As you will know, the Research Project provides the opportunity for you to study an area of interest in depth. It requires you to use your creativity and initiative, while developing the research and presentation skills you will need in further study or work. When deciding on a research topic, teachers will often recommend TOPICAL issues which have a LOCAL issues perspective as this may make it easier for you to gather data. This makes The Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat an ideal topic to research. Issues surrounding Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat physiology, habitat and diet or human impact on their habitat could all lead to fantastic research topics.
Here are some examples of propositions. Student research should address the extent to which they support the proposition.
Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats have specific adaptations that allow them to survive in the Murraylands.
Climate change has had an impact the distribution of the Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat in South Australia.
Culling can affect the social hierarchy and increase breeding in Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat Populations.
The culling of abundant competitor species such as kangaroos, has an impact on wombat populations.
The most significant environmental impact on the distribution of the Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat is rainfall.
The Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat adapt their diet when faced with changing environmental landscape
It is likely that the Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat will become extinct in the wild in the next 20 years
Laws in South Australia preventing the release into the wild of rescued or rehabilitated wombats has been done in the best interest of the species.
These topics fit into the FINER question refinement model. They are;
Feasible, as they can it be researched in the time you have available
Interesting, as there is sufficient published information available but it is definitely not an ‘over researched’ area so you will be challenged to learn something new and contact experts for further information.
Novel the specificity of the species of wombat and geographical area means the findings are likely to be original and novel
Ethical as it can be safe and ethical to research
Relevant as it meets the learning requirements of the subject
Click here to take you to an exemplar on the SACE website of the Evaluation (Assessment task 3) of a student who undertook their Research Project on Southern Hairy Nosed Wombats
Contacts There are several leading researchers into wombats who may be willing to answer some questions or point you in the right direction. This is not an exhaustive list but is a good place to start if you do not have your own.
Matt Gaughwin Brookfield Conservation Park firstname.lastname@example.org
Bertram Ostendorf Adelaide University email@example.com
Mike Swinbourne Adelaide University firstname.lastname@example.org
For alternative views, consider contacting organisations such as
Wombats SA (focus - Wombat habitat conservation)
Wombat Awareness ( focus - Wombat rescue)
Wildwood Sanctuary (focus -Wombat rescue)
DEW (Department of Environment and Water) (focus - Issue permits for farmers to cull wombats)
Developing the Capabilities When developing your research and applying knowledge, skills, and ideas specific to your research question you will choose one or more capabilities to show they can be developed in the context of your research.
The capabilities enable you to make connections in your learning within and across subjects in a wide range of contexts. Literacy By researching Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats, you could develop your capability for the Literacy Capability by, for example:
communicating with a range of people in a variety of contexts such as farmers, land owners, members of DENR, researchers, members of wombat advocating charities
asking questions, expressing opinions, and taking different perspectives into account as there are a wide range of view on wombats in our community
accessing, analysing, and selecting appropriate primary and secondary sources
engaging with, and reflecting on, the ways in which texts are created for specific purposes and audiences
Numeracy By researching Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats, you could develop your capability for the Numeracy Capability by, for example:
analysing information and data collected by different researchers on different sites in SA
justifying the validity of the findings
applying skills in estimating and calculating based on statistics and data from researchers
interpreting information given in numerical form in diagrams, maps, graphs, and tables
interpreting and incorporating statistical information that requires an understanding of the diverse ways in which data are gathered, recorded, and presented.
Information and Communication Technology Capability By researching Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats, you could develop your capability for the ICT Capability by, for example:
understanding how contemporary information and communication technologies can improve research into threatened species
critically analysing the limitations and impacts of current technologies such as motion sensor cameras
considering the implications of potential technologies such as that devised by Blackwood High School students in 2018 to look into wombat burrows
communicating and sharing ideas and information, to collaboratively construct knowledge and digital solutions
Critical and Creative Thinking By researching Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats, you could develop your capability for the Critical and Creative Thinking Capability by, for example:
thinking critically, logically, ethically, and reflectively
learning and applying new knowledge and skills
accessing, organising, using, and evaluating information
posing questions, and identifying and clarifying information and ideas
developing knowledge and understanding of a range of research processes
recognising how knowledge changes over time and is influenced by people
exploring and experiencing creative processes and practices
reflecting on, adjusting and explaining their thinking, and identifying the reasons for choices, strategies, and actions taken.
Personal and Social Capability By researching Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats, you could develop your capability for the Personal and Social Capability by, for example:
developing an understanding of, and exercising, individual and shared obligations and rights to the protection of the Australian species and the environment
participating actively and responsibly in learning, work, and community life
developing empathy for and understanding of others and recognizing that others may not hold the same views as you do on this issue
making responsible decisions based on evidence
building links with others, locally, nationally, and/or globally.
Ethical Understanding By researching Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats, you could develop your capability for the Ethical Understanding Capability by, for example:
identifying and discussing ethical concepts and issues
considering ethical and safe research processes, including respecting the rights and work of others, acknowledging sources, and observing protocols when approaching people and organisations
appreciating the ethical and legal dimensions of research and information
reflecting on ethics and honesty in personal experiences and decision-making
exploring ideas, rights, obligations, and ethical principles
considering workplace safety principles, practices, and procedures
developing ethical sustainable practices in the workplace and the community
inquiring into ethical issues, selecting and justifying an ethical position, and understanding the experiences, motivations, and viewpoints of others