• Class Number 9251
  • Term Code 2960
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Geoffrey Kushnick
    • Dr Mathieu Leclerc
  • 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 teaches you principles by which research projects within the areas of Archaeological and Evolutionary Science are devised and executed. You will learn how to write a thesis and develop a research proposal. In addition you will undertake quantitative analyses (including statistics) and assess the implications of results. Finally, the course will provide you with useful techniques for presenting and promoting your results to an academic audience.

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. Critically analyse and evaluate research material within Archaeological and Evolutionary Science.
2. Undertake quantitative analysis including statistical analysis to answer discipline relevant questions.
3. Present and interpret data in oral and written academic forums.
4. Develop a research proposal in a relevant area of Archaeological and Evolutionary Science

Required Resources

Bernard, H. R. (2006). Research methods in anthropology (4th ed.) NY: Altamira (Ch 4: Preparing for Research).

Blaxter, L., Hughes, C., & Tight, M. (2006). How to research (3rd ed.) Philadelphia: Open University Press (Ch 3: Thinking about Methods).

Cowgill, G. L. (2015). Some things I hope you will find useful even if statistics isn't your thing. Annual Review of Anthropology, 44(1), 1-14.

Ellis, T. J., & Levy, Y. (2008). Framework for problem-based research: A guide for novice researchers on the development of a research-worthy problem. Informing Science: The International Journal of an Emerging Transdiscipline, 11, 17-33.

McDonald, J. H. (2014). Handbook of biological statistics (3rd ed.) Baltimore: Sparky House.

Parker, T. H., Forstmeier, W., Koricheva, J., Fidler, F., Hadfield, J. D., Chee, Y. E., . . . Nakagawa, S. (2016). Transparency in ecology and evolution: real problems, real solutions. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 31(9), 711-719.

Ridley, D. (2008). The literature review: A step-by-step guide for students. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. (Ch 6: Structuring the Literature Review).


All statistics readings for Weeks 3-7 are from the Handbook of Biological Statistics (3E) which is available for free online (http://www.biostathandbook.com/).

Week 1:

  • Data Analysis Steps (http://www.biostathandbook.com/analysissteps.html)
  • Kinds of Biological Variables (http://www.biostathandbook.com/variabletypes.html)
  • Basic Hypothesis Testing (http://www.biostathandbook.com/hypothesistesting.html)
  • Confounding Variables (http://www.biostathandbook.com/confounding.html)

Week 2:

  • Central Tendency (http://www.biostathandbook.com/central.html)
  • Dispersion (http://www.biostathandbook.com/dispersion.html)
  • Standard Error (http://www.biostathandbook.com/standarderror.html)
  • Confidence Limits (http://www.biostathandbook.com/confidence.html)

Week 3:

  • Chi-Square Goodness of Fit (http://www.biostathandbook.com/chigof.html)
  • Exact Test Goodness of Fit (http://www.biostathandbook.com/exactgof.html)
  • Chi-Square Test of Independence (http://www.biostathandbook.com/chiind.html)
  • Fisher’s Exact Test (http://www.biostathandbook.com/fishers.html)
  • Cochrane-Mantel-Haenszel Test (http://www.biostathandbook.com/cmh.html)

Week 4:

  • Two-Sample t-Test (http://www.biostathandbook.com/twosamplettest.html)
  • Kruskal-Wallis Test (http://www.biostathandbook.com/kruskalwallis.html)
  • One-Way ANOVA (http://www.biostathandbook.com/onewayanova.html)
  • Paired t-Test (http://www.biostathandbook.com/pairedttest.html)
  • Wilcoxon Signed-Rank Test (http://www.biostathandbook.com/wilcoxonsignedrank.html)

Week 5:

  • Regression & Correlation (http://www.biostathandbook.com/linearregression.html)
  • Curvilinear Regression (http://www.biostathandbook.com/curvilinearregression.html)
  • Spearman Rank Correlation (http://www.biostathandbook.com/spearman.html)
  • Simple Logistic Regression (http://www.biostathandbook.com/simplelogistic.html)
  • Multiple Regression (http://www.biostathandbook.com/multipleregression.html)


In addition, you are required to find, read, and cite a number of resources to support your proposal. As each student will find their set of readings independently, these required readings will not be made available on the course Wattle site.  

Staff Feedback

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

  • Key to the two take-home exams to compare with own exam.
  • Written feedback via Turnitin on workshop participation, problem statement, and research proposal
  • Verbal feedback during 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 Introduction Readings: Readings from “Handbook of Biological Statistics”
2 Statistics Basics Readings: Readings from “Handbook of Biological Statistics”
3 Contingency Table Analysis Readings: Readings from “Handbook of Biological Statistics” Take-home exam 1
4 Comparisons Readings: Readings from “Handbook of Biological Statistics”
5 Correlation and Regression Readings: Readings from “Handbook of Biological Statistics”
6 Advanced Topics Readings: Cowgill (2015), Parker et al. (2016) Take-home exam 2 SPSS tutorial (due during teaching break)
7 Designing & Proposing Research Readings: Bernard (2006) Read for proposal
8 Theory Readings: Ellis & Levy (2008) Read for proposal Problem statement
9 Literature Reviews Readings: Ridley (2008) Read for proposal
10 Data Collection Readings: Blaxter et al. (2006) Read for proposal No lecture
11 Data Collection / Ethics Readings: No reading - Work on proposal draft for Wk 12
12 Finalising a proposal Readings: No reading - Work on final draft of proposal
13 Week following last lecture Proposal

