• Class Number 3406
  • Term Code 3130
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr David Heslop
    • AsPr David Heslop
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/02/2021
  • Class End Date 28/05/2021
  • Census Date 31/03/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/03/2021
SELT Survey Results

This course will reveal to students the biggest unanswered questions in the Earth Sciences. Students will be introduced to the breadth of science undertaken at the Research School of Earth Sciences and will gain an appreciation for the different research approaches utilised and facilities available. Further, this course will provide a framework for students to make an informed choice of research supervisor and project for their subsequent studies.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Discuss and critique the principles of Earth Science and the framework they provide for addressing cutting edge research problems.
  2. Evaluate and debate the broad role of the Earth Sciences and how it is applied to global issues such as natural hazards, environmental change and mineral resources.
  3. Assess information concerning new discoveries in individual research fields and relate this to the broader Earth Sciences.
  4. Present the ideas underlying complex scientific techniques, their application and significance to their peers.

Research-Led Teaching

Students will learn about current research projects from RSES academics. Students will also attend research seminars.

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.
  • Webcam
  • 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 Feedback

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

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

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 In this course, the biggest unanswered questions in the Earth sciences will be revealed, through a series of weekly tutorials with academic staff across RSES. Students will gain a flavour for how RSES academics are contributing towards addressing some of these fundamental questions, gaining an appreciation for the different approaches and facilities utilised across the school. In addition, students will attend, and subsequently be assessed on, the weekly HDR and school seminar series. The intention is to orient the students and expose them to the wide-range of cutting-edge research being undertaken within (and outside) the school.
2 Part 1: The Tutorial System Student tutorials are generally more academically challenging and rigorous than standard lecture and test format courses: during each session, students are expected to orally communicate, defend, analyse, and critique the ideas of others as well as their own, in conversations with the academic and fellow students. As a pedagogic model, the tutorial system has great value because it creates learning and assessment opportunities that are highly authentic. Tutorials provide the ideal environment for students to test their ideas and interests, while encouraging them to develop their thinking. They also provide a relaxed environment for an academic to showcase their field, the nature of their research and its broader place within the Earth sciences. Students will rotate around 10 academics throughout the semester (5 before the semester break and 5 after), in groups of ~5 . Students are expected to undertake up to 3 hours of preparation for each tutorial. This will usually involve background reading or working through illustrative examples. Academics should circulate this to the students 1 week in advance of the tutorial. At the tutorial itself, which will last 2 hours, students will discuss the topic at greater length, seek answers to their questions, present their thoughts and ideas and get feedback from the tutor.
3 Part 2: HDR Student and School Seminars A broad view of science is incredibly important to becoming a strong scientist. Therefore, students are encouraged to attend weekly school (Thursday, 1 pm) and PhD student (Tuesday, 4pm) seminars, regardless of whether the seminars are in their research area. These seminars reveal the cutting-edge research being undertaken by world-leading academics external to the school and by PhD students within the school.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Tutorials 80 % * * 1,2,3
HDR Student / School Seminar summary 20 % 28/05/2021 04/06/2021 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.


Students will be able to participate in all aspects of the course either in-person or by Zoom.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 80 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3


Students will be assessed for each of the 10 tutorials undertaken during the semester. This assessment will be based upon a relevant post-tutorial problem-set (60% of the grade for an individual tutorial), which students will submit within 1 week of the tutorial. Assessment will also consider student performance at the tutorial itself (40% of the grade for an individual tutorial), based upon their ability to orally communicate, defend, analyse and critique ideas. The student’s highest 8 marks will subsequently be combined, each representing 10% of the final coursework component. Note that assessments are designed for completion within ~3 hours.

There are 10 problem sets due over the semester. It is intended that the feedback will be returned within 1 week after submission. Further details can be found on the Course Wattle site.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 28/05/2021
Return of Assessment: 04/06/2021
Learning Outcomes: 3,4

HDR Student / School Seminar summary

At the end of the Semester, each student will deliver a 10-minute oral presentation, summarising a specific school seminar from the Semester. Their summary should not only cover the research presented but should also highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the seminar and any questions that the student would have asked the speaker, if an opportunity didn’t arise at the seminar itself. Students will select their seminar, in conjunction with the course convenor, prior to the commencement of the semester. Students are encouraged to attend all seminars, where possible.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to 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 be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, 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 Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

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 submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

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

Feedback on assignments will be given via email after each tutorial.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted 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

Not permitted.

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).

AsPr David Heslop

Research Interests


AsPr David Heslop

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AsPr David Heslop
612 53406

Research Interests

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