MAJOR ESSAY (further information for students)
The essay will be chosen from one of the set questions used in this unit. These questions will be posted online (in iLearn) and on the office door of the unit convenor (W6A, Room 838).
Academic support on essay writing can be found at the MQ library website, undergraduate page.
The essay should address the key themes of the course drawing on varied sources, including; the listed material, recommended readings; further reading.
IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER
- The essay must be your own work. Harsh penalties are imposed for plagiarism, ghost writing or other 'cheating' as per the academic honesty policy
- The essay MUST show evidence of BOTH an understanding of core unit content AND substantial wider reading on the appropriate topic
- Marks will be deducted or allocated for proper referencing following standard HARVARD (author-date) referencing style in the in-text content, citations and references used throughout the final submission.
ANOTHER IMPORTANT NOTE...THE ESSAY MUST BE WRITTEN ON A DIFFERENT TOPIC TO THAT OF THE GROUP PRESENTATION. If in doubt ask your tutor for advice on your topics.
GROUP PROJECT (further information)
The group project is assessed in 3 parts:
- GROUP PROPOSAL (10% of GROUP PROJECT final mark)
- GROUP WIKI (50% of GROUP PROJECT final mark)
- GROUP PRESENTATION (40% of GROUP PROJECT final mark)
The groups will be allocated in week 3.
1. GROUP PROPOSAL
The group proposal is a collaborative effort. Students will work together to generate ONE group proposal. This is to be uploaded to the group wiki by the deadline.
This is a group assessment requiring students to meet a predetermined set of objectives within a tight time frame. After groups are allocated in week 3 students will have 1 week to decide on a topic and prepare an plan. This is designed as a diagnostic assessment to identify any groups that may have difficulties early in the session, and to ensure that groups and group members understand the expected level of cooperation required to complete the related assessment tasks.
The proposal must contain:
- Contact details (minimum phone/email) for all group members
- Record/minutes of first meeting (following provided template)
- A timeline and/or initial task list for the project
- A group project Gantt chart (an example of a Gantt will be shown to the groups in the first tutorial)
KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER:
- Students must have agreed upon a topic for the presentation, clearly communicate this topic to the tutor and clearly note the title and topic of the project in the final proposal.
- Students should have agreed upon a weekly time and place for meeting outside of tutorials.
- Many groups will have both Internal AND External students in them. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF STUDENTS (not the unit convenor) TO ARRANGE A LINK UP BETWEEN INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL GROUP MEMBERS. NOTE - if you fail to do so you fail the task.
YOU ARE REQUIRED to use the WIKI (which will be accessible from week 3), to liaise on group matters, ALL GROUP COMMUNICATION MUST BE DOCUMENTED IN THE WIKI. ANY use of alternative social media (e.g. facebook etc.) cannot be monitored and you will not gain marks for this. If you are using skype to meet with external members document this and document your conversations in the wiki (e.g. providing minutes of the discussions).
2. GROUP WIKI
The assessment policy requires that 50% of all group projects be assessed on the basis on an individual students contribution. In this group project that is acheived by monitoring the contributions each student makes to the group project wiki.
The wiki provides a record of each individual students contribution throughout term. ONLY contributions documented in the wiki are assessable so it is vital that students learn to use the wiki and document all aspects of their work in this virtual learning space. Students are expected to discuss and dovide up the work in an equitable fashion, rotating key jobs to ensure all students arte able to contribute and meeting the internal deadlines set by the group. Students are REQUIRED to post to the wiki multiple times each and every week to generate a reasonable contribution throughout term.
The wiki should include at the very minimum:
- A diary of meetings and who attended those meetings
- A record of how the group made its decisions
- A record of the workload allocation (who did what?)
- A record of internal group deadlines and whether they were met (did they do it on time?)
- An updated Gantt chart used throughout term to monitor group performance
- Reflections on progress - Who/how were each parts of the topic researched
- Peer-assessed reflections on completed components of the project - Who/how were the final presentation visuals developed and arranged.
The primary role of this aspect of the work is to ensure that there is a record of the collaboration.
A group project is not just about learning the subject it is about graduate capabilities. The capabilities we are looking for in this exercise are team work, burden sharing, ability to both give and take direction, ability to demonstrate personal responsbility to yourself and to other team members. These are vital skills for moving into employement that we can draw out of this material, but also out of the exercise and experience of being together as a group of individuals who can collaborate as a team.
The group wiki allows academic staff to review the contributions of each group member, giving an overview of how you came together to develop the final presentation. It also shows when students are not 'pulling their weight' and provides a quality check to ensure that all students contribute. The purpose of this assessment is to develop team-working skills and the ability of the individual to contribute to a group project.
1) All individuals are required to contribute but the wiki can be developed in different ways - play to your strengths BUT YOU MUST DECIDE THINGS AS A TEAM. For example, if a member of the group is particularly shy or struggles with public speaking they do not HAVE to be a part of the final presentation team (though they must be present during the presentation). As long as there is a record of the division of labour, backed up by the individual reports, this will be taken into account in the allocation of the PASS/FAIL mark for the presentation.
2) It is important that the wiki reflects individual contributions, but this is a group project so you must bear that in mind when contributing. Spamming the wiki does not yield good marks, so think before you post and talk to your colleagues.
3) You must keep a record of work, as such it is a good idea to keep minutes or notes from ALL group meetings (even if they happen in the pub) so that you can write up an accurate diary.
4) Groups are expected to work as a team! If there are problems with workload or lax teamwork by a member of the group then the group as a team should attempt, initially, to contact the absentee and see if they can resolve the issue - this may be a scheduling problem or a simple communication problem.
5) Make sure you ALL have the contact details for all members of your group (email and phone numbers). If contact is not possible then the problem must be brought to the attention of the course leader EARLY ENOUGH so these matters can be dealt with appropriately.
6) This should take into account both WORKSHOP time in tutorials AS WELL AS meetings that take place outside of class. Students are expected to meet at least once a week as a group. The more detail you include the better, but make sure it is relevant.
A group presentation of no more than 15 minutes duration will be presented in the final week of term. The topic will have been decided early in term (see Group Proposal) and the culmination of the group work (see Group Wiki) is this final presentation. A template for power-point presentation will be provided and workshop time made available throughout term to assist in the project development.
Students are given some licence to pick their own presentation topic (within reason) aligned with major theories or themes in the unit. They must then collaborate over the session to plan, research, develop and deliver the presentation on that chosen topic at the end of the session in WEEK 13.
More information on this component of the assessment will be made available in the lectures and tutorials. Further guidance on the process and final delivery are also available in the iLearn webpage for this unit.