VCE Biology

Subject Area: VCE Biology Unit 2, Area of Study 2, Outcome 3
Author: Linda Xie, Patrick Truong, Nicole Smith, Joel McMahon


  • Students are to research an issue related to genetics and reproductive science
  • Need to consider the social, economic, ethical and legal factors for the individual and/or species
  • Students are to present their work via oral presentation
  • They need to include details such as an explanation of the biological concepts, identify different opinions (pros and cons), justify their own opinion based on evidence

Curriculum links

Unit 2, Area of Study 2, Outcome 3

  • Investigation of an issue the increasing uses and applications of genetics knowledge and reproductive science in society both provide benefits for individuals and populations and raise social, economic, legal and ethical questions.
  • Human cloning, genetic modification of organisms, the use of forensic DNA databanks, assisted reproductive technologies and prenatal and predictive genetic testing challenge social and ethical norms.
  • They communicate the findings of their investigation and explain the biological concepts, identify different opinions, outline the legal, social and ethical implications for the individual and/or species and justify their conclusions.

Click to access biologysd-2013.pdf

Procedural Properties


  • To develop students research and communication skills
  • To promote higher order thinking
  • Summative assessment for Unit 2, Area of Study 2, Outcome 3
  • This task is appropriate as it effectively measures student’s knowledge of their chosen topic


  • Students were given 2 weeks of class time to complete this assessment during class and at home
  • This was an individual task where students used any resources available
  • Students had assistance of teacher throughout the task
  • As this went over a long time this task is a relatively accurate diagnosis of the students’ ability. A few students were absent for a long period of time affecting the accuracy of their task.
  • As this was done during class time and at home there was no way to make sure this task was entirely authentic.
  • The rubric for this task includes a large number of indicators and criteria. It is an adequate show of ability.
  • This task was aptly timed as it was done at the end of the topic and the students were given plenty of time to do the task.


  • The results were marked with a rubric and the marks were given to students via compass


  • The students mark was determined as a number out of the total, percentage and a grade mark
  • ZPDs were determined so students know which sections to revise for their exam


  • Students were given their marks on the rubric
  • Feedback given to students to improve future presentations and research skills
  • For those who were absent the mark was not representative of their skills and therefore was not used to determine a ZAD or ZPD
  • The mark is used for the students ATAR as this task was a SAC




  • Student speaks quietly and reads from notes
  • Student does some research on topic and presents information



  • Student makes some eye contact with audience, speaks in a normal voice and reads from notes
  • Student looked at pros and cons of the argument based on research



  • Student is confident when speaking to the audience, speaks clearly and makes eye contact with the class. Uses cue cards.
  • The ethical, legal, economic and social aspects of the issue have been researched and analysed. The student presents an opinion on the topic.



  • Student speaks to the audience maintaining eye contact and projects their voice. Doesn’t require notes.
  • Student analyses reliable evidence found in their research and justifies their opinion.


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

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