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Author Topic: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings  (Read 431751 times)  Share 

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HighTide

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Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
« Reply #285 on: June 05, 2015, 07:14:55 am »
+6
    Subject Code/Name: BIO1011-Biology I [Review 2]

    Workload:
    • 2 x 1 hour lecture
    • 1 x 3 hour practical every fortnight.

    Assessment:
    • 10% Weekly Pearson Mastering Biology Assignment quizzes followed by weekly Adaptive Follow-up Quizzes
    • 45% Laboratory:  5% Practical 1, 13% Practical 2, 5% Practical 3, 5% Practical 4, 5% Practical 5, 12% Practical 6
    • 45% Examination

    Recorded Lectures: Yes, with screen capture, found on Echosystem.

    Past Exams Available: No past exams available. 100 Question, "Revision Superquiz" given ~ 1.5 weeks prior to examination. Copies of Mastering Biology quizzes also given for reattempts.

    Textbook recommendation: Campbell Biology, 10th Edition. 9th edition is usable. 8th edition or before, is not.

    Lecturers:
    • Dr. Gerry Rayner
    • Professor John Beardall
    • AP Coral Warr
    • AP Martin Burd
    • Tova Crossman
    • AP Anne Peters
    Year and semester of completion: 2015, Semester 1

    Rating: 4/5

    Your mark/Grade: TBD

    Comments:
    The content is pretty simple and can be managed with VCE Biology. BIO1011 has a broad scope but is less in depth than VCE Biology, thus you have less to understand but more to remember. The content began with macromolecules, to reactions (metabolism), to cell structure, respiration, photosynthesis and then to genetics and ecology.

    The content is covered in the lectures. The recommended book is there to elaborate on the concepts through the use of diagrams, background history, and theory. I found some areas can be extremely verbose. At the end of each unit, there is a revision on the chapters with some questions. I found the review to be pretty useful. However, overall, it is recommended to make summary notes from each chapter as you go along, as it will help in revision when examination time dawns.

    The weekly Pearson Mastering Biology quizzes will test lecture content and also theory from the textbook. Each week, there will be an adaptive followup to the parent assignment. There is an opportunity to "test out" of these adaptive followups (you won't have to do them) if you get higher than 95% on the parent assignment (29/30 or 30/30). The questions range from interactive video components and matching questions to some straightforward questions. There will be a 30 minute time limit once you begin the assignment. Out of 12 assignments, only your top 10 will be taken. There are no short-answer questions.

    In practicals, you will be assigned to bays and given a TA who will be marking your practical reports. You can and should ask them anything if you need to clear something up. Ensure you do this DURING the practical as you can't contact them via email, etc. Furthermore, there are pre-lab quizzes consisting of usually 4 questions. These quizzes are done on "clickers" which can be confusing, but you can ask the supervisors for help in using the clicker.

    The laboratory sessions should run for 3 hours. However, on occasion, you will finish early and can leave. The second practical (10%) will be accompanied by a Moodle quiz which is 3%, hence the 13% overall. Practical 6 (12%) is also special as it is a group powerpoint presentation. We were given ample time to work on it, but most did it at the last minute (recommended that you don't do the same!!).

    The exam will consist of 144 questions and is reused every year (hence no practice exams). From sources, it is said to be pretty simple and manageable with the lecture content! [/list]<-- Ignore that, it won't go away!
    « Last Edit: June 05, 2015, 07:12:50 pm by HighTide »
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    achre

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    Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
    « Reply #286 on: June 18, 2015, 01:31:31 pm »
    +5
    Subject Code/Name: ATS2600 – The Holocaust

    Workload:  1x1.5hr lecture, 1x1hr tute

    Assessment:

    • 10%Weekly quizzes. I lack the mathematical attention span to know how much each one was worth, but there was one quiz per week from week 1 to 11, they’re simple identification questions (i.e., either multiple choice or requiring a one word answer, usually either yes, no, true or false) marked out of 5. Your worst 3 don’t count. They exist to keep you on your toes with the readings. If you do the weekly readings – fairly short, never more than 40 pages – on time, this is a free 10%.
    • 10% - Participation. Not too difficult, each week centres on a different debate and people have opinions so your tutor shouldn't have to be speaking too much. It's pretty easy to participate.
    • 20% - Historiographical debate, 1000 words. The topic is apparently the same each year – you have to write about whether German Jews deserve to be ‘castigated’ for failing to see the ‘writing on the wall’. That is to say: should any blame be assigned to Jews themselves for not leaving Germany prior to the commencement of the Holocaust, as rising and increasingly dangerous anti-Semitism grew around them?
    • 40% - Major Essay, 2000 words. You’re given the choice between 5 topics and researching two primary sources OR making your own topic and utilising several substantial primary sources. The research is fairly involved, which I actually enjoyed. I hadn’t utilised the library at all in first year, and after this essay I intend to use it a lot more.
    • 20% - Exam. You’re given a list of 9 ‘things’, which might be quotations, pictures, places, people, events or whatever else, and you choose 5, then idenitfy it historically (4 ‘w’s - what, where, when, who), and then explain why it’s relevant to the study of the Holocaust (by connecting it to a significant debate or contributory factor of the Holocaust). Approx. 1000 words.

    Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture

    Past exams available:  Nope. There was one sample (10/10) identification answer posted to Moodle.

    Textbook Recommendation:  No textbook or unit reader, all the readings are posted to Moodle.

    Lecturer: Daniella Doron

    Year & Semester of completion: 2015, Semester One

    Rating:  4.5/5

    Your Mark/Grade: 82

    Comments:

    This was a great unit. I actually really enjoyed doing the readings and writing on the subject – maybe not the most appropriate reaction to a unit on a genocide, but definitely a truthful one. I feel compelled to just say at the start of this review that nothing on Holocaust denial is covered in this unit. I only say that because literally every person not doing this unit who I informed I was studying this unit asked this. Yes, all 4 of them. I suppose if it’s a topic that interests you, you could do it for the major essay. Probably. Well, maybe. Maybe not. It's not really a position taken seriously in revisionist scholarship. In any case, it's not an assigned part of the course.

    I had Daniella (the lecturer) as my tutor, and she was brilliant. It’s very clear from the breadth of her knowledge and her enthusiasm in conducting the tutes that the study of the Holocaust is a passion of hers.
     
    The course content canvasses a series of debates on the causes of the Holocaust (Functionalism v. Intentionalism), and a series of debates about the nature of the Holocaust (Uniqueness - why do we pay so much attention to this particular genocide, and not others? Explicability – can it be explained? Comparability - can it be compared to other genocides? Collaboration and resistance – how should we understand the reactions and behaviours of participants in, bystanders to and victims of the genocide?) Other debates – such as the question of Nazi humanity or the problematic role of modernity in the Holocaust - are present in the background as solutions. I found the question of explicability to be fascinating, the idea that there are explicable components (such as Nazi strategy, i.e., why the switch was made from bullets to poison as instruments of genocide) and inexplicable components (such as how people can be moved to participate in genocide) of the Holocaust.

    The engagement of the course with contemporary Holocaust scholarship and disagreements between famous scholars was very, very interesting. Scholars covered include Claudia Koonz, Christopher Browning, Jonah Goldhagen, Primo Levi, Marion Kaplan, Raul Hilberg and Yehuda Bauer, as well as primary source documents such as Monika Richarz’s collection of memoirs, Chaim Rumkowski’s “Give Me Your Children” speech, and the diary of Felix Landau. When you utilise primary source documents in the major research essay and compare them to interpretations in serious, contemporary academia, you really feel like your participating in the conversation, which can be exciting.

    The one drawback I did find in this unit is Daniella’s fixation on passive voice. I remember passive voice being covered very briefly in year 10 English, before I moved onto lit, and to be honest I’m still not totally sure what passive voice is. Something about omitting the verb “to be”. I set MS word to underline instances of passive voice and fiddled around with sentences until the green line disappeared, but other than that, I lost a few marks for the presence of passivity. Real pain in the ass because I do like to think my writing has some clarity  ::).

    Another drawback is that I've been provoking the ire of Godwin's Law a lot more often these days.

    The main reason I enrolled in ATS2600 was because I needed one more human rights unit to finish my minor, and nothing else offered in semester one seemed interesting. I definitely feel I made the right choice in selecting it, and would recommend it to anybody who wants to develop a better comprehension of human nature and the atrocities that emerge from it. If you're sick and tired of the Holocaust from studying it in high school and watching countless movies on it, Monash also offers a straight genocide unit, ATS2057 - Genocide, next semester. ATS2600 and 2057 used to be the same unit (The Holocaust in an Age of Genocide), which spent half the course on the Holocaust and the other half on other genocides (Bosnia, Rwanda, Darfur, etc.), but the decision was made to split it in two. If you wanna know why, you should take this unit. ;)
    « Last Edit: July 15, 2015, 04:44:58 pm by achre »

    EnglishStudent1

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    Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
    « Reply #287 on: June 23, 2015, 05:05:59 pm »
    +5
    Subject Code/Name:

    ATS1339: Describing and analysing language and communication 

    Workload: 

    2x 1 hour lectures per week
    1x tutorial per week.

