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ANTX151 – Human Evolution and Diversity

2017 – S2 OUA

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff
Timothy Lynch
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
This unit explores the evolution of our species, what makes humans distinct, and how we have developed the biological, cultural and technological diversity we now see around us. The unit examines new research, highlighting the most recent discoveries and theoretical breakthroughs, encouraging students to learn more about the major debates, key discoveries, and important theories in the study of human evolution. Specifically, the unit provides students with a background in evolutionary theory, genetics, anthropology, paleoarchaeology, and comparative primatology in order to address a number of topics: the development of the human brain; bipedalism; language; families; social life; sexuality; reproduction; hunting; diet; clothing; art; stone tools and technology; domesticated plants and animals; cities; and the first civilisations. The unit also demonstrates how an evolutionary perspective offers new insights into modern human diversity, including both cultural and biological differences among us. The unit does not require a background in the biological or evolutionary sciences. It provides an excellent foundation for understanding and evaluating important contemporary issues such as whether sexuality is hardwired, how technology affects us, if genetic racial differences are significant, what makes our species distinct, and how humans might look in the future.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://www.open.edu.au/student-admin-and-support/key-dates/

Learning Outcomes

  1. Introduce students to certain key concepts and theories in the study of human evolution including the most important debates and new developments in the field.
  2. Provide a clear sense of how paleoanthropologists conduct research and draw conclusions about extinct species and ways of life from material evidence.
  3. Help them to understand, evaluate, and employ evolution-based explanations for contemporary features of human life, anatomy, and behaviour, including the limits on those explanations.
  4. Improve students' ability to employ theoretical concepts, evidence, and analysis in general by specifically exercising these abilities on the materials covered in this unit.
  5. Actively participate in group discussions and examinations of material related to human evolution (such as facsimile remains, site surveys, and material culture)
  6. Analyze and express your judgement about significant debates in the study of human evolution.

General Assessment Information

This unit will use Turnitin for the literature review and essay.

Unless otherwise stated in your iLearn unit, late submission of written work will result in a deduction of 10% of the mark awarded for each week or part of a week beyond the due date, or date to which an extension has been granted.

Extensions The granting of extensions of up to one week are at the discretion of the unit convener.  Any requests for extensions must be made in writing before the due date for the submission of the assessment task.  Extensions beyond one week is subject to the university’s Disruptions Policy (Read the policy http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html). Disruption to Studies If you require an extension of longer than seven (7) days you will be required to submit a ‘Disruption to Studies’ Notification.  Please follow the procedure below: Visit https://ask.mq.edu.au/account/forms/display/disruptions and use your OneID to log in. Select your OUA unit code from the drop down list and fill in your relevant details. Note: A notification needs to be submitted for each unit you believe is affected by the disruption. Click "Submit form". Attach supporting documents by clicking 'Add a note/attachment', click 'browse' and navigating to the files you want to attach, then click 'submit note' to send your notification and supporting documents Please keep copies of your original documents, as they may be requested in the future as part of the assessment process Please ensure that supporting documentation is included with your request. Notify your lecturer via your iLearn dialogue box if you are submitting a ‘Disruption to Studies’ Notification. Your request will be considered once all the documentation has been received. If you have issues, please contact your convenor via the dialogue tool immediately. Extensions are granted only on grounds of illness or misadventure, and appropriate supporting documentation must be submitted. Work submitted after 3 weeks beyond the due date, or the date after which an extension has been given, will not be accepted. If you are having problems completing an assignment, please contact the tutor as early as possible.

OUA Special Circumstances Process Special Circumstances refers to late withdrawal from a unit and your request to have your circumstances taken into account for a possible refund of fees and removal of a “fail” result. Applications for Special Circumstances are to be submitted to Open Universities Australia directly. https://www.open.edu.au/public/student-admin-and-support/student-support-services/special-circumstances

 

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Due
Week 3 Quiz 5% Sunday Week 3
Literature Review 20% Sunday Week 6
Mid-term Exam 20% Sunday Week 7
Outline Essay 35% Sunday Week 10
Final Exam 20% Sunday 'Week 14'

Week 3 Quiz

Due: Sunday Week 3
Weighting: 5%

This will be a short multiple choice quiz of 10 questions. These will be based on the topics of the first three weeks.

