In this unit students consider the continual change and challenges to which life on Earth has been subjected. They investigate the relatedness between species and the impact of various change events on a population's gene pool. The accumulation of changes over time is considered as a mechanism for biological evolution by natural selection that leads to the rise of new species. Students examine change in life forms using evidence from palaeontology, biogeography, developmental biology and structural morphology. They explore how technological developments in the fields of comparative genomics, molecular homology and bioinformatics have resulted in evidence of change through measurements of relatedness between species.

Students examine the structural and cognitive trends in the human fossil record and the interrelationships between human biological and cultural evolution. The biological consequences, and social and ethical implications, of manipulating the DNA molecule and applying biotechnologies is explored for both the individual and the species.

This unit is delivered in Year 12.

Unit details

Study level:
Vocational and further education (TAFE)
Unit code:
BI034

Prerequisites

BI033 - Biology 3

Assessment

Assessment tasks will be designed to reinforce and extend knowledge in accordance with each unit's learning outcomes, including the setting of practical application tasks designed to provide evidence of competence outcomes, within periodic and scheduled timelines. Students will be expected to demonstrate the following knowledge: Outcome 1 On completion of this unit the student should be able to analyse evidence for evolutionary change, explain how relatedness between species is determined, and elaborate on the consequences of biological change in human evolution. Outcome 2 On completion of this unit the student should be able to describe how tools and techniques can be used to manipulate DNA, explain how biological knowledge is applied to biotechnical applications, and analyse the interrelationship between scientific knowledge and its applications in society. Outcome 3 On the completion of this unit the student should be able to design and undertake a practical investigation related to cellular processes and/or biological change and continuity over time, and present methodologies, findings and conclusions in a scientific poster.Assessment will follow the requirements set out in the VCE Biology Study Guide: SCHOOL-BASED ASSESSMENT 1. Satisfactory completion The award of satisfactory completion for a unit is based on whether the student has demonstrated the set of outcomes specified for the unit. A variety of assessment tasks will provide a range of opportunities for students to demonstrate the key knowledge and key skills in the outcomes. 2. Assessment of levels of achievement The student's level of achievement in Unit 4 will be determined by School-assessed Coursework (SAC). SAC's will be completed mainly in class and within a limited time-frame. SAC for Unit 3 will contribute 16 per cent to the study score (BI033 Biology 3). SAC for Unit 4 will contribute 24 per cent to the study score. Practical work is a central component of learning and assessment. As a guide, between 3½ and 5 hours of class time should be devoted to student practical work and investigations for each of Areas of Study 1 and 2. In Area of Study 3, between 7 and 10 hours of class time should be devoted to the investigation to be undertaken in either Unit 3 or Unit 4, or across both Units 3 and 4, including the writing of the sections of the scientific poster. EXTERNAL ASSESSMENT The level of achievement for Units 3 and 4 is also assessed by an end-of-year examination, which will contribute 60 per cent to the study score.

Where to next?

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