Academic Writing and the Reflexive Practitioner

MQF Level 6

6 ECTS

Academic Writing and the Reflexive Practitioner

Start
October 2024
Module Type
Compulsory
Price
€500
ECTS Credits
6 ECTS
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Module Description

This module equips participants with the skills necessary for academic writing, crucial for their success across various course assignments and their final dissertation. It emphasizes the attainment of high standards in academic writing and introduces participants to effective research and documentation techniques.

Literature and Source Evaluation: Participants will explore a range of academic literature sources, including books, journals, and other authoritative publications. The module includes discussions on identifying and selecting high-quality sources, understanding journal rankings, and distinguishing between peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed articles. The identification of weak sources and subpar writing methodologies will also be covered to ensure participants can discern and adopt robust academic practices.

Research Tools and Skills: The course will guide participants in navigating online libraries and repositories, utilizing search techniques involving key strings and terms. Tools like Mendeley will be introduced to aid in organizing and managing literature searches. Participants will learn how to effectively filter academic literature based on their specific research needs.

Reflective Practice: A key component of the module is developing a reflexive approach to research and writing. Participants are encouraged to reflect on their personal perspectives and experiences, integrating this self-awareness into their academic work. This reflexive stance aims to enhance their understanding and contribute to more nuanced and contextualized academic outputs.

By the end of this module, participants will not only improve their academic writing skills but also develop a reflective practice that enhances their overall research and writing processes in the field of Early Childhood Education.

Entry Requirements

Candidates who apply for this course will possess:

  • A full qualification at MQF level 4 in Early Childhood Education and SEC/Ordinary Level passes in Mathematics, English and Maltese.

OR

  • 2 Advanced Level passes and 2 Intermediate Level passes including 2 subjects from Mathematics, English, Maltese.
    A pass at SEC/Ordinary Level in the subject that is not presented at advanced/intermediate level from the 3 specified above.
  • In the case of students who do not possess all the formal required academic qualifications, then the RPL process could be applied such that if evidence of equivalent learning, related to the area of study of this programme, is found then the applicant could still be accepted in the course. Such RPL process will subject applicants to an interview held with a board of experts within the field, chosen specifically by IDEA Academy, so as to verify their experiences and prior learning.

IDEA Academy’s RPL policy can be accessed through this link

Furthermore, it will be advised to students at entry point that before going on placements, they will need to be in possession of:

  • The POMA (Protection of Minors Application) certificate.
  • A first-aid certificate prior to commening placement practice.
  • A valid police conduct certificate.

 

 

Target Audience

This programme has the following target groups:

  • Individuals who are approaching the field of Early Childhood Education.
  • Individuals who have been working in the field as a means of capacity building.
  • Individuals looking to advance to Kindergarten Educator III role.

Module / Unit Instruction

The proposed structure comprises a blended approach promoting the building of a community of practice via peer-to-peer learning.

The structure uses primarily two dimensions of teaching-learning modes: · Face-to-face sessions: 18h · Online Learning Activities: 12h.

Face-to-face sessions include lectures, tutorials, discussions, presentations, and workshop activities promoting peer-to-peer learning.

Online Learning Activities incorporate tutorials and asynchronous discussions. These may consist of active interaction, participation, and contributions in fora discussions, sharing resources and self-reflection exercises.

Learners also contribute to the building of the community of practice by providing feedback to their peers as critical friends, enhancing the learner’s critical engagement throughout the study period.

The tutor provides continual support during both teaching-learning modes by providing information, readings, and tasks relevant to the module in question.

The tutor provides continuous formative feedback as an on-going guidance during the student’s learning experience in preparation for their summative assessment.

How you’ll be assessed

For this module, the assigned lecturer is guided to develop and assign a minimum of two assessment tasks, one of which should happen during the module to allow for formative feedback. Once the assessment tasks are developed by the lecturer, these go through a rigourous internal verification process to make sure that they are subject, level, and load appropriate.