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Introduce students to certain key concepts and theories in the study of human evolution including the most important debates and new developments in the field.
  • Provide a clear sense of how paleoanthropologists conduct research and draw conclusions about extinct species and ways of life from material evidence.
  • Help them to understand, evaluate, and employ evolution-based explanations for contemporary features of human life, anatomy, and behaviour, including the limits on those explanations.

Literature Review

Due: Sunday Week 6
Weighting: 20%

The literature review is primarily a library-based assignment that can be conducted online, especially using the Macquarie University Library’s extensive database and journal collection. Students will find a recent article in a scientific journal, then copy the citation accurately, write, a summary of the crucial finding or research result, and the reason for its importance. Then the student must track down previous scientific, peer-reviewed journal articles on the same subject, especially works cited in the primary (first) article, or that cite the primary article. The student must compile a minimum of five sources that describe or analyse different findings, some of which may contradict the original primary article, write the citation and summary for each, and complete the assignment with a 200-word or less description of the whole debate.  

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Introduce students to certain key concepts and theories in the study of human evolution including the most important debates and new developments in the field.
  • Provide a clear sense of how paleoanthropologists conduct research and draw conclusions about extinct species and ways of life from material evidence.
  • Help them to understand, evaluate, and employ evolution-based explanations for contemporary features of human life, anatomy, and behaviour, including the limits on those explanations.
  • Improve students' ability to employ theoretical concepts, evidence, and analysis in general by specifically exercising these abilities on the materials covered in this unit.
  • Actively participate in group discussions and examinations of material related to human evolution (such as facsimile remains, site surveys, and material culture)
  • Analyze and express your judgement about significant debates in the study of human evolution.

Mid-term Exam

Due: Sunday Week 7
Weighting: 20%

This will be a multiple choice test of 25 questions. These will be based on the topics of the first seven week, with an emphasis on topics of Weeks 4 to 7.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Introduce students to certain key concepts and theories in the study of human evolution including the most important debates and new developments in the field.
  • Provide a clear sense of how paleoanthropologists conduct research and draw conclusions about extinct species and ways of life from material evidence.
  • Help them to understand, evaluate, and employ evolution-based explanations for contemporary features of human life, anatomy, and behaviour, including the limits on those explanations.

Outline Essay

Due: Sunday Week 10
Weighting: 35%

Using skills practiced in the Literature review, the student will prepare an Outline essay. This will involve choosing one of the Outline essay topics, or proposing a topic based on a lecture topic or reading in our unit outline, and preparing an introduction, an outline of evidence and how the argument would be structured (citing the sources), conclusion which discusses the implications, reservations and importance of the argument and a references cited list. The whole document should be less than four pages.

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Introduce students to certain key concepts and theories in the study of human evolution including the most important debates and new developments in the field.
  • Provide a clear sense of how paleoanthropologists conduct research and draw conclusions about extinct species and ways of life from material evidence.
  • Help them to understand, evaluate, and employ evolution-based explanations for contemporary features of human life, anatomy, and behaviour, including the limits on those explanations.
  • Actively participate in group discussions and examinations of material related to human evolution (such as facsimile remains, site surveys, and material culture)
  • Analyze and express your judgement about significant debates in the study of human evolution.

Final Exam

Due: Sunday 'Week 14'
Weighting: 20%

This will be a multiple choice test of 35 questions. These will be based on all the topics of the course, and with an emphasis on topics for Weeks 8 to 13.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Introduce students to certain key concepts and theories in the study of human evolution including the most important debates and new developments in the field.
  • Provide a clear sense of how paleoanthropologists conduct research and draw conclusions about extinct species and ways of life from material evidence.
  • Help them to understand, evaluate, and employ evolution-based explanations for contemporary features of human life, anatomy, and behaviour, including the limits on those explanations.

