Midpoint Assessment

  • Most students will have to complete a midpoint assessment to:
    • Check that the student is on target to complete (done some work!)
    • Check that the first marker and student have not missed anything (fresh eyes)
    • Provide additional guidance
    • For the second marker to gain an insight into the project before they mark it
  • Every course and university will require different components to the midpoint
  • However, they are either a formal presentation or a informal chat

Your Midpoint

  • Have a chat with your first marker and ask them for advice
  • Look at the assessment criteria and make sure you understand what they mean
    • Make a list of requirements (things to cover) for each assessment point
    • Discussion them with your first marker
  • Be clear about the etiquette (rules) and expectations of the midpoint
    • Who contacts who?
      • Does the student request a meeting or does the second marker issue one
    • What information (evidence/ work) does the second marker require?
      • Sometimes this is explicitly written other times you may want to ask
    • Who is in-charge (controls) the midpoint?
      • Often it is assumed that the student will direct the midpoint as it is your presentation
    • When does the second marker ask questions/ provide feedback
      • Some students and markers prefer addressing questions as they go other students find this off putting.
      • However, most second markers will take lead from the student
  • Think of ways to visualise your project to make it quick and easy for the second marker to understand your project (here and here), this significantly increases your grade potential.
    • It demonstrates to the marker that you understand your project and it requirements
    • It also provides as a talking frame
    • It also provides a very quick summary of your project which you can share with stakeholders

Typical Midpoint Requirements

  1. The reason the project was chosen including a background to the problem
    • This was covered in your project proposal
    • What are the key factors which influence the current situation
    • What are the key factors in the current situation which creates your problem
    • State your problem in one sentence
  2. Identify your artefact
    • This was covered in your project proposal
    • State what your artefact is in one sentence
    • Explain how this artefact will overcome the stated problem
  3. Explore the ethical issues of your project
    • This was covered in your project proposal
    • What are the ethical concern for your project
  4. Identify your research strategy (approach)
    • Discuss your population and sample
    • Discuss your data (qualitative and quantitative)
    • Discuss your experiment design
    • Discuss how you will achieve triangulation
    • Harvard referencing to ensure academic robustness
  5. Identify what you will cover in your secondary research (Literature Review)
    • What information will you need to read about
    • How will this information link to your artefact
    • Harvard referencing to ensure academic robustness
  6. Identify what primary data collection tool(s) you will use
    • What data collection tool(s) will you use?
    • Why will you use this tool(s), link to triangulation?
    • How will the data be used to inform your artefact?
    • Harvard referencing to ensure academic robustness
  7. Identify what analysis tools (software/ hardware) and techniques you will used
    • Spreadsheet to generate central tendencies
    • Harvard referencing to ensure academic robustness
  8. Identify your artefact requirements 
    • What are your artefact success criteria?
    • How do the success criteria link to your secondary research (triangulation)?
    • How do the success criteria link to your primary research (triangulation)?
  9. Justification of your chosen Development Methodology (SDLC) for the artefact
    • What project management approach will you use to manage the artefact development
    • Why is this the best approach (Linear vs Nonlinear)?
  10. Identify how you will testing and validation your artefact
    • How will you test the artefact to make sure it achieves the requirements?
    • How will you test the artefact to demonstrate that it overcame the stated problem?
    • Create a test plan

 

Look at this report outline as a way of summarising your project

Aims, Objectives and Outcomes

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  • The aim refers to what you want to achieve, state in one sentence
    • The aim of this research proposal is to …
    • The aim of this research project is to …..
    • To explore…
  • Always number your objective, outcomes and success criteria
  • The objective is how you are going to achieve it
  • The deliverables are objects which you will produce along the way
  • These are not hypotheses and are often used as key components within the action plan
  • The outcomes (or success criteria) are what the artefact will allow us to achieve:
    • Increase in processing speed will give a quicker response time
    • A load balance across multiple nodes will reduce the risk of server crashing
  • Some universities and students like to divide the objectives into different groups, but this is dependent on your report as you may not have business objectives.
    • Report objectives
    • Personal objectives
    • Technical objectives
    • Business objectives
  • They can be highlighted in a table, written in bullet points or within-text
  • I have highlighted two of the most common approaches below
    • Ask your supervisor which method they require\ want

 

