King Saud University
  Help (new window)

تحميل الدليل التدريبي

أسئلة شائعة


Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


The National Commission for Academic Accreditation & Assessment 





Course Specification







Geo 342: Paleoecology








Revised March 2007
Course Specification

For Guidance on the completion of this template, please refer to          of Handbook 2  Internal Quality Assurance Arrangements

Institution: King Saud University         

College/Department      College of Science / Geology Department

A Course Identification and General Information

1.  Course title and code: Paleoecology (Geo 342)

2.  Credit hours       3(2+1)

3.  Program(s) in which the course is offered.

(If general elective available in many programs indicate this rather than list programs)

B.Sc. program in Geology

4.  Name of faculty member responsible for the course

Dr. Mohamed Naguib EL-SABROUTY

5.  Level/year at which this course is offered

Level six

6.  Pre-requisites for this course (if any)

Sedimentary and stratigraphy(Geo 234) – Invertebrate fossils (Geo 241)


7.    Co-requisites for this course (if any)



8.  Location if not on main campus


B  Objectives 

1.  Summary of the main learning outcomes for students enrolled in the course.


·         To familiarize students with basic knowledge of paleoecology needed for higher level courses. 

·         To develop the students' understanding of the properties of substances in the light of trends in the paleoecology across the fossils.

·         To develop the students' appreciation of paleoecology as an experimental science supported by theory as an interpretive and predictive tool.

·         To develop in the students' an awareness of the application of paleoecology to other strata.


2.  Briefly describe any plans for developing and improving the course that are being implemented.  (eg increased use of IT or web based reference material,  changes in content as a result of new research in the field)


  • Electronic materials and computer based programs have been utilized to support the lecture course material.
  • The course is dynamic in nature especially as what concerns the use of computer soft ware in the practical exercises. Now the students are trained to apply surfer and finite extent programs.
  • The course material was posted on the internet that could be accessed by the students enrolled in the course only.
  • The experimental studies were reviewed. As a result of introducing new equipment and the intention to minimize the paleoecology applications.


C.  Course Description  (Note:  General description in the form to be used for the Bulletin or Handbook should be attached)

,–– –, ,–– ––-–- 



1 Topics to be Covered



No of


Contact hours

Paleoclimatology, Paleoenvironment, Paleogeography



Sedimentary environments: Physical parameters, Chemical parameters, Biological parameters



Facies, Sedimentary facies parameters



Mode of life (Locomotion, Nutrition, Reproduction, Growth, Behavior)



Abiotic factors: Configuration of the earth's surface, Light, Temperature



Salinity, Oxygenation of water, Currents (Global currents, Local currents) Depth & Bathymetry



Nutrient elements, Substrate, Water currents (Global currents, Local currents), Water turbidity



Biotic factors: Competition, Symbiosis, Parasitism, Predator prey - Paleotemperature measurement



Seasonal cyclicity – Fossiliferous Horizons



Association of organisms: Palaeobiocoenosis, Thanatocoenosis – Environment Mode of life of fossils - Facies fossils



General characteristics of Continental environments



Marine environments



Classification of Sedimentary environments



Paleoenvironments of bygone association



Paleoenvironments identification




2 Course components (total contact hours per semester):                         

Lecture: 30

Tutorial: 15

Practical/Fieldwork/Internship:    48





3. Additional private study/learning hours expected for students per week. (This should be an average :for the semester not a specific requirement in each week)

2 hours weekly for the homework and reports assignments.


4. Development of Learning Outcomes in Domains of Learning 

For each of the domains of learning shown below indicate:

·         A brief summary of the knowledge or skill the course is intended to develop;

·         A description of the teaching strategies to be used in the course to develop that knowledge or  skill;

·         The methods of student assessment to be used in the course to evaluate learning outcomes in the domain concerned.

a.  Knowledge 

(i)  Description of the knowledge to be acquired

  • Paleoecology using to determine the age.
  • Explain the paleoecology of strata.
  • Fixed the paleoecology of strata.
  • Identify the paleoecology.
  • Identify the change of paleoecology.
  • Identify a evidences of paleoecology.

(ii)  Teaching strategies to be used to develop that knowledge

·         In-class lecturing where the previous knowledge is linked to the current and future topics

  • Homework assignments
  • Tutorial discussions
  • Laboratory practice (systematic description and writing reports)


(iii)  Methods of assessment of knowledge acquired

  • In class short quizzes
  • Major and final exams
  • Evaluation of laboratory reports


b.  Cognitive Skills

(i)  Cognitive skills to be developed

* Students will be able to understand the use and application of  paleoecology

* Students will be able to apply the knowledge have learnt concerning paleoecology in field.

* Students will be able to construct paleoecology parameters.

* Students will be able to identify the facies fossils.

