GEOG11023 - Physical Geography of Australia
Term 1 - 2017


All details in this unit profile for GEOG11023 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 surveys the major patterns of Australian landscapes and the processes which have produced them. Topics include the geology, climates, landforms, soils and ecology of Australia.

Details

Career Level Undergraduate
Unit Level Level 1
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band 7A
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
  • 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. Practical and Written Assessment 30%
2. Written Assessment 40%
3. Online Quiz(zes) 30%

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.

All University policies are available on the IMPortal.

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
Learning resources feedbacks Update the learning resources, including lecture notes and weekly reading materials.
Marking criteria feedbacks and self evaluations Set clear marking criteria for both written assessments and make them available in moodle site of the course before the start of the term.
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. explain fundamental processes responsible for the development of Australian climates, landforms, soils and biogeography
  2. describe major patterns of climates, landforms, soils and biogeography in Australia.

Important skills objectives include the development of abilities to:

  • find particular information when required that is contained in your online material, textbook or other study resources
  • demonstrate information literacy skills concerning the use of the CQU Library online catalogue and the development of search strategies for research paper topics
  • research and analyse information relating to the physical geography of Australia
  • write annotated bibliographies and research papers.

In a broader educational context, it is worth noting that the design of this unit is intended to assist students to develop independent life-long learning skills, and in particular the ability to successfully cope with online learning environments, such as is presented in this unit.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

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

Prescribed Textbooks

The Australian Physical Environment
Author/s: Bridgman, H., Dragovitch, D., Dodson, J. Year: 2008
Edition: 1st Publisher: Oxford
City: Sydney State: NSW
Country: Australia
View textbooks at the CQUniversity Bookshop

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
All submissions for this unit must use the Harvard (author-date) referencing style (details can be obtained here). For further information, see the Assessment Tasks below.
Unit CoordinatorJiaping Wu (j.wu@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

Plate Tectonics

Ch.1: Australia in the Physical World

Ch.2: The Earth in Space and Time

Ch.8: The Development of the Landscape (only pp. 163-171)

Note: Weekly Online Workbook Activities ("online quizzes") are available from the first day of the term; but each OWA (quiz) is due in different weeks from Week 5.

Week 2 13-03-2017

Geological Evolution of Australia

Ch.14: The Internal Processes of McKnight and Hess’s Physical Geography (available on the course’s Moodle site).

Week 3 20-03-2017

Global Climatic Processes

Ch.3: The Global Energy System

Ch.4: Atmospheric Circulation

Week 4 27-03-2017

Australian Climates

Ch.5: Hydrologic Systems and Atmospheric Processes

Ch.6: Ocean Atmosphere Interactions

Ch.7: Climatic Environments

Week 5 03-04-2017

Geomorphology: Principles & Patterns

Ch.8: The Development of the Landscape (pp. 171-187)

Ch.9: Landscapes, Sediments and Soil Development (pp. 188-197)

Ch.10: Water in the Landscape (pp.215-241)

Quiz 1 cut off

Vacation Week 10-04-2017
Week 6 17-04-2017

Geomorphology: Regional Patterns

Ch.11: Aeolian Landforms

Ch.12: Coastal Landforms

Quiz 2 cut off

Practical and Written Assessment Due Friday (21 Apr 17) 11:45 PM AEST
Week 7 24-04-2017

Soil Forming Processes

Ch.9: 'Soils' section (pp. 198-214)

quiz 3 & 4 cut off

Week 8 01-05-2017

Soil Classification & Regional Patterns

Brodie et al. 2016, ‘Groundwater—lifeblood of the continent.’ (available on the course's Moodle)

quiz 5 & 6 cut off

Week 9 08-05-2017

Ecosystems

Ch.13: Historical Biogeography

quiz 7 & 8 cut off

Week 10 15-05-2017

Biomes

Ch.14: Ecological Biogeography

quiz 9 & 10 cut off

Week 11 22-05-2017

Australian Flora

Ch.15: Communities and Ecosystems

Carnahan 1977, ‘Vegetation’ (available on the course’s Moodle site)

quiz 11 due

Week 12 29-05-2017

Australian Fauna

Heathcote 1994, 'The Ecosystems' & Smith 1986, 'Biogeography of Australian Flora and Fauna' (available on the course's Moodle site).

quiz 12 due

Written Assessment 2 Term paper Due Friday (02 Jun 17) 11:45 AM AEST
Review/Exam Week 05-06-2017
Exam Week 12-06-2017

1 Practical and Written Assessment

Assessment Title Practical and Written Assessment
Task Description

This assignment relates directly to Assessment item 2 and you should read the details of that assessment task as you commence your work on this first assignment.

