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Unit of study_

AVBS1003: Animals and Us

Semester 1, 2024 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

We live in a world surrounded by and dependent on animals. Australia has one of the highest rates of animal ownership in the world: dogs, cats, rabbits, birds and reptiles being common. In this unit, you explore animals in society (including companion, pocket and pet, wildlife and zoo animals). You will investigate relationships between humans and animals and normal function of animals including development, disease, aging and death. This unit will describe how human and animal health are related, outline legislation and policies on the care and use of animals, cover topical issues in animal welfare and ethics, provide opportunities for students to observe animal behaviours and discuss how cultural backgrounds influence our relationships with animals. You will visit captive and clinical animal facilities where animals are displayed for conservation, curiosity, aesthetics and research. Practicals and workshops will provide students with skills in critical thinking, communication, information/digital literacy and an evidence informed basis on which to make decisions. This unit is for students who are interested in a professional career working with animals, such as those in the AVBS stream and BVB/DVM program or who generally seek an understanding of how animals enrich our lives.

Unit details and rules

Unit code AVBS1003
Academic unit Life and Environmental Sciences Academic Operations
Credit points 6
Prohibitions
? 
None
Prerequisites
? 
None
Corequisites
? 
None
Assumed knowledge
? 

None

Available to study abroad and exchange students

Yes

Teaching staff

Coordinator Emma Thompson, e.thompson@sydney.edu.au
Type Description Weight Due Length
Supervised exam
? 
Final Exam***
MCQ & SAQ
30% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
Online task Early Feedback Task
Online Canvas Quiz
5% Week 03
Due date: 07 Mar 2024 at 23:59

Closing date: 07 Mar 2024
10 MCQ questions #earlyfeedbacktask
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO7
Small test Module 1 Assessment-In Class Test 1
MCQ & SAQ
15% Week 05
Due date: 18 Mar 2024 at 12:00

Closing date: 18 Mar 2024
45 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO7 LO6 LO4 LO3
Presentation group assignment Debate Factsheet
Factsheet with both side of debate argument
0% Week 08 1 page factsheet
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Small test Module 2 Assessment-In Class Test 2
MCQ & SAQ
15% Week 08
Due date: 15 Apr 2024 at 12:00

Closing date: 15 Apr 2024
45 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO7 LO6 LO4 LO3
Assignment Scientific Poster
Poster presentation
20% Week 11
Due date: 09 May 2024 at 23:59

Closing date: 09 May 2024
N/A
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6 LO7 LO8
Presentation group assignment Debate Presentation**
Oral debate on topic provided
15% Week 13 4 min oral debate 2 min rebuttal
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO8 LO7 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
group assignment = group assignment ?

Early feedback task

This unit includes an early feedback task, designed to give you feedback prior to the census date for this unit. Details are provided in the Canvas site and your result will be recorded in your Marks page. It is important that you actively engage with this task so that the University can support you to be successful in this unit.

Assessment summary

Full details for all assessments can be found on Canvas under the 'Assessments' tab.

**All group members must participate in the Debate presentation

***Final exam: This assessment is compulsory and failure to attend, attempt, or submit will result in the award of an AF grade. If a second replacement exam is required, this exam may be delivered via an alternative assessment method, such as a viva voce (oral exam). The alternative assessment will meet the same learning outcomes as the original exam. The format of the alternative assessment will be determined by the unit coordinator.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range

Description

High distinction

85 - 100

Able to write a coherent and flowing report in good English. Using a variety of viewpoints to argue the process for identifying the problem.  Excellent discussion of management strategies to manage this problem.  References are used wisely and the student shows an ability to critique the literature.  Sources included at least three refereed journal articles and these were presented in the correct format in the reference list and using the correct in text citation.

Distinction

75 - 84

Able to write a coherent report in good English. Presented at least two points of view to argue the process for identifying the problem. Good discussion of management strategies to manage this problem.  Sources included at least three refereed journal articles and these were presented in the correct format in the reference list and using the correct in text citation.

