GROUP NEGOTIATED STUDY

SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMN224311
Module Leader Marty Wright
School School for Work Based Education
Subject SCWBE
Trimesters
  • B (January start)
  • A (September start)
  • A (September start)-B (January start)
  • B (January start)-C (May start)
  • C (May start)
  • C (May start)-A (September start)
  • S-C (May start)-A (September start)

Summary of Content

Students undertaking a programme of research training may have particular learning requirements and interests that cannot reasonably be accommodated within a structured programme designed to meet the core needs of a typical student. These learning needs may be specialist research training or, in the context of particular substantive degree pathways, may be specialist programmes of advanced study (theoretical, conceptual or substantive). Therefore, Group Negotiated Study is offered as a means of enabling students to achieve their particular needs/learning objectives, whilst exploring areas of interest by identification and progression through an appropriate real world problem. Negotiated study topics will normally address a problem widely described as being for the Common Good. Therefore, the areas of study would normally be expected to be issues identified from local community issues, charities and third sector organisations and/or a student's work place. The focus of the content of the unit will be negotiated between a group of students (normally 3-4 individuals) and Unit Leader in the form of a negotiated learning contract - the Unit Learning Plan. The students will prepare a Unit Learning Plan which specifically identifies group and personal learning outcomes. This will normally then allow identification of an action plan comprising: title; aims; learning outcomes; nature and scope of work to be undertaken; learning resources required (including the gathering and critiquing of quantitative and qualitative data); support required; detailed operational timetable, and agreed assessment format.

Syllabus

Not applicable - programme of learning to be determined by the student, and agreed with the Unit Leader.

Learning Outcomes

The specific group and individual learning outcomes will be identified within the Unit Learning Plan, as detailed above. To these can be added the generic learning outcomes of completing a unit by independent and negotiated study at postgraduate level. Specifically, on successful completion of the unit students should have the ability to:1.Develop a meaningful learning programme;2.Identify and agree within a group a real world issue to be investigated; 3.Identify appropriate methods of investigation;- Identify and utilise a range of learning resources;4.Take explicit responsibility for one's own learning; 5.Work collaboratively within a team towards an agreed outcome, and- Evidence that the investigation leads to an appropriate outcome for an agreed problem.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Although the unit is student-led, all students presenting for Group Negotiated Study, will participate in the 'support' programme: Towards the end of Stage One of the SWBE pathway, students will be introduced to the unit and the Unit Learning Plan. There will also be discussions on a possible Unit Learning Plan with the Programme Leader (as part of academic advisor/advisee meeting as appropriate). There will be an iterative process of communication between the whole group, the individual students and unit leader to develop and finalise the Unit Learning Plans which identify Group and Individual Learning Outcomes. Students will normally work with a Project Advisor who will be appointed to guide the group and individual students as they undertake their Unit Learning Plan. The Project Advisor can offer specific advice on the subject of the Unit Learning Plan. The Unit Leader (and Programme Leader) will assist in finding a Project Advisor. There will be progress meetings/communication between the student and the Unit Leader and a formative assessment report mid-way to ensure progress is being made with specific regard to meet the unit learning outcomes.

Indicative Reading

Subject Specific Sources to be determined by the student, identified and approved by the Unit Leader, in the Unit Learning Plan. Understanding Independent Study and Learning Contracts Anderson, G, D. Boud and J. Sampson (1996) Learning Contracts: A Practical Guide. Kogan Page: London. Bone, Z. (2014) The Learning Contract: A Research Project with Training Wheels. ECRM2014 Proceedings of the 13th European Conference on Research Methodology, Edited by Dr Martin Rich, Dr Anne Brown. Cass Business School, City University London. 16-17 th June 2014. Bowell, T, 2015. Critical thinking: a concise guide, 4 th edition. London ; New York : Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group Cottrell, S. (2011) Critical Thinking Skills. Palgrave: UK Davies, M.W. (2009) Groupwork as a form of assessment: common problems and recommended solutions. Higher Education. Available from <http://link.springer.com/journal/10734> , Oct. 2009, Vol.58, Iss. 4, <http://link.springer.com/journal/10734/58/4/page/1> pp.563-584 Knight, P. (2002). Learning Contracts. In Assessment for Learning in Higher Education . Birmingham: SEDA series. Knowles, M.S. (1986) Using Learning Contracts. Jossey-Bass: San Francisco. Knowles, M S (1993) Self-Directed Learning: A Guide for Learners and Teachers. The Granary Press Ltd. Schwarzer, D.; Kahn, R.E. & Smart, K. (2000) Learning Contracts and Team Teaching in a University ESL Writing Class. The Internet TESL Journal, Vol. VI, No. 10, October 2000. Available from: <http://iteslj.org/Articles/Schwarzer-Contracts.html>. O'Neill, G. & McMahon, T. (2005) Student-centred learning: What does it mean for students and lecturers? In: Emerging Issues in the Practice of University Learning and Teaching available from: <http://www.aishe.org/readings/2005-1/oneill-mcmahon-Tues_19th_Oct_SCL.html>.

Transferrable Skills

Specifically, Group Negotiated Study provides an opportunity for students to exercise initiative, assume personal responsibility and exercise independent decision-making. Students will have gained competence in the following skills: Intellectual abilities and skills acquired through use of learning resources and immersion in research/study contexts: Assessment of the merits of contrasting explanations, critical interpretation of resources and also involve the development of reasoned argument. Key skills acquired through HE level study: Learning skills including numeracy; written and oral communication skills; information management; planning, monitoring, reviewing and evaluating own learning and development; information retrieval skills; critical thinking; creative thinking; decision making. Social skills including personal attributes that are fostered via advanced study in HE. Working independently; working as a member of a group; time management; self-motivation; change management including personal and in others; intellectual integrity, and adaptability.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Assessment (PT) 30.00
Independent Learning (PT) 100.00
Seminars (PT) 15.00
Tutorials (PT) 5.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 100.00 50% Description: Negotiated individual output equivalent to 3000 words written assessment.Final assessment is individually negotiated, but must cover Unit Learning Outcomes, meet SCQF level descriptor and adhere to GCU assessment loading guidelines.