PSYC11008 - Biological Foundations of Psychology
Term 1 - 2017


All details in this unit profile for PSYC11008 have been officially approved by CQUniversity and represent a learning partnership between the University and you (our student). The information will not be changed unless absolutely necessary and any change will be clearly indicated by an approved correction included in the profile.

Overview

This unit introduces students to the biological bases of human behaviour. It examines the physiological bases of behaviour, including basic evolutionary processes, and the structures and functions of the human brain and nervous system; sensory and perceptual processes; conditioning and learning; and cognitive processes, including memory, reasoning and problem-solving, and language. It is a requirement of enrolment that students have access to the CQU Website via the Internet.

Details

Career Level Undergraduate
Unit Level Level 1
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band 1
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Offerings

Term 1 - 2017
  • Adelaide
  • Brisbane
  • Bundaberg
  • Distance
  • Rockhampton

Website

This unit has a website, within the Moodle system, which is available two weeks before the start of term. It is important that you visit your Moodle site throughout the term. Go to Moodle

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Class Timetable

Assessment Overview

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Written Assessment 10%
2. Written Assessment 30%
3. Online Quiz(zes) 60%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%). Consult the University’s Grades and Results Procedures for more details of interim results and final grades.

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You may wish to view these policies:

  • Grades and Results Procedure
  • Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework)
  • Review of Grade Procedure
  • Academic Misconduct Procedure
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – Domestic Students
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – International Students
  • Refund and Excess Payments (Credit Balances) Policy and Procedure
  • Student Feedback – Compliments and Complaints Policy and Procedure
  • Acceptable Use of Information and Communications Technology Facilities and Devices Policy and Procedure

This list is not an exhaustive list of all University policies. The full list of University policies are available on the IMPortal.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Feedback Source Recommendation
The only thing i struggled with, in this course, was the Personal Reflection. However, that is not to say that it wasnt explained clearly, i just really needed something to compare my reflection to so that i knew i was on the right track. Formal course evaluation The personal reflections were introduced in 2016 and were well received. It provides the students the opportunity to look and reflect on some famous psychological experiments. The structure of the reflection is somewhat flexible to reflect the nature of personal reflection writing, however example reflections will be provided in future offerings.
The use of extra learning tools such as youtube videos and reading really helped to simplify and better comprehend the content. Formal course evaluation Beyond lectures and the text book, students will be continually encouraged to take advantage of extra learning tools that are made available.
The lecturer is fantastic. He is easy to understand, gives examples and make the lectures fun and interesting. Formal course evaluation Course content will be continually improved to ensure that material is up to date, interesting, and relatable to the 'real world'
Assessment items were perfectly spaced out throughout the course to allow for work-load balance. Formal course evaluation The structure and timing of assessments should continue. Assessments are spread out throughout the term, with students given the opportunity to submit more assessments than required. This allows students the ability to choose the best time to complete the assessments, and allows the opportunity for students to improve based on feedback provided from previous submissions.
Weekly tutorial sessions are great . They give students the opportunity to ask any questions they may have, or get any clarification of concepts they might be having difficulty with. I didn't personally attend many of them but firmly believe they are an invaluable addition to course materials. Formal course evaluation Weekly chat sessions with lecture staff should continue to be made available. Students are encouraged to attend these sessions.
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. have a good, general, knowledge of the major principles and theories of the Biological Foundations of Psychology
  2. have a knowledge of the application of these principles to both human and non-human behaviour
  3. have developed writing, research and statistical skills

Many who show an interest in psychology ask the question 'What do you do when you study psychology?' The answer to this is not simple because psychology is a complex and comprehensive field. During this unit (and Social Foundations of Psychology PSYC11009) you will gain a familiarity with the breadth of Psychology taught at CQU. As a student of Psychology you will learn, not only about human (and non-human) behaviour, but also about the methodology and techniques of Psychology.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Written Assessment
3 - Online Quiz(zes)  

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

  • Introductory Level
  • Intermediate Level
  • Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3
1. Communication  
2. Problem Solving  
3. Critical Thinking  
4. Information Literacy  
5. Team Work      
6. Information Technology Competence
7. Cross Cultural Competence      
8. Ethical practice      

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes

  • Introductory Level
  • Intermediate Level
  • Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 - Written Assessment        
2 - Written Assessment        
3 - Online Quiz(zes)            

Prescribed Textbooks

Psychology: Australian and New Zealand Edition
Author/s: Burton, L., Westen, D., & Kowalski, R. Year: 2015
Edition: 4th Edition Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Australia
City: Milton State: Queensland
Country: Australia
View textbooks at the CQUniversity Bookshop
Note:

The text can be purchased via the CQU Bookstore.

