EDUC 1013 - University Research

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2016

This course is the second core course of the University Preparatory Program, and can be considered the capstone course of the Program in that it gives students a final preparation for their degree studies. It is also available for students who already have entry into their degree program or have started it, as it builds their capacity to undertake secondary research in a variety of disciplines. This course revolves around a single major research project which draws in all the facets of research activity at the University of Adelaide. Students will build on their skills in critical analysis, note-taking and the systematic collection and analysis of data in the form of scholarly written sources. They will conduct a solo guided enquiry with assignments which build incrementally towards a major research essay in response to a partly self-defined research question.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code EDUC 1013
    Course University Research
    Coordinating Unit School of Education
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Assumed Knowledge Students should have completed EDUC 1008 University Culture prior to enrolling in the course
    Restrictions This class is only open for students in the University Preparatory Program or Wilto Yerlo Preparatory Program.
    Course Description This course is the second core course of the University Preparatory Program, and can be considered the capstone course of the Program in that it gives students a final preparation for their degree studies. It is also available for students who already have entry into their degree program or have started it, as it builds their capacity to undertake secondary research in a variety of disciplines. This course revolves around a single major research project which draws in all the facets of research activity at the University of Adelaide. Students will build on their skills in critical analysis, note-taking and the systematic collection and analysis of data in the form of scholarly written sources. They will conduct a solo guided enquiry with assignments which build incrementally towards a major research essay in response to a partly self-defined research question.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Chad Habel

    Tutor: Amy Kay Robinson amy.k.robinson@adelaide.edu.au 
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    Each week, there will be:

    1 X 1 hour online lecture available through MyUni each week.
    1 x 1 hour physical lecture on Friday 11am-12pm in the UB40 room of Nexus10 each week. 
    1 x 2 hour tutorial each week.

    The purposes of this physical lecture to effectively consolidate information and content from the online lecture that should be watched before Friday. The lecture will be a mixture of traditional didactic teaching and discussion between students. This will hopefully achieve a 'flipped classroom' style of teaching and learning meaning tutorial time will be free for activities and development of skills.
    This means that students do not have a choice of online or physical lecture but are expected to watch/attend both.

    Students must attend 75% of both the physical lecture and tutorials.

    Medical certificates need to be provided for missed lessons.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:
    1. Approach a major research area by exploring its explicit and implicit aspects, and by developing secondary research questions;
    2. Identify a series of keywords to form a basis for research, and develop broader and narrower search terms in case of insufficient findings;
    3. Effectively use the University Library, with a focus on electronic databases, to find sources which inform an approach to the broad area of research;
    4. Use Firefox as an alternative browser to Internet Explorer, as well as Zotero or an alternative bibliographic management tool for collecting reference information
    5. Read and critically analyse a large number of sources for credibility, reliability and relevance to the research question;
    6. Develop a thesis argument comprised of a claim linked to evidence, and organise this argument using a plan or outline;
    7. Compose an effective introduction and conclusion for an essay, as well as body paragraphs that fully develop a main point using evidence;
    8. Complete a major Research Essay from conception to communication with a systematic and structured strategy for the process of research;
    9. Assess thier own work and that of other students, and provide appropriately constructive feedback on how to develop each stage of the research process.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    9
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    1, 5, 6
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    1, 3, 5, 6
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    1, 8, 9
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Required Texts

    It is highly recommended that student purchase 'They Say / I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing' by Gerald Gaff & Cathy Birkenstein (2006).

    This text is an extremely useful guide for identifying arguments and introducing sources
    as well as integrating your own perspective in a written piece. 

    This text will likely be very useful for other course assessments and essays. 

    You can purchase this text from websites such as https://www.bookdepository.com/ or www.abebooks.com

    During this University Research course, we will focusing on the 'I Say' component of
    this text to help you establish and build your own ideas, argument and
    understanding. 


    A key activity of this course requires systematic and collaborative research methods using online resources. In particular, students will be required to use article databases to find high-quality, scholarly journal articles on a broad area of research and then a more defined research question.
    Recommended Resources
    This course has a strong focus on researching scholarly sources using online databases through the University of Adelaide Library. This will be covered in class, but success in this area depends on persistence, determination, and sound strategy, so it is strongly recommended that you familiarise yourself with the resources that are available to you. The databases are available at http://libguides.adelaide.edu.au/databases/  

    For this course you may wish to use databases that have been tagged on the “Education” page: http://libguides.adelaide.edu.au/content.php?pid=316606&sid=2590774

    The Library provides excellent support for the use of databases in scholarly research. Begin with the online training that is available: http://libguides.adelaide.edu.au/home. In particular try the “What is a database and how do I use one?” video.

