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pi

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Re: Monash University - Subject reviews & ratings
« Reply #135 on: November 12, 2013, 08:36:35 pm »
+7
Subject Code/Name: MED2042 - Medicine 4

Workload: per week: 10 x 1hr lectures + 3 x 2 hr prac + 2 x 2 hr tutorials + 3.5 hr PBL (Problem Based Learning tutoria) + 6 hr CBP (Community Based Placement - ends at around Week 10)

Assessment: For the year - 10% Mid-Semester Test, 6.8% Social Determinants of Health Group Assignment, 2.55% CBP Reflective Essay and Learning Journal, 0.85% CBP Academic Advisor Assessment, 10% End of Year Written Examination, 20% OSCE Examination (formative assignments include practical write-ups, anatomy "flag races" and system quizzes). Important to note that there is also another examination, the dreaded VIA, but this will be covered in my review of MED2000.

Recorded Lectures: Yes, with screen capture that includes lectures notes being written on

Past exams available: No, the Faculty has now published a document with threats to expel students from the course if they are caught compiling past questions or distributing or using past compilations. All past compilations have been removed from the MUMUS site.

Textbook Recommendation:
  • Clinical Examination A Systematic Guide 7th - O'Connor and Talley*
  • Clinical Neuroanatomy Made Ridiculously Simple 1st - Goldberg^
  • Clinically Oriented Anatomy 7th - Agur, Dalley and Moore
  • Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology 12th - Guyton and Hall*
  • Langman's Medical Embryology 12th - Sadler
  • Mim's Medical Microbiology 4th - Dockrell, Goering, Mims, Roitt, Wakelin and Zuckerman
  • Netter's Clinical Anatomy 2nd - Hansen*
  • Neuroscience Exploring the Brain 4th - Bear, Connors and Pradiso*
  • Physiology 5th - Costanzo
  • Rang and Dale's Pharmacology 7th - Dale, Flower, Henderson, Rang and Ritter*
  • The ECG Made Easy 7th - Hampton
  • Thieme Atlas of Anatomy Head and Neuroanatomy 1st - Schuenke, Schulte and Schumaker
* means essential; ^ means a text not recommended by the Faculty but one I thought was amazing

Lecturer(s): Many, depending on the series of lecture (reproductive, haematology, neurology, psychiatry, pharmacology, pathology, etc.)

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2013

Rating: 5/5

Comments:
The workload is similar to last year (30+ contact hours and so forth), but this is by far the most interesting unit and the last unit at the Clayton Campus.

As with the rest of the course, the unit is divided into four parts (or themes of study):
Theme I: Personal and Professional Development
Theme II: Population, Society, Health and Illness
Theme III: Foundations of Medicine
Theme IV: Clinical Skills

Similarly with first year and last semester, of the four themes, I (and the vast majority of the cohort) found themes III and IV to be the most enjoyable. However not only were they enjoyable, they were conceptually the hardest too. The physiology is far more advanced and there is much more to remember and the exams become more serious and more weighted. Again, fantastic relation to clinical practice as we refine our basic physical examinations and develop an understanding of examining all the major systems. Again, there is the burden of Themes I and II (including the surprisingly enjoyable Law and Ethics!), however to a much lesser degree, making this unit even more enjoyable.

This unit essentially focuses on a few bodily systems, namely: reproductive, haematology, psychiatry and neurology. Each system provides it's own challenges as you delve into the physiology, gross anatomy, pharmacology and clinical manifestations, however it was well agreed upon that neurology was by far the most content heavy and the End of Year examination is nearly entirely neurology.

As with previous units, the bulk of the physiology is taught in the lectures and it is expected that students take the initiative to fill in the blanks in your own time. The anatomy is taught much the same as previous semesters, through dissections, prossections, radiology and tutes with surgical registrars. A new inclusion this semester was "flag races" during prossections which are formative and test your understanding of the anatomy, great to try and see where you stand in the cohort. Arguably the last chance to learn some gross anatomy without getting grilled by consultants, these are more valuable than ever.

We finalise our basic set of clinical skills in this unit learning: haematology (history and examination), reproductive (history), cranial nerves (examination), mental state examination, eye examination, ear and throat examination, interpretation of ECGs. There is also a large amount of revision of previous examinations in preparation for the final OSCE. As previously mentioned, group and team work becomes vital in these tutes and participation is the key to learning and preparation for the eventual OSCE.

This semester marks the end of the Community Based Placements (CBP), and I personally count this as one of the major pluses of my degree so far: enjoyed it to bits! As mentioned in my MED2031 review, I was at a special school and coming back from the full 14 weeks of the placement, I was really glad I was there. So much practical learning and some amazing and touching memories that I will hold close forever. Definitely recommend taking full advantage of these placements and enjoy them.

An academic downside for me was a series of lectures on "Knowledge Management". Although I didn't actually attend any of them or watch/listen to them online or read the slides, I hear they were largely useless. Any questions from here can be winged on the exam with no troubles.

Otherwise lectures are still at a high standard, and as captivating and interactive (except for Knowledge Management). I particularly enjoyed the neurophysiology lectures, defnitely recommended to attend those. As with before, questions are allowed to be asked before, during and after the lectures, and all lecturers are more than happy to respond to emails afterwards. The lecture notes/slides given are also of a decent standard and it is possible to pass the unit solely using these. There is no attendance requirement for this unit, however it is expected that students attend all lectures (most lectures are nearly full, so that shows the quality of what is given).

In terms of the hurdle requirements, there are two: the End of Year Exam and the final OSCE. The MED2000 component is also a hurdle. Passing these are compulsory to passing the unit (and hence the year) and failure to do so will result in your repeating of the year (although there are some supplementary exams as with MED1022!). 

As mentioned in my previous review, study groups are amazing. Continuing my Year I/II study group was excellent revision and good to see yourself making a difference. The Year II/III study groups were again invaluable resources, and I can't thank my Third Years anough for their support and resources.

Social side took a back-seat for much of the semester with the heavy work-load and large exams coming. Having said that, there is time to party and post-exams there are AXPs and so forth to indulge in. One noteable exception is the MUMUS Medball, which was simply amazing.

This unit sees the end of pre-clinical medicine and peaks in intensity towards the end. Very enjoyable and worth every moment :) Come at us hospitals :D
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 12:46:23 am by alondouek »

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Re: Monash University - Subject reviews & ratings
« Reply #136 on: November 12, 2013, 08:50:31 pm »
+6
Subject Code/Name: MED2000 - Year 1 and 2 Final Grade

Workload: N/A, this unit consists of a single examination and occurs throughout the first two years. There is a VIA revision lecture every week run by MUMUS.

Assessment: As per the name of this unit, it combines the first two years of the MBBS into one grade:
  • MED1011: 12.5%
  • MED1022: 12.5%
  • MED2031: 27.5%
  • MED2042: 27.5%
  • First VIA (Integrated Vertical Assessment) Examination: 20%

Recorded Lectures: Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available: No (for the VIA), the Faculty has now published a document with threats to expel students from the course if they are caught compiling past questions or distributing or using past compilations. All past compilations have been removed from the MUMUS site.

