Other Courses:The following courses also include this module in their teaching programme:-
Module CM0645 - Individual Project
SYNOPSIS OF MODULE
This module is designed to provide an opportunity for the expression of individual energy and ability in completing a significant item of work related to the aims and objectives of the course. Topics for projects may be suggested by students themselves and perhaps may derive from industrial placement experience or their employment (for part-time students). However, academic staff will also suggest suitable topics for selection by students.
The student will be provided with a supervisor for their project. This person will provide guidance during the project period on the progress of the work, the direction of the study and the quality of work carried out. Students meet with their supervisor each week.
All projects involve the use of practical skills relevant to the student’s programme, production of a project report and supporting documentation, and a demonstration of the project work.
Students have the opportunity to choose between two structures for their project, with slightly different marking schemes.
• The Software Engineering project is suitable for projects whose emphasis is the construction of a piece of software for actual use or to a similar standard, following sound and thorough software engineering processes; students will be required to justify the product requirements and the tools and techniques used in support of the development.
• The General project structure is suitable for projects where an element of investigation is an important feature, and will include a significant literature review. The product may be a prototype aimed at supporting the investigation. It is also suitable for research-based projects or others whose main product is a computing deliverable other than software, e.g. a well-engineered design whose specification involves a significant element of supporting investigation of relevant literature, or a piece of computing hardware.
During the project, deliverables are regularly submitted to the supervisor for formative feedback. Deliverables for summative assessment consist of a project report, a computing product and a viva.
INDICATIVE READING LIST AND OTHER LEARNING RESOURCES
Recommendations for purchase by students
No specific item is recommended. However, students sometimes find it useful to purchase one or two key items relevant to the specific project, e.g. a core textbook on an important topic.
Dawson, C.W. (2009) Projects in Computing and Information Systems: A Student's Guide, 2nd edn, Pearson.
Berndtsson, M,. Hansson, J., Olsson, B. and Lundell, B. (2007), Thesis Projects: A Guide for Students in Computer Science and Information Systems, 2nd edn. Springer.
Oates, B.J. (2006), Researching Information Systems and Computing, Sage.
Kumar, R. (1996), Research Methodology: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners, Sage.
Leedy, P.D and Ormrod, J.E. (2010), Practical Research: Planning and Design, 9th edn., Pearson.
Journals and Newspapers Titles
Databases and Websites
Support will be provided via Blackboard. Typically this includes
• A list of supervisors, their subject areas, and project suggestions, including any proposals from third parties.
• Electronic copies of all project forms and documents.
• Previous project reports - available in the University Library and on Blackboard.
Students will be provided with a copy of the project module handbook. This is essential reading.
Students are expected to develop their own reading list that is specific to their chosen project. Students will be required to demonstrate at an early stage that literature is available in the chosen area of the project, that they have assessed seminal articles/texts and that all necessary hardware and software will be available for the duration of the project. Formative feedback on these matters will be given at the Terms of Reference review.
The module consists almost entirely of project work done under the guidance of a supervisor. Typical activities include literature searching and review, requirements specification, systems analysis and design, HCI design, software implementation and testing, evaluation of the work done, writing a project report, preparation of a demonstration.
The work of on the project will be split into three main phases: initial planning of the work, analysis of the problem, and the actual practical work with production of a final project report done in parallel with this.
Supporting lectures will be offered at intervals throughout the year and will cover aspects of the project process such as:
* Overview of the project
* Choosing a topic and a marking scheme
* The Terms of Reference
* Research methods including experimental method
* Ethics in the project
* The project report
* Carrying out a literature review
* Software Testing
*Analysis of results
* The demonstration and viva.
AIMS OF MODULE
This module is designed to provide an opportunity for the expression of individual energy and ability in completing a significant item of work related to the aims and objectives of the course.
On completion of this module, the student should be able to:
1. Construct a problem statement working from unstructured ideas.
2. Plan, schedule, monitor and control the conduct of a small project.
3. Identify and critically review relevant literature.
4. Specify and construct a significant computing product, using appropriate skills, methods and tools relevant to the student’s programme.
5. Critically evaluate their work.
6. Communicate the findings of a small project by verbal presentation/demonstration and written report.
Completion of level 5, or equivalent study for direct entrants.
