VUE - Examples from practice

Students writing scholarly articles


Key words: Written paper, written communication, article

Lars Domino Østergaard,
Assistant professor
Department of Learning and Philosophy
Aalborg University
Diana Stentoft,
Assistant professor
Department of Learning and Philosophy
Aalborg University

BACKGROUND
This is an example of an assessment method that was applied in a 2nd semester course in the master programme in Sports Technology at Aalborg University. Based on empirical data from a semester project and theory from two course modules (each of 5 ECTS), the students had to write a scholarly article that constituted the assessment of these course modules.

THE ACTIVITY
The article was written in collaboration as the students were working on their semester project in groups. The students were each assigned their own paragraph that they were responsible for. The students should demonstrate that they could fulfil the learning objectives of the course modules and write the article in a manner that met the requirements for formalities in academic publications. The article had to be written in a concise and precise manner and count between 5-12 pages, depending on the number of co-authors. The article was assessed with a pass or fail.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES
The purpose of this assessment method is to develop the students’ skills in communicating research-based knowledge, discuss scientific research questions and reflect on knowledge from a scientific-based foundation. Furthermore, the objective is to provide the students with the opportunity of working with an assessment method that is motivational for learning and supports the development of academic skills.

ADVANTAGES
The advantage of this assessment method is the fact that the students are working within an authentic framework. The students practice communicating in a concise and precise manner on a theoretical and empirical basis, which is an important qualification for a postgraduate. Seen from a motivational perspective the assessment method enables the students to make independent choices and explore their own interests.

DISADVANTAGES
Some students find the limit on number of pages challenging, as it requires them to select and delimit the content of the article. Additionally, they must sum up a wide and complex topic in a short and precise style. The students’ motivation can be negatively influenced by these challenges.

FEEDBACK FROM THE STUDENTS
The students are generally positive towards thearticle as assessment method. They agree with the length of the paper and the self-imposed thesis, and they feel motivated by the requirement for phrasing in a short and precise manner. Some students were challenged by the size of the paper, and they had difficulties embracing all the empirical data and select what to present in the paper. The students mention that they had to omit results from the project for the sake of keeping to the restricted size of the paper. The students gained a greater insight into how articles are structured, and they felt more capable in writing scholarly articles for future purposes.

EVALUATION
In general the students were positive towards this assessment method and the academic discipline of writing scholarly articles. However, it is more complicated to suggest that the assessment method assists the students’ development of academic skills, since various circumstances can have an influence on this. Yet, the students are engaged and realize the opportunities for developing their competences in writing papers.

Suitable for classes of: 1+ students
Suitable for level: Master level
Suitable for offline, online or both:  Offline
Is the activity part of the curriculum? Yes
References: http://ojs.statsbiblioteket.dk/index.php/dut/article/view/7716/7419

 

For more information about VUE please contact:
Centre for Teaching and Learning - Inger-Marie F. Christensen - imc@sdu.dk or Rie Troelsen - riet@sdu.dk

For more information about this assessment method please contact:
Lars Domino Østergaard, assistant professor, Aalborg Universitet – ldo@learning.aau.dk
Diana Stentoft, assistant professor, Aalborg Universitet - ds@learning.aau.dk