Textbook Recommendation:
  • Clinical Examination A Systematic Guide 7th - O'Connor and Talley*
  • Clinically Oriented Anatomy 7th - Agur, Dalley and Moore*
  • Clinical Neuroanatomy Made Ridiculously Simple 1st - Goldberg^
  • Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology 12th - Guyton and Hall*
  • Life The Science of Biology 9th - Berenbaum, Heller, Hillis and Sadva
  • Mim's Medical Microbiology 4th - Dockrell, Goering, Mims, Roitt, Wakelin and Zuckerman
  • Netter's Clinical Anatomy 2nd - Hansen*
  • Physiology 5th - Costanzo
  • Rang and Dale's Pharmacology 7th - Dale, Flower, Henderson, Rang and Ritter*
  • The ECG Made Easy 7th - Hampton
  • Thieme Atlas of Anatomy Head and Neuroanatomy 1st - Schuenke, Schulte and Schumaker
  • Thieme Atlas and Textbook of Anatomy General Anatomy and Musculoskeletal System 1st - Schuenke, Schulte and Schumaker
* means essential; ^ means a text not recommended by the Faculty but one I thought was amazing

Lecturer(s): Various presenters depending on revision topic being discussed.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2013

Rating: 5/5

Comments:
This is an unconventional "unit". Essentially it is one exam that demonstrates knowledge from Years I and II, so it's a pretty important exam (the second VIA is done after Year IV).

Preparation for the VIA is essential as it has a massive weighting, and everyone had a different style and approach. Personally I found re-writing notes on each system and topic to be useful with not too much reference to textbooks, however what is important is that you don't leave it to the last moment.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 12:46:48 am by alondouek »

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Re: Monash University - Subject reviews & ratings
« Reply #137 on: November 12, 2013, 09:59:13 pm »
+7
Subject Code/Name: ATS1873 - Introduction to International Relations

Workload: 2 x 1 hour lectures and 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week

Assessment:
•Comparative analysis 15%, 1000 words - two topics were provided and for each topic you were given two different articles covering that topic (this year we got the Syria crisis and nuclear weapons). As it states you had to compare the two articles arguments coming to the conclusion on which one argues the case the best. The sample pieces were provided for guidance which were extremely helpful. The big problem for a lot of people was they wrote their essay like a language analysis in school in that the compared the stylistic approach by the authors. This task doesn’t care what they have used to persuade you but looking at the argument itself and its credibility, what info have they left out etc. This piece helps you quite a bit for the major essay as valuable feedback is provided.
•Major essay 35%, 1500 words – 12 topics were provided one for each week. Topics were pretty straightforward and some a bit open ended allowing you to explore the topic from various angles if you wished.
•Tutorial participation/speech 15% - this was broken up into two parts. Tutorial participation and as the name states no marks were awarded for just showing up. My tutor was always stressing that he is very stingy with these marks and everyone must contribute to the discussion. The second part was a debate topic that you had to present. This involved picking one of the topics from the various weeks and present an argument with a powerpoint presentation arguing your point.
•Exam 35% - 2 hours in the exam period. First part requires you to write an essay on one of three topics. The topics were on the theories we looked – realism, liberalism and wold systems theory/Marxism. Second part is you are given 12 short answer questions in which you write on 6.

Recorded lectures: Yes

Past exams: Yes all the way back to like the late 90s but only the last few years are relevant as they changed the structure of the exam.

Textbook recommendation: there is one recommended but don’t buy, will be a waste of money. It’s good for extra reference but that it just borrow from library if needed.

Lecturers:
•Remy Davison is the main lecturer and he is really good. His powerpoints are laden with info but he doesn’t just read off of them. He gives many examples to go with the theory and unlike some other lecturers he generally enjoys what he is talking about. And he cracks jokes at everyone including university.
•Justin Shearer who is one of the tutors takes one of the lecturers and some other guy takes one as well.

Year & Semester of Completion: 2013, Semester 2.

Rating: 5/5

Your Mark: TBA

Comments:
•In terms of an introductory unit I thought this subject was brilliant.
•To start with you look at the major theories in world politics such as realism, liberalism, Marxism, world systems theory and all their variants. Next you move onto a new topic for each lecture. We looked at things like security, sovereignty, failed states, nuclear weapons, cold war, nationalism, United Nations, humanitarian intervention, human rights and others. Keep in mind that you spend only 50 minutes on each topic so you don’t look at them in depth but as an overview it was quite good. As a side note a lot of these subjects can be studied in later year such as security studies which is a whole 2nd year unit.
•Because of the array of topics some were more boring than others but there should be something there for everyone.
•In terms of assignments they are pretty standard for an Arts subject. They weren’t overly hard and my tutor provided brilliant feedback which is always good.
•For the tutes I had Justin and I would highly recommend him. The guy is like 25 but he is extremely knowledgeable on a lot of areas and he brought up some brilliant discussions. The discussions in this tutorial were so thought provoking that I actually enjoyed going and everyone was actually willing to provide their own input – something you don’t get in all tutes. I have also heard good things about the other tutors.
•In all a superb subject that was really well organised and run and would recommended it to other people.
•Also if you were wondering knowing and keeping up with world events is always advantageous in just everyday life but it isn’t necessary to do well in this subject. 
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 12:48:27 am by alondouek »
2011: Bio [36]
2012: Legal [42] PE [43] Chem [33] English [40] Methods [25] 
ATAR: 93.30
2013: B. Arts at Monash University
2014: Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Arts at Monash

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Re: Monash University - Subject reviews & ratings
« Reply #138 on: November 14, 2013, 12:23:24 pm »
+6
Subject Code/Name: MAE2403: Aerospace Computational Mechanics

Workload: 3x 1hr lectures, 1x 2hr labs (Not compulsory to attend)

Assessment: 30% Labs (3+6+6+7+8 % - 1 lab report due per 2 weeks approx.), 70% Exams

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture etc.

Past exams available: Many dating back to 2007. (Search for MAE3403 which was the previous unit code)

Textbook Recommendation:  YOU'RE IN 2ND YEAR AND STILL ASKING THIS QUESTION?

Lecturer(s): Prof. Murray Rudman

Year & Semester of completion: 2013, Sem 2

Rating: 3 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: Exams tomorrow. Procrastinating now.

Comments: Alright confession time I hardly went to any of the lectures at all as they put me to sleep. It isn't that Murray is a bad lecturer but its just there's WAAAay too much information on the slides and he tends to skips algebraic steps when going over the methods (which he has to or we'll run out of time). Also, I felt that the way to learn was to practice the methods instead of reading and listening. Attendance at the few lectures I went to were limt -> 8:00am Attendance = 0. We had around 80 people in the course and we'll get 15-20 people on a good day according to my friends that attends lectures.

Anyway the content taught in this unit was fairly useful and definitely challenging. Labs takes a huge amount of time to complete and you will want to punch the computer at times. Definitely one of the harder second year unit. Try not to fall behind in this unit as the content isn't easily crammed during swotvac as I'm realizing now...
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 12:48:49 am by alondouek »
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Re: Monash University - Subject reviews & ratings
« Reply #139 on: November 14, 2013, 06:31:56 pm »
+5
Subject Code/Name: PHS1022 - Physics

Workload:  3x1 hr lectures and a 3 hr lab each week

Assessment: It's broken up a bit, so to list them
 - 20% Lab work (10 labs+1 presentation, includes prelabs)
 - 5% Formal Report
 - 3% written problem set
 - 7% Mastering Physics Assignments
 - 7% Mid-semester test
 - 58% Exam (yes, 58, such an odd (we'll even but the other kind of odd) number)

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Yes, 2011 and onwards are more relevant, we had two of those with solutions. Pre-2011 there were two exams instead of one, and we got 5 sets of 2 with solutions.