    If you require more one-to-one support, the Library has an excellent help contact form: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/library/help/fbquery.html There is a Research Librarian for the School of Education who can provide direct assistance with developing your article database research skills. This is one of the best support services available at this University, so make use of it.
    Online Learning
    MyUni will be used for essential communication including via email, so please check your University email regularly (at least three times a week). If you have a smartphone it is strongly recommended that you set up your email on it for easy and regular access to your University email. For guidance on how to do this, visit:

    https://www.adelaide.edu.au/its/networks/mobile/support/config/#mobile

    Remember, the most useful portal for all University online activities is Unified:
    https://auth.adelaide.edu.au/login?service=https%3A%2F%2Funified.adelaide.edu.au%2Fc%2Fportal%2Flogin 

    Lecturers in this Program will be largely online, meaning that your can do your own preparation for tutorials without having to come in at the specified lecture timeslot. The system to be used will be Articulate Storyline: this is an interactive system for online tutorials whichinvolves watching videos on the lecture material and completing activities. It is very important that you undertake the online lecture before the tutorial,as it gives you a baselineof knowledge and essential preparation foer the class that week.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The teaching and learning in this course provides a scaffolded, enabling approach to the development of research capacities using innovative technologies and collaboration. Lectures will be replaced with online lectures which can be completed at the student's own pace, at home or on campus, using an online delivery method. It is essential that these online lectures are completed, and monitring will be undertaken to ensure that students completed them. Classes will consist of workshops of 2 hours long, which require completion of the online lecture beforehand for students to get the most out of the class. Although there are no group-work assignments per se, students will work collaboratively and engage in ongoing peer review of work.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    1 x 1 hour online lecture per week (x12) = 12 hours

    1 x 1 hour physical lecture per weeek (x12) = 12 hours

    1 x 2 hour tutorial per week (x12) = 24 hours

    1 x 4 hours of reading per week and participation in online discussions (x12) = 48 hours

    6 hours per week primary research and research writing activities (x12) = 72 hours

    Total: 168 hours

    Learning Activities Summary
    Week 1: Course introduction; What is research?; Qualitative and quantitative research
    Week 2:
    Introduction to University Research
    Week 3:
    Critical reading strategies for scholarly sources
    Week 4:
    Search strategies and Library databases
    Week 5:
    Primary research: A brief introduction
    Week 6:
    Critically analysing arguments and developing your own

    Mid-semester break

    Week 7:
    Annotated bibliographies and the rest of your Research Portfolio
    Week 8:
    Developing your research question through mindmapping
    Week 9:
    Developing your essay plan through mindmapping
    Week 10:
    Integrating sources into academic writing
    Week 11:
    Drafting paragraphs: body and introduction
    Week 12:
    Redrafting, Editing and proofreading

    For clarification on which dates correspond to which weeks, please visit: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/student/dates/ 
    Specific Course Requirements
    To pass this course, students must attend at least 75% of tutorials; in cases of absence for medical or compassionate reasons, documentation must be provided and students must still attend at least 50% of classes. If students fail to attend the minimum required number of tutorials, they will be considered to have not completed an assignment (see below).
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    The University of Adelaide has committed to a pedagogical approach termed the “Small Group Discovery Experience”, indicating that the SHDE will be a core component in a credit-bearing course of every undergraduate program, and that it will be part of every first-year level from 2014. Since the UPP is not an award-based program, it is not strictly required to include an SGDE in the UPP.

    However, since the UPP is designed to prepare students for first-year study, and the SGDE will be a core component of all first-year study, it is important for the UPP to provide some preparation in Small Group Discovery. These should be of a scaffolded, preparatory nature as befits each course within the program, and the philosophy and program objectives of the UPP. The Program has been designed to include preparation for small group work and research activity in many of its courses.

