ED6021 Youth & Community Assessment requirements in detail
Assessment methods which enable students to demonstrate the learning outcomes for the module:
One dissertation of 8000 words Weighting:
100% Learning Outcomes demonstrate:
STRUCTURE OF THE DISSERTATION
This is a ‘model’ structure for Education Research dissertations. Individual dissertations may vary in organisation following negotiations between student and their supervisors. However, it is unlikely that a successful dissertation will deviate widely from this overall strategy.
• The title is important and, therefore, must be agreed with your tutor.
• The initial title should allow you to address one fundamental question and a minimum of three related ones.
• The final title should be short, focused and invite attention
The front cover of your dissertation must display:
• The title of the University (University of East London) and of the School (Cass School of Education and Communities)
• Your Student ID
• The title of the work
• Your supervisor’s name
If a cover with window is used, please ensure that the ID and Title are visible.
This must include
• Student ID
• This dissertation report is presented in part fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Degree in (Programme title)
Abstract (150 words)
This is a brief outline of the focus and nature of your study. It should consist of no more than 150 words and be written in the present tense. It describes the structure, purposes, methods, results and overall significance of the work.
Detail the words or phrases that give clear indication of the focus of the work. These appear on the same page as the Abstract.
Thank anyone who has assisted you in providing data or help with your investigation. You can refer to tutors and relations by name, but protect the identity of individuals and schools used in the investigations (particularly if sensitive data is presented). Dedications are permitted.
• The titles of each Chapter/section should be listed in chronological order and the page references provided.
• Arabic numerals are used on the pages of text; Roman numerals are use for any Preface.
• Appendices are listed either A, B, C etc. or 1, 2, 3 but pages do not have to be numbered.
• List Tables, diagrams, graphs and photographs, with Titles and pages on which they can be found.
Introduction (Purpose and Aims – Approximately 600 words)
• This provides the reasons for the area of research, which you have selected. It should present the first question, which you set out to address.
• The introduction provides a reference point for all subsequent writing and will be written mostly in the past tense, with occasional reference to the present.
• It should be possible to read this section and to go straight to the Conclusions and Recommendations, to gain a continuous understanding of the whole work and to be directed to different Chapters for additional information.
o What do you want to find out, with whom, where, and why (referenced to literature)?
o Why did you choose this area for research (referenced to literature)?
o How is your proposed is research important; identify key issues and debates (referenced to literature)?
o Briefly define specific terminology in relation to your research (referenced to literature)
o Who might be a potential user of this research?
o What are the specific research questions?
Chapter 1: Literature Review (Approximately 2275 words)
• This should start by identifying and discussing the specific question or problem, both with reference to relevant literature and with regard to professional practice.
• It should flow in a discussion about the topic selected and show an attempt at answering the questions you set out to answer.
• Do not read every book and journal there is on the subject rather, draft the issues you wish to address in trying to answer the initial question and read in accordance with what you need to find out.
• You must demonstrate critical engagement with a wide range of literature:
o Present the literature reviewed as a body rather than itemised individual pieces, incorporating a thematic approach.
o Interrogate academic literature from a range of sources (e.g., books, chapters in edited books, journal articles, and conference papers).
o Elaborate on specific terminology/definitions in relation to your research (referenced to literature).
o Engage critically with the literature by exploring, for example, gaps, weaknesses, strengths, contradictions, agreements and disagreements.
• There is never a case of there being no relevant literature on the subject. Think ‘outside the box’ and search journals and media reports for related items. Your tutor will give you some guidance, but become a researcher and engage in an ‘archaeological dig’.
• It is expected to have a concluding paragraph in your literature review in which you state how your research will attempt to build upon/develop/extend what is already known. How does it influence your own research?
Chapter 2: Methodology (Approximately 1500 words)
• This chapter, written in the past tense, should identify the processes by which you set out and followed through the next stages of investigation.
• State what methodological approach (paradigm) you used and why.
• State where you went to collect it (the setting), the time frame used and the successes, limitations and problems experienced. Cohen et al. (2007) Research Methods in Education, and lecture notes will help your analysis of process and tools used for investigation.
• Be sure to report the size and characteristics of the sample of participants (gender; age; faith, socio-economic status of parents-as applicable) and note how they were selected probability or non-probability sampling, and why?
• What did you do to ensure that your research was valid and reliable? Triangulation (the use of two or more research methods / collection of data from different sources / engagement with a wide range of literature) is said to maximise the validity of qualitative research, but some researchers place more importance on integrity, honesty and comprehensiveness of coverage than on other validity criteria. Whilst the use of a minimum of two research methods to collect data is recommended, you must seek the approval of your tutor if your particular methodological approach does not necessarily require this, e.g. Discourse analysis where the corpus of data is limited to a few newspaper articles or other textual data.
• Never approach a school or other institution without knowing what you want to find out. You will be given an introductory letter by your supervisor when s/he is satisfied with your Ethics Form.
• Agree, with your tutor, the content of any further letters going to an external body and your research tools.