Textbook Recommendation:  You don't really need it, but anyways: Physics for Scientists & Engineers 3ed

Lecturer(s):
 - Rotation & Gravitation: Dr Istvan Laszlo
 - Electricity & Fields: Dr Shane Kennedy
 - Magnetism & Fields: Dr Istvan Laszlo
 - Quantum Physics: Professor Michael Morgan (Head of the School of Physics)

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2 2013

Rating:  3.8 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 91 - HD

Comments: Overall this unit is alright, I don't particularly like physics so it goes without saying that since I partly enjoyed it that it's probably a good unit. I didn't go to lectures after the mid-semester test, which wasn't because of the lecturers but more because I just got lazy. You have clickers for this unit, that is you can go and borrow a clicker at the start of the semester, and throughout the lectures they'll ask questions, which you respond with your multiple choice option, then a chart comes up with the lectures %'s for each option. I decided not to get one, because I had a clash with 2 out of 3 lectures a week (so I was only physically going to one lecture a week for physics), but it seemed like a good idea.

The labs aren't too hard, as long as you keep on top of things. It's mostly groups of three, and every 4 weeks your group members change. In the first two blocks I was in a group of 2, which I feel we might have got marked a little easier because we had one less set of hands to do things. Towards the end there is a lab where you get to pick from a series of labs, you're not given a procedure but have to come up with your own idea and method on how to test the question or concept that you're given. Then 2 weeks later you give a 5 minute presentation as a group on what your experiment was, results and what you can conclude from it e.t.c. (For this I was in a group of three, but we had one member not show up and so had to wing a third of the presentation, if you know your material and sound like you know what you're doing then you'll do well. Even be a bit enthusiastic, the demonstrator seemed to like that for our presentation).

Some of the concepts might be a bit challenging, and hard to get your head around. The quantum section gets kind of tough at the end, but I seemed to enjoy it once it all made sense and fell into place. The breakdown of the exam was as follows:
Gravitation/Rotational     12.78%
Electrostatics                   26.11%
Magnetism                       30.56%
Quantum Mechanics         30.56%
Which meant that exam was weighted more towards the Electromagnetism part of the course.

Overall, I think if you keep on top of things you should be fine, but if you don't then it's crammable given that you put the hard yards in during swotvac (probably not a good idea though).

EDIT: Post number 3141 *cough* 3.141(592653589793.....) *cough* (and no I'm not rounding it up to 3.142)
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 12:19:28 pm by b^3 »
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Re: Monash University - Subject reviews & ratings
« Reply #140 on: November 16, 2013, 07:37:15 pm »
+4
Subject Code/Name: ATS3887/APG4887 - Designing Urban Futures: Urban Climate, Water and Adaptation

Workload:  2x 1 hour lectures
1 fortnightly(ish) 2 hour prac

Assessment: 

3rd year students:
Lit review -- 25%
Prac reports -- 3x 5%
Research essay -- 30%
Exam -- 30%

4th year students:
Lit review -- 20%
Prac reports -- 3x 5%
Class presentation -- 15%
Research essay -- 25%
Exam -- 25%

Recorded Lectures:  yes

Past exams available:  1 in the past exams database.

Textbook Recommendation: No single set text, but there is a reading list. If you're that interested you could probably find relevant stuff in the library.

Lecturer(s): Nigel Tapper, (many!) various guest lecturers

Year & Semester of completion: Sem 2 2013

Rating:  1 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: TBA, probably a D

Comments: I don't even know where to begin. I guess I should say here: don't bother doing this unit, it's sh!t. I really did try to like this unit but there weren't any redeeming qualities, apart from the fact that the pracs are easy marks.

Okay, let's start from the start. The lectures were crap and this unit had no real structure. There were far too many guest lecturers and Nigel Tapper was, well, hardly around. Trying to get in contact with him was a royal pain in the arse and it took forever to get ANY work back at all. Case in point -- I handed in my research essay in Week 11, and I didn't get it back until the 14th of November -- the day before the exam. No one got any feedback, just a numerical grade number. The fact that most of the unit was made up of guest lecturers meant that there was no real cohesion, and a lot of confusion as to what was actually examinable/how we could be assessed on the stuff. There was maybe 3 or 4 weeks of actual content, and the rest of it felt like a long and drawn out advertisement for Nigel's CRC for Water Sensitive Cities. There was SOME interesting content, I'll grant it that, but a lot of it was a repeat of first and second year and to be honest, I got by with a basic understanding of climate science and common sense.

The lit review was annoying. They gave out the topic at the start of semester, but beyond that we weren't given any clues as to how to actually do it. Furthermore, it was not made clear to us that we were not to write on the topic that we were given, rather we were meant to take that topic and narrow it down so it could be refined into a 'better' topic. That would have been fine... if we were told we had to do it. As a result, a lot of us crashed and burned simply because we misunderstood what was wanted. Oh, and the marking criteria wasn't released until a day or two before it was due... but then when we got our essays back, a DIFFERENT marking criteria was used, so there was plenty of potential to lose marks in categories that didn't previously exist (like including an abstract!).

As for the research essay, well... we were given more help to work on it as opposed to the lit review, but not much more help. You're supposed to look at the data they give you and come up with a research question, answer it, etc. It was annoying because communication in the unit was really poor -- there was an extension given out at the last minute to everyone, but it was so poorly publicised that most of us were unaware until after we handed our stuff in. I've done research essays before and generally quite like them, but this one was just a pain.

Exam was straightforward, stock standard essay writing and a handful of definitions.

I was enrolled as a third year, not a fourth year, so I can't comment on how difficult the class presentation is to put together, but by the looks of things it seemed an easy way to get marks, so I'm kind of spewing that the third years weren't given a similar opportunity. Plus, if you enrol in this unit at 4th year level, all of your individual assessments are weighted less so I guess it's an advantage.

TL;DR unless they revamp this unit and get someone else in, don't bother. This unit sucked, and this is coming from someone that likes geography!
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 12:49:45 am by alondouek »
VCE 2010 | BA/BSc, MTeach (both Monash)

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Re: Monash University - Subject reviews & ratings
« Reply #141 on: November 18, 2013, 08:30:17 pm »
+4
Subject Code/Name: ATS2779 - Climate Change and Variability 

Workload:  2x 1 hour lectures per week, plus fortnightly 2 hour pracs

Assessment:  prac reports -- 6x 5% = 30%
writing task -- 35%
exam 35%

Recorded Lectures:  Yes

Past exams available:  None (see comments), but the review lecture gave a good indication of what the exam would be like.

Textbook Recommendation: Global Warming by Houghton. It's certainly useful but not absolutely necessary.