    More specifically, this course aims to prepare students for their small-group discovery experience by providing a scffolded inquiry learning experience which leads students towards greater autonomy. Importantly, students are led to explore factors around success and failure in higher education by an academic with expertise in this area, and who has extensive experience teaching in higher education contexts, including the UPP. Students learn to define and develop their own area of research interest and to critically engage with scholarly literature to inform their self-defined research question.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Due Length Weighting Learning Outcome
    Critical Review Formative

    Friday
    Week 3
    5pm

    500 words 5% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9
    Research Portfolio Formative Friday Week 7 4 - 5 pages 10% 1,2,3,4,5,9
    Essay Plan Formative FridayWeek 1 Mid-Semester Break 2 - 3 pages 20% 6
    Draft Introduction and Paragraph Formative

    Monday
    Week 11

    Approx. 400 words 10% 7
    Major Research Essay
    Summative
    Friday
    Week 13
    5pm
    2000 words
    40%

    5, 6, 7, 8
    Exam Summative Examination Period 2 hours 10% 6,7
    MyUni Reading Tests
    Formative
     Weekly
    Week 1-5

    Multiple Choice
    5% 1,2,3,4,5,9
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Students must attempt all assessment tasks to pass this course. Since the University Preparatory Program is designed to prepare students for success at University, completing and submitting all assignments is central to the intended learning outcomes of the program and each course within it. Often, at least attempting and submitting assignments in the face of difficulty or adversity is enough for success at University and the UPP encourages this resilience by employing this policy in select courses. Please note that the absolute last date for the submission of assignments in Semester 1 is the end of Swot Vac week, which is one week after the final assignment is due.

    If a student fails to submit all assessment tasks and would otherwise have received a grade greater than 45, they will be given a nominal grade of 45 (Fail) for that course in that semester. This will permit them to undertake additional assessment (formerly called academic supplementary
    assessment) at the Course Coordinator’s discretion, as per policy at http://www.adelaide.edu.au/student/exams/supps.html


    It is not necessary to apply for additional assessment; this assessment will usually consist of the missed pieces of assessment, but the course coordinator may require more. As per policy, if the student passes the additional assessment to the Course Coordinator’s satisfaction, the maximum grade they can get for the course is 50 (Pass). If a student’s raw grade is below 45, regardless of whether all tasks have been attempted, this score will stand unless exceptional, documented circumstances apply as per the University’s Modified Arrangements for Coursework Assessment: https://www.adelaide.edu.au/student/exams/mod_arrange.html


    Substantial non-engagement in this course (evidenced by repeated non-attendance at tutorials and failure to submit assessments) may result in students being withdrawn from the University Preparatory Program and being required to apply for reinstatement if they wish to continue.
    Assessment Detail
    Assessment design

    The assessment of this course is designed around a single, central activity: the preparation of a major Research Essay. The formative assessment in the course is linked strongly to this main activity, such that all of the assignments and class activities you do are closely aligned with your final Research Essay. It is therefore essential that you are fully engaged and working hard for the whole of the semester, otherwise you will find the final assessment very difficult and will not be likely to do well in it. You will notice that the Research Essay is a high-stakes assessment: it is worth 50% of your grades. This is not uncommon at University, and many courses set 50%-70% of their assessment weighting on a single exam or major written piece. There ias one final exams which is weighted lightly, and is designed to get you familiar with the process of undertaking end-of-semester exams at the University of Adelaide.

    Activities and assessment are divided around the mid-semester break. Prior to the break, most of the activities and assessment focus on research and macro-writing skills, which many people spend far too little time on when writing an essay. This means that you will mostly be researching and reading sources found in online databases, and preparing the ideas and argument for the Essay. After the break you will focus largely on micro-writing activities, which includes drafting your paragraphs as well as your introduction and conclusion, and editing and proofreading your drafts.


    Weekly Reading Tests    5%

    Each week students will be required to complete a short multiple choice test about that
    week's reading. 

    The test needs to be completed by Friday afternoon at the last eat of the week the
    reading relates to. 

    The tests will be made available for the appropriate week. Once that week has passed, the
    test cannot be attempted again. 

    There are five readings and five correspondonding tests for this assessment. 

    The results of each test will be used to inform discussion and in class analysis and discussion of each reading. 



