Probationary Assessment Workshop2 2010 Gail Lewis

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Probation Assessment presentation by Gail Lewis for Social Science students

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Probationary Assessment Workshop2 2010 Gail Lewis

  1. 1. Probationary Assessment Workshop Faculty of Social Sciences March 2010
  2. 2. Timetable Evidence Deadline Full-time students (assuming October start) Part-time students Probation report End of month 9 (June) End of month 18 Oral presentation End of month 10 (July) End of month 20 Mini-viva End of month 10 (July) End of month 20 Summary of PhD Skills Progress File Initial Skills Audit End of month 3 (December) End of month 6 Development plan and progress file summary End of month 9 (June) End of month 18
  3. 3. One of three outcomes will be recommended: <ul><li>1. 'Pass‘ </li></ul><ul><li>There is evidence of sufficient progress of good standard in each of the key elements. You will be registered as a Ph.D. student. </li></ul>
  4. 4. One of three outcomes will be recommended: <ul><li>2. 'Pass subject to conditions’ </li></ul><ul><li>Shortfalls will be identified and will need to be rectified. You will be given a clear account of the shortfall(s) and the further/alternative work that needs to be done and/or evidence needs to be provided. This work will normally be completed within a month for full-time students and within two months for part-time students. </li></ul>
  5. 5. One of three outcomes will be recommended: <ul><li>3. 'De-register‘ </li></ul><ul><li>If irresolvable problems are identified. This is where: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>adequate work for the assessment has not been done, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>sufficient progress has not been achieved, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and/or the quality of the work suggests that there is no realistic hope that a PhD will result. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. The probation report
  7. 7. The Probation Benchmarks At the end of their probationary period research students must provide evidence of achieving the following benchmarks.
  8. 8. The student : 1 <ul><li>Must submit a project report which includes the following: </li></ul><ul><li>A viable research question </li></ul><ul><li>A critical literature review which situates the proposed research </li></ul><ul><li>A research proposal including an outline of proposed method(s) and a critical justification for them </li></ul><ul><li>A work plan for the project </li></ul>
  9. 9. Supervisors/Assessment : 1 <ul><li>Supervisors must provide an evaluative commentary indicating whether or not each element of the project report is adequate. If there is any shortfall, information should be provided about what must be rectified before probation can be ‘passed’ </li></ul>
  10. 10. The student: 2 <ul><li>Must provide a concise summary of their skills audit, and training and development plan . </li></ul>
  11. 11. Supervisors/Assessment: 2 <ul><li>must provide an evaluative commentary indicating whether sufficient </li></ul><ul><li>progress has been made with skills development. If there is any </li></ul><ul><li>shortfall,information should be provided about what must be rectified </li></ul><ul><li>before probation can be ‘passed’. </li></ul>
  12. 12. The student: 3 <ul><li>Must give an oral presentation of their research in a </li></ul><ul><li>public forum such as a Research Centre or Department </li></ul><ul><li>seminar. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Supervisors/Assessment : 3 <ul><li>Supervisors must confirm that the student has given an </li></ul><ul><li>oral presentation </li></ul>
  14. 14. The Student: 4 <ul><li>Must undergo a mini-viva – an independent oral </li></ul><ul><li>examination on the project report. It must be conducted </li></ul><ul><li>by at least two experienced academic researchers who </li></ul><ul><li>are not the student’s supervisors </li></ul>
  15. 15. Supervisors/Assessment: 4 <ul><li>The assessors must provide a written report indicating </li></ul><ul><li>whether the student’s performance was adequate. If the </li></ul><ul><li>student’s performance was not adequate, information </li></ul><ul><li>should be provided about what must be rectified before </li></ul><ul><li>probation can be ‘passed’. </li></ul>
  16. 16. The Probation Report consists of: <ul><li>The articulation of a feasible research question </li></ul><ul><li>A competent review of existing research and theory that sets your question in context </li></ul><ul><li>A description and justification of the approach/methods you intend to use. </li></ul><ul><li>A functional work schedule or plan with timeline </li></ul>
  17. 17. Articulation of a feasible research question <ul><li>What are the advantages & disadvantages of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A single broad research question. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Several specific research questions. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What type of things could make the question(s) worth studying? </li></ul><ul><li>How could you show a contribution to knowledge? </li></ul><ul><li>What outcomes could you aim for and how could you use these to prove you’ve answered your question(s)? </li></ul>
  18. 18. Review of existing knowledge in the field: 1 <ul><li>For most fields this will be the standard 'literature review', but in some it will be more about the state of what is known. More broadly, 'literature' here refers to whatever publications, source material, or articulation of research provides the intellectual context for your work. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Review of existing knowledge in the field: 2 <ul><li>For the probation report, you are not expected to have completed a comprehensive review & the writing does not have to be perfect. </li></ul><ul><li>But it is expected that whatever has been included is appropriate to the research question, and has been addressed critically and with insight. Mere description is not enough. </li></ul><ul><li>You must show that you have a grasp of what has been done and what opportunities there are to make further contributions. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Articulation of a research approach <ul><li>In many cases this section of the report will be about research approaches, methods and analytics, although there will be different emphases in different fields. For example, in some disciplines the research methods chosen will be the key concern; in others it will be the nature of the analysis. What matters most is appropriateness to the particular field in which the work is being done. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Work plan <ul><li>This should: </li></ul><ul><li>cover the remainder of the project, through writing and revision of the dissertation. </li></ul><ul><li>be feasible without requiring superhuman powers. </li></ul><ul><li>allow contingency time. </li></ul><ul><li>indicate strategic submission deadlines (e.g., conferences, journal special issues), if appropriate. </li></ul><ul><li>reflect task dependencies. </li></ul><ul><li>A timeline diagram is often the best way of showing this. </li></ul>
  22. 22. The mini-viva <ul><li>A typical duration is 1 to 1-1/2 hours </li></ul><ul><li>The mini-viva sits somewhere between a supervisory discussion and a PhD viva. </li></ul><ul><li>In FSS it is usual for there to be two assessors and one of your supervisors present. </li></ul><ul><li>You will usually be asked to give an overview of your research and will then be asked questions about the Report you have submitted. </li></ul>

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