    Assessment:

    Assignment 1 - Morphology (15%)
    Assignment 2 - Syntax (15%)
    Assignment 3 - Phonology (30%)
    Exam - 2 hours testing the topics stated above plus semantics and pragmatics (30%)
    Note: Online students complete a 4th assignment. 

    Recorded Lectures: 

    Yes, with screen capture

    Past exams available: 

    No, however, a sample exam was provided.

    Textbook Recommendation: 

    As of 2014, we used An Introduction to Language: Australia and New Zealand 7th Ed.. If you studied ATS1338 (The Language Game: Why do we talk the way we do?) in semester 1 you will not have to purchase this book again. Definitely recommended as it contains all the weekly exercises and readings. Although the textbook can drag on, it is useful in explaining more difficult topics.

    Lecturer(s):

    Depended on the week's topic:

    - Catherine Cook

    Cat is the unit coordinator and one of the tutors. I believe this was her first year running a unit. She did a wonderful job and is a fantastic tutor from my experience (beware; do not bring electronic items to her tutes!) Cat will lecture at the start of the unit (the introductory lecture) and during the semantics and pragmatics part of the unit. Very approachable and endearingly dorky.

    - Olav Kuhn

    Olav lectures on morphology for the first 2 1/2 weeks of the unit. He is also very engaging and competent. Olav tends to lecture quite fast and can sometimes cram his lectures. He will reappear briefly for a lecture of morphosyntactic analysis.

    -Simon Musgrave

    Simon is an ok lecturer, but I think he is often hindered by the content of his lectures. He lectures primarily on syntax for this unit (3 weeks) and was scheduled to take us for phonology but this never eventuated. His lectures are heavy in content which could be perceived as boring. I would highly recommend doing the readings prior to his lectures so you understand where he is going.

    - Mystery guest lecturer (whose name I have unfortunately forgotten).

    The name escapes me, but this man took us for phonology (another difficult topic). He had a relatively interesting style of lecturing and made the content as simple as possible.

    - Kate Burridge

    Kate made a brief appearance at the end of the semantics and pragmatics lectures. She lectured on the history of semantic change. I won't ramble on, but Kate is simply a whiz at what she does. Very interesting. Note that she does not use lecture slides.

    Year & Semester of completion:

    Semester 2, 2014

    Rating: 

    3.5 out of 5 (only just, points deducted for the unit's structure)

    Your Mark/Grade:

    79, D.

    Comments:

    This unit is the second gateway unit for linguistics taught at Monash (Clayton and online). For those of you who have taken ATS1338, I should warn you that this unit is no walk in the park like first semester. This unit is much harder, more in depth and at times can be intense.

    The unit is split up into four major topics:

    1. Morphology
    2. Syntax
    3. Phonology
    4. Semantics and pragmatics

    Basically, these fall under branch of 'pure' linguistics: linguistic theory rather than linguistic application. Not 100% sure whether English Language would be of great use, but it would familiarise you with some topics.

    Tutorials were pretty helpful. The generally cover key concepts and allow you to work through pratice questions. The tutors this year were Catherine Cook, Aly Severin, Amanda Young and Lee Murray. I can vouch for Cat and say she is an excellent tutor. Also heard good reviews about Lee. There were mixed reviews about Aly and Amanda, so I guess you can be the judge  ;D

    Assessment   

    There were four major assessments plus tutorial participation/attendance. The first assignment I found quite hard and I narrowly avoided a C. It includes a series of short answers on morphology, so pace yourself and you should be fine. The second assignment was on syntax. Again, another challenging assignment, but the marking was relatively fair and forgiving. You are required to draw some syntax trees, answer some short answer questions and examine foreign data. Work carefully through this one, it is easy to lose marks. Assignment 3 is certainly the most daunting one. This covers phonology and requires you to transcribe an audio clip (2:00 mins) into IPA and answer a set of short answers. I would advise starting this one at least 2 weeks in advance, it's very complicated and tricky. Alas, I scored an HD, so not impossible!  :)

    In addition, each tutorial (bar week 1), a few people will be asked to present one of the homework questions. This counts as your tutorial participation once combined with your attendance record. My advice would be to pick your question wisely. Make sure you a) don't have any major assignments or events (teaching rounds, parties etc.) in that week, b) pick a question which isn't too short/easy or long/hard (you only have 4 mins to present), and c) are genuinely passionate about the topic.

    Exam

    This exam was VERY HARD. You are provided with a practice exam, but this is deceivingly easy. Make sure you prepare thoroughly. All topics are covered and you will be presented with a range of data. The exam is more heavily weighted towards semantics and pragmatics because there is no assignment on it. 
    « Last Edit: June 28, 2015, 12:56:34 am by slothpomba »

    EnglishStudent1

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    Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
    « Reply #288 on: June 23, 2015, 05:58:02 pm »
    +5
    Subject Code/Name: ATS2673/3673 - History and Sociolinguistics of English 

    Workload: 

    1x 2 hour seminar per week

    Assessment: 

    Assignment 1 - Critical Review (15%)

    Assignment 2 - Short Answers (25%)

    Assignment 3 - Major Essay / Research project (30%)

    Exam - Mix of long and short answers (30%)


    Recorded Lectures:  Yes, without screen capture. This problem stemmed from the lecture theatre we were put in. Kate recorded the lecture audio and uploaded it manually to MULO, so expect online lecture availability to be slow.

    Past exams available:  Yes there was one, but it was quite old and had nothing to do with what we did during the unit.

    Textbook Recommendation:  As of 2015, we used A Biography of the English Language. I honestly would not bother buying this one. It simply goes into greater detail of what you will discuss in lectures. Kate provided a neat little summary of the entire unit in the first lecture with extensive notes. That is all you will need.

    Lecturer(s):

    - Kate Burridge

    Kate is the main lecturer/tutor you will have. She is an exceptional teacher and makes even the most tedious of Old English grammar interesting. She will primarily discuss the 'inner' history of English with you ('inner' history meaning the complex changes in the language). Note that she rarely uses lecture slides and usually follows the notes provided. Although this worked, you'll find yourself never writing many notes during the lecture (this can be both bad and good!).

    - Robert 'Bob' Dinapoli

    Bob is a guest lecturer (a former lecturer at the University of Melbourne) who will discuss the 'outer' history of English ('outer' meaning the socio-political events) and what happened to the literature at the time. Bob is lovely, but his lectures do drag on and he finishes right on 2 hours  >:( He has a great passion for English and balances between a historical view of the language and literary interpretation. He even speaks in Old English!! He does use slides, but they mostly have paradigms and text not worth copying down. 

    Year & Semester of completion:

    Semester 1, 2015

    Rating:

    3.5 out of 5

    Your Mark/Grade:

    N/A at this time, but ~HD.

    Comments:

    This unit is an elective for linguistics taught at Monash Clayton campus. For those of you who have taken English Language Unit 1 & 2, this content will be familiar. The unit is structured like so:

    Week 1: Introduction
    Week 2 and 3: Old English - 449AD to 1100AD
    Week 4 and 5: Middle English - 1100AD to 1500AD
    Week 6 and 7: Early Modern English - 1500AD to 1800AD
    Week 8: The development of standardisation and purism
    Week 9 and 10: Modern English - 1800AD to present
    Week 11: Global Englishes
    Week 12: Review and hands on with Old English/Medieval texts

    Although this didn't exactly go according to plan, we managed to cover it all. I found the unit overall fairly good. It was challenging at times but the assessments are designed so you can pass (pending you have attended/listened to the seminars). I would not take this unit if you have no background in linguistics. Kate made every effort to cater for these people, but as a linguistics student myself I often found some of the discussion hard to follow. I can't see how a non-linguistics student would cope. But hey, give it a go if it is something you are into  :) My major complaint is about the seminars. This subject demands a tutorial and a lecture. The seminar set up was a disaster because so many (~50) people took the unit and we were crammed into this ghastly lecture theatre with backboards and no recording facilities.

    Kate was approachable and ran the unit well. She was, however, very busy at times, so emails were often never replied to and consultations hard to get. She does make every effort to make time, though.

    Assessments

    There were four major assessments for this unit. Participation was not marked. Assignment 1 was a critical review of one of five articles. It's a reasonably easy 15%, but don't leave it to the last minute like I did  :P The short answer assignment is a very easy 25%. Many of the answers simply require you to write what is already present in Kate's book of notes. Just don't go overboard with them, a lot of people overthought every answer and subsequently missed the point of the question. Assignment 3 was interesting. It was originally a 'major essay' but Kate altered it and it became a research project. Some of them require a lot more preparation than others, but they are all evenly matched in terms of difficulty. Some are more data driven, others require an opinion. I enjoyed this assignment, but it is due during week 11 which can be hell at the best of times.

