Ad Prac 1 – IMJ7001 – Assessment Guidelines

To complete the IMMJ MA program and receive your degree you will complete 6 modules over three terms. (One theory and one Practical module per term). Detailed module and assessment guidance are updated online at the beginning of each term. 

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  • Module code: IMJ7001
  • Module title: ADVANCED PRACTICE 1
  • Module leader: SHARRON LOVELL
  • Module tutors: SHARRON LOVELL & SEAN GALLAGHER
  • Module level: HE7
  • Credit value: 40
  • Module duration: 1 Trimester

MODULE OUTLINE

This module introduces core practical news media production skills including; photography, writing, video, audio, and data visualization as well as corresponding editing techniques. The module also establishes fundamental news gathering skills such as research, interviewing, reporting, social media and ethics. Students develop competence via weekly hands-on workshops and seminars. 

Students undertake eight short news feature assignments using different tools and mediums which they publish online, both to develop core media and news gathering skills and allow students to explore new ways of producing and presenting digital content.

Weekly critique sessions act as a platform for classroom discussion around practice, platforms, audiences and ethical issues in the changing media landscape.

The term includes two, one-week intensive workshops where students work on groups projects and external media specialists run skills workshops.

Towards the end of the module, the individual skills are combined to produce multimedia, multi-platform stories for formative assessment.

INDICATIVE CONTENT

  1. News literacy
  2. Photography/photo editing
  3. Video/filming/editing skills
  4. Journalism writing methods and styles
  5. Audio production/editing skills
  6. Elementary data visualization
  7. Multimedia publishing & platforms
  8. News gathering & production methods
  9. Interview methods
  10. Journalism ethics

LEARNING OUTCOMES

  1. Competently operate tools, equipment, and software to produce and publish digital online news stories using both single and multimedia formats.
  2. Employ and demonstrate an understanding of professional standards of journalistic storytelling, values, and principals such as testing information accuracy through a process of verification via quality sources, and achieving balanced information via diverse sourcing. Students will also demonstrate and employ journalistic ethics and punctual deadline delivery.
  3. Produce practical work that demonstrates development and progress of both technical practice and the journalistic application of various media formats.
  4. Competently publish a portfolio of eight assignments via a digital online platform that is well designed and easy to navigate.

LEARNING & TEACHING STRATEGY

This module will be delivered through a combination of practical workshops, seminars, lectures, tutorials and practical assignments. The module is divided into eight core learning topics, each of which has an associated practical assignment and critique. There are also two single-week intensive workshops. Students will work both independently and in groups and are guided to read widely, actively participate in discussions.

  • Scheduled in class sessions – 150 hours
  • Independent study – 250 hours

FORMATIVE ASSESMENT STRATEGY 

Weekly tutor-led practical workshops and in-class exercises provide students with continuous formative feedback and assessment of learning and technique.

There are eight short formative assignments given during the module, each lasting one week. At the end of each week, you will be required to present each assignment and will be given formative feedback via class critique sessions. The feedback is vital in aiding the progression and development of subsequent student work and assignments. Students will be expected to practice and refine their skills in light of critical feedback, correcting any errors and making improvements as necessary. 

During the intensives, you are also required to present short assignments and are given feedback from your module tutors.

Students may receive additional individual formative feedback in tutorials with module tutors, and possibly via email or Skype.

SUMMATIVE ASSESMENT STRATEGY 

  1. Eight short practical assignments with introduction to and summary of student comments (worth 80%)
  2. The final part of the assessment refers to your studentship. Regular attendance and participation in seminars and critiques, the intensives, participation in the online discussions, and submission of assignments on time (worth 20%)

MODULE PASS MARK

50%

MODULE & ASSESSMENT GUIDANCE NOTES:

Please read carefully.

You need to pass both Term 1 modules to continue to Term 2. Assignments must be handed in on time and to requirements. Penalties for late assignments are below:

  • Up to 7 calendar days late = 10 marks subtracted but if the assignment would normally gain a pass mark, then the final mark to be no lower than the pass mark for the assignment. (50%)
  • More than 7 calendar days late = 1 mark will be awarded. This means you will have one final chance to resubmit work on a refer status (6 weeks after the original deadline). Work submitted on a refer status is capped at the lowest grade (50%).

