IF0ACJ-Academic Skills

Module Provider: International Study and Language Institute
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring / Summer term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Mr Louis Rogers

Email: l.j.rogers@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

The module aims to help students develop their study skills in order to be successful on the International Foundation Programme and as undergraduates.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module, it is expected that students will be able to:

  • produce written work which is well-organised, relevant and makes use of appropriate terminology and academic style.
  • demonstrate good academic writing skills.
  • prepare and deliver an oral presentation.
  • identify problems, apply their knowledge and skills in finding solutions and evaluate these solutions.
  • interpret and analyse a range of information beyond mere description.
  • work as a member of a team by cooperating with others, negotiating, listening to others in the group, sharing responsibilities/tasks and meeting deadlines.

Additional outcomes:
By the end of the module, it is expected that students should be able to:

  • use a variety of resources for the purpose of independent study.
  • use their time effectively, meet deadlines, reflect on their progress and set targets.

Outline content:
(1) Essay Writing
The Essay Writing sessions provide an introduction to the process of academic essay writing. Focusing on structure, organisation and academic register conventions, students who follow this course will be supported in the process of title analysis, arrangement of key information and the creation of effective introductions and conclusions.

(2) Team Working
The Team Working sessions show students how to optimize the group work experience for the purpose of achieving collaborative goals.

(3) Presentations
The Presentations sessions familiarise students with the process of researching, structuring and delivering an oral presentation by using market-leading slideshow software.

(4) Problem Solving
The Problem Solving sessions guide students through the various stages of problem-solving and provides a structural basis for the process of identifying appropriate solutions according to context.

(5) Research & Referencing
The Research and Referencing session navigates students through the essential skills of identifying appropriate supporting statements and acknowledging expert opinion obtained from a range of sources.

(6)Referencing and avoiding plagiarism
Students' attention is drawn to the key features of direct and indirect quotation in addition to the leading conventions for preparing a bibliography. The Avoiding Plagiarism session provides guidance in the mechanics of plagiarism avoidance and gives students practical strategies in avoiding academic misconduct through inappropriate usage of secondary sources.

(7) Critical Thinking
The Critical Thinking sessions train students in the evaluation of knowledge claims and provides student's with the necessary tools to identify fact from conjecture. It also gives students a tool box with which to evaluate their own work and to detect bias in others.

(8) Examination Technique
The Exam Technique sessions present a scaffolded revision tool for students preparing for timed assessments and exams in any academic discipline. Students are given guidance in revision and the answering of a range of different question formats.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Series of tutorials and workshops.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Tutorials 20 22 8
Guided independent study 70 70 10
Total hours by term 90.00 92.00 18.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 30
Oral assessment and presentation 20
Class test administered by School 50

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (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.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:

    Reassessment arrangements:
    By examination in August/September with continuous assessment carried forward if it is to the advantage of the student.

    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: 21 December 2016

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