Credit

65 - 74

Presented a report in good English.   Presented at least two points of view to argue the process for identifying the problem.  Reasonable discussion of management strategies to manage this problem. Sources included at least two refereed journal articles and these were presented in the correct format in the reference list and using the correct in text citation.

Pass

50 - 64

Presented and report in good English that defined the problem and came to a recommendation. Sources included two refereed journal articles, in a reference list.

Fail

0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard. Presented a report that did not address the problem or was poorly constructed and grammatically incorrect. Did not provide any recommendations. Did not use any refereed journal papers. 

For more information see sydney.edu.au/students/guide-to-grades.

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

Without an approved special consideration late penalties apply at 5% per day to max 10 days when a score of zero will be recorded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

Support for students

The Support for Students Policy 2023 reflects the University’s commitment to supporting students in their academic journey and making the University safe for students. It is important that you read and understand this policy so that you are familiar with the range of support services available to you and understand how to engage with them.

The University uses email as its primary source of communication with students who need support under the Support for Students Policy 2023. Make sure you check your University email regularly and respond to any communications received from the University.

Learning resources and detailed information about weekly assessment and learning activities can be accessed via Canvas. It is essential that you visit your unit of study Canvas site to ensure you are up to date with all of your tasks.

If you are having difficulties completing your studies, or are feeling unsure about your progress, we are here to help. You can access the support services offered by the University at any time:

Support and Services (including health and wellbeing services, financial support and learning support)
Course planning and administration
Meet with an Academic Adviser

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction to Unit of Study; Introduction to relationships between human and animal health Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6
Week 02 Zoonoses and One Health; Welcome to Taronga-The Role of Zoos Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6 LO8
Evolution of Zoos Practical (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 03 Relationship between human and animal health: Physiological and Psychological Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6
Physiological and psychological responses to animals and zoonoses Practical (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 04 Relationship between human and animal health: Wellbeing Introduction to Assessments Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Work Session – Scientific poster Practical (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 05 Human-animal relationships across cultures I Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6 LO8
How Animals Learn-Animal Training Practical (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 06 Human-animal relationships across cultures II Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6 LO8
Animals in work Practical (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5 LO8
Week 07 Human-animal relationships across cultures III Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6 LO8
Animal training and conservation messaging Practical (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 08 Conservation I Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6 LO8
Debate Preparation Practical (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 09 Conservation II and III Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6 LO8
The University of Sydney as Habitat Practical (3 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 10 Conservation IV and V Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6 LO8
Walk as a penguin Practical (3 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 11 Ethics and Welfare I and II Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO8
Animal Ethics & Welfare Practical (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 12 Ethics and Welfare III and IV Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO8
Applications of legislation and principles of care Practical (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Week 13 Modules III and IV review and exam preparation Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO8
Debate Practical (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8

Attendance and class requirements

It is strongly suggested that students attend all lectures and practicals in person.  Whilst lectures are recorded by the university, practical and tutorial sessions are not.  The is no material provided for online study for this unit.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Describe and give examples of how human and animal health are related
  • LO2. Describe and give examples of how human-animal interactions are culturally influenced
  • LO3. Analyse and evaluate research in the field of animal research
  • LO4. Make informed decisions based on evidence to ensure the welfare and management of animals
  • LO5. Describe the legislation and principles for the care and use of animals
  • LO6. Independently analyse data and articulate the meaning in the results
  • LO7. Communicate confidently both orally and in writing
  • LO8. Work in a team with people from diverse backgrounds with inclusiveness, open mindedness, honesty and diligence

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
GQ1 GQ2 GQ3 GQ4 GQ5 GQ6 GQ7 GQ8 GQ9

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

Changes to assessments have been made in 2024 based on student feedback and the University requirement for an Early Feedback Task. The latter is to provide students with an indication of how they are progressing in Animals and Us and provide additional support where required.

Work, health and safety

Risk assessments have been conducted for each practical session to ensure the safety of students and staff.  Teaching staff will relay information for each session.  

Unless there is a lightning storm pracs will go ahead.  Please check weather conditions on practical days and weather appropriate clothing and footwear.

For pracs at Taronga zoo it is important to wear shoes suitable for walking due to the gradient of the site.  

Disclaimer

The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.