There is no textbook recommended. Instead CBMS235 makes extensive use of web-based teaching resources on the unit iLearn web site (see below for more information). This includes resources especially designed for PACE units.
iLearn Unit Web Page and Other Technology
The web page for this unit can be found at ilearn.mq.edu.au. Just login and follow the prompts to CBMS235. You can use any web browser such as Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari to login.
iLearn is the name for the Macquarie University’s Learning Management System (LMS). The iLearn online learning environment enables learning, teaching, communication and collaboration.
It is essential that you login to the unit iLearn web site on a regular basis. As well as web-based teaching resources, the iLearn web site will also provide other support for this unit, including an Announcement board for important notices, the Unit Outline, Discussion Forums, and access to your grades.
You can log directly into iLearn by going to ilearn.mq.edu.au or you can log in by going to the “Students” homepage of Macquarie’s website: http://students.mq.edu.au/home/ (select “online units” from the top right hand side of the page). If you have any problems with iLearn go to http://www.mq.edu.au/iLearn/student_info/index.htm.
If you do not have your own computer you may wish to access the iLearn web resources on campus using the PC computers in the Library or in the C5C computer laboratories. To view pdf documents on the web site, you will require Adobe Acrobat Reader Version 9 or later to be installed on your computer. Acrobat Reader can be downloaded from the Adobe web site http://get.adobe.com/uk/reader/. If you are using the computers at Macquarie, then Acrobat has already been installed.
Please note information will also be sent frequently by email to your student email account so please look at your email account on a frequent basis.
Teaching and Learning Strategies
CBMS235 will consist of a mixture of face to face training workshops and group discussion sessions, online discussions and interactive science activities. There will be a dedicated 1-2 hr session most weeks of both semesters for training workshops, seminars, discussion sessions and reflections and critiquing. The community activities – the experiential science activities component of the unit – will be timetabled once the dates are known. Enrolled students will identify which activities they can be a part of. The range of activities provided over the year will allow sufficient choice for all students to be a part of many wonderful science outreach events.
Introduction: Week 1 will be a meet and greet session to get to know everyone's interests in the unit, the strengths you bring to the unit and the potential areas of growth.
Meetings/group discussions: On average, once a week there will be a 1-2 hour group session. From weeks 2-8, the focus will be on workshops related to mentoring, working with children, working with Indigenous people and ethical aspects, reflective practices, and an introduction to the overall science outreach activities to be undertaken and appropriate safe practices. These 1-2 hour sessions will also be used throughout the year to discuss about upcoming activities, including with other teaching staff and community partners, to prepare and plan for the actual activities and evaluate and improve on resources; and following activities to critique their effectiveness and consider changes needed, etc. These sessions will also be used to reflect more broadly.
Online Discussion: You are expected to participate regularly in online discussion using the iLearn Discussion forum about the unit content, science activities and methods of presentation, and issues that may arise, as well as reflect more broadly.
Experiential Activities: The experiential component will involve engaging community (eg school students) in science activities including those of relevance to everyday life (eg examining the microscopic world, extracting DNA from fruit, making slime from wood glue and borax). The activities are expected to commence April/May and will be spread throughout the year. At least 30 hours of direct interaction with the community with the science activities will be expected from you and at least an average of 10 hours committed to the preparation and 10 hours to reflection.
Reflection: Reflection will be a particularly important tool for you in this unit. The participation activities will inherently challenge your approaches, ideas, and understandings about the communities around us and the communication of science therein. You will keep an on-going journal reflecting on your experiences and at the end of each semester, be required as a part of your assessment to present to fellow students and staff about the key achievements and the impact of the science engagement activities on you.
Workload expectation: CBMS235 is a 3 credit point unit and as such it is generally expected that you will commit at least 5 hours per week throughout the combined semesters (1 and 2). However, as a PACE unit, there is recognition that workload may vary in comparison to traditional unit offerings. This is due to teaching delivery, which is in-class, online and in the community, differences in timing for PACE activities, and individual styles of learning. Further, experience to date in other PACE units has indicated that students often choose to commit more time than required to their PACE activities in response to the associated personal and professional reward and learning opportunities, which could not otherwise be achieved in the classroom. With this in mind, you should understand that workload associated with a 3 credit point unit must ultimately constitute 150 hours in total. The following workload hours have therefore been allocated and approved for CBMS235 with the recognition that some variation may occur:
Orientation/introduction - 15 hours (includes introdictory training/workshops and private study)
Scaffolding for skills and knowledge development - 35 hours (includes private study and assessment, science activities preparation workshops, preparation of essay on role of science outreach; participation in weekly meetings).
Experience (community engagement activities) - 50 hours (includes at least 30 hours for the actual participation, 10 hours for the planning outside of meetings and 10 hours reflective practice through online journal).
Self study/assessment preparation - 40 hours total for preparation and conduct of actual assessment tasks beyond the ‘in class’ or ‘in workshop’ activities and participation with community.
Wrap-up/debrief - 10 hours towards presentation session.
Who to Contact
A/Prof Joanne Jamie is the coordinator of this unit and should be your main point of contact. You will get to meet the other staff during scheduled sessions and/or during the various activities. They will all be happy to help in answering questions relevant to their expertise throughout this unit. You are encouraged to direct any questions or queries first to A/Prof Jamie, who will pass them on to the other teaching staff as needed. A/Prof Jamie has an open door policy, but you are encouraged to phone or email to organise a meeting. You may also wish to ask questions using the discussion board on the ilearn website.
We are always open to suggestions for improving the content and delivery of this course. We are very happy to receive any constructive criticism that you may wish to provide. We hope you find this course both educational and fun!