    Exam
     
    The exam was worth 30% of the overall unit mark. It was mostly straight forward except for the first question. Most of the questions were short/long answers. They covered almost all the topics covered in the lectures. Now... the first question. That was an absolute doozey. It was about grammar over time and you needed to have extensive knowledge of English grammatical functions. Study hard for that section because you will need it!
    « Last Edit: June 28, 2015, 12:56:56 am by slothpomba »

    vashappenin

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    Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
    « Reply #289 on: June 26, 2015, 11:05:33 pm »
    +6
    Subject Code/Name: MGC1010 - Introduction to Management

    Workload: Weekly 1.5 hour lecture and 1.5 hour tute (attendance isn't compulsory)

    Assessment: 15% annotated bibliography, 25% essay, 10% in-tute quiz, 50% exam

    Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture

    Textbook Recommendation: Management 5th Ed. - Schermerhorn et al. - good idea to have this because the exam is open book, so just annotate it throughout the semester and you're good.

    Lecturer(s): Robyn Cochrane - she's really friendly and happy to help people which is great if you're struggling with anything.

    Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2015

    Rating: 3 out of 5

    Comments:
    Honestly, Management is quite easy but really dry. A lot of the concepts are relatively straightforward and even common sense which can be a bonus if you haven't studied much. Other than that, it was a pretty boring unit, although there were some quite interesting concepts. This is a good unit to do if your other units are quite heavy as it's pretty easy to do well and the exam is open book. It is a core unit so you're stuck with it whether you like it or not :P

    Also, just a note that for this unit, you only get a grade mark for each individual assessment during the semester, not the actual number.

    Lectures
    I didn't attend a single lecture and only ended up watching the lecture that covered content for the in-tute quiz, and parts of lectures that covered any important assessment information. From what I've heard, the lectures are quite pointless in that you could easily do the same work at home. You won't really miss out on much if you choose not to attend.

    Tutes
    Tutes aren't compulsory, so attendance started to drop after a while - I myself skipped quite a few. Honestly, the tutes were really pointless. Only very rarely did we cover something relevant. Other than that, we spent time doing group activities which were not that stimulating or interesting. I definitely don't think the tutes need to run for 1.5 hours and I mostly left having learnt nothing and regretting going. With that being said, it's a good idea to attend at least the important tutes so your tutor is familiar with who you are. The only times the tutes were somewhat important were when the tutor returned assessments or covered important information for assessments. And, of course, you have to attend your tute in the week of the in-tute quiz.

    In-tute quiz
    The quiz is done in your tute and only goes for 20 minutes, with 2 or 3 minutes reading time (so pointless LOL). It covered the lecture content from the week before and it was closed book. Each tute group gets assigned two random questions to ensure nobody cheats - one on each chapter covered. The quiz is out of 10 and each question is worth 5 marks.

    Exam
    The exam was relatively straightforward. It was 2 hours long with 10 minutes reading time. There is a hurdle requirement to pass the exam (50%), and it is out of 50. A lot of people spent time making notes but I ended up prioritising my law units, so didn't study much for this unit. I ended up taking in my textbook and I wasn't at a disadvantage because everything is in there. The good thing about the exam is that you have a selection of questions to choose from for section A (short answer) and section B (long answer), so it makes life a lot easier! The questions themselves were relatively straightforward. Just make sure you manage your time properly so you don't spend too much time on a particular question, which can quite easily happen for management units.
    « Last Edit: June 29, 2015, 10:50:03 pm by vashappenin »
    2013: English, Maths Methods, Further Maths, Legal Studies, HHD, Psychology
    2014-present: Bachelor of Laws @ Monash University

    Tutoring VCE English, Psych, Legal Studies and HHD in 2016! Tutoring via Skype too. PM me if you're interested :)

    Zealous

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    Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
    « Reply #290 on: June 27, 2015, 06:38:22 pm »
    +7
    Subject Code/Name: ENG1002 – Engineering Design: Cleaner, Safer, Smarter

    Workload: 1x2hr lecture, 1x3hr practical

    Assessment:
    10% - Pre-lecture Quizzes: It wasn’t too difficult to get all the marks for the pre-lecture quizzes because you got more than one attempt and you got answers from the previous attempts. Even if you didn’t have an idea of the concepts behind it (like with some of the electrical stuff), you could still find a way to get to the answer. The pre-lecture quizzes do get harder as the semester progresses though.

    15% - Project 1: Report on Fuel Sustainability and Efficiency when used in lamps. We tested different fuels (kerosene, butanol, methylated spirits etc.) in a fuel lamp and measured the light output as well as fuel consumption over a time interval. Writing this report and doing the tasks during the practical was a little dry and repetitive.

    15% - Project 2: Building an LED lamp and writing a design report. All the parts for building an LED lamp were given to us except the frame (which we had to come up with) and we were marked based on it fulfilling certain criteria such as uniform light intensity, sturdiness, power drawn etc. It took a really long time to get this working and I did not expect to be working up until 10pm on the lamp in the last week. Getting the lamp working was incredibly satisfying and it was fun working with my teammates.

    5% - Lecture Participation: There’s a lecture response system called Melts which they use so you can answer questions during lectures. Apparently if you answered 80%+ of the questions you would have “participated” and you’ll get all of these marks. To be honest, I don’t think they really asked that many questions during lectures. Also, it doesn’t matter if you’re incorrect though it’s just the participation that matters.

    15% - Pre-practical quizzes + other quizzes: These pre-practical quizzes were much harder than the pre-lecture quizzes as they were designed to be completed after the lectures. They started appearing once we hit electrical and featured some fancy circuit questions. Still, because the solutions to the first attempt were given, it wasn’t hard to get most of the marks.

    40% - Exam: Exam is split into 3 sections with around a 1/3 weighting for each section. The sections are Chemical, Electrical and Materials. The hardest topic by far was electrical engineering as it had some unexpected questions, but the exam other than that wasn’t too bad. The materials section felt very similar to the weekly problem sheets which we received. The exam is a hurdle requiring 45% to pass the unit.

    Recorded Lectures: Yep, with screen capture. Although in earlier weeks there are physical items brought into lectures by the lecturer which make it interesting. Also remember there is a participation mark!

    Past Exams: Nope! Brand new unit. However you can do some questions from previous past exams which made up this unit (ENG1010, ENG1030, and ENG1050).

    Lecturers: Meng Wei, Christopher Hutchison, Jonathan Li

    Year & Semester of Completion: 2015, S1

    Rating: 4/5

    Your Mark/Grade: 98 HD

    Comments:
    This was a brand new unit for all first year engineering students starting in 2015. It aimed to combine 3 previous first year engineering units, and I think they did a really good job. Of course we weren’t able to get into as much detail as each of the three, but I still felt I learnt quite a lot about each discipline. Chemical Engineering was covered in weeks 1-4, Materials in weeks 6-8 and Electrical in Week 5, 9-10.

    The lectures were quite interesting, and all of the lecturers really made the effort to answer questions. Chris Hutchison’s lecturing was extremely clear and interesting – he made materials engineering sound extremely awesome with his examples and explanations.

    This unit focuses hugely on teamwork. You do a Belbon quiz to work out your team personality attributes and then you’re apparently grouped up to make the best team. I think it really worked out well in this unit. My team was great and I think that’s a huge part of why I rated this unit so high. Even if the content was really hard and confusing, my prac team just had fun messing around, Teams are also huge when it comes to the projects. Project 1 and 2 are team based, and in Project 2 you see your teammates a lot. On that night I mentioned previously, I spent around 7 hours with my team working on the LED lamp. It was great that my team were all motivated and willing to get it done. One of my other friends from a different practical session was there alone because all his teammates were unmotivated – would’ve been really tough for him.

    There's also peer assessment using CATME on top of the Belbon quiz. After each assignment, you got to rate each of your teammates in different areas based on how you believe they contributed to the team. They would also do the same for you. This would scale marks up or down. The team members who were highly rated would get a scaling upwards, and lower rated team members would be scaled down. I don't think there's a limit to how low you can be scaled down - one of my friends had a terrible teammate who got voted down a lot resulting in his marks being multiplied by 0.6-0.7. I think CATME gives everyone added incentive to actually contribute to the team and it gives teammates a good way of recognising who put in a lot of effort and those who didn't do so much.

    My main issue with the course is the chemical engineering at the start. I didn’t do VCE chemistry… the last time I did chemistry before this year was back in Year 9. So jumping into chemical engineering straight away was really tough – I was doing Foundation Chemistry (ENG1070) at the same time but topics just came together out of order and I learnt tough things in ENG1002 before I learnt them in Foundation Chemistry. Odd. So if you haven’t done Chemistry it might be better to do ENG1001 in first semester then ENG1002 in second semester once you’ve done the foundation unit.