The text can also be purchased via Wiley Direct in either digital or print form.

The Wiley Direct url is: http://www.wileydirect.com.au/buy/psychology-4th-edition/

The printed text is often out of stock - order it early.

The digital version can be downloaded and used offline.

Both versions of the text are bundled with iStudy which provides links to interactive learning tools.

Either version for this course is fine (although my personal preference is the digital version).

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
  • CQUniversity Student Email
All submissions for this unit must use the American Psychological Association (APA) referencing style (details can be obtained here). For further information, see the Assessment Tasks below.
Unit CoordinatorChristopher Crawford (c.j.crawford@cqu.edu.au)
Note: Check the Term-Specific section for any additional contact information provided by the teaching team
Week Begin Date Module/Topic Chapter Events and Submissions
Week 1 06-03-2017

Introduction

Assessments

Course overview

Research methods

Chapter 1

Week 2 13-03-2017

Neurons

Chapter 3

Week 3 20-03-2017

Brain bits

Chapter 3

Week 4 27-03-2017

Sensorium I

Chapter 4

Assessment 1 - Journal summary and academic writing exercise Due Monday (27 Mar 17) 11:45 PM AEST
Week 5 03-04-2017

Sensorium II

Chapter 4

Vacation Week 10-04-2017
Week 6 17-04-2017 Emotion, behaviour and thinking.

No reading this week.

Quiz 1 (covering weeks 1-5)

Opens Thursday 20th April at 1200 AEST

Closes Friday 21st April at 2345 AEST

Week 7 24-04-2017

Learning

Chapter 6

Week 8 01-05-2017

Memory

Chapter 7

Assessment 2 - Short essay: Nature or nurture as a determinant for intelligence Due Monday (01 May 17) 11:45 PM AEST
Week 9 08-05-2017

Consciousness

Chapter 5

Week 10 15-05-2017

Intelligence

Chapter 9

Week 11 22-05-2017

Neurological disorders

Chapter 16

Week 12 29-05-2017

Unit review

Quiz 2 (covering weeks 7-11)

Opens Thursday 1st June at 1200 AEST

Closes Friday 2nd June at 2345 AEST

Review/Exam Week 05-06-2017
Exam Week 12-06-2017

1 Written Assessment

Assessment Title Assessment 1 - Journal summary and academic writing exercise
Task Description

Assessment 1 introduction:

  • Learning is an essential element for survival. Changes within the brain (neural plasticity) underlie the learning process.
  • It is generally accepted that neural plasticity is most active in young organisms as during this time there is a need to learn essential skills.
  • However, there is a growing body of evidence which suggests neural plasticity continues to be active throughout the organism's life.
  • Hence neural plasticity plays a vital role: from learning a first language, to developing new patterns of thinking through psychotherapy, to recovery from a stroke.
  • Your task is to read and critically review a journal article that discusses the evidence for neural plasticity and learning.

Assessment 1 instructions:

  1. Download the journal article from the following url: http://www.brainvolts.northwestern.edu/documents/HayesetalClinNeurophys2003.pdf
  2. Write a critical summary of 250 words (+/- 10%). This does not include your references.
  3. Include a title page.
  4. Use appropriate APA formatting in-text.
  5. Include a reference page with correct APA formatting.
  6. An abstract is not required.
  7. Submit the assessment via the Moodle as a Word doc or docx file with your last name and initial i.e. crawfordc.doc
  8. It is good practice to submit the assessment a couple of days before the due date to allow Turnitin to review your work.

Follow the assessment structure below. The total for this assessment task is 10 marks

Introduction/Literature Review (2 marks)

  1. In ONE or TWO sentences outline the issue being investigated.
  2. In ONE sentence explain why this issue was important enough to research.

Method (2 marks)

  1. In TWO sentences describe how participants were recruited and how many participants were in the final sample?
  2. In ONE or TWO sentences list the dependent variable(s).

Results/Discussion (4 marks)

  1. Pick ONE of the main findings discussed in this section and in TWO sentences describe the finding AND what it means.
  2. In ONE or TWO sentences describe a methodological issue that may have impacted on the findings.
  3. In ONE or TWO sentences describe the future direction for research noted by the authors.
  4. In ONE or TWO sentences summarise the overall conclusion of the article.

