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COGS2050 – Reading in the Mind and Brain

2021 – Session 1, Special circumstances

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 Convenor
Lyndsey Nickels
Co-convenor
Anne Castles
Co-Convenor
Genevieve McArthur
Lecturer
Saskia Kohnen
Lecturer
Lili Yu
Lecturer
Lisi Beyersmann
Tutor
Leonie Lampe
Credit points Credit points
10
Prerequisites Prerequisites
60cp at 1000-level or above
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
Reading is critical for human cognition and communication, with impairments in reading leading to significant individual and societal costs. This unit will provide a detailed introduction to the science of reading, drawing on the critical mass of expertise in this field at Macquarie University. Topics covered will include theories and models of skilled reading, processes in learning to read, acquired and developmental dyslexia and their assessment and treatment, and neural markers of reading and dyslexia.

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: Demonstrate knowledge about cognitive theories of reading and reading development.
  • ULO2: Understand the bases of different types of dyslexia including both developmental and acquired impairments.
  • ULO3: Identify the neural markers associated with reading, reading development, and dyslexia.
  • ULO4: Critically evaluate the scientific evidence for assessing and treating different types of dyslexia.
  • ULO5: Display effective scientific communication in written form.

General Assessment Information

Academic Honesty

MQ requires all staff and students to undertake their academic work honestly. The unit convenor is expected to encourage students to complete the Academic Integrity Module on iLearn and to familiarise themselves with MQ’s academic integrity policy. To enable MQ to take a consistent, equitable and transparent approach to academic integrity, there is a procedure that must be followed by all unit convenors.

Department of Cognitive Science Late Submission Penalty

Late submission of an assignment will attract a penalty of 5% of the maximum mark for every day that the assignment is late (including weekend days). For example, if the assignment is worth 40 marks and your assignment is submitted 2 days late, a penalty of 2x5%x40 = 4 marks will be applied and subtracted from the awarded mark for the assignment. Work submitted more than 14 days after the submission deadline will not be marked and will receive a mark of 0. Please note that it is the student’s responsibility to notify the University of a disruption to their studies and that requests for extensions for assignments must be made via the University’s Ask MQ System (as outlined in the Special Consideration Policy).

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Weekly online quizzes 15% No Weekly, on the wednesday after the lecture Q&A session
Tutorial activity sheet 15% No In the tutorial or as advised
Research report 30% No Week 9 (via Turnitin) - see ilearn for exact date
Final exam 40% No In the University examination period

Weekly online quizzes

Assessment Type 1: Quiz/Test
Indicative Time on Task 2: 10 hours
Due: Weekly, on the wednesday after the lecture Q&A session
Weighting: 15%

 

Short weekly online quizzes

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Demonstrate knowledge about cognitive theories of reading and reading development.
  • Understand the bases of different types of dyslexia including both developmental and acquired impairments.
  • Identify the neural markers associated with reading, reading development, and dyslexia.

Tutorial activity sheet

Assessment Type 1: Participatory task
Indicative Time on Task 2: 10 hours
Due: In the tutorial or as advised
Weighting: 15%

 

Short and highly structured tutorial activity sheet to be completed and submitted after each tutorial. These will be marked on a credit/no-credit basis. Top 5 activities will be taken into account for this assessment task (1 tutorial activity may be missed (or awarded no-credit) without penalty).

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Demonstrate knowledge about cognitive theories of reading and reading development.
  • Understand the bases of different types of dyslexia including both developmental and acquired impairments.
  • Identify the neural markers associated with reading, reading development, and dyslexia.
  • Critically evaluate the scientific evidence for assessing and treating different types of dyslexia.
  • Display effective scientific communication in written form.

Research report

Assessment Type 1: Report
Indicative Time on Task 2: 30 hours
Due: Week 9 (via Turnitin) - see ilearn for exact date
Weighting: 30%

 

Research report on a topic selected by the instructor (max. 1500 words)

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Demonstrate knowledge about cognitive theories of reading and reading development.
  • Understand the bases of different types of dyslexia including both developmental and acquired impairments.
  • Critically evaluate the scientific evidence for assessing and treating different types of dyslexia.
  • Display effective scientific communication in written form.

Final exam

Assessment Type 1: Examination
Indicative Time on Task 2: 40 hours
Due: In the University examination period
Weighting: 40%

 

2-hour exam, combination of multiple-choice and short essay questions

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Demonstrate knowledge about cognitive theories of reading and reading development.
  • Understand the bases of different types of dyslexia including both developmental and acquired impairments.
  • Identify the neural markers associated with reading, reading development, and dyslexia.
  • Critically evaluate the scientific evidence for assessing and treating different types of dyslexia.
  • Display effective scientific communication in written form.