Lecturer(s): Ailie Gallant

Year & Semester of completion: Sem 2 2013

Rating:  4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: HD

Comments: I was a bit apprehensive going into this unit because it got a bit of a bad rep... but I was very pleasantly surprised. This is the first year that Ailie taught this unit and she did an excellent job. She is engaging, passionate about her work, a good teacher and very helpful (and made a good solid effort to learn everyone's names). We covered stuff about past climate variability, current climate variability, stuff about projections, modelling climate, and how various government bodies responded (or have not responded) to climate change. Although I'd seen some of the content before, quite a bit of it was new to me and so it was very interesting. I liked learning about it. There's a lot of content and the lectures are a tad fast, so if you're not a good note taker you might struggle a bit.

The only reason that I docked a mark off of my rating was that at the start of the semester the practicals were BAD. We had two hour classes but the amount of work we were supposed to do in them was really not possible. Also, there were major discrepancies in marking between tutors -- those who were in Ailie's prac class were marked generously but everyone else was marked (very!) harshly. However once it was found out, all of our marks were adjusted and our pracs became shorter too and turned out to be quite enjoyable. Mostly it's computer work in Excel, sifting through various data and answering questions based on it.

The other thing I didn't like was that stuff took FOREVER to come back to us. Though halfway through the unit the person taking the prac classes ditched and so Ailie took ALL of the classes on, so maybe that's why. The general consensus was that she was such a nice person that we couldn't mind *too* much, but if you're anal-retentive about getting work back on time you'll probably be a bit annoyed.

The writing task was quite fun, you picked a Wikipedia article on climate science and critiqued it in 2000 words, which is different from your standard geography essay. Naturally I picked something relatively short that had a fair few errors so I could spend most of my time saying that websites are not good sources of academic information. It was a bit of a drain to individually read and critique each reference though.

I found myself doing a fair amount of work for this unit, but overall it was nicely structured and there was a clear progression between topics. Lectures were engaging (though a very small turnout, probably because of previous years?) and so in order to I think encourage attendance we had 'bonus questions' that were asked during lectures, and we could answer them later for a once-off reward of 3 free marks to the best answer. A good idea in theory, but in practice it meant that people attended lectures until they got their bonus marks and they stopped coming.

The exam was straight forward, 5 short answer questions and 3 mini-essays. I found it to be very fair. No past exams because the unit has apparently been revamped, so past exams would have been a bit useless anyways. It's easy to pass this unit but if you want to do well you need to put in some effort. Overall I really liked this unit and I'd recommend it, especially if Ailie continues to take this unit next year.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 12:50:08 am by alondouek »
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Re: Monash University - Subject reviews & ratings
« Reply #142 on: November 19, 2013, 07:18:00 pm »
+9
Subject Code/Name: MTH2132 - The Nature and Beauty of Mathematics

Workload:  1x1 hr lecture and 1x2 hr lecture a week (that's it!)

Assessment:
25% - Weekly Problem Sets which are handed in during the next week's 2 hr lecture
25% - 1500 word 'Essay' - It's more of a maths article where you pick something you're interested in, talk about it, explain it and show the maths
50% - Exam

Recorded Lectures: No.

Past exams available:  Not exactly a past exam, but a list of 120 questions. 80% of the exam will be these exact questions. (No solutions or answers to them though).

Textbook Recommendation: Don't have to buy anything, but Burkard's book 'Q.E.D.: Beauty in Mathematical Proof' is pretty good for what I've seen of it.

Lecturer(s): A/Prof Burkard Polster

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2 2013

Rating: 6 Out of 5 (not a typo)

Your Mark/Grade: 86 - HD

Comments: This has been the most enjoyable unit that I've completed so far, and it'll take a fair bit to top it, (I really think it'll stay my most enjoyable unit). While the maths itself in the unit isn't hard (basic maths really as a lot of students from other faculties take it as an elective, e.g. arts comm e.t.c), the approach to learning is different than most units. It's not just a 'here's the method/formula, plug and chug/apply', it requires more out of the box thinking in some situations.

Each week you'll get a problem set due in the next week's 2 hr lecture. These problems aren't too hard, and since there was more people taking the unit this year only one or two problems were marked out of the 4 each week. We weren't told which problems though, so you still had to do all of them really. Some of them will be a little... shall we say, different from what you're used to. That is you might have a basic algebraic manipulation from some kid of diagram to prove something, or you might need to take a photo of yourself with a hexaflexagon to prove you've made it, or even making a cube withing a cube with bubbles (you get the ingredients for the mixture you need to make). This may sound all odd, but there are mathematical principles behind it all, and really it's a lot of fun as well. There was a cool trick that you could do with the bubble mixture, setting your hands on fire without actually setting them on fire, which some of you might have seen ended up on Stalkerspace.

For the essay, don't make it hard on yourself, start early. At least have a good idea and do a bit of an investigation into it early on in the semester. Pick something your interested in and try and find a bit of math in your everyday life. It's due just before the midsem break (so that he can mark them over the midsem break).

Throughout the semester Burkard will show you a fair few mathematical movie/tv clips, which you'll find a few of them here http://www.qedcat.com/movieclips/index.html
Also you should check out his and Marty's (one of the guys who takes UMEP, also Burkard takes MUEP classes) website, always good for a bit of thought provoking procrastination: http://www.qedcat.com/.

Finally the exam itself, while the unit is not a hard unit, you'll need to remember a fair few theorems and concepts/ideas for the exam. I left it until a bit too late to start memorising and committing these to memory, start early if you can. Doing the list of questions he gives you is good practice for the exam (as half of them are the actual exam questions). Also the questions that were on the problem sets may come up again in the exam, my friends and I kinda assumed that they wouldn't since they were already on the problem set, and well lost a few marks when the popped up on the exam as we didn't revise them.

All in all, a great unit, I'll list the topics as follows.
• Symmetry (regular solids, tilings, Escher, ruler-and-compass, origami)
• Fibonacci numbers and Golden Ratio
• Optimal design (soap bubble maths, minimal networks)
• Mathematical soul capturing (the maths of juggling and lacing shoes)
• Visualising the 4th dimension
• The shape of space (Möbius bands, Klein bottles, "pacman" spaces)
• Infinity.

I should point out that he uses a lightsaber as a pointer, and the content and demonstrations will always keep you interested. Anyways, check out a juggling demonstration that he did for open day this year (you'll get to see it again during lectures), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zabtIAUKVXY.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 12:19:17 pm by b^3 »
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Re: Monash University - Subject reviews & ratings
« Reply #143 on: November 20, 2013, 02:49:08 pm »
+9
Subject Code/Name: MTH2032 - Differential Equations with Modelling

Workload:  3x1 hr lectures, 1x2 hr tute per week

Assessment:  3x5% Assignments (The second two are 'reports' on excel modelling PDEs), 5x2% Quizzes, 15% Mid Semester Test, 60% exam.

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available:  Yes, as per the Mathematics Faculty policy, 2 exams but only 1 with solutions.

Textbook Recommendation: You don't need it, (but if you're that keen: E. Kreysig, Advanced Engineering Mathematics (9th edition).

