VCE Biology (2016 – 2021 Study Design) : Scientific investigation and presentation

Subject Area: VCE Biology (2016 – 2021 Study Design) Unit 3/4, Area of Study 3, Outcome 3.
Author: Lisa Cardamone, Hung On, Mia Sharman, Georgia Lumb

Description

In this task, the students must design or adapt an investigation related to key conceptual ideas in either Unit 3 or Unit 4, or across both. The investigation is for students to integrate their knowledge and skills developed across the year with laboratory work and/or fieldwork. The students will need to create a scientific poster including the aim and hypothesis, methodology, analysed data and conclusion.

Curriculum links

Unit 3/4, Area of Study 3, Outcome 3.

Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority [VCAA] (2015). VCE Biology Study Design. Retrieved from: http://www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/Documents/vce/biology/BiologySD-2016.pdf

Procedural Properties

 

Purpose This is a summative assessment task designed to assess the key knowledge and key skills associated with Unit 4, area of study 3. Students have the option to complete the investigation on a number of topics across Unit 3 and 4, however, area of study 3 is associated with specific key knowledge dot points that students must display in order to meet the requirements for achievement of outcome 3.

The assessment is appropriate for the purpose, as it requires students to demonstrate the key knowledge and skills associated with the relevant section of the curriculum. It requires students to display understanding of the aspects of an experimental investigation, relevant biological knowledge and show proficiency in the presentation of data.

 

Administer

Students work individually to complete their investigation and collect data over 3 periods (70min each) and then construct their poster over 3 periods (70mins each) under test conditions (sitting separately, no notes except for those taken during the experiment, no talking). Students can ask general questions about the structure of the report, but no specific help will be given regarding the results and outcomes of the investigation
Record Students must keep a detailed practical logbook whilst completing their investigations for authentication purposes. This should be checked by teachers throughout the investigation and kept by the teacher at the conclusion. Students will receive a mark out of 30, which will be recorded in the teacher’s mark book or spreadsheet and should be reported to VCAA. The posters themselves should also be kept so they are available if necessary.
Interpret The poster presentation will be given a mark out of 30 for Unit 4, contributing to 8% of their final grade for Unit 3 & 4 Biology. There are 3 SACS for Unit 4, each contributing 8% to the student’s final grade (24% in total).
Use The assessment and its interpretation will be used for reporting purposes. The final grade will be sent to VCAA and used in the construction of students final study score for Biology. The assessment is adequate for determining a mark for outcome 3 of unit 4 but is inadequate for reporting on the whole of Unit 4.

Construct

Low – Students at this level plan for and conduct an investigation with a prescribed purpose. Students gather data, include a discussion with mention of biological concepts and communicate their ideas informally. This information is presented in a poster format.

Medium – Students at this level are able to design an experiment relevant to an appropriate purpose. The student gathers data, which is suitable to addressing the aim and organises it into a graphical representation. The students form a satisfactory discussion and analysis of the conceptual ideas and begin to create links between the investigation and their biological understanding.

High – Students at this level are able to design a scientifically accurate experiment relevant to an appropriate purpose. The student gathers data, which addresses the aim and organises it into a graphical representation that is logically formatted and appropriately analysed. The students form a detailed discussion and analysis of the conceptual ideas and create links between the investigation and their biological understanding, linking it to the hypothesis.

Outstanding – Students at this level are able to use research to construct a scientifically accurate experiment. The students are able to also use research to synthesise sections of the report and draw evidence-based conclusions.

Rubrics

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/  or send a letter to Creative Commons, PO Box 1866, Mountain View, CA 94042, USA.

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