[As a secondary objective, this assignment should help you make an early start on identifying sources which may be helpful to you for your second assignment—the term research paper].

The primary objectives of this assignment (Assessment item 1) are to help you to learn how to develop a search strategy to obtain sources for term papers and similar assignments, and to write an annotated bibliography of sources identified by such a search strategy. These are essential skills in the development of information literacy.

The assignment is also intended to help you to learn how to write good research papers, an important skill in the overall objectives of this course.

Detailed instructions, requirements and resources for completing the assessment are provided on the course Moodle site.

Following the instructions and using the resources, write a paper that outlines and reports on the outcome of a search strategy designed to obtain resources that would be useful for your term paper assignment (Assignment 2). The paper will also include an annotated bibliography of some of the sources that you have identified by using your search strategy. These sources should be ones that might be useful to you in writing your term paper (Assignment 2) about the physical geography of some selected region in Australia (see information regarding Assignment 2 provided on the course Moodle site).

Assessment Due Date Week 6 Friday (21-Apr-2017) 11:45 PM AEST
Online submission
Return Date to Students Assessments will be marked and returned in two weeks or as soon as practicable after the due date via the Moodle site.
Weighting 30%
Assessment Criteria

Your work will be assessed using the criteria sheet that will be available in the Moodle site for this course.

Referencing Style Harvard (author-date)
Submission Online

There will be a submission link placed on the Moodle website

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

2. describe major patterns of climates, landforms, soils and biogeography in Australia.

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

1. Communication

2. Problem Solving

4. Information Literacy

6. Information Technology Competence

7. Cross Cultural Competence

8. Ethical practice



2 Written Assessment

Assessment Title Written Assessment 2 Term paper
Task Description

Write a term research paper about the physical geography of some region of Australia. In the paper, you need to describe and interpret the processes of the five elements of the physical geography of your region:

  1. geology
  2. climate
  3. landforms
  4. soils
  5. biogeography

Detailed instructions, requirements and resources for completing the assessment are provided in the course Moodle site. These include guides for a term research paper and a ‘model paper’ illustrating the style for the term papers in general.

Assessment Due Date Week 12 Friday (02-Jun-2017) 11:45 AM AEST
Return Date to Students Exam Week Friday (16-Jun-2017)
The assessment will be marked and returned through the Moodle site.
Weighting 40%
Assessment Criteria

This assessment piece will be marked based on the criteria sheet provided on the Moodle site for this course.

Referencing Style Harvard (author-date)
Submission Online

There will be a submission link placed on the Moodle website

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

1. explain fundamental processes responsible for the development of Australian climates, landforms, soils and biogeography

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

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



3 Online Quiz(zes)

Assessment Title Online Quizzes
Task Description

As a replacement for an end-of-term comprehensive final examination, a series of 12 Online Workbook Activities (‘online quizzes’) have been prepared as part of the assessment items for this course.

Each OWA (quiz) consists of 10 multiple-choice questions; and for each question, you need to select the best response.

More details on the Online Workbook Activities are presented in the ‘Introduction to Online Workbook Activities (quizzes)' page on the course Moodle site.

Number of Quizzes 12
Frequency of Quizzes Weekly
Assessment Due Date Weekly by 11.55pm on the Friday of the week.
Return Date to Students The online quizzes will be marked automatically following submission
Weighting 30%
Assessment Criteria

Each quiz question has just one best response. The question will be marked 'correct' if you chose the right answer. Scores are based on the number of correct answer only. There are no marks deducted for incorrect responses.

Submission Online

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

1. explain fundamental processes responsible for the development of Australian climates, landforms, soils and biogeography

2. describe major patterns of climates, landforms, soils and biogeography in Australia.

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

2. Problem Solving

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy

6. Information Technology Competence

8. Ethical practice




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