If you have serious mitigating circumstances, which means you need to defer your submission up to (4 weeks after the original deadline). You must provide documentary evidence (e.g. medical certificate). Please see your tutor or refer to the school handbook for details of how to submit mitigation documentation. Please come and see your tutor 4 weeks before the due date with any problems you may be having.

This page does not contain comprehensive module or course information, and you should all read, in full the IMMJ Handbook PROGRAMME HANDBOOK

Final Assignment Submission Deadline: 7th Jan 2018 midnight Beijing Time. Individual presentation session on 8th Jan 2018.

Assessment will be carried out at the end of the semester and will be based on two elements — Assignments & Studentship.

  • Assignments (worth 80%): Eight short practical assignments delivered on time each week, and presented in an organized fashion on your online platform. Students will also each undertake a final 20-minute assessment where they introduce and comment on their assessments and learning process.  
  • The final part of the assessment refers to your studentship. Regular attendance and participation in seminars and critiques, the intensives, participation in the online discussions, and submission of assignments on time (worth 20%)
  • Please note: All students start the program at different points with various strengths and weaknesses. We emphasize the process as well as results. This includes generating good story ideas and angles, having a clear story focus with news value. Reflecting on assignment’s weak points and making improvements in following assignments, working productively with teammates, professional use of equipment.
  • When grading your assignments we evaluate technical competence, as well as reporting and storytelling skills. 

Assessment Guidance Notes:

The eight assignments will be assessed at the end of the semester. During this session, you will be given 20 minutes to discuss your final eight assignments in relation to the weekly themes, readings, and the stipulated agency/publication. You will need to take into account the feedback from fellow students and tutors and be able to critically evaluate the outcome. You may not rework any of the assignments (Unless there are serious errors and you have already been directed to resubmit). Therefore, it is important to recognize weakness’ as well as strengths in your assignments. Remember the assignments are set for you to explore research questions from a practical point of view and for you to practice and improve your skills. During the assessment, you will need to demonstrate a good understanding of all the themes discussed throughout the term.

Grading Guidelines:

While we prefer to focus more on your learning and development than on your grades. Here is some information to help you better interpret your grades and improve your future work. Firstly we assess work on how well you have stuck to the assignment brief and criteria. Secondly, when grading your practical assignments we judge work by a standard of publishable quality. We consider whether the assignments submitted are of publishable quality, and if not — how much work would be required to bring it to the desired level. By publishable quality, we do not mean the level of highly experienced New York Times, Caixin or Guardian journalists or teams. Instead, we envisage individual entry-level journalists. With that in mind, we view work as editors and evaluate assignments based on whether we would accept and publish the work with a few minor changes, or if the work would demand major reworking. Finally English and grammar are important. We need to be able to smoothly read work in English. Do use grammar and spell checks before submitting work. Poor Language and grammar will affect your grade.

