Week 15: TMA02
Length: 4,000 words (or 3,300 + PowerPoint). Cut-off date 28 May 2013
TMA02 enables you to reflect on key aspects of your study of Block 2. Before you start work on it, please make sure you have read ‘Important notes about TMA02’ below and have understood the assessment criteria. Note that across TMA02 as a whole, you need to write about both practitioners’ and learners’ choices.
From Block 2 choose three activities that have helped you to develop your understanding of:
- choices that practitioners make about ways of applying technologies for their learners
- choices that learners make about their own learning, in terms of which technologies they use, why and how.
For each activity, explain to your tutor:
- what it enables you to understand about:
- choices that practitioners make about ways of applying technologies for their learnersand/or
- choices that learners make about their own learning, in terms of which technologies they use, why and how.
Refer to specific aspects of the activity to support the points you make. For example, if the activity involved a reading, quote from it briefly (up to about 100 words) as part of your explanation of the reading’s significance. If it involved a forum discussion, blog, Elluminate discussion, etc., quote briefly from that to support your explanation (making sure you obtain permission if you are quoting from a fellow student’s non-public blog). You are welcome to insert a screenshot from an Elluminate session to show a whiteboard, for example, or to use other images that support your argument.
- what the activity has enabled you to understand about your own experience as a practitioner and/or learner. Give examples to illustrate your points, including your experience in H800 and evidence from material in Blocks 1 and/or 2 of the module. You are also free to bring in your experience from outside H800 – interpreting ‘learner’ and ‘learning’ broadly, if you wish, to include formal, informal and non-formal learning. If you are not currently a practitioner, relate the activity to a context you know or to your experience in supporting learners in some way – perhaps your friends or family.
Write about 1,000 words on each of your three activities. Alternatively, for one of your three activities you are welcome to submit a PowerPoint presentation (5–10 slides containing text and, if you wish, images), with a short commentary of up to 300 words. For examples of the opening slides from three students in 2012, see Figures 1–3 below.
Then write about 500 words in a section headed ‘Redesigning the activities’ – on how two of your three activities could be changed or redesigned to be more relevant to your own context. You can treat ‘context’ broadly, and are welcome to explain how the activities could be made more relevant to you as a learner, or to your own learners if you teach/train, or to learners in your personal context.
Then finish your essay with about 500 words in a section headed ‘Learner experience and methods’, on the following question:
- Which aspects of ‘learner experience’ do you think should be investigated – either on H800 or in your own context – and which methods would you use to do so?You should draw on relevant material from Block 2 (including Weeks 13/14) and elsewhere inside and outside H800, and the insights you gained in writing about your three activities.
Finally, insert a ‘References’ section providing a single list of the sources you have referred to or quoted from. Set out your list according to the instructions in the H800 Assignment Guide (module website, right-hand side, under ‘Resources’). As with all tutor-marked assignments on H800, your References list does not count towards the word limit.
Important notes about TMA02
- Each activity should come from a different week in Block 2; you are welcome to take one from Week 16 even though we haven’t actually reached that part of the study planner. You are also welcome to include activities that have been flagged as optional.
- Weeks 8/9 count as two weeks, so you may choose up to two activities from there. Weeks 13/14 count as two weeks, and you may choose up to two activities from there. If you do so, the two that you choose should not be parts of the same activity.
- Across your three activities, you need to write about both practitioners’ and learners’ choices. Your assignment can relate to a broad range of contexts, including education, training, professional development and informal and non-formal contexts.
- When you quote a fellow student’s forum post(s) in your H800 assignment, you do not need his or her permission. However, you would need permission if you proposed to quote it elsewhere – for example, outside the H800 website, or in your blog, or in any external source (for example, a report or journal paper). In such cases, you would normally quote it anonymously and would omit any text that might identify the poster (such as the name of their employer).
- In your essay you are encouraged to insert one or two screenshots, diagrams or other images that support your argument, provided that these do not make your TMA file bigger than 20Mb in total. Give each image a caption, and also refer to it in the body of your essay so that your tutor can see which part of your argument it supports. If you use other people’s screenshots, diagrams, etc. you will need to acknowledge the source/rights-holder; please don’t crop an image so as to undermine the creator’s original intention, nor remove a copyright symbol watermark from an image.
- For one of the three activities you choose, you have the option to submit a PowerPoint presentation; if you take that route, you will need to zip the ppt file with your Word document. The zipped file should not exceed 20Mb (the maximum size accepted by the OU’s eTMA system). The Assessment Handbook: Taught Higher Degrees has brief instructions on how to zip your file: follow the link from the heading, ‘How to zip your file’.
- Images do not count against your word limit. Tables do.
- To find your three activities, you could start by looking at the learning outcomes at the end of each week. This will enable you to identify those weeks containing one or both of the following outcomes: ‘choices that practitioners make about ways of applying technologies for a variety of learners across the globe in education, training or professional development’; and/or ‘choices that learners make about their own learning, in terms of which technologies they use, why and how’. You may see activities listed as examples to illustrate these outcomes, and you may select your three from these examples if they are relevant. However, you are welcome to choose different activities to give you your three, provided of course that they are relevant to the TMA02 question.
- To help your tutor see how you are supporting the points you make in your essay, include brief quotations from some of the key material you are discussing (H800 web pages and/or papers and other sources). Don’t quote more than about 100 words for each of your three activities.