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Take-Home Exams (x2) 30 % 07/08/2019 21/08/2019 1
SPSS Tutorial 10 % 12/09/2019 26/09/2019 1, 2
Problem Statement 10 % 27/09/2019 12/10/2019 3
Proposal 40 % 31/10/2019 14/11/2019 3, 4
Participation 10 % 24/07/2019 10/08/2019 1, 2, 3, 4

* 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. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

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: 30 %
Due Date: 07/08/2019
Return of Assessment: 21/08/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1

Take-Home Exams (x2)

There will be two take-home exams in the Analysis module of the course that will assess your knowledge of and ability in the statistical principles and methods you are learning in this course.

Each exam is worth 15% of your grade in the course (30% total).

You are expected to work by yourself on the exam from the time the exam is released until the time of the submission deadline. That is, you may not work with classmates or others, share notes with classmates or others, or discuss the exam with classmates or others during this time. Failure to adhere to this rule will lead to a 0 on the exam and referral to the appropriate Associate Dean for punishment.

Each exam will be made available on Wednesday at approximately 1pm on the Wattle site and will be due on Friday of the same week at 5pm. Submissions must be made via Turnitin. To do this, you will need to scan your exam and upload it to Turnitin. Please ensure that your scan is clear and legible, and the file size is under 2mb. It is suggested that you do your problems on a separate sheet of paper, and then copy the work and answers over to the test sheet using a black pen.

Late submissions will not be accepted. As per College and University policy, extensions cannot be granted for take-home examinations.

Exam 1 will be released on Wednesday 7 August 2019 and will be due by 5pm on Friday 9 August 2019.

Exam 2 will be released on Wednesday 28 August 2019 and will be due by 5pm on Friday 30 August 2019.

The exams will be marked out of 100.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 12/09/2019
Return of Assessment: 26/09/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2

SPSS Tutorial

The SPSS Assessment has two parts—your participation in a special tutorial, and your writeup which includes evidence of your ability of use this software, your grasp of concepts from the course’s first module, and a reflection about how you will use statistics in your own research.

SPSS stands for Statistical Package for the Social Sciences.

This assessment item is worth 10% of your grade in the course and is due, via Turnitin, by 5pm on Thursday 12 September 2019.

Extensions will not be granted except under the stringent conditions outlined on p. 4 of this Course Outline.

For more information, see the SPSS Assessment Guide.

Marking criteria:

Evidence of participation

  • Quality of writeup

Assessment Task 3

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 27/09/2019
Return of Assessment: 12/10/2019
Learning Outcomes: 3

Problem Statement

The Problem Statement is a one-page account of the research problem that you intend to tackle in your Research Proposal. It provides you a chance to get formative feedback on your proposal and the sorts of literature you have consulted to support it.

This assessment is worth 10% of your grade in the course. It is due, via Turnitin, no later than 5pm on Friday 27 September 2019.

Extensions will not be granted except under the stringent conditions outlined in p. 4 of this Course Outline.

For more information, see the Problem Statement and Proposal Guide. 

Length: One side of one A4 sheet

Marking criteria:

  • Quality of research problem
  • Quality of references
  • Clarity of expression 
  • Adherence to instructions

Assessment Task 4

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 31/10/2019
Return of Assessment: 14/11/2019
Learning Outcomes: 3, 4


Length: 4000 words, excluding the budget and literature cited section and the text of tables, figures, and their captions

Details: The Research Proposal is a complete proposal for a research project that you might conduct as an honours student, or as an undergraduate-level research project done in another context. This assessment is worth 40% of your grade in the course. It is due, via Turnitin, no later than 5pm on Thursday 31 October 2019. Extensions will not be granted except under the stringent conditions outlined in p. 4 of this Course Outline. For more information, see the Problem Statement and Proposal Guide.

Marking Criteria:

  • Quality of proposal, including strength of the research problem, quality of the literature review, and the appropriateness of the methodology and other aspects of the planned project.
  • Quality of references
  • Clarity of expression
  • Adherence to instructions

Assessment Task 5

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 24/07/2019
Return of Assessment: 10/08/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4


Details: During normal tutorials, you will be given activities to complete. These activities will be marked as explained below and determine your total mark in Tutorial Participation, which is worth 10% of your grade.

Tutorials are due at the end of the tutorial period each week.

Tutorials have mandatory attendance, so no makeups of tutorials or Tutorial Participation will be offered. If you miss, please ask a classmate to share their tutorial notes.

Marking Criteria: Each item will be worth 2 marks. You will be awarded the full 2 marks for that item if you put an honest go into the activity’s completion. You will be awarded 1 mark for attending and participating but not giving it an honest go. You will be awarded 0 marks for not participating.

Your total marks in Tutorial Participation will be based on your marks on the individual tutorial participation items.

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

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

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. We 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.

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

Wednesday 12:30 13:30
Dr Mathieu Leclerc

Research Interests

Dr Mathieu Leclerc

Thursday 13:00 14:00

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions