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Queen Mary Academy

Coursework based assessment

Four engineering students looking at a screen
Kamyar Mehran profile picture

Dr Kamyar Mehran

Senior Lecturer; Programme Coordinator for BEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering

The assessment is fully coursework based and focuses on the acquisition of practical skills and learning. Practical implementation is high while theoretical elements of the assessment amount to a smaller percentage. Unlike in many modules, we do not have traditional (final) exams.

The coursework is divided into three stages;

  • The first stage involves the theoretical

    analysis of content

  • The second requires students to

    implement and simulate the results

    obtained from the theoretical analysis

  • In the final stage, students submit a report based on theoretical analysis and

    practical implementation

    The bulk of the work is done in groups while the reports are completed individually to ensure equal participation from all students.

Students are assessed on their ability to 

  •  undertake research, 
  • analyse data and 
  • conduct scientific experiments

The assessment;

  • Encourages collaboration and knowledge sharing amongst students

  • Takes a hands on approach to learning

  • Continues throughout the semester and has no ‘final exam’. As a result, students focus on understanding the content of the module well enough to apply it in practice rather than merely working towards getting a pass mark in the final (written) exam

  • Makes use of practical learning activities and theoretical exercises and this ensures that marks are more genuine and reflective of a student’s understanding of the course material

  • Some postgraduate students join the programme late and due to the practical nature of the module, it can be a challenge for them to catch up with laboratory work already completed by their peers.

  • Students are assessed on practical work that happens in laboratories. This makes it difficult to accommodate students who cannot make it to the laboratory on campus, especially with Covid restrictions which made it difficult for some students to travel to the UK.

  • QMPlus (for the submission of reports) 
  •  Zoom (for video webers)
  • Collaborate

Because the assessment is continuous, students receive instant feedback through out the semester

In person : The practical elements of the course work require students to be present in laboratories.

Online: Theoretical parts of the assessment can be done and submitted online

The practical nature of the module guards against any integrity challenges which are not easy to avoid in traditional (written essay) assessments.

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