Ethical Local and Global citizens

As local citizens our graduates will be aware of indigenous perspectives and of the nation's historical context. They will be engaged with the challenges of contemporary society and with knowledge and ideas. We want our graduates to have respect for diversity, to be open-minded, sensitive to others and inclusive, and to be open to other cultures and perspectives: they should have a level of cultural literacy. Our graduates should be aware of disadvantage and social justice, and be willing to participate to help create a wiser and better society.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Critically evaluate information and ideas from academic, disciplinary and professional sources.
  • Express ideas using appropriate language and structure for academic and professional purposes in written and/or oral texts.
  • Apply academic referencing conventions accurately and appropriately.
  • Plan and produce texts to reflect academic and disciplinary standards.
  • Engage in independent and collaborative learning activities.

Assessment tasks

  • Information report
  • Group Oral Presentation
  • Research report

Socially and Environmentally Active and Responsible

We want our graduates to be aware of and have respect for self and others; to be able to work with others as a leader and a team player; to have a sense of connectedness with others and country; and to have a sense of mutual obligation. Our graduates should be informed and active participants in moving society towards sustainability.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Critically evaluate information and ideas from academic, disciplinary and professional sources.
  • Express ideas using appropriate language and structure for academic and professional purposes in written and/or oral texts.
  • Engage in independent and collaborative learning activities.

Assessment tasks

  • Information report
  • Group Oral Presentation
  • Research report

Changes since First Published

Date Description
13/02/2017 Updated assessment and attendance requirements in line with Macquarie University Assessment Policy