    I’d say don’t leave things too late in this unit. Unlike ENG1001, the problem sheets are not compulsory, so there’s not much incentive for doing them (unless you really want to learn). So I ended up leaving most of the problem sheets until late in the semester and ended up playing catch up with the earlier content – especially chemistry since I barely understood it the first time around.

    Other than that, I think it was a great move by the Engineering faculty. I’m not a big fan of chemistry and I have a good idea of the engineering major I want to do. This unit allowed me to just get a glimpse of three of the engineering discipliens without having to do an entire unit like in previous years.
    « Last Edit: July 26, 2015, 06:00:24 pm by Zealous »
    vce:
    2013: Further [50] (+Premier's) | Methods [48]
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    2015: Bachelor of Commerce and Engineering (Honours)

    Zealous

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    Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
    « Reply #291 on: June 29, 2015, 12:28:25 pm »
    +5
    Subject Code/Name: ENG1003 – Engineering Mobile Apps

    Workload: 2x1hr lecture, 1x3hr practical

    Assessment:
    12% - Pre-lecture Quizzes: The pre-lecture quizzes tested the content covered in pre-readings. I'm pretty sure that the majority of students just used control-f to work their way through all of these quizzes. They were not particularly difficult but some questions had some confusing wording.

    10% - Assignment 1: Height Measurement App. Teams were given a skeleton/template code which showed the camera of a smartphone. Then teams then had to write an app which could be used to estimate the height of an object.  This required use of the orientation sensor to pick up angles of elevation and some trigonometry to tie it all together. 7% was allocated to the code and 3% was for an oral presentation about how the team put the code together.

    30% - Assignment 2: Route Tracking App. Teams got skeleton code which showed a map on the phone screen, and then had to build an app that would use GPS to plot out walking routes.  When looking at previously saved routes, the app needed to be able to optimise routes and remove unnecessary portions of routes. The code was worth 16%, an oral presentation was worth 6%, and some technical documentation (user guide, project management plan) was worth 8%. I've put some more information about assignments and screenshots below!

    8% - In Class Assessment: Week 8 had a software design report, which was supposed to be completed in an hour. We had to discuss the pros and cons of a diagram used for a flight booking program. Week 10 had a black box testing exercise where you needed to find bugs in code which was supposed to parse the text in names.

    40% - Exam: The exam was a hurdle (45%) and was open book.  The exam was not hard if you knew your stuff, but it was long so answering all the questions took most of the three hours. It was split into three sections: IT Concepts, Javascript and Software Engineering. As it was open book, the majority of students ended up printing out all of the pre-readings and using that throughout the exam.

    Recorded Lectures: Yep! With screen capture!

    Past Exams: None. Brand new unit but there was a sample exam released.

    Lecturers: Michael Wybrow

    Years & Semester of Completion: 2015, S1

    Your Mark/Grade: 87 HD

    Rating: 2.5/5

    Comments:
    This was another brand new unit launched by the engineering faculty for first year students. I praised ENG1002 for how well it was run, but I don't think I can say the same for this unit. The content was fairly interesting for those who like IT and are interested in app development. The IT Concepts section was quite good and learning to code in JavaScript think was quite satisfying and rewarding. Software engineering was a little dry though. It's important to note that all the coding in this unit was done in JavaScript and all the apps we made were web apps.

    Lectures were okay.  Michael definitely knows his stuff and the first few lectures were quite good as he introduced coding to us and showed all of its benefits and difficulties. However, as the semester progressed some lectures felt quite dry when he spent long periods of time demonstrating coding in the JavaScript playground. A lot of people actually found it better to watch the lectures online as it allowed them to pause the lecture and try out some of the code which was being demonstrated, then continue when they were ready. On top of that, some of the concepts in Software Engineering felt extremely basic so you didn’t actually gain too much from going to the lecture on top of what you learnt from the pre-reading.

    Practical classes were alright - the content covered during lectures was usually worked on during these sessions. Each team was given a Motorola G 2nd Generation smartphone to use in the first week. I didn’t end up using it though since all the exercises could just be tested on my own android phone anyway. Some of the exercises that we completed in the practical classes felt quite in line with what the assignments were requiring of us, but some exercises we had to complete felt like they had absolutely no relevance to the assignment and were just there to fill time and boy the 3 hours can go very slowly in the computer labs.

    Team work and assignments is where I really, really disliked this unit.  Just like ENG1002, all students did a Belbon personality survey and teams were apparently put together based on team attributes of different members. It did not work and I ended up with two people who didn't do the quiz and there was really no sign of teamwork in my team except for maybe the oral presentations. However, I don’t think this was an issue which was specific to my group. It seemed like most teams were not very cooperative – maybe due to the nature of the unit. In ENG1002, team members could feel involved and make a genuine contribution simply by measuring the mass of a lamp, by starting a stopwatch or by soldering a cable together – by doing the simple tasks. But in ENG1003 there really weren't any simple tasks. It was you either understand the coding and how to use JavaScript, or you don’t and you do absolutely nothing in your team.

    The assignments were terrible when working in teams. From discussion from many other groups,  most of the assignment were handled by one person in the team and no one else did anything else.  In my team, I was the one who ended up doing all the coding for both assignments. It was just poorly planned out - I don't think teamwork suits these sort of topics very well and people could have probably been pushed more and learnt more if we had to work individually. Furthermore, there was no peer assessment for 1003. Unlike 1002 where your marks were scaled up or down based on how you think your teammates did, there was no way to recognise those who put in the hours into getting the apps done. Everyone got the exact same mark, and all of my teammates received pretty high marks for their assignments with minimal effort. The same happened for most groups.

    I really hope they do something about this. It was the engineering faculties idea to force us to do a lot more teamwork, but it did not work for this unit. So that's where my 2.5 rating comes from. I enjoyed about half of it, which was the content, concepts and the rewarding feeling you get from actually getting code to work. But the other half, which involved teamwork and assignments really spoiled the unit. It had a lot of potential but it ended up leaving a lot of the first year engineering cohort with a poor experience. Out of the three brand new engineering units (ENG1001, ENG1002, ENG1003), this definitely needs the most work to make it better for students.

    Anyway, my review sort of turned into a rant but I'm just being honest... so I'll finish it here and leave you with some screenshots of the app we made so you can have a feel for what came out of the assignments:

    Spoiler

    This was my teams height measurement app. You had to enter your phone height, then tilt your phone to the bottom and top of the object in order to estimate its height. In the address bar is the ENG1003 server. Each team was given their own specific directory/address so they could upload and test their assignment code.


    This was my teams GPS route tracking app. The left screenshot shows the app when you are recording a route. The middle and right screenshot show the view route page where you could optimise a route. As you can see, optimising a route removed a lot of the repetitive sections of the route. This portion of the assignment was actually changed from a requirement to bonus marks as teams were finding optimising routes very difficult. Again, not everything you see on the app was necessary but I added a few extra features to improve the usability of the app.
    « Last Edit: July 26, 2015, 06:00:59 pm by Zealous »
    vce:
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    2014: Physics [50] | Specialist | Accounting | English Language || ATAR: 99.70 + Australian Student Prize!
    uni:
    2015: Bachelor of Commerce and Engineering (Honours)

    Joseph41

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    Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
    « Reply #292 on: June 29, 2015, 06:06:49 pm »
    +7
    Firstly, here is Brenden's (excellent) review of this unit. Some things have changed since then.

    Subject Code/Name: ATS2640 - The Ethics of Global Conflict

    Workload:
    • 1x weekly lecture (1 hour)
    • 1x weekly tutorial (1 hour)
    Assessment:
    • Article Analysis 1: 20%
    • Article Analysis 2: 20%
    • Major Essay: 40%
    • Final exam: 20%
    Recorded Lectures: 
    Yes. I assume they have screen capture but I never used them.

    Past exams available: 
    No idea.

    Textbook Recommendation:
    I got by with just the reader. There are other recommended readings, but Paul mostly provided those for keen students (I never bothered). You could probably complete the first two assessment tasks without even the reader, but not to a particularly high standard; the background reading is what makes them fairly straight forward. So yeah, get the reader, but don't feel like you need to get anything else.

    Lecturer(s):
    Paul Daniels.

    Year & Semester of completion:
    2015, Semester 1.

    Rating:
    4 out of 5

    Your Mark/Grade:
    N/A

    Comments:
    Despite the handbook saying that Dr. Bob Simpson still ran the unit, Paul was the lecturer and unit co-ordinator. He also happened to be my tutor. I was fairly disappointed at first, because a large portion of why I chose the unit in the first place was that I enjoyed Bob from a previous unit. But Paul was at least as good.

    Paul explains things in such a way that makes them really clear without going into laborious depth, which is great. His lectures were always timely and well-structured - perhaps slightly dry at times, but that is probably inevitable for the theory aspects of just war theory.

