四虎影院

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Practical Ecology - BIO00036I

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  • Department: Biology
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Pen Holland
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25

Module summary

Why are organisms where they are? This module addresses the practical questions of how to sample plant and animal sampling, and the experimental design, data analysis and interpretation for populations and communities in different environments. The module is taught using a blended approach, with online resources, practicals, and preparatory work before workshops that include brief presentations to introduce and contextualise the topics under consideration. Workshops focus on active learning by the students to build their own skills and mental models, and this is developed through structured private study and formative work using Lego communities and an online repository of class outputs.
During the field course, the students will have the opportunity to discover more directly how plants and animals live in their environment, and to develop and execute an ecological investigation in small groups for approximately five days. After introduction to a range of habitats, the students, under the supervision of a member of staff, will be responsible for (1) defining the aim of their study, (2) coming up with a sensible scientific design in one of the available sites, (3) carrying out the survey or experiment, (4) processing the samples and analysing the results, and (5) communicating their findings from the field course and taught course

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims

The module builds on ecological knowledge and skills developed in Stage 1, to develop practical skills and relate these to theory, and extend knowledge of the applications and limitations of methods used for ecological data collection and analysis. The field, practical and analytical skills developed in this module will support research projects and further field courses in Stage 3/4.

Module learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this module will be able to:

1.Choose, use and critique sampling techniques for plant and animal populations.

2. Choose, use and critique analysis methods for ecological sampling data.

3. Interpret and discuss patterns of ecological populations and communities, with reference to theory and the environments in which they are found.

4. Design and evaluate experiments to sample plant and animal populations, and explain how these address ecological hypotheses.

5. Work in a small group to develop and carry out a field research project.

6. Communicate and discuss ecological fieldwork methods, results and implications to a scientific audience.

Module content

The module is taught using a blended approach, with online resources, practicals, and preparatory work before workshops that include brief presentations to introduce and contextualise the topics under consideration. Workshops focus on active learning by the students to build their own skills and mental models, and this is developed through structured private study and formative work using Lego communities and an online repository of class outputs.

During the field course, the students will have the opportunity to discover more directly how plants and animals live in their environment, and to develop and execute an ecological investigation in small groups for approximately five days. After introduction to a range of habitats, the students, under the supervision of a member of staff, will be responsible for (1) defining the aim of their study, (2) coming up with a sensible scientific design in one of the available sites, (3) carrying out the survey or experiment, (4) processing the samples and analysing the results, and (5) communicating their findings from the taught course and fieldwork through a written report.

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Individual Open Assessment: Field Course Plan
N/A 50
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Presentation : Field Course Evaluation
N/A 50

Special assessment rules

None

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Individual Open Assessment: Field Course Plan
N/A 50
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Presentation : Field Course Evaluation
N/A 50

Module feedback

Marks for all summative assessments will be made available to you and your supervisor via e:vision. Feedback will be either individual or cohort-level, depending on the assessment format. You should take the opportunity to discuss your marks and feedback with your supervisor.

For exam-style summative assessment, model answers will be provided for all questions along with cohort-level feedback indicating how students answered questions in general. Marks achieved per question will be added to your script.

For coursework assessments (eg. reports or essays) you will receive individual feedback on your work. This will usually be in the form of a feedback sheet that will include suggestions for further improvement.

During the teaching of the module you will receive formative feedback that may be at a whole class or individual level. Such feedback may include: model answers and discussion of workshop questions, summaries of performance in practicals, VLE-based quizzes, individual spoken comments during workshops, individual written comments on formative work.

Indicative reading

These are available through the VLE module site.



The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of 四虎影院.