The unit is divided into 7 modules, summarised in more detail below. Each module will involve 2 weeks of study, except for Module 7 which is only for 1 week, and generally includes the following material:
- “Module Notes” describe concepts and methods, and possibly including some exercises of a more “theoretical” nature.
- Sometime, “Selected Readings” from published articles or textbooks will also be included.
- One or more “Extended Examples” illustrating the concepts/methods introduced in the notes and including more practically oriented exercises.
Study materials for all Modules are downloadable from the eLearning unit site. Assignments and supplementary material, such as datasets will be posted to the unit site. Please note that we may not be able to post copies of copyright material (for example journal articles and book extracts)—for these you will have to rely on resources from your home university’s library.
Recommended approaches to study
Students should work through each module systematically, following the module notes and any readings referred to, and working through the accompanying exercises. You will learn a lot more efficiently if you tackle the exercises systematically as you work through the notes. You are encouraged to post any content-related questions to eLearning, whether they relate directly to a given exercise, or are a request for clarification or further explanation of an area in the notes. You should also work through all of the computational examples in the notes for yourself on your own computer.
Outline solutions to the exercises in each module (except those to be submitted for assessment, as described below) will be posted online at the midway point of the allocated time period for the module. This is intended to encourage you to attack the exercises independently (or via the eLearning site), and yet not make you wait too long to see the sketch solutions.
Method of communication with coordinator(s)
Questions about administrative aspects or course content can be emailed to the coordinator, and when doing so please use “SVA:” in the Subject line of your email to assist in keeping track of our email messages. Coordinator/s will be available to answer questions related to the module notes and practical exercises, and to address any other issues that require clarification. However, please note that instructors are not necessarily available every day of the week and you should expect that it may take a day or so to respond to questions (possibly longer over weekends and during breaks!).
We strongly recommend that you post content-related questions to the Discussions tool in the eLearning site. In 2022 we are using the Learning Management system hosted by the University of Sydney and Macquarie University. You should already be familiar with the university student learning system from previous units.