    And speaking of just war theory, that is what the unit is centred on. Just war theory is essentially the idea that war is morally permissible if and only if certain criteria (the just war principles) are met. The unit is structured as follows:
    • Week 1: Introduction
    • Week 2: Principles of Just War Theory
    • Week 3: Humanitarian Intervention
    • Week 4: Discrimination
    • Week 5: Collateral Damage
    • Week 6: Torture
    • Week 7: Mercenaries
    • Week 8: Nuclear Weapons & Immoral Means
    • Week 9: No classes (reading week)
    • Week 10: Terrorism
    • Week 11: After War
    • Week 12: Pacifism

    I found the content in basically all of the weeks particularly interesting. I stopped doing the readings from about Week 5 until about Week 11, but made them up during SWOTVAC. The reason for this was that I thought they might come up on the exam; I expected it to be sort of like the exam for The Human Body and the International Marketplace, if anybody has done that unit. But the exam focused exclusively on the readings from the final three weeks (Paul did mention something about this during the semester, but I thought it was more of an emphasis on those weeks rather than only those weeks being examined). So I wasted a fair bit of time preparing for content that I didn't need to know, but the exam otherwise was okay. It was structured as three extended response - not essay - questions.

    The other assessments were fairly straight forward. Paul goes to great lengths to be clear in what he wants and expects in the assessment tasks. The first two are based on a reading from outside the prescribed readings, but relevant to a particular week or weeks. And then you can choose your major essay topic from a decent range. I agreed with practically all of the feedback that I received for these tasks, and the feedback was great in amount.

    In the tutorials, we split up into small groups to discuss various hypothetical and real scenarios, debating the morality of various means. I don't like group work at the best of times, but this wasn't too bad. Paul is extremely approachable and always happy to help, but I can't see much about the other tutors because I never had them.

    Overall, I would recommend the unit. I had an okay background in Philosophy before this unit (having done three other Philosophy units off the top of my head), but a very limited background in the content itself. The unit caters for everybody, really.

    4/5, would unit again.
    « Last Edit: June 29, 2015, 06:08:42 pm by Joseph41 »
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    Dejan

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    Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
    « Reply #293 on: June 29, 2015, 10:32:41 pm »
    +6
    Subject Code/ Name: ATS1191 - Spanish Introductory 1

    Workload:
    - 1 Weekly Cultural Seminar Lecture (1 hour)                     
    - 1 Weekly Grammar Lecture (1 hour)                     
    - 3 Weekly Tutorials (1 hour each)

    Assessment:
    Grammar Section is worth 80% of the unit, it consists of:

    Mid- semester tests:
    1) In-class composition 10%: A few days before the exam you will be given a number of possible topics for this exam (for example "your family" or "my daily routine"). You the can prepare your texts at home. The day of the exam we draw a number and the whole class has 25 minutes time to write 100 words on that topic.

    2) Grammar Exam 10%: You will be tested on questions which are based around vocabulary and grammar on the Aula units 0-3

    3) Listening comprehension 10%: Students listen to a number of recordings, and answer short questions on them. Every text is heard three times, with approximately ten seconds of silence between repetitions.

    End of Semester:
    4) In-class composition 12.5%: The day of the exam you will receive a sheet with pictures providing information about a person. You then have to write 125 words on that person. This composition is part of the formal examination.

    5) Grammar Exam 12.5%: You will be tested on questions which are based around vocabulary and grammar on the Aula units 0-7

    6) Listening comprehension 12.5%: Same as the mid-semester test

    7) Oral exam 12.5%: Students are paired for this exam. You will be given a "task" that need to fulfil in ten minutes by talking with each other (example: student A is a tourist that wants to know at what times trains depart from Madrid to Barcelona; student B works for the train company and is given a timetable at the beginning of the exam)

    The Cultural Section makes up for the rest of the 20%
    8) Cultural test 10%: On the topics covered in weeks 1-5 on Latin America. All multiple choice questions.

    9) Take-home exam 10%: A “take-home” exam consisting all multiple choice questions except for one short answer question based on the texts and concepts studied during weeks 8-12.

    Recorded Lectures: Yes with screen capture

    Past Exams Available: No past exams available however, there is plenty of practice exercises that are available on Moodle and sample exams were provided in tutorials in preparation for the in-class composition tests.

    Textbook Recommendation: You must buy the Aula Internacional Nueva Edicion Student Book 1 + Exercises + CD New Edition because it will used in the tutorials to complete exercises and class activities and also, it helps to solidify the understanding of concepts that you will go through during the unit.

    Lecturer(s):
    Dr Carlos Uxo: He lectures the first 5 five weeks of the Cultural Seminars and all of the Grammar Lectures.

    Gabriel Garcia-Ochoa: He lectures the remainder of the Cultural Seminars.

    Year & Semester of completion: 2015, Semester 1

    Rating: 5 out of 5

    Your mark/grade: N/A

    Comments:                             
    Cultural Seminars Week 1-7
    - Introduction
    - The Cuban Revolution
    - Dictatorships
    - Neoliberalism and the Pink Tide
    - Current Issues in Latin America

    Cultural Seminars Week 8-12
    - Before the "Boom"
    - The Latin American Boom and its Implications: Intro to Magical Realism
    - After the "Boom"
    - Indigeneity and Literature

    Grammar Lectures:
    - Week 1: The concepts of gender, number and agreement in Spanish

    - Week 2: Distinguishing the three types of regular verbs (aka “conjugations”), subject pronouns and the present tense of regular verbs and negative sentences.

    - Week 3: Talking about motivations and revision of present and querer

    - Week 4: Hay vs es, asking questions using “qué” and “cuál” + verbo ser and using “muy” and “mucho”

    - Week 5:  Superlativo relative and revision of revision of units 0-3

    - Week 8: Talking about things you like and dislike

    - Week 9: Reflexive verbs

    - Week 10: Verbos reflexivos (+ Secuenciación; También / Tampoco) and objecto directo

    - Week 11: (Verbos irregulares) and ordering food

    Comments:
    This was a really fantastic unit as I really enjoyed all of the cultural seminar lectures since the content was very interesting and that the lectures were taught very well. The grammar lectures were also great because they provided students who were struggling with Spanish (in particular, myself) with the opportunity to have the topics to be discussed and demonstrated in the lecture more thoroughly which helps significantly with understanding topics as they can be difficult and challenging.

    Lecturer(s)
    Carlos and Gabriel are great lecturers because the classes were taught and delivered at such high quality, they encouraged student participation which helped keep me interested and attentive, they were knowledgeable and they were very friendly and approachable.

    Assessments
    - In class composition; Fairly straightforward assessment because during the tutorials, the topics which need to spoken about in the test will be covered in great detail as the tutor will explore how to speak these topics, helpful key terms and any useful sentence phrases etc. which acts as in a way as preparation for this test. You will be provided details regarding the test a week or two before the test so you will have time to prepare. For the end of semester test only, you may be able to have your text marked by tutors if you start writing it early so I would suggest to start early in order to maximise your marks. It is also good to make your sentences long because it's a good exercise and practice for the end of semester exams, you may be awarded more marks and that less themes would need to be discussed in order to meet the word limit.

    - Grammar exam: A much more difficult exam because it really tests your knowledge and understanding of the Aula units and therefore, it is really essential that you have understood the topics really well and this can be achieved through spamming grammar exercises and asking for practice material (if possible) and clarification on these topics from tutors. Also, you will tested on terms which haven't been previously discussed in tutes or lectures so ensure you learn many new terms and thus, building up to an extensive vocabulary.   

    - Listening comprehension: This is can be both a really tough and tricky exam and or a simple and straightforward exam. It can be tricky because the people who are speaking in the audio may have accents which are really thick and just really difficult to understand and so trying to decipher what one is saying makes it sometimes an impossible thing to do and so you can get screwed over a fair few marks over this. Also, at times, I felt that the people in audio were speaking way too fast and yet again, lots of marks can be lost which can be so frustrating. If you manage to get past these barriers, you will do fine if you have put in the practice. My advice for this exam would be to expose yourself to many Latin American accents as a way to be familiar with the accents.

    Oral exam: Probably the hardest exam of them all because it requires that you prepare for 7 topics when you only need to talk about 2 topics which involves heaps of practice. I didn't attend the exam so the only possible advice that I can give for this exam is that you start preparing very early (at the time when you find out what topics are on the exam). Don't try and remember the scripts that you have used in your practice because you will probably forget it all.

    Cultural test: Probably the least hardest exams from the rest as it requires very little preparation (watching the lectures should be sufficient enough) and the questions are easy and straightforward. It's important to pay real attention when you watch the lectures because everything is examinable since there were a few surprise questions this year. They were 72 multiple choices and so you could be asked anything so be prepared for everything. It's an easy HD.