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

Learning activities:  Please note that this unit has been altered to accommodate our delivery provisions in compliance with current COVID-19 requirements (Special Circumstance delivery). 

Lectures

2 hour weekly lectures will be delivered online and are pre-recorded lectures. Although students can watch the lecture at a time of their choosing, they should be watched prior to the Q&A sessions and within 1 week to ensure that the weekly quiz can be completed.

Lecture Q&A sessions

Each lecture will be followed by a 1-hour Q&A session during which the unit convenor and/or that week’s lecturer is available for questions and/or clarifications. 

These sessions will also be used to convey essential information about the course.

It is strongly recommended that you attend these weekly sessions to reinforce your learning.

Please check the timetable for the scheduling of these sessions: https://timetables.mq.edu.au/2021/

The lecture recordings and accompanying slides will be posted on ilearn under the relevant week at least 3 days prior to these Q&A sessions.

Lecture recordings will be available through Echo360.

 

Tutorials

Students are required to attend fortnightly (2 hour) tutorials starting in Week 2 or Week 3 depending on your assigned tutorial..

It is strongly recommended that you attend these tutorials on campus, although an online tutorial is also available for those students unable to attend on campus.

(Please check eStudent to see which version and which tutorial you are enrolled in, or if you wish to enrol in a different tutorial).

Each tutorial will comprise activities that will reinforce and extend your learning and understanding of the topic and relevant skills. Completion of these activities will be required in the tutorial, or shortly after, and will be graded.

Tutorial activities are assessed on a pass/fail basis and (usually) due in or immediately after class. There are six tutorials and the grades from the best five will contribute to the overall unit grade. It will not be possible to complete these activities if you do not attend the relevant tutorial (unless a special consideration request is received within 5 days).

On campus tutorials will have in place the following COVID-related measures:

  • Classes run at 75% or less of the room capacity to ensure students can maintain social distancing measures
  • Tutorial attendance will be noted using the official class list to ensure contact-tracing can be done (only list if you are actually asking your tutors to do this. In previous years we have argued against roll taking but I think it's a good idea given the current situation).  
  • Supply of hand sanitiser and disinfectant wipes, to be used (to disinfect hands and touched surfaces) upon entry and departure from classroom. 
  • Single use masks available for students and staff involved in the activity (whether or not this is compulsory will depend on current NSW government guidelines). 

Weekly online quizzes

This unit has weekly online multiple choice quizzes designed to keep you on track during the semester, these test knowledge and understanding of content of the lectures and associated required readings/activities.

There are 12 quizzes in total testing material from each of Weeks 1 to Week 12. Quizzes will be graded. No make-up quizzes will be permitted (with the exception of officially approved Special Consideration requests). However, your 2 lowest quizzes will be dropped at the end of the semester.

Quizzes must be completed online each week after viewing the lecture, completing the required readings and attending the Q&A sessions. Each quiz will be open until 11.59pm Wednesday night, the night before the next Q&A session. For example, the quiz for content of Lecture 3 will be open until 11.59pm Wednesday night before the Q&A session for Lecture 4 in Week 4. Only quizzes completed before this deadline will be recorded.

These quizzes are open book, and you may take each quiz multiple times before the deadline, but only the first submitted attempt for each quiz will be counted. You will receive feedback as to your correct and incorrect answers at the completion of each quiz.

The quizzes are delivered through iLearn, so you need to have access to a reliable computer with connection to the Internet. Technical difficulties will not be accepted as a reason for special consideration.

To access the online quizzes:

1. Navigate to the appropriate week in iLearn (e.g., Week 2) and click on that week’s quiz.

2. Read the information provided about what content that quiz will cover (it’s open book!), and note the date and time the quiz will close.

3. Click “Attempt quiz now” to begin. After answering each multiple-choice question, click “Save and review”.

4. Next, ensure you have answered each question (i.e., “Answer saved”). If you have not answered a question (i.e., “Not yet answered”), click “Return to attempt”.

5. Once you are satisfied that you have answered every question, click “Submit all and finish”.

This will submit your quiz for scoring and log your grade.

6. Finally, you can carefully review your feedback to note which questions you did and did not answer correctly.

7. Click “Finish review” to exit. Remember, you can attempt the quiz again by selecting “Reattempt quiz”, but only your first attempt will count towards your grade.