  • 80+ (DISTINCTION High) – Work of exceptional quality) Accurate, clear, engaging stories that are well-written / well-shot and well-produced. They demonstrate exceptional knowledge of practice, theory, and technique for this level. They require only minor editing or changes. They include well-selected quotes /sound bytes that deliver impacting information and emotion and the content is presented effectively as a digital visual multimedia journalism story or project. In sum, they are stories that are publishable at a professional standard.
  • 70+ (DISTINCTION) – Work of excellent quality) Accurate, clear, stories that are well-written / well-shot and well-produced. They demonstrate excellent knowledge of practice, theory, and technique for this level. They require some minor editing or changes but include well-selected quotes /sound bytes that deliver impacting information and emotion and the content is presented effectively as a digital visual multimedia journalism story or project. In sum, they are stories that are publishable at entry level professional standard.
  • 60-69 (MERIT) – Work of good quality) Sufficiently accurate, clear, stories that are well-written / well-shot and well-produced. They demonstrate a sound knowledge of practice, theory, and technique for this level. They require some editing or changes but include well-selected quotes /sound bytes that deliver impacting information and emotion and the content is, for the most part, presented effectively as a digital visual multimedia journalism story or project. In sum, if minor editorial changes were completed they are stories that are publishable at entry level professional standard.
  • 50- 59 (PASS – Work of satisfactory quality) In general work is accurate, (any present minor inaccuracies or bias do not stem from intentional misleading in terms of sources or editing). Stories may be weak in terms of sharp journalistic focus but they are competently written/shot and produced. They demonstrate an adequate knowledge of practice, theory, and technique for this level. They require a number of editing or changes and may have style, grammar or production errors or one significant error or omission, but still, include some well-selected quotes /sound bytes that deliver impacting information and emotion and the content is presented as a cohesive digital visual multimedia journalism story or project. In sum, if substantial editorial changes were completed they are stories that are publishable at entry level professional standard.
  • 45–49% (FAIL — BORDERLINE – Work of unsatisfactory quality) Some material or intentional problems with journalistic accuracy. Stories lack journalistic focus. They show weaknesses in terms of writing/shooting and production. They demonstrate some omissions of knowledge of practice, theory and technique for this level. They require major editing or changes and may have style, grammar or production errors or one significant error or omissions. They include very few well-selected quotes /sound bytes that deliver impacting information and emotion and the content. The presentation of the digital visual multimedia journalism story or project is poor. In sum, stories would only be publishable at entry level professional standard if major re-reporting and reworking were completed.
  • 44% > (FAIL – Unsatisfactory performance) Major material or intentional problems with journalistic accuracy. Stories lack journalistic focus. They show a lack of basic knowledge in terms of writing/shooting and production. They demonstrate a lack of basic knowledge of practice, theory and technique for this level. They require major re-reporting, refilling and re-editing or and may have copious style, grammar or production errors. They do not include well-selected quotes /sound bytes. The presentation of the digital visual multimedia journalism story or project is poor. In sum, stories would not be publishable at entry level professional standard even if major re-reporting and reworking were completed. 

Plagiarism

Please note, plagiarism is taken very seriously. We digitally check all practical and theory assignments for plagiarism cases. The penalties are serious and typically including failing the module with a reference, meaning your next submission will be capped at 50%/. For The University of Bolton’s’ regulations please see: Academic Misconduct Regulations and Procedures There are in addition other forms of academic misconduct specific to the IMMJ program in line with standard ethics of journalism. Please note that if your work includes any of the issues below it will be dealt with as a matter of academic misconduct. 

  • Copyright infringement for music, images or other assets
  • Staging video: Asking a story or interview subject to do something specific that they would not typically do. (“Set-up” shots — including reverses for an interview or “walking” shots are a gray area but are accepted).
  • Telling an interview subject what you want him or her to say.
  • Paying or giving someone something expensive in exchange for doing an interview.

Punctuality, Attendance, and Deadlines:

Classes begin promptly at 10 am Mondays & Tuesday. Punctuality and deadlines are critical in the news business. Weekly assignments must be turned in each Sunday evening, uploaded to your digital platform — with subtitles or dubbing to English if necessary. We will not review work in Mandarin, so please subtitle or dub audio as appropriate. 

Attendance is another must, classes build upon each other. While you may be able to catch up on practical skills out of class you will miss critical core ethics & journalism principles if you miss classes. Full attendance is expected. Poor attendance will be taken into account when determining overall module results. For example, failure with poor attendance is likely to lead to a repeat of the module with attendance. A repeat of a module requires you to repeat the module in full the following year – and you will need to pay the costs of taking that module again. You must make sure you keep up with the weekly teaching program and check your university email account as this is where updates may be communicated to you. The modules can be quite intense and your success may ultimately depend on your keeping up the pace required. If you fall behind, then self-directed study should be used to catch up for the following week. Successfully negotiating your way through the modular program involves careful time management and organization. Your tutors and/or supervisors will be able to provide guidance if issues arise.