    Take home exam: This exam is completed on Moodle and is the most easiest exam in the whole unit because the questions fairly easy and straightforward. All the preparation that is required for this exam is to watch all the lectures (Weeks 8-12). It's an easy HD

    One final piece of advice for the unit general that is the most obvious is to practice daily. I cannot stress this enough, it is so important to practice every day or else you will struggle badly (It's the reason why I failed this unit, unfortunately). If you are unable to do this, I would not recommend this unit to because learning and studying a language is very demanding.                       
    « Last Edit: June 30, 2015, 02:45:46 pm by Dejan »

    vashappenin

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    Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
    « Reply #294 on: June 29, 2015, 11:21:41 pm »
    +5
    Subject Code/Name: MGC2230 - Organisational Behaviour

    Workload: Weekly 2 hour lecture and 1 hour tute (attendance isn't compulsory)

    Assessment: 20% lit review, 40% in-tute group presentation (10% presentation, 15% group report, 15% personal reflection), 40% exam

    Recorded Lectures:  No

    Textbook Recommendation: Organisational Behaviour 7th Ed. - Robbins et al. - definitely purchase because it goes through everything really well and the exam is open book.

    Lecturer(s): Tui McKeown

    Year & Semester of completion: Semester 1, 2015

    Rating: 3.5 out of 5 (only because the content was in many circumstances the same as MGC1010, which I thought was quite silly. Other than that, loved it!)

    Comments:
    When I was looking at units to do for my Commerce degree, this was one I definitely wanted to do somewhere along the course of my degree because it seemed so interesting! I find psychology quite interesting, and the theories and research in this unit are based on social and behavioural sciences so I really enjoyed it.

    I really loved how organised and well put together this unit was. I was a little disappointed by the fact that quite a few concepts were exactly the same as in MGC1010, so I felt like for those topics I learnt nothing new. However, since I studied both units together this semester (note: It's totally possible to study MGC1010 alongside MGC2230 as there are no prerequisites), it made life a bit easier as I'd already covered the same content before.

    Also, this unit is really interesting and very applicable to real life situations. There were many times where I could easily relate to the concepts as I'd experienced or seen them being experienced at work. This unit really helps you to realise why managers and employees act certain ways at work and what improvements they can make from both an individual and organisational perspective.

    Lectures
    I only attended the first lecture for this unit, and it made me realise that two hours is a waste for this unit. A lot of the content is relatively straightforward. However, I would recommend attending the last few lectures for exam revision purposes - you won't miss out on much if you don't attend but I would still recommend you do if you've got nothing else on.

    Tutes
    Tute attendance isn't marked, but it's a good idea to show up. There were two tutors this semester - Olga and Brian. I had Olga and she was absolutely amazing! She's so organised, kept the tutes really interactive and always made an effort to include everyone. The tutes were great because they pushed me to do the readings in order to participate in class discussions and go through the tute questions. This really helps come exam time.

    In-tute presentation
    It's really important that you attend the first tute as this is where you form a group for the group presentation. Basically, each group does a presentation and conducts activities covering the assigned week's lecture content. The groups are made up of 2-4 people, and you can choose who to work with. Presentations must encourage class participation in order for marks to be awarded. Each group gets to choose which topic to present, and must do so in the week that the lecture for that topic takes place. Although it seemed quite daunting at first, it's a really great way for students to learn.

    The presentation itself is worth 10%, and you also need to hand in a group report (worth 15%) and a self-reflection (15%). Don't leave this to the last minute and you've earned yourself an easy 40% of your overall score :)

    Exam
    This year's exam was out of 40 and consisted of two short answer questions (worth 10 marks each) and two case-study questions (worth 10 marks each), which you get to choose from a number of different options. The exam is open book and goes for 2 hours, with 10 minutes reading time. There is a hurdle requirement to get at least a 40% on the exam in order to pass the unit.

    If you have time, I would recommend making some shorter more concise notes as you go throughout the semester. Pay attention to the research and theories that are mentioned for each topic during the semester, as these are key to get you good marks. Our tutor also emphasised the importance of including examples, so I'd recommend making a bank of examples for each topic covered in the textbook, or you could even make up your own so long as they are relevant. I ended up running out of time to make notes but I found that the textbook was still sufficient, as I was already familiar with everything from doing all the readings and applying all the content in tutes (which is why I recommend that you go to all the tutes!!). Managing your time is really important for management units, so make sure you don't get carried away answering a question or you'll end up running out of time!

    All in all, I would definitely recommend this unit to anyone looking for a cruisey elective to do (and, of course, it's a compulsory unit for people majoring in Management Studies). Keep up to date with the content, attend all tutes and participate, make concise notes as you go, and you will definitely do well :)
    « Last Edit: June 29, 2015, 11:33:55 pm by vashappenin »
    2013: English, Maths Methods, Further Maths, Legal Studies, HHD, Psychology
    2014-present: Bachelor of Laws @ Monash University

    Tutoring VCE English, Psych, Legal Studies and HHD in 2016! Tutoring via Skype too. PM me if you're interested :)

    Joseph41

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    Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
    « Reply #295 on: July 09, 2015, 12:42:18 pm »
    +5
    Subject Code/Name: ATS2683 - The Analysis of Discourse: Texts, narrative and society

    Workload:
    1x one hour lecture per week
    1x one hour tutorial per week

    Assessment:
    • Short answer assignment: 30%
    • In-class test (Week 11): 20%
    • Major text analysis: 40%
    • Participation: 10%
    Recorded Lectures:
    Even with screen capture, I believe!

    Past exams available:
    Not a clue, but not really needed even if there were.

    Textbook Recommendation:
    The textbook is Discourse Analysis (2ed) (2008) by Barbara Johnstone. A lot of the readings (none of which I completed) are from this. Despite the fact that I didn't do the readings, I did buy the textbook and I did use it at times as an aid in assignments and revision. I wouldn't say that it's strictly necessary; it is prescribed, but you could get away without it if you needed to.

    Lecturer(s):
    • Dr. Melanie Burns
    • (We also had Cat Cook for one lecture when Mel was available; however, this was a one off.)
    Year & Semester of completion:
    Semester 1, 2015

    Rating:  out of 5
    3.5 out of 5

    Your Mark/Grade:
    N/A

    Comments:
    I guess I should be transparent from the start, here. Discourse Analysis doesn't interest me hugely, and if not for a shortage of Linguistics staff this semester, I probably would have avoided the unit. There were very few Linguistics units to choose from this semester, and I needed to do two to complete my major before studying abroad next semester. But I was pleasantly surprised by the unit.

    I had Mel last year for Sociolinguistics, which I quite enjoyed. I would have been a lot more hesitant going into the unit if she wasn't running it; Mel is very approachable, fair, and a good teacher. The unit was split up in the following fashion:

    • Week 1: Introduction to Discourse Analysis
    • Week 2: Understanding Discourse Structure
    • Week 3: Conversation Analysis 1: Rules of Interaction
    • Week 4: Conversation Analysis 2: Identities in Talk
    • Week 5: Genre Analysis
    • Week 6: Ethnography and Critical Discourse Analysis
    • Week 7: Media Discourse
    • Week 8: Political Discourse
    • Week 9: Education Discourse
    • Week 10: Workplace Discourse and Medical Discourse
    • Week 11: In-class test
    • Week 12: Corpus Approaches to Discourse Analysis


    I found Week 7 - Week 12 a lot more interesting than the first six weeks, which I found a little dry.

    One thing I will say about the lectures is that they are very fast-paced. I found this in Socio, too, so I think it might be an aspect of Mel's lecture style. I would contend that there is about 40% too much content, or that the lectures go about 40% too quickly. That's not to say that I'm complaining about the content as such; I just think that the main messages could be portrayed without a lot of the secondary information.

    The tutes were good and largely engaging. I think all of the tutes had Lee Murray. A lot of the students had her in their first year studies, but I had never had her (she started teaching first year in my second year). But she was excellent: easy to get along with, made the most important things clear, and was happy to cover the content that the students were having the most trouble with. By the end of the semester, Lee even went out of her way to help me prepare for (hopefully) Honours in Linguistics next year, which was very kind of her. I would definitely choose her again if I had a choice of tutors, so you will be in good hands, there.

    The assignments were fine - I think they were well structured during the semester. The short answer assignment was fairly self-explanatory and was based almost exclusively on core content from the first few weeks. I was happy with how it was marked, too - lots of good feedback for improvement. Then there was nothing until the test in Week 11. I think a lot of students struggled for time, as many didn't finish. I only just finished the last question, and I write quite quickly. The test was open book, so you could take in anything (that wasn't electronic) at all, but you would have been in Struggle Street if you had to rely on your notes. The last assignment is the most interesting, from my viewpoint. You select your own extract from a major text (I did Joe Hockey's first budget speech), and then analyse it in depth using everything that you have covered during the semester. This was also marked thoroughly, which was appreciated.

    I can see how a lot of people would love this unit. I went in thinking that I wouldn't enjoy it much, but it did surprise me. In fact, I'm thinking of now doing a D.A. Honours project, which is quite a large turnaround. I would recommend the unit to anybody studying Linguistics, but especially those with an interest in Socio or Discourse.
    One wug.