Lecturer(s): Weeks 1-6: Dr Jerome Droniou, Weeks 7-12: Rosemary Mardling

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2 2013

Rating: 4 Out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: 82 - HD

Comments: I enjoyed this unit, although at times there are some small annoyances. For the first 6 weeks under Jerome you will need to be meticulous in your working, and will need to write what you're doing for each step (i.e. "We have a second order linear homogeneous ODE (Ordinart Differential Equation)", <show the equation>. "Using the variation of parameter method" <show working>. Missing after introducing a constant of proportionality can lose you a mark, as well as if you don't have the right keyword in your explanation. i.e. I lost a mark on tests for not stating "By superposition" when finding the particular solution for a Second Order Linear Non-Homogenous ODE with constant coefficients. So yeah, what I'm getting at is you have to be picky with everything for the first six weeks. For the second six weeks, you can be fairly lazy in this regard, as Rosemary doesn't mind as much.

You won't be able to learn enough by just going to lectures. It's better to sit down with the lecture notes and go through and work out a method for each type of question, with the overhead slides from the lecture complimenting this. With that being said, I stopped going to lectures after week 7, but that was not because of Rosemary, (she was actually pretty good for the few I went to).

The averages for the 2% tests were all over the place, with some being med-high and others being really low. They're a good trial run though, as the questions are very similar to the mid-semester test (which is only on Jerome's content). The first assignment is like any other normal maths assignment, while the latter two will require you to come to the tute to do some work on excel (or Matlab or w.e. you wan't really), to model a situation regarding PDEs. The first is just about modelling a wave with a Fourier Series. The second is on the Heat Equation, so the heat transfer through a 1-dimensional rod and how it varies through time, modelling the temperature distribution with a Fourier Series.

Most people found the exam itself quite hard, and it was above average in the end. You probably won't be short on time, but will get to some questions and go "well,.. what... where am I even meant to start?". There was a 10 mark question (out of 99 marks, so around ~10%), that not many (if any) were able to get. Your best be for preparing is to make sure you know how to apply each method to solve an ODE, and memorise the few theorems that you will encounter throughout the unit, then do past exams and you should be fine.

Topics for those who are interested.

Weeks 1-6
 - First order ODEs - Separable, Linear, Exact, ODEs of Homogeneous Type
 - Existence and uniqueness of solutions      
 - Modelling with first order ODEs - Radiocarbon Dating, Newton's law of cooling, Gravity Currents, Curves of Pursuit, Kinetic Chemistry, Population Dynamics
 - Recasting ODEs of order into systems of first order ODEs
 - Numerical Solution of ODEs - Euler's method, Heun's method, error analysis and rounding errors
 - Second oarder ODEs- Existence and uniqueness of solutions, method for second order linear homogeneous ODEs, constant and non-constant coefficients cases
 - Free, Forced, Damped, Undamped Oscillations
 - Second Order ODEs - Non-homogeneous case - The method of undetermined coefficients, variation of parameters
 - Reduction of order methods
 - Series solutions of linear ODEs and Power Series Solutions

Weeks 7-12
 - Partial Differential Equations
 - Fourier Series
 - The Heat Equation
 - The Advection Equation
 - The Wave Equation

« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 12:19:08 pm by b^3 »
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Re: Monash University - Subject reviews & ratings
« Reply #144 on: November 20, 2013, 06:58:20 pm »
+5
Subject Code/Name: BIO1022 - Biology II

Workload:
  • 2x 1-hr lectures
  • 1x 2.5-hr lab

Assessment:
  • Labs - 30%
  • MasteringBio - 5%
  • Essay - 10% (Draft is 3%, Final copy is 7%)
  • 5x Moodle Tests (15%)
  • Exam - 40%

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  No. As with BIO1011, there is no practice exam supplied. However, a 'Revision Superquiz' (100 MCQs) is avaliable in the ~2 weeks prior to the exam from a bank of ~500 questions.

Textbook Recommendation:  Campbell Biology 9th Edition (the same textbook as for BIO1011) - 8th Edition is pefectly fine as of 2013.

Lecturer(s):
Dr. Heather Verkade (Molecular Biology)
Dr. Marien de Bruijne (Metabolism/Thermoregulation/Nervous System)
Dr. Christopher Johnstone (Homeostasis/Muscular-Skeletal Systems/Nutrition and Digestion)
Dr. Bob Wong (Hormones/Reproduction/Animal Development)
Dr. Meredith Hughes (Microbiology Lectures 1-3)
A/Prof. Frank Alderuccio (Microbiology Lecture 4)

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2013

Rating: 4 out of 5

Your Mark/Grade: D

Comments: Objectively, this is quite a good unit, but I didn't enjoy it as much as I'd expected to (because a lot of it was just stuff we'd already covered to a greater extent in Biomed), though it was definitely an improvement on BIO1011 - presumably because there was no plant biology whatsoever ;D . The content was very good, and as always the lecturers were brilliant. Special mention to Chris Johnstone and Bob Wong, who were particularly entertaining.

If you've done VCE biology and BIO1011 (and you've definitely done the second one if you're doing this unit), then you shouldn't find the theory particularly difficult at all, though some of the content is new or in greater detail. For me, the most challenging stuff was Animal Development as I hadn't been exposed to the material before, and Reproduction for the same reason (these are both very anatomy- and developmental biology-based, so it's good to get a bit of background from the internet/readings first).

The most important advice I can impart for this unit is to do all readings BEFORE the lectures and labs (i.e. during the weekend). The textbook is really good, and the biology department makes a strong point throughout the semester that the material is examinable, and it's extremely useful otherwise. However, if you honestly don't have the time you can definitely get by on the lecture notes - they're very detailed and the exam is perfectly manageable from just these (as in, there's nothing examined that's not at least briefly mentioned in the lectures).

The labs are good, except the "E-Rat" lab (an "online rat dissection" which was optimised for windows '95 and didn't work for most people) which was a trainwreck. For labs where you need to write a report - and for the essay - follow the guidelines they provide you on Moodle VERY closely, even if you've learnt different ways of doing these things in other subjects. They will be very tough on you mark-wise otherwise.

There are a lot of assessment tasks that you need to keep track of like the MBio quizzes and the Moodle Tests. I personally recommend a calendar or a reminder system of sorts to keep on top of all these things - otherwise it can be very overwhelming, especially in the context of all your other units.

The exam is the same structure as in BIO1011, i.e. 144 MCQs (~6 from each lecture) in 2.5 hours. I studied by making fairly detailed summaries of each lecture, which ended up being 106 pages long. If you can find a better way of studying than this, PLEASE do it. I have never been so exhausted that when I finished those summaries.

This is a prerequisite unit for all life-science majors, and it's a pretty good one at that. It's even better if you're studying non-biology based things as well, because it'll provide a good amount of diversity to your studies.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2014, 04:22:53 am by alondouek »
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Re: Monash University - Subject reviews & ratings
« Reply #145 on: November 20, 2013, 09:59:57 pm »
+6
Subject Code/Name: BMS1042 - Biomedical Science and Society

Workload:
  • 1x 2hr lecture
  • 2x 2hr tutorials (1x epidemiology, 1x biostatistics)

Assessment:
  • 5x Biostatistics pre-labs - 5%
  • Twitter assignment - 2%
  • Moodle MCQ mid-semester quiz - 10%
  • 2x Epidemiology group oral presentation - 10%
  • Epidemiology Individual Written Assessment (sort of like a literature review) - 13%
  • Biostatistics assignment - 10%
  • Exam - 50%

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture

Past exams available:  Yes, quite a few from 2009 backwards on the Monash exam database.

