HS3DAC-Discovering Archives and Collections

Module Provider: History
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Summer & Autumn Terms
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded: HS3HED History Education
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Jacqui Turner

Email: e.j.turner@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module will enable students to test and develop their interest in careers in the archives sector through 10-day placements based internally, at the university’s Special Collections, or externally, at the Berkshire Record Office or another participating repository. These 10-day placements will give students the opportunity to gain and reflect on the type of practical work experience required for successful applications for postgraduate training in archives and records management. The placements will also develop skills in research, oral and written communication, professionalism and adaptability in the workplace, and attention to detail, readily transferable to, and highly valued in, other areas of postgraduate employment. Offered as an alternative to a Topic module, Discovering Archives and Collections will increase choice and enhance personal career-development opportunities within the Part 3 History degree programme.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module, it is expected that students will have:
•An overview of the range of services offered by the placement provider and the variety of different activities these entail
•Gained and reflected on work experience in some particular aspect or aspects of archives and records management
•Made an individual contribution to the management and/or publicising of records held by the placement provider.

Additional outcomes:
The module also aims to develop:
•Understanding of the importance and purpose of archives and records management
•Understanding of the processes and techniques of archives management and record- keeping
•IT skills through use of digital technologies and online resources
•Professionalism, skills in teamwork and dealing with service users, and adaptability in response to the demands of the placement environment
•A wide range of other interpersonal, organisational and research skills readily transferable to other areas of employment outside the archives sector.

Outline content:

Following acceptance for the module through successful application and interview, students will contact their placement supervisor to introduce themselves and confirm arrangements for their placements. After pre-placement induction in the History Department, students will undertake 10 placement days at the university’s Special Collections, the Berkshire Record Office or another participating repository. Placements will offer all students initial introductions to the role and work of two participating repositories, and a careers workshop. Activities on placement will otherwise vary, but will include specific project work under the direction of the placement supervisor, who will keep a record of attendance and assess overall performance on placement. Students will submit two pieces of written coursework in the History Department. One will be an article, blog vlog or gallery of images with text and captions, highlighting for a general audience the scope and historical interest of the records on which the project work focused (or on some particular aspect of them), in a form and style suitable for publication on the placement provider’s public-access website, or newsletter. (Publication will be at the discretion of the placement provider, who will have the right to edit the work after its assessment in the History Department.) The other piece of coursework will be a full, reflective report on the project work undertaken on placement, setting it in the wider context of the functions and activities of the placement workplace, explaining what it entailed, what knowledge and skills it demanded and developed, and providing a critical self-evaluation of what was achieved. Students will also make a 10-minute oral presentation in the History Department explaining what they have learned from their placement, with 5 minutes’ questioning from examiners.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Induction seminars in the History Department will introduce students to the module and its assessment, professional behaviour on placement, and the principles, practice and history of archives and records management. Placement days will be timetabled across Weeks 1–8 of the Autumn Term, generally one a week in Weeks 1–5 and 7–8, and up to three in Week 6 (Enhancement Week). Students will need to allocate time for independent study during and after the placement period to prepare their two pieces of written coursework and oral presentation to examiners. Individual supervisions will be offered to students in the History Department for advice and feedback on coursework.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 4
Project Supervision 2
Guided independent study 140 4
Placement 50
Total hours by term 192.00 8.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 30
Report 40
Oral assessment and presentation 20
Practical skills assessment 10

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
Performance on placement
Placement supervisors will assess students’ performance on placement in the following areas:
•Professionalism, adaptability, teamwork, and dealing with service users
•Attention to detail
•Aptitude for the practical skills required in archives work
•Overall quality of project work

Students will submit two pieces of written coursework:
•a blog, article, or image gallery with accompanying text and captions, of up to 1,000 words, relating to the project work on placement, no later than the Monday of Week 11 of the Autumn Term
•a reflective report on the project work of up to 4,000 words (this limit to exclude bibliography and appended examples of work undertaken on placement) no later than the first day of the Spring Term.
Students will also give an oral presentation of 10 minutes, plus 5 minutes questioning from examiners, in Week 9 of the Autumn Term.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Students who fail Part Three are permitted one further attempt at a resit in each module they have failed. Students who fail Part Three will no longer be eligible for an Honours Degree but, assuming the necessary threshold after the resit (normally an average of 35% or above) is achieved, students will obtain a Pass Degree. It is not possible to retake this module in the same format. If the placement has been completed, re-assessment will be by resubmission of coursework by 12 noon on the last Friday of August, followed by a further presentation to examiners. if the placement has not been completed, re-assessment will be by submission of two new coursework assignments (each weighted 50%), based on the study of published material, which will allow the student to gain an overview of the range of services that archivists provide, reflect on the activities these entail, and assess the strengths and limitations of a particular archive as a research resource.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


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