    Assignment 1: Critical Review

    This assignment is designed to get you working hard at the beginning of this course, and to begin to develop your skills in reading and analysing scholarly literature that is relevant to your broad  research area. Depending on what you study, reading may be the most challenging and time-consuming task you will undertake, so you should work out early what these challenges are and establish some strategies to deal with them.For the purpose of this assignment, select a source from from the bibliography of the preliminary course  reading: Habel (2012), which is available on MyUni under the “Content”  tool. You may  choose any of the journal sources from the Reference list in the Habel article (i.e. NOT a webpage). For this assignment you are  only required to read and comment on a single article. Some critical reviews require you to research more widely and compare sources, but this is not necessary for this assignment (unless you feel it is essential). This assignment focuses on your approach, analysis,  and critique, and there will be plenty of time for wider research and synthesis later in the course.  Therefore your reference list for this assignment may only require a single source to be listed (but it is
    still important to ensure the format of this reference is correct).

    Remember, though, that not all sources are equal. Some of the sources may not be available in any library, so you’ll need to choose one that is recent and available. Do not select a webpage for your critical review, as you are required to start working with scholarly material (i.e. books and journal articles) immediately in this course. If you would like advice or comments on your choice of reading for your critical review, contact the lecturer. In any case, you will need some basic skills in using the Library catalogue to find your source: for some guidance on this, view the tutorial at  http://www.adelaide.edu.au/library/help/tutorials/finding_book/finding_book.html   

    There are lots of other ways of getting support in using the Library from the Help/Contact page. You may need to physically visit the Library to find your source, or you may find an online version of your source. If you select a large source (i.e. a whole book), you should probably restrict yourself to a single chapter or the introduction for your critical review. Your critical review should only have a very minimal
    summary of your chosen source (if any). This  means that you should spend very little space (maximum 50 words) describing the source or paraphrasing its main ideas. This is one of the major challenges students find in critical reviews, as  description and summary comes more naturally and is easier than proper critique. You can assume that the reader of your critical review is familiar with the source and you do not  need to explain it to them. Your critical review should focus on evaluating and critiquing the source.  Some of the questions you might like to consider include:

    Who wrote the source? Are they credible? Why should you believe them?
    How old is the source? Is it possible that more recent research would have an opposing view? Does it seem dated or old-fashioned?
    Is the main argument of the source persuasive?
    What evidence does the write use to support their case? Is this evidence recent and reliable?
    Are there other potential arguments that the author hasn’t considered? What are the other possibilities or explanations for their observations?
    Is this source relevant to your broad topic of research in this course? Do you think you are likely to use it in your essay?

    For further ideas on criteria for evaluating research, have a look at Table 1 (p. 352) of Tong et al. (2007), which gives much more detailed criteria for critiquing qualitative research especially. The rest of
    this article is quite sophisticated, so don’t worry if you have trouble getting through the rest of it, but you should have more skills to read this level of scholarly material by the time you have finished this
    course.

    Assignment 2: Research Portfolio

    This assignment is a little different to most assignments you might be used to: instead of a single document or artefact, you are required to submit a collection of items that demonstrate what you  have learned in the first part of the course. Think of it like a musician’s repertoire, or an actor’s  showreel, or the portfolio or an architect or a designer: it is not the individual pieces that are so important, but what they represent as a collective.

    Therefore, the following items are required for your portfolio. This assignment is designed to gather evidence of your learning as it happens, so you cannot just do it in the week before it is due. Therefore it isessential  that you document your search strategy, undertake research and reasearch to create your Annotated Bibliobgraphy, and craft a high-quality Critical Review of one of those readings over time. It will then be much easier to just collect these and submit them for your Portfolio assignment when it is due.

    Research Strategy Journal/Documentation

    This part of your portfolio should document the precise processes (search terms, results) that you went through in searching through article databases. It is recommended that you keep track of this information as you are doing your research as it will be virtually impossible to recall the information after the fact. You should treat it like a journal and record the following details: the date and time that you were doing the research; the database you searched; the terms you searched for (and their combination or any Boolean operators you used); the number and type of results, and any particular useful results you found. The format and expression of this documentation is not as important as it being detailed and thorough, and it should demonstrate persistence, variety, strategy, adaptability, and real effort. You will be assessed on how well you use the article databases. An example journal entry might be:

    22/7/13, 3.30pm: searched for “Higher Education” on Google; found about 600 million sources; browsed first  few pages of results; the top ones were mostly newspaper and such; far too many sources  and perhaps not a very good database to use.

