BI2EJ3P-Part 2 Zoology Field Course A

Module Provider: School of Biological Sciences
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Level:5
Terms in which taught: Summer term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2015/6

Module Convenor: Dr Graham Holloway

Email: g.j.holloway@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

Aims:
This module, designed for zoologists, aims to build on the principles and practice of field ecology gained through the previous ecology module. The habitats visited will be extremely varied and include rocky marine shores, tidal rivers, freshwater lakes and streams, and varieties of woodland and grassland. Students will receive training in insect and marine invertebrate taxonomy and will conduct independent research. In addition, students will have the opportunity to improve their ornithological knowledge, handle small mammals, learn how to detect bats and engage in bird ringing.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:
- Identify a range of animals from different temperate habitats, in particular, insects and birds.
- Design, undertake and critically assess censuses of animal populations and communities in different habitats to examine abundance, habitat use and community composition.
- Design, undertake, analyze and report on a research project of the student's own choice that aims to address a specific ecological question.
- Develop their field and presentational skills.

Additional outcomes:
• Teamwork

Outline content:
The field course will be divided into two parts. Part 1 will consist of class exercises and field trips. Field trips are to improve their exposure to different habitats and the animal groups associated with the habitats. The classroom work will be to familiarize students with the invertebrates they will find at the site and to learn and/or revise their taxonomic knowledge. We will also do some small mammal trapping, bat watching, dormouse monitoring and bird ringing. Part 2 will consist of a research project that is directly supervised by a member of staff. Students will either design their own project or choose a title provided by a member of staff. Students will either design their own project or choose a title provided by staff. Weather permitting, during the course there will be opportunities for field visits to look for birds and other vertebrates.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Discussion sessions, field trips to observe and/or collect animals and other data, a session in the laboratory to identify animals, and compile and analyse data, followed by reporting sessions in which results are presented and discussed.

There will be an initial planning session with the supervisor to design the project, before data collection begins. Informal advice from the supervisor will be available throughout the data collection and subsequent reporting of results within the course.

Zoology students have been the focus of the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning - Applied Undergraduate Research Skills in Zoology. We have adopted student-focussed approaches placing emphasis on evaluating students understanding and knowledge of research skills by allowing them to reflect on their own educational experiences. Throughout the course students will have classroom sessions to help them think constructively about their approach to learning, research and assessments. They are specifically asked to submit one practical write-up during the course to allow them to receive formative feedback from staff.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 4
Project Supervision 10
Demonstration 4
Practicals classes and workshops 12
Fieldwork 30
Guided independent study 40
       
Total hours by term 100.00
       
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 70
Report 30

Other information on summative assessment:
Several class exercises will be carried out whilst on the field course. The module convenor will inform students during the field course which of these exercises will need to be written up and submitted for assessment. Guidance will be provided on what is expected in the write-up, what form the write-up should take and how information should be sourced.
A large component of the field course will consist of project work of the student's own choice. Students will be expected to write up the results of their project in the form of a scientific paper. Guidance will be provided on what form the write-up should take. The deadline for submission will be at the beginning of term. The precise date will be decided by the module convenor whilst on the field course.

Formative assessment methods:
Students will be given continual feedback on their progress and performance during laboratory and field sessions.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-examination in August/September

    Last updated: 11 March 2015

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