Computer Science tend to prefer this approach 

  • Aim
    • The aim of this research project is to explore the relationship between customers and website interaction leading to a confirmed sale
  • Objectives
    1. To investigate (alternative solution or software)
    2. To design (an artefact to overcome problem)
    3. To explore (potential software requirements)
    4. To examine (how users interact with the software)
    5. To compare (performance or features)
    6. To document (the system using technical drawings)
  • Deliverables
    1. Write (a literature review on ‘topic’)
    2. Create (a project plan in the form of a Gantt chart)
    3. Produce (design documentation)
    4. Manufacture (a prototype of the ‘software’)
    5. Test (the function of the prototype)
    6. Demonstrate (the ‘software’ solving the problem)
    7. See deliverables
  • Outcome (Success Criteria)
    1. The number of website sales will increase, identified through sales comparison
    2. Promotions and reminders (call to action) will lead to website sales, identified through web metrics
    3. The speed to find an item will increase (time to target), identified through web metrics
    4. Customer satisfaction level will increase, identified through web metrics

 

Social Sciences tend to prefer this approach

No Aim Objective   Measure or Outcome
1 (I want) to explore the relationship between the teaching assistants estimation of students level of engagement and disruption during the course of a lesson 1) I will achieve this by using the captured data from the teaching assistant ratings to plot a line graph to identify the relationship between the students level of engagement and disruption during the course of a lesson 1) The line graph will show that has the students level of engagement increases the level of disruption decreases
2 (I want) to explore the relationship between the teaching assistants estimation of student targets success along with levels of engagement and disruption 2) I will achieve this by using the captured data from the teaching assistant ratings to plot a line graph to identify the relationship between the students level of engagement and disruption and target success during the course of a lesson 2) The line graph will show that has the students level of engagement increases their target success will also increase but their level of disruption will decrease
3 (I want) to compare the teaching assistant rating values with that of the teacher when assessing the students targets success along with levels of engagement and disruption 3) I will achieve this by using the captured data from teachers and teaching assistants  a line graph will be plotted to show any divergence relationship between the teacher and teaching assistants ratings. 3) The line graph will show that the teaching assistant ratings for engagement, disruption and target success will reflect that of the teacher

 

Statement of The Problem

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  • The statement of the problem is often smaller than the introduction
  • The statement of the problem gives the reader a clear understanding of the problem and which method/ approach you are going to use to investigate the problem
  • Research which you highlight needs to be specific to your research question\ problem and your intended approach

Writing Frame:

  • Part 1 – (You)
    • State what the problem is (and how it impacts on user or process)
    • State which method you are going to use to investigate the problem
    • State why you will use this method or approach
  • Part 2 – Other People
    • Researcher 1
      • State which methods (approaches) they used to investigate the problem
      • State what their result showed
      • State some key influencing factors or issues with report
    • Researcher 2
      • State which methods (approaches) they used to investigate the problem
      • State what their result showed
      • State some key influencing factors or issues with report
    • Researcher 3
      • State which methods (approaches) they used to investigate the problem
      • State  what their result showed
      • State some key influencing factors or issues with report

Introduction

Depending on the report size (word count) the introduction is likely to be approximately six paragraphs or a couple of hundred words where you will ‘set the scene.’  You do this by highlighting key events which led to the current status\ position.  The introduction is about highlighting key findings by others which supports your project\ problem.

  • Setting the scene,
    • How did we get here
    • Major events which relate to your project\ problem only
    • Two or three paragraphs
  • Background
    • What is it like now
    • How will your project support or move this forward
    • Three or four paragraphs

The Abstract

The abstract gives the reader a clear understanding of the article without having to read the full journal article.  Typically, it is short in length, two or three small paragraphs (250words-ish) and is often written as you go or as part of a project proposal.  Here are two simple frameworks which I have come across here and here:

Framework One

  • Purpose
    • State what you are investigating and why
  • Design\methodology\approach
    • State what type of experiment you are using
    • State your population and sample
    • State how you will identify a difference or relationship (prove your hypothesis)
    • State your independent variable(s)
  • Findings\results
    • State the main findings/ conclusions
  • Originality\value
    • State any key recommendations
    • State any significant influencing factors

Framework Two

  • Background
  • Method
  • Results
  • Limitations
  • Conclusions