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H1 BIOL10011 Summary Notes

Highly organised and summarised H1 lecture notes spanning 12 weeks and 36 lectures. Notes are summar...

34 pages, 6441 words

Emma

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-OFFERING ZOOM TUTORING SESSIONS- Hi! I'm Bc. Science graduate (physiology major) - current cours...

Leilani

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Hi! I'm Leilani Frost. I'm from Hong Kong currently studying at the University of Melbourne. I am no...

Reviews

horrible don't do it

Anonymous, Semester 2, 2021

I enjoyed this subject, but most people did not. TLDR: It was very poorly organised/designed. An H1 is achievable with decent effort though, so if you like Biology, you might still want to take it. I enjoyed it and found topics enjoyable, but most people hated it due to its organisation. Pros: - content is super easy to grasp and fairly interesting (except the Hardy Weinberg Equilibrium-watch out for that one, it's hard!). - The topics are also widespread from basic biology (eg: reproduction, feeding, movement) to genetics (Hardy Weinberg Equilibrium) and conservation (eg: mountain pygmy possum genetic rescue, Indigenous burning practices, Mountain Ash forests etc). I personally liked that we covered a lot of different biology themes/disciplines - they gave (some) feedback on the prac/topic tests which allowed you to work out where you went wrong - Exam was very fair Cons: basically, everything else. - The Pracs/Topic Tests were ONLY 10MCQs/10 marks long, which is ridiculous since they could be worth up to 5% for each test. Furthermore, sometimes they made one MCQ worth more than one mark (eg: 2 marks) which I loathed. In my opinion, most two mark questions could have just been split into two separate questions, so your depth of understanding could ACTUALLY be tested. They also really need to make the tests longer!!!! - Also, not everyone gets the same test for pracs/topic tests: so for each question, there are multiple variations and people get different variations of the same question. The bad part of this is that some variations are harder than others!!! Eg: In a question about flower parts, the flower whose parts I had to identify was very convoluted, but other people got more straightfoward flowers: ie the tests are unfair imo. - feedback: the feedback from the pracs/topic tests is general, so you may or may not know where YOU went wrong. But I guess this subject is better than BIOL10009: Life's Machinery (they don't even give ANY feedback). - general organisation: very poor. Eg: the pracs started in week 1, but often the material covered in the pracs/workshops was still being covered that week. I had my prac on Tuesdays, but often lecture material from the Wednesday lecture would have helped me with the prac. They should have just started pracs on Week 2. Please take your prac/workshop classes on Thu/Fri if you can! -practice exam: disaster. They said they wouldn't give us any answers. So we had to get together as a cohort and discuss answers. And when they gave us answers (on the day before the exam), some of them were just flat out wrong. They also couldn't be bothered to write new questions I guess because a lot of the exam was just repeated questions (eg: from topic 6 practice quiz, end of lecture/workshop questions etc) -topic 6 practice quiz: some answers were just flat out wrong. they expected us to know far too much for the quality of the lectures we were given. Eg: they wanted us to know about Active Carbon Reservoirs, when the words "active reservoir" was not even MENTIONED in the lectures! - group project: although the project is well taught/guided, the marking was ridiculous. Eg: my group submitted a draft and was basically told "all good! good effort!", but when we got our actual mark back, we got points taken off for something WHICH WE NEVER EVEN GOT FEEDBACK ON FROM THE DRAFT. Our draft had NO COMMENTS whatsoever on our discussion, but our final project got taken marks off from our discusssion paragraph, saying that it could be better! How are we meant to know it could be better, IF WE NEVER GOT ANY FEEDBACK ON IT???? I'm furious at the ridiculousness of this subject. I posted a question on CampusWire about this (very respectfully worded btw), but never got a reply from any lecturer/co-ord. But Group Project Overall is still doable, and fairly easy to score well in, just don't expect any consistency in marking between your draft + final report. OVERALL: this subject kinda sucks. I love Biology so I loved the content in the lectures. But the organisation sucks so bad that it really starts hurting your grades. There was no need for this subject to be this bad, but it was. As other people mentioned, the co-ordinators really seemed to hate the students and made passive aggressive announcements all the time (eg: only ONE student showed up to our consultation!!! We really expect more participation!!! SO disappointing!). Overall, an okay subject, but definitely don't do it as an elective or breadth etc, only if you really need to, OR if you reallyyyy like Biology. An H1 is definitely acheivable with consistent effort throughout, but be prepared for plenty of marks to be lost along the way due to organisation/unfair marking.