    22/7/13, 4.10pm: performed same search on Google Scholar; some better (more scholarly) results but still too broad (4 million results)

    23/7/13, 9am: finally started using Australian Education Index (AEI) via the Library website; same  search, better results (38,000). Result 5 was an article entitled “More than just a brain : emotions  and the doctoral experience”, which is much closer to my research area as it talks about emotions  in learning in higher education, but I’m not sure that I want to research doctoral students.

    23/7/13, 10.30am:
    narrowed search on AEI to “Higher Education undergraduate”: 3,600 results and getting much  closer. Need to consider specific aspects of success and failure, so will search for...

    Remember, we are assessing that you are doing the process of researching properly, so you don’t need to demonstrate perfect searching skills, just the potential for improving them. You must use  article databases through the library, and you must demonstrate your process of narrowing and widening your search, trying different terms, reflecting on how successful it has been, and  attempting to use different databases for the same and different search terms. You might like to explain how your searching and reading has helped you to narrow down your research area as you move towards working on the essay. You should also include completed copies of the “Search Strategy Plan” from week 3 as appendices, as well as any additional Plans you have completed as you narrowed down your research area.

    Annotated Bibliography

    For this part of the Portfolio, you will need to complete an Annotated Bibliography (4-5 sources,  75-100 words per annotation) based on the sources you have found using the Library catalogue and databases. Select what you think is the highest-quality source you have found and highlight it some way (i.e. with an asterisk etc.) in your Annotated Bibliography.

    An annotated bibliography is first and foremost a bibliography (like a reference list) of some of the sources you have found. Since you have been using Zotero to collect and manage your article information it should be relatively easy to produce the items in the annotated bibliography in a consistent and correct format. It does not matter which referencing system you use (although  Harvard is preferred across the University of Adelaide), as long as it is consistent. Ensure that your Library in Zotero is clean and all items in there are entered consistently: for example, if one author’s name is in all capital letters, it will enter your Bibliography in that format.

    The second main component of the Annotated Bibliography is the annotations, which describe the main points of the article and your response to it. Your Annotated Bibliography should contain some summary and some critique – please ensure there is an element of critique in it. You should  therefore consider how strong and reliable the source is, as well as how relevant and useful it will be for your final essay. You should also note which database you used to find the article, or how else you discovered its existence.

    Assignment 3: Essay Plan

    Developing a strong and detailed essay plan is essential for efficiently writing quality research  essays. Without a plan you are likely to either write too much or too little; you will over-research  your topic or find too much irrelevant material; you may write an unclear, incoherent essay that  struggles to get marks in a variety of criteria. Most importantly, writing an essay without a plan can  be overwhelming, frustrating, annoying, disempowering, and stressful. In contrast, a good plan can  make essay-writing an exciting and empowering process where you feel more in control of the  material. 

    A plan allows you to organise your overall thoughts and argument before you start writing them  down; decide which main points you will develop to support your argument; decide which sources  you will use to support these points; allocate a number of words to each section or paragraph, and  consider from a distance the overall logical flow of your argument and how the main points fit  together. Put simply, a plan makes an essay easier to write, and a well-planned essay is easier to  read and give better marks to (you should always try to make it easy for your reader). This  assignment allows you to submit your essay plan for assessment and feedback as a formative  process towards writing your major Research Essay. You will be provided with model plans  throughout the course, but your Essay Plan should contain the following elements:

    Question: The essay question that you have developed for yourself, based on the broad area of  research and ideas you have developed through research in the first six week of the course  (ensure that the question has been approved by the Course Coordinator);

    Thesis: This is your “answer” to the question above: what is the main argument, at the global level  of structure, which your essay will aim to convince your reader of?

    Main points: What are the main points that your thesis will be broken down into? For now, it might  help to think of them as headings for each stage of your argument: what mini-arguments will you  make to further your overall claim?