Delivery and Resources

he required readings for each week, as well as many other relevant readings, are available on Macquarie University Library’s eReserve for ANTX151.   Online units can be accessed at: http://ilearn.mq.edu.au/

PC and Internet access are required. Basic computer skills (e.g., internet browsing) and skills in word processing are also a requirement.

Please contact teaching staff for any further, more specific requirements. Consult the OUA website for more detailed information on technology requirements: http://www.open.edu.au/public/future-students/getting-started/computer-requirements

 

Policies and Procedures

Late Submission

Unless otherwise stated, late submission of written work will result in a deduction of 10% of the mark awarded for each week or part of a week beyond the due date, or date to which an extension has been granted.

Extension Request

Disruption to Studies Procedure (http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/procedure.html)

The University recognises that students may experience disruptions that adversely affect their academic performance in assessment activities.

The disruption to studies policy (http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html) applies only to serious and unavoidable disruptions that arise after a study period has commenced.

Serious and unavoidable disruption

The University classifies a disruption as serious and unavoidable if it:

  • could not have reasonably been anticipated, avoided or guarded against by the student; and
  • was beyond the student's control; and
  • caused substantial disruption to the student's capacity for effective study and/or completion of required work; and
  • occurred during an event critical study period and was at least three (3) consecutive days duration, and/or
  • prevented completion of a final examination.

If you feel that you've been impacted by a serious and unavoidable disruption to study situation, submit an application as follows:

  1. Visit Ask MQ (https://ask.mq.edu.au) and use your OneID to log in via 'Current student domestic and international'
  2. Under 'Forms' select 'disruptions' and fill in your relevant details.
  3. Attach supporting documents by clicking 'Add a reply', click 'browse' and navigating to the files you want to attach, then click 'submit form' to send your notification and supporting documents
  4. Please keep copies of your original documents, as they may be requested in the future as part of the assessment process

Review

Once your submission is assessed, recommendations are sent to your unit convenor to ensure an appropriate solution for affected assessment(s) is organised.

OUA Specific Policies and Procedures

OUA Special Circumstances Process

Special Circumstances refers to late withdrawal from a unit and your request to have your circumstances taken into account for a possible refund of fees and removal of a "fail" result.

Applications for Special Circumstances are to be submitted to Open Universities Australia directly:

https://www.open.edu.au/public/student-admin-and-support/student-support-services/special-circumstances

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

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

  • Introduce students to certain key concepts and theories in the study of human evolution including the most important debates and new developments in the field.
  • Provide a clear sense of how paleoanthropologists conduct research and draw conclusions about extinct species and ways of life from material evidence.
  • Help them to understand, evaluate, and employ evolution-based explanations for contemporary features of human life, anatomy, and behaviour, including the limits on those explanations.
  • Improve students' ability to employ theoretical concepts, evidence, and analysis in general by specifically exercising these abilities on the materials covered in this unit.
  • Actively participate in group discussions and examinations of material related to human evolution (such as facsimile remains, site surveys, and material culture)
  • Analyze and express your judgement about significant debates in the study of human evolution.

Assessment task

  • Outline Essay

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

  • Help them to understand, evaluate, and employ evolution-based explanations for contemporary features of human life, anatomy, and behaviour, including the limits on those explanations.
  • Improve students' ability to employ theoretical concepts, evidence, and analysis in general by specifically exercising these abilities on the materials covered in this unit.
  • Actively participate in group discussions and examinations of material related to human evolution (such as facsimile remains, site surveys, and material culture)
  • Analyze and express your judgement about significant debates in the study of human evolution.

Assessment task

  • Outline Essay

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

  • Introduce students to certain key concepts and theories in the study of human evolution including the most important debates and new developments in the field.
  • Help them to understand, evaluate, and employ evolution-based explanations for contemporary features of human life, anatomy, and behaviour, including the limits on those explanations.
  • Improve students' ability to employ theoretical concepts, evidence, and analysis in general by specifically exercising these abilities on the materials covered in this unit.
  • Actively participate in group discussions and examinations of material related to human evolution (such as facsimile remains, site surveys, and material culture)
  • Analyze and express your judgement about significant debates in the study of human evolution.