All formative and summative tasks aim to provide the learner with an opportunity to produce evidence of his/her competences aligned to the learning outcomes of the modules and enhance his/her learning in the process.

Furthermore, the tasks may include different forms of assessment which allow and promote students’ knowledge in the area, critical engagement and other transversal skills that are required in the field (e.g., online discussions, in-class discussions, case studies, etc.).

The module consist of two assessments, each carrying a weighting as is below recommended:

a. Assessment 1 carries 40% of total module mark achieved. b. Assessment 2 carries 60% of total module mark achieved.

The overall grade achieved for this module is calculated as the sum of: · 40% of the mark achieved for Assessment 1; and · 60% of the mark achieved for Assessment 2.

a) Assessment 1 will be conducted in the form of a a multiple-choice test about academic writing.

b) Assessment 2  will be conducted in the form of a 1,500-word assignment whereby the course participants need to show a thorough understanding of reflexivity when writing.

For successful completion of this study module the student is required to achieve an overall pass mark of 50%.

Assignment
Discussions

Module Intake Dates

October 2024
Price
€500

Learning Outcomes

Competences:

At the end of the module/unit the learner will have acquired the responsibility and autonomy to:

  • Analyse a number of manual strategies which facilitate the way how to approach academic writing.
  • Assess the use of technological applications which enhance academic writing.
  • Assess their role as course participants as well as current or future ECE practitioners (Kindergarten educator) while engaging in academic writing.
  • Review how reflexivity should be approached while writing academically.
  • Carry out tasks, literature searches and academic writing with the help of the application, software, online tools, etc.
  • Produce various pieces of writing to show their competence in academic writing.

Knowledge:

At the end of this module/unit, the learner will be able to:

  • Be familiar with several applications and tools which can support and enhance the process of academic writing, while being aware of their reflexive approaches and the personal approach to writing.
  • Be familiar with a number of research tools which support academic writing, while being reflexive on how to use them.
  • Consolidate knowledge of the various sections and the key aspects of an academic piece of writing, while being reflective on their individual bias.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how to approach the writing of a research paper and how the different sections should be presented in a scaffolded manner.
  • Learn about the importance of various applications and tools which can be used to organise literature sources.
  • Understand how available resources (e.g., online libraries, online repositories, etc.) support academic writing.
  • Demonstrate a robust understanding of key proponents and theorists of reflexivity in light of educators within educational systems and ECE educators within ECE settings. · Identify strengths and weaknesses od academic texts.

Skills:

At the end of the module/unit the learner will have acquired the following skills:

  • Make use of robust literature (e.g., peer-reviewed sources) when writing academically.
  • Investigate how these various elements change depending on the purpose of the academic writing (e.g., when writing for a qualitative research paper, when writing for a quantitative research paper, etc.)
  • Write assignments, essays, and reports in an academic, clear, and scholarly approach.
  • Collaborate with other course participants in discussing the role of academic writing and how this would affect their position if it is not approached robustly and professionally.
  • Discuss various ‘dos and don’ts’ of academic writing while analysing practical scenarios provided by the lecturer.

Module-Specific Learner Skills:

At the end of the module/unit the learner will be able to:

  • Assess good and weak practices of academic writing.
  • Establish a positive attitude towards approaching academic writing while being reflexive about the process.
  • Use various reflexive approaches to academic writing.

Module-Specific Digital Skills and Competences:

At the end of the module/unit, the learner will be able to:

  • Carry out academic research on websites (e.g. Google Scholar) or journals (e.g. EBSCO, Taylor & Francis, SAGE, etc).
  • Carry out research, manually and/or online via the Internet.
  • Develop a reference list using the Microsoft application in-built function.
  • Navigate the Internet for policy documents, legislation etc related to ECE from a worldwide, European and local perspective.
  • Navigate through the online learning platform to download and upload assignments, discussion boards, literature, tutorials etc.
  • Use basic Microsoft office (or equivalent) applications in order to write and submit assigmments.
  • Use several academic software (e.g. Mendeley) to enhance the academic and research experience.
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