Anonymous, Semester 2, 2021

I 100% agree with all of the things that has been written about this subject. Going into it, I was pretty excited but then everything seemed going towards the same concept and became really repetitive, frankly quite boring. However, I kept my head high and kept going, yet it did not get any better. The topic quizes were only 10 MCQ questions, which did not help ME understand my level of understanding because I couldn't even see where I went wrong. Not only that, how can you judge ones understanding by just 10 questions (there are just not enough sample). What made me mad the most is the fact that they did not consistently provide practice questions that shows how I can answer the questions properly. So I came into the exam with just contents that I reviewed from my notes, lecture notes, and ONE practice exam (that had many poorly worded questions and errors in the answers). I'm really disappointed with the grade I receive for this subject, but I can't even check where I did wrong in the exam.

Anonymous, Semester 2, 2021

This subject was so terribly run I can't even put it into words. The staff was so disorganized and their attitude towards students was honestly very spiteful and disheartening. You can basically read the other reviews to understand why I wrote that. The practicals and workshops felt like a complete waste of time, with some tutors often being unclear and sometimes even incorrect (aside from Gemma and Luke, they are very patient and try to sympathize with the students). The only good part of this subject is that the exam was pretty fair, I completed both sections with around 30 minutes to spare. Overall this subject was very content-heavy, but it wasn't too hard to grasp. Even though I got an H1, I would definitely not do this subject again.

Anonymous, Semester 2, 2021

This subject was honestly incredibly horrible and first year bio overall has made me lose a lot of interest I could have possibly had when it comes to biology. It was so poorly run, there were topic revision sessions that the coordinators didn't even tell us were on, they gave barely any practice materials and despite them telling us quite passive aggressively not to rote-learn, there were questions on the exam that couldn't have been answered with anything but rote learning????? They did not give us answers to the practice exam initially, and the students had to run a revision session independently to go over answers to it, and when given the answers THE DAY BEFORE THE EXAM, some questions were blatantly wrong. The practicals were not at all enjoyable (minus Luke, the best tutor/coordinator ever) as there was so much work for such little amount of time and you could not get much out of it when the groups changed every single time, so you could be stuck with a group that didn't want to participate and you'd be stuck in a disengaged zoom for 3 hours. The exam was stressful for the time limit we had as well. Overall, this is a horrible experience as a first year FOUNDATIONAL and very very CORE biology subject for many majors. There has got to be some intervention in the way this subject is run as it seems so disjointed.

Anonymous, Semester 2, 2021

This subject was a major letdown. Many of the problems with the subject have already been described, but the most ridiculous part of this subject came at the end of semester. The staff refused to provide any answers to the practice exam, telling us that we should consult google and course materials, despite the fact that the coordinators consistently highlighted that the exam was designed in a way that answers could not be found on google or directly in our notes. Less than 24 hours before the exam, the teaching staff bowed to student pressure and released the answers to the practice exam. There were at least 10 MISTAKES in the solutions they provided, which students quickly found and pointed out on the online discussion board. Most of these posts were ignored by staff. Most concerning, however, is that the practice exam was actually the 2020 exam, so solutions would have already been prepared the year before. This raises serious questions about the way in which the 2020 exam was marked...