Assessment task

  • Outline Essay

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

  • Introduce students to certain key concepts and theories in the study of human evolution including the most important debates and new developments in the field.
  • Provide a clear sense of how paleoanthropologists conduct research and draw conclusions about extinct species and ways of life from material evidence.
  • Help them to understand, evaluate, and employ evolution-based explanations for contemporary features of human life, anatomy, and behaviour, including the limits on those explanations.
  • Improve students' ability to employ theoretical concepts, evidence, and analysis in general by specifically exercising these abilities on the materials covered in this unit.
  • Actively participate in group discussions and examinations of material related to human evolution (such as facsimile remains, site surveys, and material culture)
  • Analyze and express your judgement about significant debates in the study of human evolution.

Assessment tasks

  • Week 3 Quiz
  • Literature Review
  • Mid-term Exam
  • Outline Essay
  • Final Exam

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

  • Introduce students to certain key concepts and theories in the study of human evolution including the most important debates and new developments in the field.
  • Provide a clear sense of how paleoanthropologists conduct research and draw conclusions about extinct species and ways of life from material evidence.
  • Help them to understand, evaluate, and employ evolution-based explanations for contemporary features of human life, anatomy, and behaviour, including the limits on those explanations.
  • Improve students' ability to employ theoretical concepts, evidence, and analysis in general by specifically exercising these abilities on the materials covered in this unit.
  • Actively participate in group discussions and examinations of material related to human evolution (such as facsimile remains, site surveys, and material culture)
  • Analyze and express your judgement about significant debates in the study of human evolution.

Assessment tasks

  • Week 3 Quiz
  • Literature Review
  • Mid-term Exam
  • Outline Essay
  • Final Exam

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

  • Help them to understand, evaluate, and employ evolution-based explanations for contemporary features of human life, anatomy, and behaviour, including the limits on those explanations.
  • Improve students' ability to employ theoretical concepts, evidence, and analysis in general by specifically exercising these abilities on the materials covered in this unit.
  • Actively participate in group discussions and examinations of material related to human evolution (such as facsimile remains, site surveys, and material culture)
  • Analyze and express your judgement about significant debates in the study of human evolution.

Assessment tasks

  • Literature Review
  • Outline Essay

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

  • Help them to understand, evaluate, and employ evolution-based explanations for contemporary features of human life, anatomy, and behaviour, including the limits on those explanations.
  • Improve students' ability to employ theoretical concepts, evidence, and analysis in general by specifically exercising these abilities on the materials covered in this unit.
  • Actively participate in group discussions and examinations of material related to human evolution (such as facsimile remains, site surveys, and material culture)
  • Analyze and express your judgement about significant debates in the study of human evolution.

Assessment task

  • Outline Essay

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

  • Help them to understand, evaluate, and employ evolution-based explanations for contemporary features of human life, anatomy, and behaviour, including the limits on those explanations.
  • Improve students' ability to employ theoretical concepts, evidence, and analysis in general by specifically exercising these abilities on the materials covered in this unit.
  • Actively participate in group discussions and examinations of material related to human evolution (such as facsimile remains, site surveys, and material culture)
  • Analyze and express your judgement about significant debates in the study of human evolution.

Assessment task

  • Outline Essay

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

  • Introduce students to certain key concepts and theories in the study of human evolution including the most important debates and new developments in the field.
  • Help them to understand, evaluate, and employ evolution-based explanations for contemporary features of human life, anatomy, and behaviour, including the limits on those explanations.
  • Improve students' ability to employ theoretical concepts, evidence, and analysis in general by specifically exercising these abilities on the materials covered in this unit.
  • Actively participate in group discussions and examinations of material related to human evolution (such as facsimile remains, site surveys, and material culture)
  • Analyze and express your judgement about significant debates in the study of human evolution.

Assessment task

  • Outline Essay