(ii)  Teaching strategies to be used to develop these cognitive skills

  • Homework assignments
  • Problem solving in the tutorial / recitation sessions
  • Case studies related to the course topics and relevant field geology

(iii)  Methods of assessment of students cognitive skills

  • In class short quizzes
  • Major and final exams
  • Checking the problems solved in the homework assignments


c. Interpersonal Skills and Responsibility

(i)  Description of the interpersonal skills and capacity to carry responsibility to be developed

  • Work independently and as part of a team.
  • Manage resources, time and other members of the group
  • Communicate results of work to others


(ii)  Teaching strategies to be used to develop these skills and abilities

*  Lectures are followed by numerous examples, some of which are practical   in nature, to illustrate the application and use.

* Practical work is planned around a number of paleoecology problems..

* Engage students in classroom and in practical session discussion with questions and answers.


(iii)  Methods of assessment of students interpersonal skills and capacity to carry responsibility

  • Laboratory exams
  • Assessment of the laboratory reports
  • Grading homework assignments


d.   Communication, Information Technology and Numerical Skills

(i)  Description of the skills to be developed in this domain.

  • Use the computer for analysing and processing the data
  • Use computational tools
  • Report writing

(ii)  Teaching strategies to be used to develop these skills

  • Writing  laboratory reports
  • Incorporating the use and utilization of computer in the course requirements

(iii)  Methods of assessment of students numerical and communication skills

·         Evaluating the laboratory written reports

e.  Psychomotor Skills (if applicable)

(i)  Description of the psychomotor skills to be developed and the level of performance required

Not applicable

(ii)  Teaching strategies to be used to develop these skills

Not applicable

(iii)  Methods of assessment of students psychomotor skills

Not applicable







5. Schedule of Assessment Tasks for Students During the Semester



Assessment task  (eg. essay, test, group project, examination etc.)

Week due

Proportion of Final Assessment



Class activates ( in class quizzes, and homework)





Major  exams I





Major  exams II





Final exam





Lab activates




D. Student Support

1. Arrangements  for availability of faculty for individual student consultations and academic advice. (include amount of time faculty are available each week)


·         Office hours 6 hr/ week

·         help sessions 1hr/ week  aided by  two faculty members


E Learning Resources


  1. Required Text(s)

* Hecker,R.F., (1965): Introduction to Paleoecology

2. Essential References

* Dodd,J.R.,(1981): Paleoecology Concepts and applications

* Ager, D.V., (1963): Principale of paleoecology

3- Recommended Books and Reference Material (Journals, Reports, etc) (Attach List)

* Reyment, R.A.,(1971): Introduction to quantitative paleoecology

* Kreps, J.R., and N.B.Davies, (1978): Behavioral ecology

4-.Electronic Materials, Web Sites etc

·         Websites on the internet that are relevant to the topics of the course

5- Other learning material such as computer-based programs/CD, professional standards/regulations

·         Multi media associated with the text book and the relevant websites


F. Facilities Required


Indicate requirements for the course including size of classrooms and laboratories (ie number of seats in classrooms and laboratories, extent of computer access etc.)

1.  Accommodation (Lecture rooms, laboratories, etc.)


·         Lecture room with at least 25 seats

·         Auditorium of a capacity of not less than 100 seats for large lecture format classes

·         Geology laboratory with at least 30 places


  1. Computing resources


·         Computer room containing at least 15 systems



3. Other resources (specify --eg. If specific laboratory equipment is required, list requirements or attach list)

  • Availability of chemicals, glassware and equipment relevant  to the course material
  • Safety facilities



G   Course Evaluation and Improvement Processes


1 Strategies for Obtaining Student Feedback on Effectiveness of Teaching


  • Course evaluation by student
  • Students- faculty meetings


2  Other Strategies for Evaluation of Teaching by the Instructor or by the Department


  • Peer consultation on teaching
  • Departmental council discussions
  • Discussions  within the group of faculty teaching the course

3         Processes for Improvement of Teaching


·         Conducting  workshops given by experts on the teaching and learning


·         Periodical departmental  revisions of its methods of teaching

·         Monitoring of teaching activates by senior faculty members


4. Processes for Verifying Standards of Student Achievement (eg. check marking by an independent faculty member of a sample of student work, periodic exchange and remarking of a sample of assignments with a faculty member in another institution)


  • Providing samples of all kind of assessment in the departmental course portfolio of each course 
  • Assigning group of faculty members teaching the same course to grade same questions for various students. Faculty from other institutions are invited to review the accuracy of the  grading policy
  • Conducting standard exams such as the other international universities exams.


5  Describe the  planning arrangements for periodically reviewing course effectiveness and planning for improvement.


  • The course material and learning outcomes are periodically  reviewed and the changes to be taken are approved in the departmental and higher councils.
  • The head of department and faculty take the responsibility of implementing the proposed changes.




King   Saud University. All rights reserved, 2007 | Disclaimer | CiteSeerx