- Class Number 6344
- Term Code 3160
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Mode of Delivery In Person
- Dr Giel van Dooren
- Prof Barry Pogson
- AsPr Maja Adamska
- Dr Melanie Rug
- Class Dates
- Class Start Date 26/07/2021
- Class End Date 29/10/2021
- Census Date 14/09/2021
- Last Date to Enrol 02/08/2021
This course examines the biology of cells, the basic units of life on Earth. The course addresses several central themes in cellular biology, including: the origin and early evolution of cells, cellular division and replication, the transport of proteins and other macromolecules within cells, the compartmentalisation of cellular metabolism, the functions of organelles in protists, animals and plants, the cellular basis of differentiation, and signalling between and within cells. Students will be exposed to the latest breakthroughs in the field and learn key cellular biology techniques. A unique aspect of the course is a practical component that addresses a research question to which the answer is unknown at the outset of the experiments. This practical provides students with an authentic research experience, and enables students to develop valuable skills in data analysis and scientific writing.
Note: Graduate students attend joint classes with undergraduates but are assessed separately.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Describe the evolution, diversity and replication of cells;
- Explain the role of compartmentalization and signalling in cellular biology;
- Critically interpret key experiments in the history of cell biology;
- Critically evaluate and apply knowledge of modern techniques in cellular biology.
- Critically interpret, analyse and present experimental data.
BIOL6117 incorporates descriptions of key experiments in teaching the fundamentals of cell biology. The course encourages students to develop critical attitudes towards evidence-based science, and to gain appreciation for experimental techniques that are used in cell biology. The practical component of the course presents students with an authentic research experience, using modern cell biological approaches to localise and begin to characterise a protein from the parasite Toxoplasma gondii. The project focuses on students developing a research question that they will then answer through experimentation across a 5-week experimental module. The course has a strong focus on developing skills in scientific writing and data presentation. The course also offers a remote practical for students who are unable to be on campus.
Examination Material or equipment
No permitted material.
Students will require a lab coat and safety glasses and must wear covered shoes to all laboratory sessions. A laboratory manual must be purchased prior to the first laboratory session. You will need to purchase your lab manual online at http://scienceshop.anu.edu.au/ using a credit or debit card. Once you have done this you should PRINT your receipt and bring it to the Biology Teaching and Learning Centre in Building 116 to collect your lab manual. If you do not have a credit or debit card, you can purchase a ‘Load&Go’ prepaid card from the ANU post office.
There are no prescribed text books for the class. Students will have access to key papers and reviews that will be posted on the course Wattle page. Useful Cell Biology text books that students may wish to consult (and which will be referenced in some of the lectures) are available from the Hancock library and include:
Molecular Cell Biology (8th edition) Lodish et al. WH Freeman
Recommended student system requirements
ANU courses commonly use a number of online resources and activities including:
- video material, similar to YouTube, for lectures and other instruction
- two-way video conferencing for interactive learning
- email and other messaging tools for communication
- interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities
- print and photo/scan for handwritten work
- home-based assessment.
To fully participate in ANU learning, students need:
- A computer or laptop. Mobile devices may work well but in some situations a computer/laptop may be more appropriate.
- Speakers and a microphone (e.g. headset)
- Reliable, stable internet connection. Broadband recommended. If using a mobile network or wi-fi then check performance is adequate.
- Suitable location with minimal interruptions and adequate privacy for classes and assessments.
- Printing, and photo/scanning equipment
For more information please see https://www.anu.edu.au/students/systems/recommended-student-system-requirements
Staff FeedbackStudents will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
- Written comments
- Verbal comments
- Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups
Student FeedbackANU 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.
