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PROJECT ASSIGNMENT


Alternative terms: project report, product assessment, group product, presentation, problem-oriented assignment

What is it?

  • A question or assignment from a company, organisation or institution that you must answer/solve on your own or together with a group of students.
  • In the first academic year, they are mostly simulations, but in later years, many are real assignments supplied by the programme or acquired by the students themselves.
  • You obtain relevant knowledge and skills by actively working on a real-life professional assignment.
  • The end result can take a number of forms: a memorandum, model, physical product, plan, policy, service, presentation, training etc.
  • The complexity of the question/assignment and the context increases as the degree programme progresses.
  • Over the course of the degree programme, you are given greater freedom to interpret the assignment, plan of action, specifications for the end result and the knowledge and skills required.
  • The assessment method can vary. It depends on the scale, complexity, structure and authenticity of the project assignment and its place in the curriculum.
  • Summative testing formats – plan of action, end product, process report and knowledge test (body of knowledge) – are customary. Formative tests include assessment of interim products, feedback from the client and peer feedback.

Smaller project assignments are often assigned in the early years of the degree programme. They make up roughly one-third to half of the study time per quarter: between 5 and 7 credits. The assignments are defined, the most important specifications are set, the underlying knowledge is mainly prescribed and the approach is also roughly defined. The assessment is mainly focused on the realisation of the results within the designated frameworks and with correct use being made of the underlying knowledge. Process assessment is conducted, but as the students' autonomy is limited, this is generally not too detailed.

Large project assignments - which are mainly given to advanced students – take up between half and three-quarters of the study time per quarter: 8 to 12 credits. They address a complex professional problem, demanding an autonomous, investigative and systematic solution from the student group. To a substantial degree, the group must determine the specifications that the end result must comply with and the underlying knowledge itself. The supervision is mainly process-oriented. The assessment ties in with these factors, focusing on three aspects: (1) the quality of the end product, (2), the knowledge each student possesses, and (3) the manner in which you and your fellow students cooperate in order to bring this project to a successful conclusion.

What is tested?

The project assignment assesses whether you:

  • Can identify, use and apply relevant sources of knowledge to concrete assignments.
  • Are able to underpin assignments with theoretical and methodical concepts.
  • Can cooperate with others in a process-oriented manner
  • Work systematically and methodically.
  • Think and work in a multidisciplinary manner.
  • Are capable of establishing criteria that a quality product must comply with, as well as achieving and substantiating this level of quality.
  • Have played a relevant role within the team and made a constructive contribution.
  • Can connect your own individual objectives with the project objectives

Naturally, your client's assessment of the relevance and applicability of the end product is also important.

How will I be tested?

The assessment takes place at various moments:

Initial phase:

  • Written assessment of the plan of action based on the criteria and oral feedback. The plan of action – which is, on average, delivered after one-third of the project time has elapsed – is a go/no-go decision. In the event of doubt, a brief opportunity for improvement can be granted, or the plan of action can be definitively rejected. In such cases, the project group is disbanded and you start again, forming a different group if desired.

During the project:

  • In the intervening period, one or two drafts are often delivered. Feedback is then provided. Unsatisfactory drafts can result in a no-go decision. In all other cases, an indication is given regarding the possible end result. For example: a group is already at the level of a low passing mark, and is therefore on course to achieve a high mark. However, it is also possible that the work could stagnate, resulting in the mark remaining the same or even dropping below the pass mark.

Completion:

  • Upon completion, the product, process and knowledge are assessed.
  • Assessment upon completion is mainly conducted in the form of a presentation and final interview in the presence of the clien
  • For the assessment of the knowledge gained, an oral Q&A session during or after the presentation may be arranged or a written knowledge test may be given.

The product assessment documents the students' professionalisation. The process assessment ascertains whether every student has made a relevant contribution. The knowledge assessment tests whether all students have learned enough. The process assessment and knowledge test also ensure that the 'freeloaders' (who piggy-back on other people's efforts) and 'duckers' (who participate very little, if at all) are identified.

How will I be assessed?

You will receive:

  • A group mark for the end product.
  • An individual mark for the knowledge test.
  • An individual assessment based on the process report.

The result will be reviewed during a final interview.

What feedback will I receive?

You will receive feedback on:

  • The degree to which the objectives have been achieved, determined based on the end result (product).
  • The course of the project (the process) and your own contribution to it.

You will receive feedback from:

  • The examiners.
  • Supervisors and project-group members who have seen the student work.
  • The client.

How do I prepare for the test?

  • Ensure that you are clear about the weighting of the test elements and whether compensation is possible
  • Discuss the project handbook with the lecturer/supervisor and your fellow students to make sure you are clear about what is expected from you with regard to content.
  • Ensure you are clear about what will be expected of you and your fellow students with regard to project-oriented cooperation, and agree a clear list of dos and don'ts.
  • If necessary, ask for relevant training.
  • Give yourself the opportunity to practise.
  • Depending on the phase of the degree programme, ask what support and guidance is available to you.

How can I achieve the highest score possible?

  • Stick to a watertight plan of action.
  • Evaluate yourself – not just afterwards, but along the way.
  • Deliver a product that is well constructed and that works.
  • Make maximum use of your fellow students' knowledge and help each other.
  • If you encounter serious problems, be sure to inform the programme straight away!

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