Ethical Considerations (Approximately 700 words)
• Demonstrate your understanding of ethical procedures and how they were applied in your research.
• Your discussion in this section must be supported with relevant literature on ethics.
• The key word in this section is application. It is not just a question of stating, for example, what informed consent/assent is, but how it will be applied in your research.
• What is informed consent? How did you gain informed consent in your research? Make reference to gate keeping.
• What is meant by confidentiality and anonymity? How did you guarantee that confidentiality and anonymity were observed in your research?
• What are the benefits of your research?
• Discuss any possible risks in your research. How has your researcher identity and positioning had an impact on your research. Consider power relations in your role as researcher
Chapter 3: Discussion of Findings (Approx. 2275 words)
• In this section you should analyse your data. However, remember that the aim of your analysis is to answer your research questions! It might be useful to use a thematic approach to structure your analysis. Think about presenting your findings in different ways – this needs, however, to tie in with your research paradigm.
• How did you sort, choose and make sense of your data?
• How does your data support and/or contradict the literature on your topic?
• Anonymised raw data (e.g. charts) should be presented in Appendices. The structure of questionnaires / interview schedules should be presented and report of the responses to each question, but do not include every questionnaire.
• Whenever possible data should be tabulated and accompanied by commentary. Reference to relevant appendices should be made in the text.
• Take care not to indulge in assertions and assumptions. Take the available evidence and work with it, rather than engineering it to confirm a personal hypothesis.
• If data from video, tape recordings or interviews are used, be careful to note the conditions and any possible impact on the outcome; you can report statements made, to illustrate points. Anecdotal evidence must be acknowledged as such.
• Remember, most work involves too small a sample for results to ‘prove’ anything. The data provides indications and possible trends for further investigation. In education there are not truths – truth is transitory and relative to the criteria to which it applies at a specific time in history.
• Refer back to your introduction and note the intentions at the outset of your work and summarise your subsequent discoveries. Provide guides to the chapters and pages where supporting evidence can be found.
• Follow through with a statement of what value you would place on the work for yourself, for other professionals in the field and indicate areas of need for future research, with reasons.
A reader should be able to read your Introduction and this Chapter and gain a comprehensive, but succinct picture of what the whole dissertation is about.
• The overall purposes of the reference list are:
o to allow the reader to verify all sources used in the text
o to indicate the range of literature consulted.
• The list should be alphabetical, by author’s names, and for a given author, chronological.
• Use the format:
– Surname, Initials (date of work) Title, Publisher, Place.
– Articles – state the author of the text from which it came, then add in italics the article author (do not underline the article name).
– Website – note the location and whenever possible the author and date given – otherwise Anon.
– Main Texts are followed by Government Reports and Acts then by websites.
Do not include any text not explicitly mentioned in your text. There must be discernible evidence of having made reference to a work.
• Include here material necessary for the reader’s fuller understanding of the text.
• This may include statistical data where appropriate.
• They should not include ‘padding’ or other extraneous material. If you have acquired a plethora of questionnaires or samples of work, synthesise the material by charting the results of analysed data or provide an example of the range of responses.
• A reader does not necessarily refer to the appendices, so do not include material that is essential for understanding when reading the main body of your work.
Research Supervision Logs x 5
The record of your tutorials and personal action plans must be included in your appendices x 5
• The word count of a dissertation does not include the Abstract, Keywords, Bibliography, nor Appendices or notes.
• Convention allows you to 800 words on either side of the stipulated 8,000 words.
• More or less, a penalty is applied.
Criteria for marking Dissertations
Statement of research focus
o Is the focus succinctly defined?
o Is the focus a recognised educational problematic area?
o Is a rationale for undertaking the particular study provided?
o Is there an element of originality to the focus?
o Are the aims of the research set out clearly?
o Is the area of focus valid and useful to Education or related area of study?
Analysis and integration of relevant literature
o Is there evidence of wide reading?
o Are cited readings appropriate to the focus?
o Do the readings cited show a range of opinions / previous findings?
o Does the literature provide a suitable educational backdrop for the research?
o How up-to-date are the references made?
Use of appropriate research techniques
o Are the research methods clearly defined and discussed?
o Is the choice of methodology justified?
o Are other forms of methodology considered?
o Does the methodology produce data and evidence pertinent to the focus?
o Is a clear account of the various stages of the investigation given?
o Are the research findings presented appropriately and accurately?
Evidence of a critical & analytical approach & synthesis of theory & findings
o Is there evidence of a greater understanding?
o Is the synthesis of theory and findings achieved?
o Are the findings presented in a critical form?
o Are their significance and limitations considered?
o Is the argument well reasoned, considered, informed and developed?
o Is the analysis substantiated by the findings and theory – does it address the focus?
Conclusion and suitable recommendations for action
o Does it draw on learning from findings and theory?
o Does it relate back to the focus?
o Are the judgments and recommendations appropriate and meaningful?
o Are they relevant to the immediate practical situation and more widely?
o Are areas for future research recognised?
Presentation and structure
o Grammatical structure of writing
o Specific acknowledgements of sources
o Clearly indicated sections