What is coursework
Coursework is a practical work or study done by a student in partial fulfillment of a degree or training. Projects, field work, design studies, long essays etc constitutes a coursework. The nature of work which requires to be carried out depends on the course. It is largely a part of learning exercise and a step to prepare you to handle the required work/ task effectively and efficiently.
- folios of essays
- art and craft items
- speaking tests
- practical work
- assignments and experiments undertaken and assessed during the course
As per Oxford dictionary “Coursework” is defined as
Written or practical work done by a student during a course of study, usually assessed in order to count towards a final mark or grade.
Who assigns coursework and why?
Coursework can be assigned by your teacher or mentor. The reason can be an assessment by the teacher but in most of the cases it’s a requirement as per course structure. A coursework is meant to reflect understanding of what has been taught. How well you understand it and apply it in different situations. Your own thoughts and way of thinking about a topic is reflected in your final work. As mentioned earlier nature of coursework is very diverse. Institutions may make you to write (essays, paper, term paper, thesis etc) or make something (sculpture, are & craft related things) or take some form of test. All these activities done as a coursework award you marks or grades which are counted to evaluate your overall grade for a particular course or purpose. Your creativity, understanding, innovative aspect, talent etc are reflected in the work done by you. Some of the most widely used form of coursework include thesis, dissertations, research paper & term paper as far as writing is concerned. Model making, crafts and other similar activity is generally given when creativity aspect is to be assessed. There may be a combination of these in few cases. The whole purpose largely depends on what your course and what it prepares you to be.
Major types of coursework & how to go about them?
Students have different and mix reaction when coursework is given. Some are excited as it gives them an option to put in effort and bring out something new. They are happy and confident to present their viewpoint and grasp of the topic. While some feels it is a burden and unnecessary task and just want to get away with it. Whatever the case may be there are few guidelines and rules while writing coursework which everyone should follow. Writing a coursework can also be fun!
Some of the steps to help you get started includes:
Coursework for academic topics which require writing:
- Do some research about your topic of interest or assigned topic
- Finalize your topic
- Prepare a structure especially for long writing coursework such as thesis
- Write an abstract or summary for approval from mentor/teacher.
- Do a thorough research for collecting data, facts.
- Start writing and keep on doing the required research
- Check for plagiarism (if any) and work to remove it
- Give credits & references
What makes a good and effective content
A good and effective content is easy to read and understand by readers. Some of the points while writing a content to improve its quality are
- Well- structured
- Well Illustrated
Coursework requiring you to make something like model, sculpture or artwork
- Find something which you appreciate (its design, concept, through, history, significance)
- Come up with what remains the focus area for your coursework
- Decide what you wish to make and in what form eg. model (scaled or not to scale), sculpture or some craftwork
- Finalize the materials to be used such as waste materials, wax, wood, metal, plastic etc
- Collect all the required stuff for making your masterpiece
- Have a mental image prepared and preferably a rough sketch
- Get working!
Key points to be kept in mind while working on coursework
- Originality – Your topic/ idea should be original. Originality of idea is given significant importance and can be a deal breaker. This is not just of the requirement in most of the cases but also a scoring parameter. There are countless number of students and scholars doing research so having an original idea keeps you on positive side.
- Need – If you coursework is solution oriented then you must clearly identify the key problems and issues which you aim to cover under your work. A good solution cannot be provided unless the problem has been understood well
- Uniqueness – Uniqueness in terms of idea and work. Preparing good questionnaires and conducting surveys adds to uniqueness and originality of content. Not only your topic and but also content should be unique. Avoid plagiarism, copying is a strict “NO”. Any form and extent of plagiarism is dealt seriously if caught and can even disqualify your submission.
- Your Input – This is the most crucial aspect. Your inputs will reflect the understanding and applicability of topic by you. This is the whole purpose of having a coursework. Try your best and put best foot forward. Having a well structured and presented work is something a teacher and mentor is looking for.
- Outcomes & way forward – Having worked and making lots of efforts doesn’t have much value unless useful outcomes are shown. Having a good & meaningful analysis and presentation of data is essential These can be in form of proposals or problem identification. Your work might conclude your topic or pave a path for others to continue working. Depending on the work and nature of coursework give a conclusion to your study and propose what can be done next or how it can be used.