Weekly Assessment (25%)
Your progress will be tracked on a weekly basis by means of a 20-question online quiz. Content from the lectures, textbook, and practicals will be covered. Because the unit is rich on information, if you do not study on a regular basis your grades will be impacted.
Lectures in this unit are based on both the textbook and primary scientific literature. You will be expected to learn fundamental concepts in organismal biology such as the intellectual basis of phylogenetics and taxonomy, the causes and consequences of adaptive radiations and mass extinctions, and the functional roles of anatomical structures. You will also learn a considerable amount of specific detail concerning the names, relationships, evolutionary histories, and key anatomical adaptations of major taxonomic groups such as phyla, classes, and orders.
Practical work constitutes a large proportion of the unit, and the weekly prac sessions are intended to lead on from the lecture. All prac sessions will be up to 3 hours in duration. The prac sessions will held in E8A 160 on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Students are expected to attend the prac session every single week, and you must attend at least six pracs to pass the unit. If you attend fewer, you will automatically be failed.
Note that there are no pracs during weeks 1, 7, 12, and 13.
Literature Analysis (20%)
The 1500 word Literature Analysis will provide an opportunity to read and evaluate recently published scientific papers that will be assigned to you. You will have to discuss their strengths and weaknesses in a short and succinct manner in your own words. This task will allow you to become familiar with the primary way scientists communicate their ideas.
A Turnitin link for the assignment will be made available on iLearn early during the semester. Hard copies may not be submitted. An announcement will be made once the detailed instructions have been released, including the list of papers to be analysed.
Do not simply summarise each paper. Any copied words, no matter how few, must be placed in quotation marks. If you copy anything without attribution or without using quotation marks you will not receive credit for the relevant parts of the assignment. If you have copied without attribution, then depending on the severity of the case you may be reported to the Faculty Student Administration Manager, in accord with the Academic Honesty Procedure (see the Policies and Procedures section).
You may want to consult the short, simple volume by W. Strunk and E.B. White called The Elements of Style.
Marks will be allotted for the following:
• Scientific evaluation (50%): Organisation and coherence of the text, factual correctness, discussion of citations, and clarity and justification of the overall assessment. You must present your own arguments in your own words and they must be grounded in the references.
• Adherence to the 1500 word limit (10%): Marks will be deducted for going either under or over the limit by 10%.
• Presentation (30%): Spelling, grammar, conciseness, and sensible use of subheadings. Use 12 point font and double space the text. 30%
• References (10%): Matching of citations to the text and the alphabetical ordering, formatting, and completeness of the references. You must use the Harvard Referencing Style. Numbering of references in the text and use of footnotes is not allowed.
Practical Report (20%)
The 1000 word Practical Report will be based on data collected during the Skull Allometry exercise during Week 11 (internals) or the second On Campus Session (externals). The report will be due at the end of Week 13. It will be in the format of a real-world scientific research journal article, except that references are not required. As with the Literature Analysis, further details will be announced via iLearn during the semester and a Turnitin link will be provided (no hard copies).
Marks will be allotted for scientific evaluation (50%), adherence to the word limit (10%), and presentation (30%), as discussed in the preceding section. The scientific evaluation marks will consider whether you included enough details regarding data collection and data analysis procedures to allow replicating your analysis. The presentation marks will additionally assess the use of proper, standardised subheadings (Introduction, Data, Methods, Results, Discussion, References). An abstract should not be included.
The assignment must also include a graph showing a scatter plot with a fitted regression line, accompanied by an accurate and informative caption (10%).
Final Examination (35%)
The Final Examination will cover all the major concepts introduced in the unit. It will include multiple choice questions, short answer questions, and essays. Details will be given in the unit's final lecture.
If you apply for Disruption to Study for your final examination, you must make yourself available for the week of July 24 – 28, 2017. If you are not available at that time, there is no guarantee an additional examination time will be offered. Specific examination dates and times will be determined at a later date.