Textbook Recommendation:
  • Basic Epidemiology 2nd edition - Bonita, Beaglehole and Kjellstrom. This is free online at the WHO (World Health Organisation) website, so there's no need to buy the hard copy from Monash unless you really want it. Didn't use it at all during semester, but it made for some pleasant light reading during SWOTVAC (just for fun lol).
  • Essential Medical Statistics 2nd edition - Kirkwood and Sterne. Didn't buy it and I've never seen it in person, but it might be useful if you're finding biostats difficult and the module notes aren't helping.

Lecturer(s):

Biostatistics:
  • Dr. Baki Billah

Epidemiology: (many guest lecturers)
  • Dr. Basia Diug (Introduction  into Epidemiology & Public Health/Exposure, Measurement & Error)
  • Prof. Robert Burton (Descriptive Epidemiology)
  • Prof. Robin Bell (Study Designs/Diagnostics and Screening)
  • A/Prof. Dragan Ilic (Comparing Study Designs)
  • A/Prof Bebe Loff (Importance of Ethical Guidance in Research and Clinical Practice/Research on Humans)
  • Dr. Katherine Gibney (Outbreak Investigation)
  • Prof. Brian Oldenburg (Chronic Non-Communicable Disease)
  • Dr. Darshini Ayton (Health Promotion)

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2013

Rating:  5 out of 5 (I'd give it more if I could lol)

Your Mark/Grade: D

Comments: I went into this unit expecting it to be terrible. Was I wrong! Many people didn't like this unit because they didn't consider it 'hard science' like most of our other biomed units, but I loved it. Even biostatistics was good, though it's usually a struggle.

I'll comment on this units in two parts with individual grades (epidemiology/public health and biostatistics), given that it was essentially two distinct areas combined into one unit.

Biostatistics - 3.5 out of 5
Biostats was admittedly a little bit boring, but it was made up for by the fact that the material was taught well and that it was obviously all relevant to vital procedures in biomedical and medical practice. Baki is a great guy and he really, REALLY knows his stuff - he's got such a great sense of humour (said in the first lecture that he'll respond to "Great Baki") and was such an interactive lecturer that he really got us interested in the biostatistics side of things. My only complaint is that he has a really thick Bangladeshi accent which was a little tough for white guys like me (hahahaha) to understand at first, but he makes up for this by going over everything in a logical, repeated and explanatory manner so you're not left behind. Plus, you get used to his accent after a couple of lectures. (Baki catchphrases to note: "Jiro" (= zero), "oh ma gahd").

The biostats material was as follows:
  • Module 1: Classification of Data and Sampling Methods in Epidemiological Studies
  • Module 2: Importance of Data Summarizing in Epidemiological Studies
  • Module 3: Quantifying Uncertainty in Data Analysis Results in Epidemiological Studies
  • Module 4: Hypothesis Formulation and Testing Using Sample Data
  • Module 5: Parameter Estimation and Confidence Interval
  • Module 6: Evaluation of Association Between Outcome and Exposure
  • Module 7: Measuring the Risk of Occurring Outcome Among Exposures
  • Module 8: Describing Relation Between Outcome & Exposure/s

You have one 2-hour tutorial for biostatistics per week, and this is super-important for learning the content in detail. Have a read of the module notes both before and after the tute, it'll help reinforce the large amount of material you need to understand.

The assessment for biostats (outside the exam) consists of:
1. 5 weekly(ish) pre-tute question sets that you do as a group with 2 other people in your tute. These can be a bit tricky, but as a group you'll figure them out quickly. Also, make sure all your wording is specific and always correct, because your tutors are definitely trying to take marks off (even 0.25 of a mark, as was seen multiple times throughout the semester haha) to make you develop the correct language for statistical reporting.

2. A group biostatistics assignment with the same people you do your pre-labs with. This is also quite challenging, as a couple of the questions are trickily worded so as to see if you can describe and use the correct statistical analysis method for the data at hand. It also involves the interpretation of SPSS output data, so make sure you understand these outputs.

Epidemiology - 10000000 out of 5 :P

Epidemiology blew me away totally, I have never found anything as fascinating as the stuff I learnt in this unit. I'm even taking a Summer Research Scholarship at the Monash SPHPM (Alfred) because I want to pursue it further. I've listed the breakdown of the epidemiology material above in the "lecturers" section. All these people (except Basia) were guest lecturers, and all of them (including Basia) were brilliant and really enjoyable to learn from. I also found it a lot more intuitive than biostatistics, but that might just be down to bias and my particular style of learning.

You have one 2-hour epidemiology tute per week, which goes over the lecture content in much greater detail, with examples etc. I had an amazing tutor (shout out to Breanna) who really helped me understand the principles behind epidemiology and how disease manifests itself both in the individual and the population, and how it can be studied. It was worth getting up for the 8am tute every Wednesday, didn't even consider missing it once.

The epidemiology side of assessment (excluding the exam) consists of:
1. An online assessment (done through Twitter) that involves playing the 'Dumb Ways to Die' game and posting an example of public health that you encounter every day.

2. 2 group orals done in your epi tutes; one is on ethics and the other on population health. These are pretty easy to do well in, especially if you've got a passionate group.

3. An individual written assessment, where you review a journal article on a public health/epidemiological issue and a corresponding media article relating to the journal article. This was really easy to do as you were allowed to directly answer it in a 'question-answer' format (i.e. you just had to answer the questions instead of making it an essay). I chose to write on a study exploring the efficacy of Bifrontotemporoparietal Decompressive Craniectomies in treating trauma patients versus the 'standard care' option of induced coma. I found this really enjoyable to do, and it really got me interested in the clinical side of biomedical sciences.



Aside from these, there was a Moodle MCQ test as our mid-semester. In hindsight, it wasn't too hard but the time allocated was almost universally stated by we students to be insufficient. It was a combination of all the biostats and epi theory we'd learnt up to that point.

This issue of time allocation carried through to the exam, which was only 2 hours long (should have been AT LEAST 2.5 hours). It consisted of two sections, the first being 30 MCQs for epidemiology (with a tiny bit of biostats theory blended in), and this took me no time at all; if you know your epi theory well it's a breeze. Then came the biostats section, which although being only 4 short-answer questions long was really a struggle. The biostats questions were pretty tough (spent 45 minutes on the first question alone), and I only just finished when the invigilators called "pens down". Most of the people I know weren't even able to finish, so I hope they review and change this for next year (I have a feeling they will).

Overall, spectacular unit that massively exceeded all of my expectations.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2014, 04:24:59 am by alondouek »
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Re: Monash University - Subject reviews & ratings
« Reply #146 on: November 22, 2013, 01:04:13 am »
+8
Subject Code/Name: PHY2032 - Endocrine Control Systems 

PLEASE NOTE: The structure of this unit has changed a bit from when I did it in Semester 2, 2013. Some parts of the course (such as the exercise physiology bit) are probably not in this unit any more, as there has been a reshuffle of the 2nd year physiology units and their content. For information about the other second year physiology units in general (and what you need to take to complete a minor/major in physiology etc.), a place to start is here.

