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Articles and reviews

What can we assess with articles and reviews?

The types of task that fit under this heading include

  • reading an article and writing or presenting a review
  • writing an article on a topic for a defined audience
  • writing a review of an event, process, experience

As noted in design below, depending on the learning outcomes our focus could be the product (the review or the article), the process (reviewing, presenting, writing) or both.

Design

All of the above require the students to:

  • have a in-depth understanding of the topic / article (knowledge / comprehension)
  • be able to abstract the pertinent information (analysis / evaluation)
  • (re-)order the information in a concise manner (application / synthesis)
  • present the information at the appropriate level of the stated audience (presentation / empathy).

The usual audience for essays is the academic tutor; in this case we could define the reader / listener as a New Scientist reader / Times reader / etc.

Diversity & inclusion

The range of possible topics [home and international] and appropriate choice of time frames for completion of the task [particular needs] will help make the task more inclusive.

Academic integrity

The contemporary nature of these assignments should help to reduce year-to-year plagiarism. (Click here for further guidance on plagiarism.)

Student and staff experience
Benefits

The contemporary and authentic nature of this task will, doubtless, interest students leading to positive engagement.

Challenges

Ensuring that students are clear about the expectations - we have called this section essay variants and students need to be clear that this is not just an essay and understand fully the required format and expectations.

Workload

We might need to check that students do not spend too long on this sort of task to the detriment of other work.

Multiple titles can add to the setting, specifying and marking load for staff. You might care to consider peer assessment as a means to reduce the load.