Module title: Advances in Animal Behaviour

SCQF level: 10:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: ENV10102
Module leader: Alison Craig
School School of Applied Sciences
Subject area group: Animal and Plant Science
Prerequisites

Animal Behaviour

2018/9, Trimester 1, Face-to-Face, Edinburgh Napier University
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: Face-to-Face
Location of delivery: SIGHTHILL
Partner: Edinburgh Napier University
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Alison Craig
Module Organiser:


Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
Learning & teaching methods including their alignment to learning outcomes
A combination of interactive lectures, group discussion sessions and assessments will be used to promote the growth of knowledge and the development of critical thinking skills. An underlying theme will be the importance of the scientific method and research design in the evaluation of evidence relating to animal behaviour and cognition. Students will be encouraged to actively engage with the learning material, asking questions and thinking deeply about standards of evidence and how these relate to the validity of various claims that have been made about the abilities of animals. Group discussions during tutorial sessions will allow students to explore many of the issues arising from current areas of scientific controversy. LOs 1, 2, 3 and 4 will be addressed in both lecture and tutorial sessions.



Formative Assessment:
The interactive nature of tutorials on a range of topics will allow students to receive frequent formative feedback on their learning.

Summative Assessment:
The first assessment will be a critical review of a “hot topic” in animal behaviour and cognition which will encourage students to hone their skills in information gathering, evidence appraisal, logical argument and communication of ideas. This assessment will be summative, but it will also be formative in the sense that students will receive feedback which will enable them to review and reflect upon their understanding relative to the learning outcomes. The final assessment will give students the opportunity to express their understanding of a variety of issues, and will thus allow for summative assessment in relation to each learning outcome. This assessment will be a three-hour supervised exam so that students have sufficient time to compose their answers and arguments rather than merely regurgitating information in the rapid fashion that might be encouraged by a more restricted time window.

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 33
Face To Face Groupwork (Scheduled) 6
Face To Face Centrally Time Tabled Examination 3
Independent Learning Guided independent study 158
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200


Assessment
Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Report 40.00 1,2,4 8 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 2000
Centrally Time Tabled Examination 60.00 1-4 14/15 HOURS= 3, WORDS= 0
Component 1 subtotal: 40
Component 2 subtotal: 60
Module subtotal: 100

Description of module content:

Evolution of intelligence & cognition, social behaviour and inclusive fitness, social learning and cultural traditions, communication, reproductive strategies, tool use and understanding of causality, reasoning, self-awareness, conservation applications, the scientific method as applied to the study of animals including experimental and observational studies in both captive and natural environments. Recommended reading will include not only chapters from the recommended scientific textbooks but also a variety of peer-reviewed scientific articles from journals such as Animal Behaviour, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Behavioral Ecology, Nature, Science and Animal Cognition. While classic studies will be included, there will be an emphasis on recent research.

Learning Outcomes for module:

LO1: Critically evaluate published studies of both captive and free-ranging animals.
LO2: Appraise the evidence for various explanations of animal behaviour.
LO3: Derive adaptive explanations for behaviours exhibited by animals.
LO4: Prioritise the scientific principle of parsimony when interpreting animal behaviour.

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:

Recommended - BEKOFF, M., ALLEN, C. AND BURGHARDT, G.M. (2002) THE COGNITIVE ANIMAL: MIT PRESS, 1st ed. - ISBN: 0262523221
Recommended - DAVIES, N.B., KREBS, J.R. AND WEST, S.A. (2013) AN INTRODUCTION TO BEHAVIOURAL ECOLOGY: WILEY-BLACKWELL, 4th ed. - ISBN: 97814443
Recommended - TOMASELLO, M. AND CALL, J. (1997) PRIMATE COGNITION: OUP, 1st ed. - ISBN: 0195106245
Recommended - DAVIES, N.B., KREBS, J.R., WEST, S.A. (2013) AN INTRODUCTION TO BEHAVIOURAL ECOLOGY: WILEY-BLACKWELL, 4th ed. - ISBN: 9781444398458
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