    Sub-points: How will you develop each one of these main points? Use dot-points to plan out the  more detailed level of each paragraph: what aspects or elements of that main point will you  mention? This is the most difficult, but a very important part of planning the structure: having an  idea of the detailed level of the argument will really help you when it comes to writing it. It might  help to think of having one dot-point per sentence or two in the final paragraph;

    Evidence: Most importantly, what evidence will you use to support each main point? You should  have several different sources under each paragraph to build a strong argument that synthesises  evidence. Use a rough form of Harvard in-text reference (author year page number) to note this, and try to make it a correct in-text Harvard reference in preparation for writing paragraphs. Zotero  might help you to format your references. Ensure that you can locate the source and make a note  of any good quotations or paraphrases you would like to use. You will need a full reference list in  the correct format for all of the sources you refer to in your plan.

    Scope: How many words will you devote to each main point? Plan for your introduction and  conclusion to take about 10% of the word count each, and then divide the remaining number of  words between your main points. This helps you to assess whether you have the space to make  your points as detailed as you want them to be.

    Assignment 4: Draft Introduction and Paragraph

    This assignment allows you to draft a maximum of two paragraphs from your essay for feedback  and marks in this assignment. One of these will be your draft introduction, so it is important to have  a good idea of what your whole argument and its component parts will be for you to write an  effective introduction. Once you have a good plan, this should not be too difficult.

    The second section will be a paragraph that you have selected from the body of the essay that you feel unsure about or would like particular feedback on – please ensure that you have attached a  short Reference List in Harvard format that lists only the sources you have referred to in your paragraph.

    Elements to consider for your introduction include:

    Does your introduction effectively express the main argument of your whole essay? Is there a clear  thesis statement that tells the reader what you will argue in the main body? Ensure that everything  in your introduction is kept at the general level of discussion – save the details for the main body;

    Is there a clear statement of the main points of your essay? Does the reader know what to expect  in each major paragraph in the main body?

    Is there a brief general context so that your discussion is located in the general field of knowledge?  If you have substantial contextual information, background, or definitions, it might be best to leave it as a main point in the body

    If you have any references or quotations in your introduction, ensure that they are very general  and have relevance only to the broadest level of your argument. Otherwise leave them for the main  body of the essay. It is not necessary to have references in your introduction because it should only include your main argument and key points. The detailed level of argument and  evidence should be presented in the paragraphs.

    Elements to consider for your main body paragraph should include:

    Is the main point of your paragraph clear? Is there a “topic sentence” which clearly and succinctly  expresses what the paragraph will be about?

    Does all of the material in the paragraph relate directly to that main point? If there is any irrelevant  material, remove it and place it somewhere in your plan where it is better suited.

    Is there evidence to support each sub-claim in the paragraph? It is fine to have some sentences  with no references: these will be your own perspectives, interpretations or observations. However,  when you are trying to convince your reader of a particular point within your paragraph, you will  need some evidence to support this, so make sure you don’t have any unsubstantiated claims.

    Is your referencing correct according to the Harvard system? Does your paragraph have an author  surname (no initial), year, and page number if relevant? Include a page number if it is a specific  point from the source that you are using or if you are quoting a source directly.

    Is your reference list for this paragraph correct according to the Harvard system? Be wary of  pasting bibliography entries from Zotero or Bibliobouts’ Best Biblography, as they may not be in the  correct Harvard style. Use a style guide and ensure the referencing is correct, as attention to detail is important here.

    Assignment 5: Major Research Essay

    As mentioned, this is the major assessment task for this course, and it’s weighted quite heavily. It’s  eant to be challenging and high-stakes, but the whole course is designed to prepare you to do  a great job of it. If you engage fully and work hard on the Bibliobouts activity, write a thorough, well thought-out plan, and then work hard on your draft paragraphs and take on board feedback  from them, you should do quite well at this essay. If you save your hard work until the end, you will  find it difficult to complete the assignment to a satisfactory level. 

    A Research Essay should be a clear, well-structured statement of argument on a particular topic or  question, using substantial scholarly references as support. The research nature of the essay  means that it is quite possible to produce an “original contribution to knowledge”, i.e. some new  ideas that the reader has not thought of. It is not expected that you will produce research at an  Honours or Postgraduate level, but that you can demonstrate the potential to move towards this  level fo research activity. 

    The initial broad area of focus you are given at the beginning of the course (“Factors that contribute  to the success or failure of students in tertiary education”) will not be sufficiently narrow  enough for your final essay. You will therefore need to define your focus area through the  research stage by critically analysing the broad area after doing some research and reading. You  will have had the opportunity to select an area of particular interest to you and draft your personal  essay topic in consultation with the Course Coordinator. Once you have developed your essay  question you will need to focus on that and undertake substantial research, so be wary of changing  your mind too much as that will disperse your energies.