Attendance – Bolton Policy

In order to progress and achieve the award for which you are registered, you must attend the classes for each individual module regularly and in accordance with any compulsory attendance requirements defined. The University attendance policy is located at:

To summarise, unsatisfactory attendance includes failure to attend learning and teaching sessions on a regular basis. It also includes repeated late arrival at, or early departure from, learning and teaching sessions. Where a student’s attendance is unsatisfactory, actions may be taken. In situations where absence significantly impacts a student’s understanding and grasp of course material, a formal warning will be issued. If formal warnings are not responded to a formal attendance agreement will be made. Assessment boards may take students attendance into account in relation to progression and awards.

Please contact your Module Tutor if you are absent from a session.

English:

All assignments must be delivered in English for an international English speaking audience. Poor English will impact your grades. We expect articles, picture captions and subtitles to be well written. We recommend proofreading each other’s work in peer groups. Also, please download – http://www.grammarly.com – A free online proofreading tool that checks the text for grammar, punctuation, and style, and features a contextual spelling checker and plagiarism detector.

Assessment strategy and methods:

Summative assessment

The majority of modules are marked as summative assessments. This means that a formal assessment of your work takes place at the end of the module instead of bit — by — bit assessments over the term. This allows for the continual learning and teaching throughout the module to contribute to the work in progress and the resulting submission of work.

Formative assessment

Formative appraisal is carried out throughout the program is takes the form of critiques or ‘crits’, one-to-one tutorials, group seminars, and so on. These are designed to enable you to gauge your progress and to form an understanding of your progression as your work develops.

You do not need to redo an assignment unless a tutor has flagged it as a fail. Typically if you make a good attempt at assignments you will not fail, technical errors are expected to happen in early stages, instead of failing assignments due to technical issues, they will instead be highlighted in weekly ‘crits’ and should be improved upon in the following assignment. In most cases a fail means either a) you have not followed instructions or guidance and /or b) not put in the appropriate amount of time into an assignment. Assignments, including research, planning, reporting & editing should be covered in two 8 hour days. It’s rare that you will fail and need to rework an assignment if this happens you will be told directly after the weekly critique. You will have until the final submission deadline to repeat or rework the assignment. If the assignment is not reworked to guidelines within a week or handed in late your final grade will be seriously impacted.

You can only make one formal submission of work for formal assessment prior to the assessment board. (The deadline for submission this year is 29th Nov). Once submitted, you cannot subsequently add further material to be considered. For further details see the AME School Handbook.

Should you fail any module, either Advanced Practice or Your Theory Module, you get one further chance to resubmit. You will receive clear and written guidelines on why you failed and what you need to do in order to pass. Should you fail on your second submission, you will fail the MA program with no further chances to resubmit.

Procedure for moderation of assessments

The assessment process is carried out by the internal program team, then scrutinized by the External Examiner. The role of the External Examiner is to ensure that we are marking fairly and has academic parity with other UK universities. In this way, you can be sure that your award meets the quality of the national standard expected.

You must ensure that you submit your work on time. Assessments for practical work may ask you to exhibit work or submit them online, please make sure you achieve this the day before so the work is ready for assessment on the day required.

Please read the School Handbook for information on late work and/or Mitigating Circumstances, if you think you may not be able to submit work for assessment. The guidelines for mitigation are very strict, and it is important that you familiarise yourself with these before making an application.

On completion of the initial assessments by theprograme teams, the marks are fed into the University’s marking system. Module Assessment Boards are held periodically at BFSU, chaired by the Dean or Deputy Dean of the School of Arts, Media and, Education at the University of Bolton over a Skype link from Bolton. These module boards fix module results. Award and Progression Boards are held periodically at Bolton. These determine awards, and make progression decisions about continuing students. The Assessment Board meets to discuss and agree the module marks presented and to agree progression decisions and, eventually, awards. The board takes account of any mitigation by receiving a report from the School’s Mitigating Circumstances Panel. The External Examiner is usually present to ensure academic consistency. Decisions on referral, progression etc. are made at this Board and a final set of marks are generated, these are then published for students to obtain their results.

Relevant University assessment regulations

The assessment regulations that apply to this programme are located at:http://www.bolton.ac.uk/studentcentre under the section on “Regulations, Policy and, procedures”. There you will find the regulations for postgraduate programmes, which this programme is.

Please also refer to the AME School Handbook which includes how many of the University’s policies, procedures and regulations are implemented in this School.

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