Correct use of APA formatting (2 marks)

Assessment Due Date Week 4 Monday (27-Mar-2017) 11:45 PM AEST
Return Date to Students Week 6 Friday (21-Apr-2017)
Marks will be available within three weeks on the Moodle grade book with individual feedback.
Weighting 10%
Referencing Style American Psychological Association (APA)
Submission Online

Assessment to be submitted via the PSYC11008 Moodle site.

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. have a good, general, knowledge of the major principles and theories of the Biological Foundations of Psychology

2. have a knowledge of the application of these principles to both human and non-human behaviour

3. have developed writing, research and statistical skills

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Communication

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy

6. Information Technology Competence



2 Written Assessment

Assessment Title Assessment 2 - Short essay: Nature or nurture as a determinant for intelligence
Task Description

Assessment 2 - Introduction

  • Intelligence is commonly defined as "... the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills."
  • Historically there have been two perspectives on what contributes to intelligence.
  • The first is often referred to as nature: the organism's inherited genetic code which provides an innate advantage or disadvantage over other organisms.
  • The second perspective is nurture: the environment in which the organism finds itself including social setting and available learning opportunities.
  • It is currently accepted that these two factors interact and both contribute to intelligence.
  • However, your task is to use current research and argue that one is more important than the other.

Assessment 2 - Instructions:

  1. Search the CQU library database or Google Scholar for the terms “nature, nurture” and “intelligence”
  2. Select two journal articles.
  3. Download the full text version of the articles.
  4. Write a brief essay which takes a stand on whether intelligence is determined primarily by nature or nurture.
  5. Essay to be 600 words (+/- 10%). This does not include your references.
  6. Include a title page.
  7. Use appropriate APA style. Use appropriate APA in-text referencing.
  8. Include a references list for the two articles in APA formatting.
  9. An abstract is not required.
  10. Submit the assessment via the Moodle as a Word doc or docx file with your last name and initial i.e. crawfordc.doc
  11. It is good practice to submit the assessment a couple of days before the due date to allow Turnitin to review your work.

Follow the assessment structure below. The total for this assessment task is 30 marks

  1. Introduction (4 marks) - incorporate a clear position taken by the student.
  2. Critical summary of article 1 (8 marks) - discuss the purpose, sample, methodology, findings and limitations of the research.
  3. Critical summary of article 2 (8 marks) - discuss the purpose, sample, methodology, findings and limitations of the research.
  4. Conclusion (5 marks) - summarise your position and refer back to the research in the journal articles.
  5. Correct use of APA formatting (5 marks).

Assessment Due Date Week 8 Monday (01-May-2017) 11:45 PM AEST
Return Date to Students Week 11 Friday (26-May-2017)
Marks will be available within three weeks in the Moodle grade-book.
Weighting 30%
Assessment Criteria

Referencing Style American Psychological Association (APA)
Submission Online

Assessment to be submitted via the PSYC11008 Moodle site.

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. have a good, general, knowledge of the major principles and theories of the Biological Foundations of Psychology

2. have a knowledge of the application of these principles to both human and non-human behaviour

3. have developed writing, research and statistical skills

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Communication

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy

6. Information Technology Competence



3 Online Quiz(zes)

Assessment Title Online Quizzes (2)
Task Description

Assessment Instructions

  • There are two online quizzes, each worth 30% of your overall grade (60% in total).
  • Please ensure you have a reliable Internet connection.
  • Quizzes will be available during a 36 hour time period.
  • Quizzes will open at 1200 on Thursday of the assigned week, and close on Friday at 2345 AEST.
  • The first quiz is during Week 6, the second quiz is during Week 12.
  • Quizzes are comprised of 60 multiple-choice style questions that relate to the course material for the previous weeks of the term.
  • Quizzes are open book, but you will need to ensure you know the course material in order to be able to complete the quiz within the allocated time frame.
  • Complete the quizzes individually.
  • Questions will be randomly selected from a larger pool of items so each individual will have a slightly different version of the quiz.
  • You will have 60 minutes to complete the quiz from the time you open the exam.
  • At the 60 minute mark the quiz will close and all your answers will be saved.
  • Extensions are granted only in extreme circumstances and relevant documentation must be provided.
  • You must contact the course coordinator in order to arrange to sit the quiz after it has closed.
Number of Quizzes 2
Frequency of Quizzes Other
Assessment Due Date The first quiz is held in Week 6, and the second quiz is held in Week 12.
Return Date to Students Marks and general feedback will be available via Moodle grade-book after seven days
Weighting 60%
Submission Online

Complete each quiz online during the allocated period.

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. have a good, general, knowledge of the major principles and theories of the Biological Foundations of Psychology

2. have a knowledge of the application of these principles to both human and non-human behaviour

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy




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