    Examination

    This course is the only one in the whole UPP that has a formal end-of-semester examination. This is because, no matter what area you study in, you are highly likely to do an exam at some point. The purpose of this exam is largely to familiarise you with the process of doing an exam at this University, and the experience of completing a formal exam. The content of the exam will cover the broad areas of research that you have been working in this semester. Note that the weighting is very light so it should not influence your overall grade for the course very much.

    Details about the time and date of the exam will be published later in the semester, but for now it is important for you to be familiar with the following information: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/student/exams/

    Note in particular the process and strict deadline for applying for Alternative Exam Arrangements through the Disability Service: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/student/exams/aea.html


    Reference

    Tong, Allison, Sainsbury, Peter & Craig, Jonathan 2007, 'Consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research (COREQ) : a 32-item checklist for interviews and focus groups', International Journal for Quality in Health Care, vol. 19, no. 6, pp. 349-357.
    Submission
    All assignments will be electronically submitted via MyUni, although the Research Portfolio may be submitted via hard copy in class.

    Students may be granted extensions to assignments on medical or compassionate grounds; documentation to support these ground will be required. Requests for extension must be made before the due date; requests for extension submitted after the due date will not be considered. All extension requests must be submitted to the Course Coordinator (Chad Habel: chad.habel@adelaide.edu.au); any extensions granted by the lecturer or tutor will not be considered valid.

    All extension requests will be administered according to the
    Modified Arrangements for Coursework Assessment Policy: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/3303/

    For a concise information sheet on this policy, please visit
    http://www.adelaide.edu.au/student/exams/pdfs/maca_medical_compassionate_info.pdf
     
    Penalties for Late Submission

    Unless the Course Profile states otherwise when an assessment is submitted after the due date, and without an extension, 5% of the total mark possible will be deducted for every 24 hours or part thereof that it is late, including each day on a weekend. For example, an essay that is submitted after the due date and time but within the first 24 hour period, and that has been graded at 63%, will have 5% deducted, for a final grade of 58%. An essay that is more than 24 hours late will lose 10%, etc. Hard copy submissions made after 5.00pm on a Friday will be assumed to have been submitted on the next business day and will be penalised 5% per day for every day including weekend days and public holidays.  This penalty may be increased where the assignment is to be completed in
    a period of less than a week.

    This course aims to return assessed work within 2 weeks of its submission, although this cannot be guaranteed. The resubmission of assignments is not possible for this course, except in exceptional circumstances as approved by the Course Coordinator.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

    Please note: any result posted on MyUni or via return assignments are only provisional, so it is important that you check Access Adelaide for your final results after marks have been posted.
  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

    This course (and the UPP itself) is still quite new, and so there is not a lot of long-term data on which to base evaluations. However, SELTs so far have shown broad agreement with most of the important points. Open-ended responses have been very useful and deserve some comment, as
    follows:

    • All students commented that they would recommend the course to other students, indicating a perception of value;
    • Some comments indicated that the expectations regarding assignments could be made clearer earlier on; this has been responded to in the Course Profile for “University Research” with much more detail on assignments, and rubrics to be made available on MyUni;
    • Some general comments and anecdotal feedback indicate that some people would prefer more groupwork, and more time in class to work on assignments due to conflicting priorities in life. There are several aspects of a response to this:
      • Time to actually work on assignments in class is unlikely to be expanded; this is because much of the workload for University courses in general is comprised of independent study time (the statement on workload is available in course profiles to clarify this). In regular University courses no class time at all is given to working on assignments and it is expected that this will all be done independently; therefore the UPP will reflect this.
      • Having said this, we acknowledge that it is important to allow time for discussion of assessment requirements and questions to be answered in a face-to-face setting. This will be established at the beginning of the course and time given to it several (2-3) weeks before each assignment is due.
    • Groupwork certainly is important for learning, and although “University Research” has no groupwork component itself, lots of opportunities for collaborative learning will be built in. In particular, feedback has suggested the value of critical discussionof journal articles, and there will be multiple opportunities for peer review and feedback on major assignments.
  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.