Workload:
3 x 1 hour lectures per week
1 x 3 hour lab per week (there were 6 weeks of labs when I did it, 4 of which were genuine lab sessions, 1 intro lab and 1 speech presentation).

Assessment:
Four online Moodle tests - 5% each (20%)
Two prac reports - 10% and 15% respectively (25%)
One prac test - 5%
One research oral presentation - 10%
1 final exam - 40%

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with/screen capture.

Past exams available:  No, but many practice questions put up on Moodle and in the final lecture.

Textbook Recommendation:  E. P. Widmaier, H. Raff, K. T. Strang, Vander's Human Physiology - the mechanisms of body function (12ed. in Sem 2, 2013)

Not compulsory to buy. Did not use much during semester.

Lecturer(s):
Endocrinology: Yvonne Hodgson
Digestion: Rick Lang
Metabolism: Aneta Stefanidis and Sarah Lockie
Reproduction: Renea Taylor
Exercise: Wayne Sturrock and Farshad Mansouri

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2013

Rating: 4/5

Your Mark/Grade: Unknown at this point.

Comments: This unit is largely divided into five sections:

Endocrinology is about the various parts of the body that make up the endocrine system, how endocrine communication works, what types of hormones there are and what they do. The pancreas, hypothalamus, pituitary gland, adrenal gland and thyroid gland are discussed in addition to what hormones they secrete/are affected by, and their modes/patterns of secretion as well as their effects (for example, growth hormone, adrenaline, thyroid stimulating hormone and many more). An interesting lecture was spent on looking through an old scientific paper on the link between a hormone from the hypothalamus and one from the pituitary gland, and drawing conclusions from it.

Digestion is about what happens in our bodies from the moment we see food to the moment we finally remove the waste products. The general anatomy and structure of the digestive system (such as the composition of the GI tract walls) is discussed, as well as the enteric nervous system - almost like a 'second brain' in the gut. We also learnt about how digestion and absorption work in the stomach, small intestine and large intestine, and the different kinds of contractions of the gut, to push the food along. There was also a bit about how activity in one part of the gut can alter the behaviour of other parts of the gut.

Metabolism is about how the body actually uses and stores the nutrients we get from our food, as well as the many pathways by which different stores of energy are converted into each other, and also how different hormones can affect this. We also consider the various ways in which energy can be expended, such as through heat production and exercise. We look at the brain, and how it controls our appetite in response to our current body energy stores and condition. Finally, we look at disorders of metabolism, how these are defined, how we test for them and how we can treat them.

Reproduction is about the male and female reproductive system anatomy, the ovarian and uterine cycles, how eggs and sperm are formed, what happens before, during and after fertilisation, the hormonal changes and triggers associated with puberty, and finally what happens during pregnancy, in order to ensure that the fetus can survive. There was also a bit at the end about methods used in research to study the genes involved in reproduction and the survival of the embryo.

Exercise is about how the cardiovascular, respiratory and muscle systems work together to allow the body to meet the demands of exercise. As not everyone is familiar with all three systems from earlier units, some general physiology lectures are given to ensure everyone is up to speed, and then concepts such as oxygen debt, methods of generating energy during exercise, how different nutrients are used in different proportions, the recovery process and adaptations to exercise are covered.

This was a reasonable unit. While there was a fair bit of content to learn, the lecturers made a good effort to go through it in a logical order, which made learning things a bit easier, and a bit more fun. The prac work is done in groups (as usual), but what happens this time is that all members of a group will work together to write up a lab report of around 2000 words or so. There is some peer feedback for this, but usually people put in a decent effort to get it done, since all members of the group get the same mark (assuming no great anomalies in the peer feedback form).

One fun thing this semester was a group research project. Basically, at the start of semester, you get into a group of 4-6 people, and pick a topic that is somewhat related to the stuff you cover in lectures. Then over the next 5 weeks, you go and look up papers on the topic, and eventually give a 10 minute group presentation to everyone in your lab session, and field questions from lecturers, guests and students.

In terms of assessment, the online tests aren't of an impossible difficulty (apparently the average mark is around 80-85% across the four), and sitting down with your lecture notes to do them really helps.

The lab reports were also OK, they're the standard introduction-methods-results-discussion-conclusion type of thing. The main hurdle (for me at least) were the statistical tests - you have to do tests on the data you receive, to see if any of it is different enough within certain confidence intervals, and you do it on the physiology lab's preferred software, which isn't the easiest to navigate. Nevertheless, you do get sheets that explain how to run and interpret the tests.

The final exam is divided into 3 sections: multiple choice (based only on the Exercise part of the course, because we didn't get an online test in the semester for it), short answer (answering a number of short answer questions that can range from labelling/drawing a diagram to standard answering), and essay questions.

Basically, for the short answer and essay questions, you get a bunch of options, from which you pick a few. This helps in revision, because if you really want to, you can skip revising your weakest area, since you don't have to write on it. Apparently the essays are the worst-performing area for most students, Rick said "Tell us a story. Even if you don't get all the facts right, we would like you to tell us a story". So make a good effort to structure your essay, and probably avoid dot points unless you're really running out of time. The exam was reasonable, I was just a bit time pressured (from writing too much in my essays), but it wasn't a particularly large deal.

All in all, this was a nice physiology unit.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 12:52:00 am by alondouek »

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Re: Monash University - Subject reviews & ratings
« Reply #147 on: November 22, 2013, 04:36:38 pm »
+4
Subject Code/Name: DEV2022 - Principles of Organ and Body Design 

Workload:
2 x 1 hour lectures per week (occasionally 3 lectures per week)
1 x 3 hour lab per week (NOT compulsory, except for when you have to sit the midsem, but attendance is marked, see note below (*)

Assessment: 
Two online Moodle tests - 5% each (10%)
Oral presentation - 15%
Poster presentation - 5%
Mid-semester test - 20%
Final exam - 50%
(*) It was implied during prac class that good prac attendance can lead to a small "boosting" of your final mark, so that if you're on the border between two different letter grades, there is some chance that your final mark will end up on the higher of those two grades. I'm not sure if this actually happens or not. You did not hear any of this from me.

Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture.

Past exams available: Not from the library database, but in the final week of semester, Jeff goes through the topics from past exams. So it's a really good idea to attend those final lectures!

Textbook Recommendation: 
B. M. Carlson, Human embryology and developmental biology (4ed. in Semester 1, 2013) is the prescribed textbook. However, the two other textbooks that were used throughout the course are General Anatomy by Norman Eizenberg, and Functional histology by Jeff Kerr.
None really required, except when you want to do some further reading or research.

Lecturer(s):
Jeff Kerr - takes the majority of lectures
Other lecturers include Helen Abud (GI tract), Ryan Wood-Bradley (Kidney), and some other lecturers who give one lecture each.

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2013

Rating: 3.8/5

Your Mark/Grade: Unknown at this point.

Comments: This subject is a prerequisite for 3rd year DEV units. Also, it's a prereq for Melbourne Med and Dent, if anyone wants such a thing.

 It is about studying the anatomy of the human body, with a developmental viewpoint in mind. Firstly, we cover the most general anatomy of the body (anatomical terms, compartments of the body and limbs, general nerve innervation, extensor and flexor muscles, and the spinal vertebrae). Then we move onto the more focused anatomy, which takes in the skin, bones, thorax, lungs, heart, abdomen, gut, liver/pancreas/gallbladder, kidneys, nervous system and reproductive system. Yes, that sounds like a great deal of stuff. And it is (I'm sorry, there's no other way of putting this).