 

Research Report

The Research Report is an opportunity for the student to develop written communication skills and demonstrate understanding of concepts relating to skilled reading and its breakdown in dyslexia.

Data will be provided from an individual with dyslexia and an analysis will be required of the pattern of impairment observed and their implications.

 

The skills required to successfully complete this report will be taught in the lectures and practiced in a preceding tutorial.

Word limit: Research reports must be a maximum of 1,500 words. There will be 5% leeway in the word limit (i.e., up to 75 words over 1500), but beyond that you will be penalised 5% of your report mark for every further 100 words over the limit.

Late submission of your report will attract a penalty of 5% of the maximum mark for every day that the assignment is late (including weekend days). For example, if it is submitted 2 days late, you will get a penalty of 10% for this assignment. Work submitted more than 14 days after the submission deadline will not be marked and will receive a mark of 0.

Please note that it is the student’s responsibility to notify the University of a disruption to their studies and that requests for extensions for assignments must be made via the University’s Ask MQ System (as outlined in the Special Consideration Policy).

You are required to submit your Research Report via iLearn, using the Turnitin submission tool no later than the date advised on ilearn (most likely due in Week 9).

Final exam

The final exam consists of multiple choice and short answer questions/activities covering lectures, required reading and tutorial content over the entire semester.

The time and location for this exam will be timetabled centrally and announced later in the semester.

You are expected to present yourself for examination at the time and place designated in the University Examination Timetable. The timetable will be available in Draft form approximately eight weeks before the commencement of the examinations and in Final form approximately four weeks before the commencement of the examinations (http://students.mq.edu.au/ student_admin/exams/).

The only exception to sitting an examination at the designated time is because of documented illness or unavoidable disruption. In these circumstances you may wish to consider applying for special consideration due to disruption to studies. Information about unavoidable disruption and the special consideration process is available at: http://students.mq.edu.au/study/my-studyprogram/special-consideration

If a Supplementary Examination is granted as a result of the Special Consideration process, the examination will be scheduled after the conclusion of the official examination period. The format of a supplementary examination is at the unit convenor’s discretion and is subject to change from the original final examination. Supplementary Exams are only offered to students who have satisfactorily completed all other assessments for the unit and were unable to sit the final exam because of documented illness or unavoidable disruption. If a Supplementary Exam has been granted, it is the student’s responsibility to ensure they sit the Supplementary Exam on the specified date.

You are advised that it is Macquarie University policy not to set early examinations for individuals or groups of students. All students are expected to ensure that they are available until the end of the teaching semester, which is the final day of the official examination period.

 

Unit Schedule

 

NOTE: This is a provisional schedule that may be subject to change, please consult ilearn for the current schedule.

Week Topic
1 Learning to read I
2 Learning to read II
3 Skilled reading I
4 Skilled reading II
5 Acquired dyslexia  I
6 Acquired Dyslexia II
   Midsemester Break
7 Developmental Dyslexia I
8 Developmental Dyslexia  II
9 Intervention for reading disorders I 
10 Intervention for reading disorders II 
11 Neural Markers of Reading 
12 Neural Markers of Dyslexia

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

Department of Cognitive Science Policy on Late Submission of Assessments

Late submission of an assignment will attract a penalty of 5% of the maximum mark for every day that the assignment is late (including weekend days). For example, if the assignment is worth 40 marks and your assignment is submitted 2 days late, a penalty of 2x5%x40 = 4 marks will be applied and subtracted from the awarded mark for the assignment. Work submitted more than 14 days after the submission deadline will not be marked and will receive a mark of 0. Please note that it is the student’s responsibility to notify the University of a disruption to their studies and that requests for extensions for assignments must be made via the University’s Ask MQ System (as outlined in the Special Consideration Policy).

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

Changes to Assessments

1.  Mid-semester exam has been removed.

2. Weekly quizzes are no longer pass/fail, but are graded and now worth 15% rather than 10% in 2020

3. Tutorial activity sheets are now graded.

 

Frequently asked questions about COGS2050

Who do I ask?

Your tutor can answer most of the questions that you may have about the unit, including questions about the unit in general and specific questions about the tutorials. If you experience difficulty in this unit, you should approach you tutor first.

You can get in touch with your tutor before or after your tutorial, via email, or via the dialogue tool. Tutor contact details can be found at the top of this unit guide and on ilearn.

Please note that your tutor is your first point of contact for any of these questions. The unit convenor is to be contacted only when absolutely necessary, and is to be contacted during the specified contact hours or via email only.