|Week/Session||Summary of Activities||Assessment|
|1||Origin and early evolution of cells (GvD)|
|2||Mitochondrial evolution; mitochondrial biology in Toxoplasma (GvD)||Workshop 1: Introduction to the prac and first assessment task|
|3||The endomembrane system (GvD)|
|4||Microscopy; the nucleus (MR, GvD)||First assessment task (Lab-based research assignment) due (10%)|
|5||Plant cells; chloroplast functions (BP)|
|6||Chloroplast signalling; plastid evolution and autophagy (BP)||Workshop 2: Discussion of prac data and introduction to second assessment task; On-line Quiz 1 (5%)|
|7||The cytoskeleton (GvD)||Second assessment task (Results section of research report) due (10%)|
|8||Cell cycle and mitosis (GvD)|
|9||Protein turnover and modifications (GvD)||Workshop 3: Discussion of prac data and Introduction to third assessment task (Research report). On-line Quiz 2 (5%)|
|10||Signals in cell-cell communication; the Notch pathway (MA)|
|11||The Wnt pathway; Cell polarity and movement (MA)||Third assessment task (Research report) due (35%)|
|12||Cell-to-cell communication in cancer and development (MA)||On-line Quiz 3 (5%)|
|13||Exam period||Final Exam (30%)|
|Assessment task||Value||Due Date||Return of assessment||Learning Outcomes|
|Lab-based research assignment worksheet||10 %||20/08/2021||03/09/2021||1,2,3,4,5|
|Formative assessment on Results and Figures for research report||10 %||24/09/2021||16/10/2021||2,3,4,5|
|Research Report.||35 %||22/10/2021||12/11/2021||2,3,4,5|
|On-line Quizzes||15 %||*||*||1,2,3,4,5|
* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details
PoliciesANU 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 RequirementsThe 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 AssessmentMarks 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.
Practicals: There are five practical classes. Because the prac builds from the results of previous weeks, it is mandatory that you attend each prac class. If you are unable to attend a prac class for legitimate (i.e. health or personal) reasons, please let Giel know and we can make alternative arrangements. A medical certificate may be necessary.
Workshops: We also will be holding three workshops focused on developing skills in scientific writing and data analysis. These workshops will aid students in completing asssessment tasks 1, 2 and 3; these are not mandatory but we strongly encourage students to attend.
Alternative to practicals and workshops: for students who are unable to be on campus, we will arrange an alternative to the in-person practicals and workshops. This ‘remote prac’ will, nevertheless, still expose students to the same ideas and insights as the on-campus prac. These students will have slight modifications to assessment tasks to accommodate the changes to practical component.
The course exam will assess material from the entire course (lectures and practicals), and will take place during exam period. Value: 30%.
The date range indicates the start of the end of semester exam period and the date official end of semester results are released on ISIS. Please check the course Wattle site and the ANU final Examination Timetable http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/examination-timetable to confirm the date, time and location of the exam.
Assessment Task 1
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5
Lab-based research assignment worksheet
Students must complete a worksheet that examines the protein that they will characterise in the practical component of the course. Students are expected to provide short answers to a range of questions about what is currently known about the protein their prac group will be studying.
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4,5
Formative assessment on Results and Figures for research report
Students will write the results section for their research report, including figures and figure legends. This is a formative assessment task, meaning that we will provide students with feedback on their results section that they can incorporate into the results section of their Research Report (Assessment Task 3).
Assessment Rubric: Refer to the prac manual
Assessment Task 3
Learning Outcomes: 2,3,4,5
Students will write up the results from the practical course in the style of a scientific paper.
Assessment Rubric: Refer to the prac manual
Word limit: approximately 3,000 words, not including methods, figure legends, acknowledgements or references.
Assessment Task 4
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5
Students will undertake three on-line quizzes across the semester. These quizzes will assess material from the most recent block of lectures (worth 5% each).
Value: 15% total.
Quiz 1: Week 6
Quiz 2: Week 9
Quiz 3: Week 12
Assessment Task 5
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5
The course exam will assess material from the entire course (lectures and practicals), and will take place during exam period.
Academic IntegrityAcademic 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 SubmissionThe 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 SubmissionFor 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 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 submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.
Referencing RequirementsAccepted 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.
The worksheet, results report, research report and online quizzes will be marked online and available through Wattle.
Extensions and PenaltiesExtensions 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
No resubmission permitted.
Distribution of grades policyAcademic 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 studentsThe 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).
- ANU Health, safety & wellbeing for medical services, counselling, mental health and spiritual support
- ANU Diversity and inclusion for students with a disability or ongoing or chronic illness
- ANU Dean of Students for confidential, impartial advice and help to resolve problems between students and the academic or administrative areas of the University
- ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre supports you make your own decisions about how you learn and manage your workload.
- ANU Counselling Centre promotes, supports and enhances mental health and wellbeing within the University student community.
- ANUSA supports and represents undergraduate and ANU College students
- PARSA supports and represents postgraduate and research students
Dr Giel van Dooren
Prof Barry Pogson
AsPr Maja Adamska