Anonymous, Semester 2, 2021

The delivery of this subject was quite disappointing, which is a shame as the lecture content itself was quite interesting and the majority of the lecturers were very passionate about the content. However, the subject staff's amount of "support" and their engagement with the student body was, simply put, embarrassing. Announcements came off as passive-aggressive and they refused to respond to feedback on campuswire, no matter how much attention said feedback attracted. In one case, students received a scolding email for the lack of attendance in a help session that the staff completely forgot to announce was occurring, and took no accountability for the mistake on their part, even when pointed out on campuswire. I can count on one hand the number of staff who I can say wholeheartedly had students' best interests at heart (shoutout to Luke and Kirsten specifically). The practicals were longer than needed and became tiresome by the end of the semester. The workshops were a little better and the group project was interesting - we were required to come up with a report based on the distribution of a certain genus within Australia which varied with temperature, among other factors. However, I was lucky enough to be put with a great group of people, so I acknowledge that many students would not have had as positive of an experience. The marking for the workshop project was incredibly scattered - there was very little consistency in the critiques and marks given. The fortnightly quizzes were not opened up after marking was complete, but rather, the answers were published in a separate PowerPoint, which made revision quite difficult as it was hard to recall which answers I submitted, especially considering how long it took for the grades for a 10 MC quiz to come back. The exam itself was pretty stock standard, however, the teaching team made revision tricky. Only one practise exam was given, and the staff claimed we would not be getting answers to this practice at all - they decided against this the day before the exam. The feedback to questions on campuswire varied greatly depending on the lecturers for that specific module - some lecturers gave really detailed answers, while other lecturers were not present on the site at all. Staff reminded us specifically to not "rote-learn" the content on multiple occasions, however many of the questions in the exam asked for specific examples that were quoted in lectures that we were told were "not examinable, but rather used in order to demonstrate a larger idea". It was not impossible to do well in the exam, however, comprehensive notes (and quick googling skills) were an absolute must for success. It came across like the staff were actively trying to harm this chance. Overall, this subject would be majorly improved if there was a little bit more effort from the teaching team. The constant sarcasm and passive-aggressive tones were not appreciated, especially in an online environment where everyone is struggling. It really is a shame as this subject has great potential due to the content. I would recommend against this subject unless it is required as a prerequisite or you do not mind the tough workload.

Anonymous, Semester 2, 2021

The subject is quite content heavy with a range of different context from evolution to the sustainable environment. Lecturers were not consistent in quality and most just read off from the slides. Practicals were just okay but we were not allowed to review our quizzes so we can't exactly revise them for the exam. The only thing I found better were the workshops, the workshop coordinator Luke was a total gem and if you are very lucky if you got him. He was really passionate about the subject and it seemed like he was the only coordinator that really tried to help students. The exam was quite a mess and we have very limited practice and revision provided. There were no help classes like chemistry to help the students and some of the emails sent by the coordinators were really passive-aggressive. Practice exam was given in a pdf and not in a proper quiz format, and the practice solutions were not given until a day before the exam. This left students with lots of questions that could not be answered on time. Campuswire helped only a bit during SWOTVAC as lecturers did not respond to questions and even when they do, they do not give you an answer directly. The exam had too many short answer questions, but if you do the exam quick enough, you should be able to complete it exactly on time. Questions that were asked were quite specific and require quite a bit of memorisation, which was ironic because the lecturers kept specifying that we were tested on application-based questions so it was advised not to 'rote-learn'. On the other hand, if you study hard enough, you should be able to pass this subject if you read practicals beforehand and study through the material thoroughly before the exam. The community of students were really great during this semester as they helped each other to push through even though the subject was bad.

Anonymous, Semester 2, 2021

I only did it as a prerequisite and it was terrible. The lecturers weren’t consistent in quality: some would be great and explain what you need to know while others just put pictures on all of their lectures and no readings so you had no idea what you’re meant to know. The workshops felt like a waste of time, and unlike Chem where the three hour pracs were handled well, the bio pracs felt like a massive activity that would never end. The first few quizzes has questions that were unrelated to content, and apart from the ‘did you understand’ type of questions there wasn’t anything else to prepare you to what type of questions would be asked. The exam was a joke, it was ridiculously harder compared to the sample questions and all the quizzes and so much of it wasn’t related to what we learned or it zoned in on something that was briefly mentioned as a side note. Also the group assignment had a ridiculous word count and for the very little science knowledge we have we were somehow expected to add things that we don’t have the resources to access or weren’t told how to, and would be impossible to include to due to word count. Don’t blame yourself if you don’t do well, I got h1’s in all assessments apart from the exam. Just get through it and hope that second year bio is better

Anonymous, Semester 2, 2020

The exam was extremely fast and was difficult to complete it time. The content during the semester could be sometimes repetitive and mostly easy to watch through quickly. The group projects were well structured to space out the work load. It was slightly unclear what was important/testable.

Anonymous, Semester 2, 2020