Requests for extensions, medical leave and/or disruption to studies

Please note that it is the student’s responsibility to notify the University of a disruption to their studies. All requests for extensions, medical leave and/or disruption to studies should be made prior to the due date for the assignment, are to be made via the University’s online Ask MQ system (as outlined in the Special Considerations Policy).

Requests for tutorial changes

Changes to tutorials need to be done online via eStudent only. After week 2, no further changes will be entertained unless supporting documentation about the reason for changing is provided and there is space in the tutorial you wish to enrol in. Please note that changes to tutorials cannot be made by the unit convenor or tutor.

Do I need to look at iLearn? (short answer: Yes!)

You should check the iLearn web site at regular intervals for announcements, online quizzes, lecture slides, and other supplementary learning materials.

It also features a discussion board on which you may converse with other students about course material, or any other legitimate business related to COGS2050.

The iLearn site also has the Active Learning Platform activities for links to Echo360, which will have the lecture recordings.

The feedback and marks for the assessment tasks are also delivered via iLearn. It is recommended that you visit this site regularly and make full use of the facilities.

What does it take to do well in COGS2050?

You are expected to pay close attention to all lectures and to take notes to aid your retention of the material. Review of the material (individually, or in group sessions) in your own time will be essential to consolidate knowledge and enhance understanding.

Required reading should be completed before completing the relevant online quizzes, and the next lecture. The online quizzes are designed to help you keep up with this reading and the lectures.

These online quizzes offer the chance to answer questions while using resources such as the lecture slides and readings. This open book format is unlike formal examinations, and offers an opportunity for grade enhancement that should not be missed.

You also need to attend and engage with the tutorials, completing all the activities and making the most of the opportunities to develop research skills and consolidate understanding of the lecture and tutorial content. Some of the tutorial activities give direct practice of assessment tasks such as the research report and parts of the final exam.

Assessment will be based on the successful understanding of material from lectures, tutorials and from the required reading. Watching the lectures or reviewing lecture slides alone will not be sufficient.

Please note that rote learning alone is unlikely to be a successful strategy, as the assessments will test for deeper appreciation of the course material in a variety of formats. Simply remembering the “facts” will not suffice. You need to demonstrate your understanding of the principles, and demonstrate the ability to apply such understanding in new contexts.

What material is examinable?

The final exam will be cumulative, covering content from the lectures, required readings and tutorials from the whole course. The additional information in the supplementary reading is not directly examined but is likely to deepen and support your understanding of key concepts described in the lectures.

How do I upload my assignment via iLearn?

You are required to submit your Research Report via iLearn, using the Turnitin submission tool. Please use the following step-to-step guide on how to submit a Turnitin assignment.

Statement on Academic Courtesy

It is the right of each student to learn in an environment that is free of disruption and distraction. Please arrive to all classes on time, and if you are unavoidably detained, please enter the lecture theatre or tutorial as quietly as possible to minimise disruption, using a back entrance if possible.

Although some lectures/tutorials will have discussion sections or questions during lectures, talking between students while the lecturer is talking is disruptive and is strongly discouraged.

Phones, pagers, and other electronic devices that produce noise and other distractions must be turned off prior to entering class. Where your own device (e.g., laptop) is being used for class-related activities (e.g. taking notes), you are asked to close down all other applications to avoid distraction to you and others.

COGS2050 focuses on reading and its disorders. We therefore will be discussing individuals with reading and spelling disorders, either from childhood or as a result of brain damage. Please be respectful in such discussions.

COGS2050 also involves data collection from other students. Please treat your fellow students with the utmost respect. If you are uncomfortable participating in any specific activity, please let your tutor know.

 

Statement on Social Inclusion and Diversity

Social inclusion at Macquarie University is about giving everyone who has the potential to benefit from higher education the opportunity to study at university, participate in campus life and flourish in their chosen field. The University has made significant moves to promote an equitable, diverse and exciting campus community for the benefit of staff and students. It is your responsibility to contribute towards the development of an inclusive culture and practice in the areas of learning and teaching, research, and service orientation and delivery.

As a member of the Macquarie University community, you must not discriminate against or harass others on the basis of their sex, gender, race, marital status, carers' responsibilities, disability, sexual orientation, age, political conviction or religious belief.

All lecturers, tutors and students are expected to display appropriate behaviour that is conducive to a healthy learning environment for everyone.

The Unit Convenor is an active supporter of equity and diversity at Macquarie University, including being a member of the Ally network, and is happy to provide additional support if needed.