- As with all the assignments, use quotation marks for all quotations, even if you also indent the quotation because it is lengthy. Fully acknowledge all material that you draw on or quote from, whether from inside or outside H800: follow the Assignment Guide on avoiding plagiarism, and on the author/date referencing conventions. The Assignment Guide is on the right-hand side of the H800 website under ‘Resources’. When you quote someone, use normal text – not bold or italics (unless the original text used these for emphasis).
- Make sure you have re-read your tutor’s PT3/Assessment Summary and in-text comments and advice on your TMA01 before you start writing TMA02.
- To help you with locating references while you are writing your assignment, we have brought together the Block 1 and Block 2 references into one list. While we don’t guarantee that it contains every reference from Blocks 1 and 2, you should find it pretty comprehensive.
- Please don’t exceed the word limit; your tutor will deduct marks for overrun and may stop reading/grading once s/he has read to the word limit.
How to structure your writing
- Go straight into writing about the first activity, starting with a heading that states its Week Number, its Activity Number and its title. Your tutor has access to the activities on the website, so don’t waste your word allowance on copying out the activity task from there.
- Having written about 1,000 words on your first activity, insert a heading for your second activity. And so on. If you choose to submit a PowerPoint presentation for one of your three activities, insert a heading in your Word document in the usual way, and beneath it write your commentary of up to 300 words. You may structure this how you wish, but make sure you refer out to your PowerPoint slides: for example, you could write ‘Slide 1 makes the point that….This links to the argument that…Slide 2 then…’
- Give your fourth section the heading ‘Redesigning two of the activities’.
- Your fifth section will be ‘Learner experience and methods’.
- Within each section you are welcome to use subheadings.
- Finally insert your ‘References’ list.
Sending in your TMA
Send in your TMA02 as a single Word document (or as a zip file if you zip a Word document and a PowerPoint presentation), using the eTMA system linked from your StudentHome website. Your tutor will collect your assignment from the eTMA system. Having graded it and written comments, s/he will return it to the eTMA system for you to collect and read; please open the ‘Assessment Summary’ file to see her/his comments.
Please note that the OU asks you to submit your assignments in ‘.doc’, ‘.docx’ or ‘.rtf’ format. The inclusion of ‘.docx’ as an acceptable format is new for 2013.
Assessment criteria for TMA02
Your tutor will use the following criteria to grade your work out of 100, allocating marks in the proportions shown here.
- The extent and quality of your contributions to discussion and collective knowledge-building in the tutor group forums during Block 2. Even a simple question, for example, or a straightforward suggestion, can make an extremely effective contribution (10 marks).
- Across the first three sections of your essay: your demonstration to your tutor, with a wide range of evidence, of how the three activities enable you to understand practitioners’ and learners’ choices, and enable you to understand your own experience as a practitioner and/or as a learner. If you opt to use PowerPoint for one of these three sections, your tutor will take into account the effectiveness with which your presentation and commentary demonstrate your argument (50 marks).
- For your ‘Redesigning the activities’ section: your critical insights into how the two activities could be changed or redesigned to be more relevant to your own context (10 marks).
- For your ‘Learner experience and methods’ section: your justification for the methods you propose for the investigation of learner experience (20 marks).
- Your written presentation; and your use of the author/date referencing system. Criterion 5 covers clarity of expression, accuracy of grammar and spelling (please use your spell-checker, set to UK English), accurate following of the heading structure set out in ‘How to structure your writing’, use of captioned illustrations (whose significance you explain in your text), and your accurate use of the author/date referencing conventions as set out in the H800 Assignment Guide. Note that this last point relates to whether you have used the author/date system accurately, not to whether you have made a good selection of resources (10 marks).
The following table provides an indication of the standards associated with Distinction, Pass and Fail marks for each of the five criteria:
|1. Online contributions||Effective contributions||Relevant contributions||Insignificant contributions, or none at all|
|2. Significance of the three activities||Very convincing demonstration of your understanding of all three activities, in terms of practitioners’ and learners’ choices, as set out in the TMA question. Very wide range of evidence and excellent demonstration that you have thought through the connections between all three activities and your own experience||Reasonably convincing demonstration of your understanding of the activities, in terms of practitioners’ and learners’ choices, as set out in the TMA question. Wide range of evidence and demonstration that you have thought through the connections between the activities and your own experience||Poor understanding of the activities, in terms of practitioners’ and learners’ choices, as set out in the TMA question. Little or no evidence and few or unconvincing connections between the activities and your own experience|
|3. Redesign||Excellent insights and suggestions for changing the activities||Good insights and suggestions for changing the activities||Few or unconvincing insights and suggestions for changing the activities|
|4. Learner experience and methods||Excellent use of Block 2 material, and other sources, to justify your proposed methods for investigating ‘learner experience’||Reasonably good use of Block 2 material, and other sources, to justify your proposed methods for investigating ‘learner experience’||Little or no use of any material to justify your proposed methods for investigating ‘learner experience’|
|5. Written presentation & author/date referencing system||Clear writing; accurate grammar and spelling; accurate following of the heading structure set out in ‘How to structure your writing’; one or two highly relevant images, captioned and referred to in your text. Accurate following of the referencing conventions as specified in the H800 Assignment Guide||Fairly clear writing; mostly accurate grammar and spelling; accurate following of the heading structure set out in ‘How to structure your writing’; moderately relevant images (or no images), not captioned and not referred to in the text. Partial following of the specified referencing conventions||Writing that is hard to understand; a significant number of errors of grammar and spelling; and/or not following the heading structure set out in ‘How to structure your writing’; irrelevant images (or no images), not captioned and not referred to in the text. Largely or wholly inaccurate use of referencing conventions; and/or using a different system|