The anatomy we learn is less specific than what a person in a Medicine degree would study, for example. It is more about general concepts than learning about every single thing in the body. For example, when we consider a nerve plexus, we simply learn that certain divisions of the plexus will cause general types of movements, instead of learning what each of the divisions does specifically. We still look at things from a developmental perspective, however. This means that you're not really just memorising where everything fits in the body, but you learn about how the developmental processes lead to everything being in its 'proper place' in the adult. In addition, most lectures having a short section on congenital abnormalities, where development does not go as planned.

Jeff Kerr takes the majority of lectures. How he knows so much anatomy, I have absolutely no idea. He can give off the impression of being a "schoolmaster" type, and makes you feel like you're back in the classroom again (even our demonstrator agreed with this), but he is a very good lecturer who puts in the effort to explain many of the concepts we encounter in simple and logical terms. One thing about him is that he speaks fairly slowly (good if you like taking notes), and clears his throat a lot. The other lecturers are decent too. (I particularly like Ryan's quote, "I don't do lectures. Lectures are what your parents give you when you misbehave, and what they did to people in the Dark Ages who couldn't read.")

Remember how I said most weeks, we had 2 lectures? Well, it turns out that instead of a third lecture each week, we get these things called "SDLs", or Self-Directed Learning tasks. Basically, these consist of a series of pictures that have questions/labels for you to fill in, based on that week's lecture material. You then go and discuss the previous week's SDL in your lab class, where you get put in a group of around 20 or so students with one demonstrator. You're not expected to know how to fill everything in, but some demonstrators do try to encourage you to actually think about the question, rather than just telling you the answer. They're also a pretty good revision tool (more about this later).

The SDL discussion takes up the last hour of the three-hour labs. For the first two hours, usually there is a dissection of a particular organ to be done, along with answering questions based on posters, X-rays, specimens, etc. around the anatomy lab. You don't have to answer everything, and there are no marks attached to the actual pracs themselves, the pracs are just there to consolidate your knowledge, see some of the things in anatomy first-hand, and are a really good opportunity to talk to the demonstrators about any concepts you're struggling with. So even if you're not a big fan of dissection (I'm certainly not the most enthusiastic), there are good benefits to going, and you may just end up memorising one or two little facts or tricks (perhaps just by overhearing things or by osmosis) that will come in handy for assessments.

In terms of assessment, the Moodle tests are MCQ tests where you get shown a picture, and asked a question on it. They're not too bad if you have your lecture notes in front of you when you do them.

The oral presentation is where you get assigned a topic in Week 2, and you work with a partner to research and present a 10 minute talk/powerpoint presentation on your topic. These topics were fairly diverse, from frog morphogenesis, to muscle regeneration, to bone cells. After the talk, you get asked questions from your demonstrator and peers in your group. I did end up consulting my textbook for this presentation, as well as a number of scientific papers, so it's good for developing research skills. It was also somewhat interesting, and at 15% of your final mark, is definitely worth putting effort into.

The poster presentation is where you choose a poster topic to work on over the mid-semester break. This is more in-line with what was covered in lectures. You work together with a partner to design an A3 poster (handwritten/drawn) on your topic, and draw up the poster during the actual lab class itself. Most people did quite well on this one, and it's a good way to shore up your understanding of concepts. You don't really 'present' your poster, you just make it and hand it in. The best posters get prizes though :)

The midsemester test takes 75 minutes and has both an MCQ section (which again, is questions based off images they give you), and a written section (where you write an essay on an organ).The list of possible organs is given out beforehand, but you won't know which one you have to write on until you actually start the test. The images for the MCQ section are based on your SDLs, so this is why it's a good idea to at least attend the pracs so you know something about the images.

The final exam is like DEV2011; you have an MCQ section (AGAIN based on the SDLs . . . see what I'm getting at here? ;) ), and three essay questions. For each essay question, you choose one topic out of 5 or so. So, your first essay will be on a topic from the first 1/3 of semester, your second from the second third of semester, and your third will be from the final third of semester. Before the exam, Jeff shows you all the past essay topics (so you can try to predict what will appear), and also publishes a 'shortlist' of images that the MCQ questions will be based on. I found that looking at these images, and writing a paragraph or so on each of these helped with revision, and also with getting enough information to write essay topics.

The standard of the final exam is somewhat demanding - Jeff said that in order to get the best marks, your essays must go beyond what was covered in lectures and need to include your own research - but it's still possible to get a HD-level response without that. At times, it honestly seemed like there was a mountain of stuff to memorise. However, this unit still had its nice moments, the lectures were done well, and at least you didn't have to memorise absolutely everything for the assessments. Definitely an improvement on DEV2011.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 12:52:36 am by alondouek »

steph753

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Re: Monash University - Subject reviews & ratings
« Reply #148 on: November 22, 2013, 08:01:27 pm »
+3
Subject Code/Name: ECF1100 - Microeconomics

Workload:
1 x 2 hour lecture per week and 1 x 1 hour tutorial each week

Assessment: 
Tutorial participation and homework completion - 10%
Group assignment - 10%
Mid semester test (multiple choice) - 20%
Online quizzes (weekly) - 10%
Exam - 50%

Recorded Lectures: 
Lectures are not recorded, however slides which the lecturer has annotated on are uploaded onto noodle

Past exams available: 
No past exam available, however there was one practice exam provided, some of the exam questions appeared on the practice exam

Textbook Recommendation:  What must you buy?  What is "recommended"?  Do you need it?

Lecturer(s): George Rivers and Kristy Coulter

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2013

Rating:  4.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: (Pending)

Comments:
Overall this was a very good introductory subject into microeconomics. Assessments were easy and the lectures were engaging. I had George Rivers as my lecturer and he made the lectures interesting with the odd joke and showed the lighter side of the subject.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 12:53:17 am by alondouek »

steph753

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Re: Monash University - Subject reviews & ratings
« Reply #149 on: November 22, 2013, 08:10:59 pm »
+4
Subject Code/Name: ETX1100 - Business Statistics

Workload:
1 x 2 hour lecture per week and 1 x 1.5 hour tutorial each week

Assessment: 
Tutorial attendence and homework completion - 10%
4 assignments – 5% each (totalling 20%)
Exam - 70%

Recorded Lectures: 
Lectures are recorded

Past exams available: 
No past exam available, however there were 3  practice exams provided, which were helpful

Textbook Recommendation:
Business Statistics 3ed by Bereson prescribed. Didn’t use the textbook for most of the semester. The end of section questions were very useful when preparing for the exam

Lecturer(s): Gerrie Roberts

Year & Semester of completion: Semester 2, 2013

Rating:  4/5

Your Mark/Grade: (Pending)

Comments:
As a compulsory Bachelor of Business subject, it wasn’t the greatest, however if you are maths minded you would probably enjoy the subject. Gerrie was a great lecturer (I have heard negative reviews about other lecturers). Assignments were very easy, however the subject does have a 25% fail rate most semesters
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 12:54:15 am by alondouek »