    Joseph41

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    Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
    « Reply #296 on: July 09, 2015, 01:06:01 pm »
    +4
    Subject Code/Name: ATS3627 Global Cultures, Local Traditions: Creating and Consuming (Popular) Culture

    Workload:
    • 1x one hour lecture per week
    • 1x one hour tutorial per week
    Assessment:
    • Online discussion board (weekly): 30%
    • In-class tests (every three weeks): 20%
    • Major essay: 50%
    Recorded Lectures:
    Yes, with screen capture.

    Past exams available:
    Not that I know of, but there is no exam.

    Textbook Recommendation:
    Not a thing.

    Lecturer(s):
    • Prof. Carolyn Stevens (main lecturer)
    • Dr. Alexander Lugg (guest lecturer for Week 6)
    • Ramon Lobato (guest lecturer for Week 7)
    • Thomas Baudinette (guest lecturer for Week 8 )
    Year & Semester of completion:
    Semester 1, 2015.

    Rating:
    3 out of 5.

    Your Mark/Grade:
    N/A.

    Comments:
    Firstly, I chose this unit as an elective, but I think it now might be a cornerstone or capstone or whatever unit for particular (International Studies?) majors. I didn't pay attention to that, because none of it applies to me. But that might be something to consider.

    All in all, while the unit was interesting enough, I was probably slightly disappointed in it. A lot of the content I had covered in past units (perhaps my mistake for choosing the unit in the first place, then), and much of the other stuff was sort of common sensical. But as far as units go, it was fairly enjoyable.

    The unit was set out like this:

    • Week 1: Introduction
    • Week 2: Concepts: Tradition, Authenticity & Modernity
    • Week 3: Concepts: Hard vs. Soft Power
    • Week 4: Concepts: Glocalisation: Cultural 'Odour' vs. 'Odourlessness'
    • Week 5: Global Culture: Global Food = Global Culture?
    • Week 6: Global Culture: Media Landscapes
    • Week 7: Global Culture: Piracy and Protection
    • Week 8: Global Culture: Is There Such a Thing as a Global Queer Culture?
    • Week 9: Local Culture: Otherness and Tourism
    • Week 10: Local Culture: Nationalism
    • Week 11: Local Culture: Appropriation
    • Week 12: Conclusion: the Global Culture Economy as a Global Culture


    My favourite subjects were probably the concepts of 'soft power' and 'hard power,' which are covered in some detail during the semester. I hope to do more work on this in the future, but we'll see.

    I found the lectures slow. Unlike the last unit I reviewed (see above), where I played the lectures on about 0.9 speed if ever I had to listen to them, I could get through these ones at about 1.5. Combined with the fact that they were in the warm Rotunda, the lectures weren't overly inspiring. But Carolyn is clearly passionate about what she does, and is great at getting information across. I guess the benefit of going at a slightly slower pace is that the information really solidifies in memory. Further, Carolyn used a lot of videos, images and other sources of information which livened things up a little. The guest lecturers were all good, and it was enjoyable to hear the perspectives of people (all of whom were quite young) who had been researching a particular field in great depth.

    I didn't like the tutes. The room was very crammed compared to basically every other tute that I have ever had. My tutor was Phyllis, who marks well and seems extremely knowledgeable, but the tutes were structured in a way that didn't really suit my learning style. I don't think this was really up to Phyllis, so all I will say about her is that she seems super, super intelligent and is very friendly. The vast majority of the tutes were based around the online discussion board. Each week, we had to write a post on Moodle relating to the lecture content and/or readings content, and then preferably comment on other students'. It wasn't particularly onerous, so it was okay in isolation. But then pretty much every tute was spent discussing other people's posts and comments, which I found uninteresting and largely unproductive.

    The tests, which were held every three weeks in the tute, only took about five minutes each. There were typically 3-5 multiple choice questions, and a (very) short answer question. It was frustrating at times because, despite doing all of the readings thoroughly to prepare for the online discussion board (I acknowledge that it served its purpose in this regard; this was the only unit where I did every reading on time), the questions were sometimes very specific.

    The essay, on the other hand, was great. There was a wide range of suggested topics to devise your own essay around. I did mine on the influence of bubble tea on soft power in Taiwan, which I found interesting and enjoyable.

    In summary, the unit is pretty good, and I think a lot of its downfalls were sort of created by my own previous studies, attitude toward social interaction, and warm lecture theatres.
    « Last Edit: July 09, 2015, 01:15:09 pm by Joseph41 »
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    Joseph41

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    Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
    « Reply #297 on: July 09, 2015, 04:06:57 pm »
    +6
    Before I start, here is EnglishStudent1's review of this unit (do I know you?). I have't read it yet, because I didn't want it to influence my own review.

    Subject Code/Name: ATS3673 - History and Sociolinguistics of English

    Workload:
    1x 2 hour seminar per week

    Assessment:
    • Assignment 1 (essay): 15%
    • Assignment 2 (short answer questions): 25%
    • Assignment 3 (research project): 30%
    • Exam: 30%
    Recorded Lectures:
    Yes, the lectures were recorded (manually). However, due to having the lectures held in a theatre built around the time of the Industrial Revolution, the facilities were limited. Kate and Bob had to record the lectures themselves, which was very good of them. But I don't think there would have been screen capture to go alongside the recordings directly. This wasn't really the fault of Kate or Bob; I don't think the unit will be held in the same place the next time it runs.

    Past exams available:
    One was provided. It wasn't directly related - some of the questions on it we hadn't covered - but it did give a vague idea of what the exam would be like.

    Textbook Recommendation:  What must you buy?  What is "recommended"?  Do you need it?
    The prescribed textbook was A Biography of the English Language (3ed) (2012) by Millward and Hayes, but I had to look that up, because I didn't buy it. I'd recommend against getting the textbook because it's simply superfluous. Kate's unit handout (you'll know what I'm talking about if you've taken any of her other units) is more than sufficient both during the semester and as exam revision.

    Lecturer(s):
    • Prof. Kate Burridge
    • Dr. Bob DiNapoli (I guess technically a guest lecturer, but we had him four (?) times)
    Year & Semester of completion:
    Semester 1, 2015

    Rating:
    4.95 out of 5

    Your Mark/Grade:
    N/A

    Comments:
    As you may or may not know, I like Kate Burridge. Here is my review of the last unit that I took in which she taught. My gushing in that post probably says enough, so I'll try not to go on about it too much here.

    Here is how the unit was structured:

    • Week 1: Language change and the history of English
    • Week 2: Old English (449-1100) - introduction to outer and inner history
    • Week 3: Old English - more on the inner history
    • Week 4: Middle English (1100-1500) - introduction to outer and inner history
    • Week 5: Middle English - more on the inner history
    • Week 6: Early Modern English (1500-1800) - introduction to outer and inner history
    • Week 7: Early Modern English - more on the inner history
    • Week 8: Standardization and purism
    • Week 9: Modern English (1800->) - introduction to outer and inner history
    • Week 10: Modern English - global aspects
    • Week 11: Antipodean Englishes - past and present
    • Week 12: Some hands-on experience of texts from the Anglo-Saxon and medieval period


    I didn't know much about historical linguistics going into that unit, so don't let that put you off if you feel a little unsure. I did do the unit 'Language Across Time' with Olav, but that was a little different in the sense that it looked more at the processes than the changes themselves, if that makes sense. But yeah, this unit absolutely caters for those with limited historical linguistics exposure. In fact, some of the students in our class hadn't ever done any formal linguistics at all before this semester, so that's pretty neat.

    I don't want to ramble about Kate again (well, I do), so to keep it succinct, I'll just say that she is by far and away the best lecturer I've ever had. 10/10.

    Bob was new to me. I think due to the shortage of staff this semester, Kate invited him to join her in this unit (there were a few weeks where Kate was unavailable). Bob was really great, too. His weeks tended to be on the social sides of the language, whilst Kate then followed that up with the technical stuff. Bob obviously has a lot of knowledge in the area, and it comes across in his presentations, which are really enjoyable to listen to. I got the impression by the end of the semester that a lot of the content he was covering wasn't going to be examinable (a prediction that came to fruition), but I still immensely enjoyed his lectures.

    Both Kate and Bob are ridiculously friendly and keen to answer any questions. In fact, after each lecture, they continued the class less formally at Sir John's. I never took up this offer, but I know that others did, and they enjoyed it very much. I think this sort of thing is what takes a unit from 'good' territory to 'great' territory. They just wanted to share their passion with others similarly passionate. Awesome.

    The content itself is structured logically. As you can see above, it starts with Old English, and eventually moves into English of the present day. I learnt a lot in this unit. Interestingly (for me, at least), I didn't take very many notes. This is different for me, because I am a religious note-taker. But I found that the knowledge sort of just stuck deep within me because I was so interested in it; that's probably credit to the lecturers, because there's only so much passion one can have about syntactic structures of the 14th century. So yeah, the only real downside of the lectures was the lecture theatre, which I'm sure will be changed.

