Students

ANTH2051 – Human Evolution and Diversity

2021 – Session 1, Fully online/virtual

Notice

As part of Phase 3 of our return to campus plan, most units will now run tutorials, seminars and other small group activities on campus, and most will keep an online version available to those students unable to return or those who choose to continue their studies online.

To check the availability of face-to-face and online activities for your unit, please go to timetable viewer. To check detailed information on unit assessments visit your unit's iLearn space or consult your unit convenor.

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff
Greg Downey
Credit points Credit points
10
Prerequisites Prerequisites
(ANTH150 or ANTH1050) or 40cp at 1000 level or above
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; art; stone tools and technology; language; 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.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://students.mq.edu.au/important-dates

Learning Outcomes

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

  • ULO1: Explain key anthropological concepts and theories in the study of human evolution, including be familiar with the most important debates and new developments in the field.
  • ULO2: Explain how paleoanthropologists conduct research and draw conclusions about extinct species and ways of life from material evidence.
  • ULO3: Evaluate and employ evolution-based explanations for contemporary features of human life, anatomy, and behavior.
  • ULO4: Employ theoretical concepts, evidence, and analysis by specifically exercising these abilities on the materials covered in this unit.
  • ULO5: Discuss and examine material related to human evolution (such as facsimile remains, site surveys, and material culture).
  • ULO6: Analyse and express judgement about significant debates in the study of human evolution.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Weekly online quizzes 25% No Weekly
In-tutorial discussion questions 10% No Weekly
Literature review 30% No 14/5/2021
Final online exam 35% No 9-11/6/2021

Weekly online quizzes

Assessment Type 1: Quiz/Test
Indicative Time on Task 2: 6 hours
Due: Weekly
Weighting: 25%

 

Starting after the lecture in Week 2, students will be expected to take a weekly quiz online based on the readings, lecture and tutorial activity. The quiz will close prior to the lecture in the following week.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Explain key anthropological concepts and theories in the study of human evolution, including be familiar with the most important debates and new developments in the field.
  • Evaluate and employ evolution-based explanations for contemporary features of human life, anatomy, and behavior.
  • Employ theoretical concepts, evidence, and analysis by specifically exercising these abilities on the materials covered in this unit.

In-tutorial discussion questions

Assessment Type 1: Participatory task
Indicative Time on Task 2: 12 hours
Due: Weekly
Weighting: 10%

 

Each week, the tutorial (online and on campus) sets the students a series of tasks, including a participatory task depending upon the material for that week.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Explain how paleoanthropologists conduct research and draw conclusions about extinct species and ways of life from material evidence.
  • Evaluate and employ evolution-based explanations for contemporary features of human life, anatomy, and behavior.
  • Discuss and examine material related to human evolution (such as facsimile remains, site surveys, and material culture).
  • Analyse and express judgement about significant debates in the study of human evolution.

Literature review

Assessment Type 1: Literature review
Indicative Time on Task 2: 14 hours
Due: 14/5/2021
Weighting: 30%

 

The literature review is a library-based assignment that can be conducted online, especially using the Macquarie University Library’s extensive database and journal collection. Students find a recent article in a scientific journal, referred to as the 'target article' (peer reviewed and published in the last five years). They find at least five additional sources linked to this article, either because they are cited in the target article's References or because they cite the target article. Students write short summaries, an introduction, and a conclusion (1500-word maximum).

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Explain key anthropological concepts and theories in the study of human evolution, including be familiar with the most important debates and new developments in the field.
  • Explain how paleoanthropologists conduct research and draw conclusions about extinct species and ways of life from material evidence.
  • Evaluate and employ evolution-based explanations for contemporary features of human life, anatomy, and behavior.
  • Employ theoretical concepts, evidence, and analysis by specifically exercising these abilities on the materials covered in this unit.
  • Analyse and express judgement about significant debates in the study of human evolution.

Final online exam

Assessment Type 1: Quiz/Test
Indicative Time on Task 2: 2 hours
Due: 9-11/6/2021
Weighting: 35%

 

The final exam is cumulative and multiple choice, conducted online after the final lecture.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Explain key anthropological concepts and theories in the study of human evolution, including be familiar with the most important debates and new developments in the field.
  • Explain how paleoanthropologists conduct research and draw conclusions about extinct species and ways of life from material evidence.
  • Evaluate and employ evolution-based explanations for contemporary features of human life, anatomy, and behavior.
  • Employ theoretical concepts, evidence, and analysis by specifically exercising these abilities on the materials covered in this unit.

1 If you need help with your assignment, please contact:

  • the academic teaching staff in your unit for guidance in understanding or completing this type of assessment
  • the Learning Skills Unit for academic skills support.

2 Indicative time-on-task is an estimate of the time required for completion of the assessment task and is subject to individual variation

Delivery and Resources

All resources are available through the iLearn website for the unit. There is no required textbooks; readings are available through the Leganto system. All lectures are recorded and uploaded to Echo360. Tutorials will be offered both online and in person. 

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Students seeking more policy resources can visit the Student Policy Gateway (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/student-policy-gateway). It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

If you would like to see all the policies relevant to Learning and Teaching visit Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/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/admin/other-resources/student-conduct

Results

Results published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) 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 or if you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@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 help you improve your marks and take control of your study.

The Library provides online and face to face support to help you find and use relevant information resources. 

Student Enquiry Service

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

If you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@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.

Changes from Previous Offering

The assessment tasks have been changed because the unit was previously offered only at the 1000 level. For example, students now have one, longer written assessment rather than two short ones.