Portfolio of tasks for Research Skills and Academic Methods

Course title: Research Skills and Academic Methods. Level: BA (First semester). Course size: individual or small groups.

Motivation for the activity

The realization that the best way for students to become familiar with the work processes related to research and academic writing was through completing research and compostitional tasks related to ongoing research in other courses.

Central learning outcomes

In the assessment of exam performance, emphasis is placed on the extent to which the student:

  • Demonstrates skills in effective information searches based on well-defined information requirements
  • Applies academic assessment criteria in the selection of relevant information and materials
  • Distinguishes between academic and popular material and between primary and secondary sources
  • Demonstrates knowledge of computer-based information systems
  • Demonstrates an ability to formulate academic issues and to plan and organise academic assignments correctly
  • Demonstrates an ability to communicate about complex issues in a scholarly manner.

Description of the activity

The students are given the portfolio guide and all of the portfolio tasks templates at the beginning of the semester and then required to hand them in at the due dates. Any tasks that isn’t completely satisfactorily must be re-done. At the end of the semester the students hand in all of the tasks.

Outcome

Students are much better prepared to do university-level research. They feel more confident about starting research, have a sense of where to find information and have a better overview of the research process. They are also better equipped to write research papers.

SEARCH

Jody Pennington

Associate professor