    Assignment one was an essay on a range of several topics. I did mine on Standard English. I thought that it was generously marked, but the feedback was good. It wasn't a particularly exciting assessment task, but I did enjoy it. I found the second assignment quite difficult, but it was by no means impossible if you had been to the lectures. Kate's notes helped quite a lot here. I think the third assignment was originally going to be another essay, but Kate changed it a bit to be more of a research project, which was good. I liked this one, because (despite the fact that it took a while) it felt more like a mild introduction to Honours.

    Really, the only issue I had with the unit (hence the rating of 4.95 rather than 5) was that it didn't have tutes. This is a unit that, in my opinion, requires them, and the unit would have been a lot better off with them. But aside from that, wicked unit. Do it.
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    Joseph41

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    Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
    « Reply #298 on: July 10, 2015, 12:44:05 pm »
    +7
    Major: Linguistics

    First Year Subjects:
    • ATS1338 The language game: Why do we talk the way we do?
    • ATS1339 Describing and analysing language and communication
    Second Year Subjects:
    • ATS2667 Language across time
    • ATS2676 Sociolinguistics
    • ATS2683 The analysis of discourse: texts, narrative and society
    Third Year Subjects:
    • ATS3681 Structure of English
    • ATS3679 Psycholinguistics and child language acquisition
    • ATS3673 History and sociolinguistics of English
    Year of completion:
    2015

    Rating:
    4.5 out of 5

    Comments:
    Cool, cool. Linguistics.

    So a bit of background: I did English Language in 2012 and had an interest in language in general, but I initially wasn't even planning to do Linguistics as an elective at uni. I am super glad that I did, though, because it has become a passion and something that I really enjoy. The great thing is that there are still heaps of units that I would love to do, to the point that I have considered further study just so that I can learn more. I'm planning on doing Honours in Linguistics next year.

    In general, the Linguistics staff are really great. I haven't come across a single one that I haven't liked. I guess the thing with Linguistics is that the school isn't that large compared to many others, so you sort of get to know the staff members fairly well. In saying that, you can definitely fly by unnoticed if that's what you want; I don't think I spoke to anybody in any of my lectures until maybe late last year.

    Something I do want to say is don't be put off from Linguistics if you have no prior experience (tautological?) in the field. The units - particularly the first year units - cater for such students, especially considering that EngLang isn't offered at many schools. Now, speaking of the units, the handbook has changed a little since I started in 2013. You now have gateway, cornerstone and capstone units, which I didn't have to worry about. But basically, all it means is that you have to do the following two units (the 'gateway' units):

    • ATS1338 The language game: Why do we talk the way we do?
    • ATS1339 Describing and analysing language and communication


    And you have to do one of the following three units ('cornerstone' units):

    • ATS2676 Sociolinguistics
    • ATS2681 Structure of English
    • ATS2683 The analysis of discourse: texts, narrative and society


    And you have to do one of the following three units ('capstone' units):

    • ATS3666 Eastern Austronesian languages of Indonesia, East Timor and Oceania
    • ATS3677 Aboriginal languages of Australia
    • ATS3816 The social context of language learning


    But in all likelihood, you would probably adhere to these criteria even without trying. I didn't do any of those units listed as capstone units, but from my recollection they either weren't offered or were superfluous to the needs of my degree. I would be very interested in doing ATS3816 now if I had the chance.

    So further to the two gateway units, the cornerstone unit and the capstone unit, you have four electives to choose from. You can choose any of the following, on the assumption that they are being offered:

    • ATS2665/ATS3665 Language endangerment
    • ATS2667/ATS3667 Language across time
    • ATS2668/ATS3668 Descriptive syntax: grammatical structure, typology and universals
    • ATS2669/ATS3669 Phonetics and phonology
    • ATS2671/ATS3671 Managing intercultural communication
    • ATS2672/ATS3672 Computational linguistics: an introduction
    • ATS2673/ATS3673 History and sociolinguistics of English
    • ATS2674/ATS3674 Semantics and pragmatics: the study of meaning in human languages
    • ATS2678/ATS3678 Language and identity
    • ATS2679/ATS3679 Psycholinguistics and child language acquisition
    • ATS2680/ATS3680 Literacies and communication: education, media and cyberspace
    • ATS2682/ATS3682 Second language acquisition and attrition
    • ATS3064 Intercultural communication: developing competences in a multicultural context
    • ATS3138 Special reading unit 2
    • ATS3948 Internship (undergraduate)


    Now, if you look at that list - particularly if you haven't done any Linguistics before - it may be a bit overwhelming or confusing. It might be especially hard to know what you will be interested in. But don't worry: first year Linguistics is basically an introduction to all of the types of Linguistics. Once you complete first year, you should have a much better understanding of what metaphorically tickles your whiskers. For what it's worth, here are the best Linguistics units that I did:

    • ATS1338 The language game: Why do we talk the way we do?
    • ATS3681 Structure of English
    • ATS3679 Psycholinguistics and child language acquisition
    • ATS3673 History and sociolinguistics of English


    That's not to say that I didn't enjoy the other four units, because I did. But you will find that you are naturally interested in some aspects of the field more than others, and that's okay. You can find individual unit reviews for all of these units in this thread.

    Now, why is it that I give this major 4.5 out of 5 rather than 5 out of 5? I haven't said anything bad about it at all thus far. The reason is a bit petty, but it did frustrate me at times. The unit availability is sometimes a little lacking. This semester, for example, there were very few units on offer. This was due to a shortage of staff, but it means that units that were meant to be running, were not. I would have loved to have done ATS3674 in particular, and I was saving it for my final semester, but now I can't. (Although I think it might be offered next semester, so that might have been my own stuff up.)

    If you did English Language in VCE and liked it, do Linguistics. If you did English Language in VCE and hated it, don't do Linguistics. If you have an interest in language but didn't do English Language in VCE, do Linguistics. If you don't have an interest in language and didn't do English Language in VCE, don't do Linguistics.

    tl;dr: Kate Burridge is great.
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    gabo8273

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    Re: Monash University - Subject Reviews & Ratings
    « Reply #299 on: July 13, 2015, 03:00:42 pm »
    +3
    Subject Code/Name: BMS1021 - Cells Tissues and Organisms 

    Workload:
     - 3x 1 hour lecture per week
     - 1x 3 hour lab almost all weeks

    Assessment: 
     - 8x Practicals [25%]
     - 1x Mid-sem moodle quiz [10%]
     - 1x 1000 word essay [15%]
     - 1x 3 hour MCQ exam [50%]
     
    Recorded Lectures:  Yes, with screen capture

    Past exams available:  No, but many questions were provided by the lecturers and PASS. Also, a "peer-wise" program was utilized, in which questions are generated by students, for students. These are often quite good at determining weaknesses, or so I found.

    Textbook Recommendation:  Cambell Biology, Xth Edition is recommended, however all the required information can be extracted from the lectures in this unit.

    Lecturer(s):
     - Dr. Chantelle Hoppe (Histology)
     - Dr Robyn Slattery  (Immunology)
     - Dr John Beardall   
     - Dr Chris Johnstone (Homeostasis)
     - A/Prof Jose Garcia-Bustos  (Viruses, Fungi etc..)
     - Dr Helen Abud (Developmental Biology)
     - Dr Anne Peters (Animal Diversity)
     - Mrs Wilma Checkley (Introduction to Bio)
     - Dr Paul Crellin  (Bacteria)

    Year & Semester of completion: 2015

    Rating: 4 out of 5

    Your Mark/Grade: HD

    Comments: This unit was easily the best unit of the first semester. It is one of the three compulsory core subjects that must be completed alongside BMS1031 and BMS1011 in Biomed. It is the most content-heavy subject of the core units, but also the most simple.

    All of the practicals were completed in the lab-slots. It is possible to get good marks in the pracs, even if you didn't attend the lectures. Most barely relied on course material. However, many pracs had prep-work that is essential to complete. It is also quite easy to forget about the prep-work. Note that on my exam (maybe not yours) pracs were assessed.

    Lectures were usually good. Some got a bit boring, and I often struggled to maintain my consciousness during some of the later lectures. As usual, you should watch all lectures, either by actually going to the lectures or watching them on mulo.

    The  essay was the worst part of this unit. I'm bad at essay writing, so I wasted many hours fruitlessly attempting to add few more words to reach the word limit. If essays are more your thing, this won't be difficult. The essay offered 10 topics, which are all marked by different lecturers.

    ALL of my exam was MCQs, which was great. It was a grueling 3 hour, 100 question exam. Similarly, the mid-sem test was also MCQs, and had ~25 questions (I forget the exact number). Neither of these were very difficult.

    Finally, they offered a PASS program in my year. This is where 3rd year students would teach you the content for an hour. It was less productive than the BMS1031 PASS, however its still covered much more than I could in an hour, so I'd recommend doing it if possible (note that classes fill up fast).