DISTANCE LEARNING DELIVERY
LEARNING AND TEACHING STRATEGY
The Project Tutor will be responsible for the organisation and delivery of the module. In addition to arranging supervision, the Project Tutor will provide a series of supporting lectures. These will be delivered at appropriate points over the academic year, and may involve a range of academic staff speaking on aspects of the process in which they specialise.
At the start of the module all students will be given a project handbook outlining the stages of the project and the marking schemes used and giving guidance on the preparation of the project documentation. Additionally they will receive a logbook which they are expected to maintain and submit at the end of the project.
Prior to the start of the project - towards the end of the previous academic year for continuing students or during induction for direct entrants - students will be asked to begin to identify a project idea, and may make contact with available supervisors. Students on the sandwich course will be encouraged during their placement year to identify possible projects arising out of their placement. Students on the part-time course will be encouraged to seek projects based at their place of employment.
By the start of the year, supervisors will publish their project ideas and areas of interest on Blackboard, and students will be encouraged to find a supervisor whose ideas interest them. The Project Tutor will publish any ideas proposed by external parties. Students will be expected to make a definite arrangement for supervision; any student who cannot find a supervisor by the prescribed date will have a supervisor appointed by the Project Tutor. In such cases students may be expected to undertake a project of the supervisor's choice. Once supervision has been agreed, a project initiation document is submitted. This will be a short document identifying the project topic that has been agreed between student and supervisor.
During the period that the project runs students would normally be expected to see their supervisors every week. Supervisors and students will be expected to keep a brief log of progress of the project. The supervisor will hold regular weekly tutorials with the student and be accessible, within reason, at other times for giving advice. The supervisor gives guidance about the nature of the project, the work to be done and the standard expected, and will encourage students to follow their schedule and produce work in good time. The supervisor will give regular formative feedback on the work done and the deliverables produced, and, with the second marker, review the student's Terms of Reference and mark the project.
A second marker will be appointed early in the project. This member of staff will have responsibility along with the supervisor for reviewing the Terms of Reference and marking the student's work.
Full-time students will be expected to spend 200 hours on the project in each semester. Part-time students will be expected to spend 100 hours working on the project during the first semester and 300 hours during the second semester.
A schedule of due dates for both formative and summative work is published by the Projects Tutor.
Blackboard is used as a repository of useful materials, including examples of past project reports; for project administration; and to communicate information about possible supervisors and available topics.
ASSESSMENT AND FEEDBACK STRATEGY
a Summative assessment and rationale for tasks
The summative assessment will be based on:
• For General Projects: the final report (60%), the product (30%) and the viva (10%).
• For Software Engineering projects: the report (40%), the product (50%) and the viva (10%).
The assessment of report and product covers learning outcomes 1-6; the viva further addresses learning outcome 6.
Products are assessed on criteria covering fitness for purpose and build quality, as appropriate to the specific product.
The final presentation and viva will typically be a 30-40 minute session. In the first 20 minutes the student should demonstrate the work and/or explain the main results of the project. In the remaining time the supervisor and second marker will question the student on the report and the demonstration/presentation.
In marking the report, the supervisor and second marker will mark the report independently and then meet to discuss their marks and arrive at an agreed mark. If the supervisor and second marker cannot reach a consensus, an arbitrator will be appointed. This will be a senior academic with considerable experience of project work.
b. Additional formative assessment – detail of process and rationale
The Project Initiation Document provides an opportunity for the supervisor (and, by exception, the Projects Tutor) to give feedback on the initial project idea. The Terms of Reference Review is a comprehensive review of the project proposal represented in the TOR that takes place at a meeting between student, supervisor and second marker, with the intention of providing a firm foundation for the project work.
c. Indication of how students will get feedback and how this will support their learning
The supervisor will give verbal feedback on the Project Initiation Document.
The TOR reviewers will give verbal feedback, along with a feedback form that forms part of the project logbook.
The supervisor will give written or verbal comments on the initial draft analysis section of the report submitted towards the end of semester 1, and appropriate guidance will be given to the student.
Students will receive formative feedback on progress at their regular weekly meetings, and comments on draft deliverables.
The student will be provided with written feedback on the final deliverables by the supervisor. This will include the agreed marks for the report, product and viva.
Anonymous marking is not appropriate for this module.
IMPLICATIONS FOR CHOICE
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