The module is designed to provide stages of formative assessment before the final (summative) assessed work is submitted. The first third of the module encourages initial self-assessments across a range of sustainability issues which will be discussed with peers and tutors. Students will then undertake group project work seeking to apply their findings to a University project. They will also work individually and in groups to explore chosen aspects of sustainability and to share their findings with the rest of their peer group. Students will be encouraged to build a record of their engagement with sustainability throughout the module, on which they will receive formative feedback. These will build into the final assessment.
There are 2 summative assessment items for this module:
1.) A group presentation (50% of the module total): LO 1 and 4.
This is on your project which will be planned in semester one and carried out in February. The presentation will take place in the second session after Go Green Week. It should include your project plan, your aims, and changes to the initial plan (and why), the work carried out, and the outcomes of that work. It should clearly indicate reflection on the development of your project, the team work involved, and the final work. Has your project ‘made a difference’? To others? And to your own sustainability practices?
Your engagement and activities during the planning stages and your contributions during Go Green Week will form a large part of the mark allocation. If you do not make a full contribution to the planning of GGW within your group, you may not be allowed to present with the rest of your group.
You will work in teams but the grade given for this assessment will be an individual one.
2.) A portfolio (50% of the module total). LO 1, 2, 3 and 5.
A portfolio containing:
i. Three reviews of expert witness sessions, written in third person. Each of these reviews must identify at least two of the three dimensions of sustainability (economic etc). Each review will summarize the content, comment on the strengths and weaknesses (of the content; you are not appraising the manner in which the presentation was delivered) and make use of at least three references to support your explanations. References should be listed at the end.
“Phil Seaton argued that protecting biodiversity and investing in conservation is crucial for long term human survival. His position was based on his life time interest in orchids and personal involvement in the Darwin initiative ‘Orchid Seed Stores for Sustainable Use (OSSSU)’. His talk emphasised the speed at which ecosystems, such as the tropical rainforest, were being destroyed and with them the unknown biota that is being lost. He then highlighted some of the key regulations that have been introduced to protect and conserve both plant and animal species, and some of the difficulties protecting uglier species. In the last section Seaton introduced some of his work in a local high school and his strong belief in motivating the younger generation to demand more attention is given to biodiversity issues.”
ii. A reflective overview of how your understanding of sustainability has evolved over the module, written in first person. Your original definition of sustainability should be given along with a short section to explain whether, and how, each of the three expert witness sessions reviewed affected your definition of sustainability. What else has affected it? What is your new definition?
You are strongly advised to write your reviews straight after the relevant expert witness session; leaving them until the end of semester 2 will lead to inaccuracies.
It is anticipated that the portfolio will be supported, where appropriate, by a variety of relevant illustrations, photos, figures or maps (remember to add title and source to these materials). The formatting of your ‘portfolio’ is left to individual choice, however; it must use a clear legible font.
Structuring your reviews of expert witness sessions
Grading criteria grading criteria portfolio and expert witness sessions
Title: The title of the expert witness session(s). Sub Title: This should clearly identify the expert witness(es) by name and job title and include the date the session(s) took place. Summary: A concise descriptive overview of the session***. Sustainability Dimensions: Identify how the session directly relates to at least two of the three dimensions of sustainability. Critical Reflections: A critical discussion of the key issues raised by the expert witness in the context of sustainability. Drawing on wider reading it will incorporate competing arguments and identify challenges (barriers/limitations) that may impede any potential sustainability outcomes. All references should be cited in the text and listed at the end of the portfolio using Harvard referencing system.
***example to follow.
Structuring your reflective overview This section is personal so you can use the active form of verbs e.g. “I have….. ”. Introduction: A very brief description of your understanding of sustainability when you joined the elective, incorporating the original definition you came up with in the first few weeks. This may also include some background details such as your course and why you chose to do the elective.
A resource you may find useful is here
Selected Reviews: Discuss how the 3 reviews have helped re-shape or deepen your definition and understanding of sustainability.
Additional Reflection: Explore any other aspects of the elective which have influenced your evolving understanding of sustainability. Future: What is your understanding/definition of sustainability now? What influence might this have on you in the future? You will be supported in building your portfolio and undertaking your project based learning by both staff and peers so the final assessment will be dominated by work which is built up over the two semesters and on which formative feedback will have been provided.
Referencing sessions/learning tasks in the portfolio: state date sessions took place or were set e.g.
“the discussion of values by Dr J Leah (date) encouraged me to reflect on how I value nature; whether
it has intrinsic or extrinsic value …”
“Second life and corporate social responsibility were not some thing I had previously considered (Andy Stevenson, date)”.
“Having to select an image that represented my views of sustainability (date) made me consider… The deadline for the portfolio is Thursday 6th May 2021, total word count 2,500 + 10% Weighting 50%
Non-Submission, Late submission and Reassessment
Ensure that you give in your work by 3 pm on the deadline date. If it is given in after the deadline but within 5 days (not working days) of the deadline it will be marked but capped at a D-. If it is given in after this period it will not be marked (unless you submitted the work within 14 days of the deadline and made a successful claim for mitigating circumstances).
Even if you know that your work is not as good as you would like it to be, you should ensure that you give it in on time. If that assessment is given a fail grade, you could still pass the module overall. If, however, you don’t give the work in at all then you will fail the module.
Students who submit items of formative and summative assessment on time will benefit from gaining feedback on their work from module tutors and peers. This feedback is valuable when completing future assessments and provides invaluable assistance should you be required to undertake re-assessment.
In normal circumstances assessment items should receive feedback and be returned to students within twenty working days of the date of submission.
Help with assessments
If (after reading the assessment information given in this module outline, and any other relevant information which you have been given) you feel unsure about any aspect of your assessment, you should speak to your module tutors.