• Class Number 9248
  • Term Code 2960
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Geoffrey Kushnick
    • Dr Geoffrey Kushnick
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/07/2019
  • Class End Date 25/10/2019
  • Census Date 31/08/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 29/07/2019
SELT Survey Results

This course surveys our current understanding of the behavioural ecology of human mating and parenting strategies. As such, its perspective is evolutionary, covering comparative, theoretical, and empirical aspects of reproduction-related adaptations, including mate choice, intrasexual competition, marriage, parental investment, sexual conflict, and parent-offspring conflict. Particular attention will be paid to: (a) whether an evolutionary approach helps explain the diversity of human reproductive strategies across time and space, and in both small-scale and WEIRD (Western, educated, industrialized, rich, democratic) societies; (b) the relationship between reproductive behavior and health; and, (c) the importance of ecological context, and the interplay between biology and culture, in shaping reproductive strategies.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Master basic principles related to the evolution of mating and parenting and childcare adaptations in humans and other animals.
  2. Discuss the idea that evolutionary theory can help explain variation in parenting and childcare behaviour within and between human societies.
  3. Develop a critical perspective on an independent study topic related to the evolution of parenting and childcare.
  4. Explain a topic or argument in the field orally using a selective case study approach.
  5. Interpret material from a range of scholarly sources relevant to a topic or argument in the field, balancing general argument and evidence.

Additional Course Costs

Pens and notebook(s) for lectures and tutorials

Examination Material or equipment

Pencil and eraser for exams.

Computer (but can use on-campus computers)

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

·        Written feedback on Wiki Project assessment items.

·        Access to an answer key for Exams 1 and 2.

·        Verbal feedback in regularly scheduled office hours (optional).

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Mating I None
2 Mating II Wiki Project Initiation
3 Mating III None
4 Mating IV Wiki Essay 1
5 Mating V None
6 Mating VI Exam 1
7 Parenting I Wiki Essay 2
8 Parenting II None
9 Parenting III None
10 Parenting IV Wiki Essay 3
11 Parenting V None
12 Parenting VI Exam 2
13 First Week After Last Lecture Wiki Project Finalization

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Participation 10 % 23/07/2019 30/07/2019 1,2
Wiki Project 40 % 16/08/2019 30/08/2019 3,4
Exams 50 % 27/08/2019 10/09/2019 1

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


See above.


See above.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 23/07/2019
Return of Assessment: 30/07/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2


Your participation will be based on your participation in our weekly tutorials. At the end of each, there will be an activity sheet to turn in.

Each participation day will be worth 2 points, marked as follows:

·        Good effort to participate in a quality way (2 pts)

·        You could have put in a better effort to participate (1 pt)

·        You didn’t participate (0 pts)

Your final grade in Participation will be based on these scores and is worth 10% of your final grade in the course.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 16/08/2019
Return of Assessment: 30/08/2019
Learning Outcomes: 3,4

Wiki Project

The Wiki Project centres on five assessments related to your development of three 1000-word entries on the course’s Wiki site.

The first component is the Wiki Project Initiation. In this assessment, you will propose your three essays and create an account on the Wiki site. It is worth 5% of your grade and is due on Friday 2 August by 5pm, submitted via Turnitin on the class Wattle site.

The second component is your three essays. They each are worth 10% of your grade in the course, and are due on:

·        Wiki Essay 1: Friday 16 August by 5pm via Turnitin.

·        Wiki Essay 2: Friday 20 September by 5pm via Turnitin.

·        Wiki Essay 3: Friday 11 October by 5pm via Turnitin.

The last component is the Wiki Project Finalization. This entails revising your three essays based on feedback provided by the Course Convenor and uploading the revised essays to the course Wiki site. This is due by Tuesday 29 October by 5pm and is worth 5% of your grade in the course.

More detailed information about these assessments, including marking criteria, is included in the ‘Wiki Project Guide’ which will be made available on the Course Website shortly after the start of the semester.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 27/08/2019
Return of Assessment: 10/09/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1


Exam 1: Tuesday 27 August in tutorial.

Exam 2: Tuesday 22 October in tutorial.

There will be two exams held in Tutorial on the dates above. They will be mixed format, including multiple choice, true/false, matching, fill in the blanks, and short answer. The material on the exams are not cumulative. Exam 1 will cover everything from lecture, tutorial, and readings from Weeks 1 to 6. Exam 2 will cover everything from Weeks 7 to 12.

Exams will be marked out of 100 and each is worth 25% of your final grade (50% total).

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Hardcopy Submission


Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item.

Late submissions of the take-home examinations will not be accepted.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

All assessments are “returned” via Turnitin. That is, when the marked assessments are released, you will be able to see your mark and feedback in Turnitin. I will endeavour to return assessments within 2 weeks of submission.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Resubmission is not allowed. The Wiki Project Finalization assessment, however, is essentially a resubmission of the Wiki Essays—i.e., you will get feedback on the essays and you will revise them before uploading to the course Wiki site. More information about this is included later in the Course Outline.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
Dr Geoffrey Kushnick

Research Interests

Human behavioural ecology

Dr Geoffrey Kushnick

Tuesday 13:00 14:00
Tuesday 13:00 14:00
Dr Geoffrey Kushnick

Research Interests

Dr Geoffrey Kushnick

Tuesday 13:00 14:00
Tuesday 13:00 14:00

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