Module title: Dissertation (Transport)

SCQF level: 11:
SCQF credit value: 60.00
ECTS credit value: 30

Module code: CTR11117
Module leader: Achille Fonzone
School School of Engineering and the Built Environment
Subject area group: Civil and Transportation
Prerequisites

none

2017/8, Trimester 3, BLENDED, Edinburgh Napier University
Occurrence: 003
Primary mode of delivery: BLENDED
Location of delivery: MERCHISTON
Partner: Edinburgh Napier University
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Achille Fonzone
Module Organiser:


Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
16. LTA Approach
Learning & Teaching methods including their alignment to LOs
Lectures, tutorials, research seminars and a Confident Future workshop support the achievement of LOs 1-3 and 5. Lectures give students an overview of the subjects, with the aim of illustrating some aspects of the scientific method and of helping them to take the first steps in the world of transport research. Group activities during lectures foster collaborative learning and critical thinking. Tutorials provide students with basic skills on literature search and review, and on statistical analysis using R. Seminars in collaboration with academic and non-academic experts offer students a glimpse of what good research is, and introduce them to contemporary research topics and techniques. The workshop on “Preparing convincing proposal” from the Napier Confident Future programme develops students’ ability to analyse critically and improve the presentation of a proposal.
Students put in practice the content of the lessons preparing a research proposal on a topic of their choice (LO 5). As a source of inspiration, the staff of School of Engineering and Built Environment suggests a list of possible subjects. To foster a proactive approach to learning and research, students select their own supervisor whenever possible and work with them for the proposal. The first component of the assessment entails the peer-review of another student’s proposal. This enhances critical thinking.
The students work autonomously on their dissertation (LOs 4 and 6), following the plan developed in the research proposal. They have continuous interaction with the supervisors, so that the dissertation involves a mix of directed and independent study.

The module relies on a blended learning approach. We use Moodle to manage the course, to disseminate update material, and foster collaborative learning with the participation of distance learners. We use WebEX to extend the possibility to attend on-line some of the class activities, in particular seminars of guest lecturers. Conditional on the consensus of the guest lecturers and on the technical feasibility, we record the seminars and put the videos in Moodle. We suggest readings and case studies using Twitter. Students submit their work in Turnitin, which helps them reflect on ethical issues on research.

Embedding of employability/PDP/Scholarship Skills
The tutorials on statistical software enhance students’ capacity to deal with data management and data analysis. Working on the dissertation under the guidance of their supervisors, students develop advanced writing skills.

The “Preparing convincing proposal” workshop trains students to transform ideas into plans and to prepare persuasive presentations. In the research proposal, students have to reflect on the competences and the resources they need for the dissertation. Then they have to prepare a work plan of the foreseen activities. These tasks help them develop PDP attitude and skills.

Literature review is a relevant part of both the research proposal and the dissertation. This increases the information and academic literacy of students, and gives them the opportunity to enhance the capacity to assess critically and summarise existing knowledge.

Assessment (formative or summative)
The assessment includes a coursework and a dissertation.

The coursework in its turn has two elements: A research proposal, which lays the foundation for the dissertation, and then review of a proposal.
The proposal gives the students the opportunity to reflect on and apply concepts and techniques presented by the lecturers. The proposal should describe research area, scope for research, research design, and the work programme of the dissertation. Each student gets comments from the supervisor (responsible for marking the proposal) and from a fellow student. The feedback is a valuable contribution to define the content of the dissertation.
Each student has to review the proposal of a colleague, assessing it and making recommendations to improve it. The peer review has to follow a detailed marking framework, which explains what is expected in each part of the proposal. Reviewing somebody else’s proposal, students realize the shortcomings of their own proposal and can improve their plan for the dissertation.

The dissertation is a scientific essay of medium length, structured according to the academic standards. Students work under the supervision of members of the staff who mentor them in the transport research field. However, the students are responsible for the choice of subjects and methods. This ensures a personalised approach to research. Given its relevance within the master, the dissertation is normally marked by two members of the staff including the supervisor.

Research / teaching linkages
The module is a research exercise.


Formative Assessment:
to be added

Summative Assessment:
to be added

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Tutorial 12
Independent Learning Guided independent study 588
Total Study Hours600
Expected Total Study Hours for Module600


Assessment
Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Report 100 1,2,3,4 13 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 20000
Component 1 subtotal: 100
Component 2 subtotal: 0
Module subtotal: 100
2018/9, Trimester 1, Blended, Edinburgh Napier University
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: Blended
Location of delivery: MERCHISTON
Partner: Edinburgh Napier University
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Achille Fonzone
Module Organiser:


Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
Learning & Teaching methods including their alignment to LOs
Lectures, tutorials, research seminars and a Confident Future workshop support the achievement of LOs 1-3 and 5. Lectures give students an overview of the subjects, with the aim of illustrating some aspects of the scientific method and of helping them to take the first steps in the world of transport research. Group activities during lectures foster collaborative learning and critical thinking. Tutorials provide students with basic skills on literature search and review, and on statistical analysis using R. Seminars in collaboration with academic and non-academic experts offer students a glimpse of what good research is, and introduce them to contemporary research topics and techniques. The workshop on “Preparing convincing proposal” from the Napier Confident Future programme develops students’ ability to analyse critically and improve the presentation of a proposal.
Students put in practice the content of the lessons preparing a research proposal on a topic of their choice (LO 5). As a source of inspiration, the staff of School of Engineering and Built Environment suggests a list of possible subjects. To foster a proactive approach to learning and research, students select their own supervisor whenever possible and work with them for the proposal. The first component of the assessment entails the peer-review of another student’s proposal. This enhances critical thinking.
The students work autonomously on their dissertation (LOs 4 and 6), following the plan developed in the research proposal. They have continuous interaction with the supervisors, so that the dissertation involves a mix of directed and independent study.

The module relies on a blended learning approach. We use Moodle to manage the course, to disseminate update material, and foster collaborative learning with the participation of distance learners. We use WebEX to extend the possibility to attend on-line some of the class activities, in particular seminars of guest lecturers. Conditional on the consensus of the guest lecturers and on the technical feasibility, we record the seminars and put the videos in Moodle. We suggest readings and case studies using Twitter. Students submit their work in Turnitin, which helps them reflect on ethical issues on research.

Embedding of employability/PDP/Scholarship Skills
The tutorials on statistical software enhance students’ capacity to deal with data management and data analysis. Working on the dissertation under the guidance of their supervisors, students develop advanced writing skills.

The “Preparing convincing proposal” workshop trains students to transform ideas into plans and to prepare persuasive presentations. In the research proposal, students have to reflect on the competences and the resources they need for the dissertation. Then they have to prepare a work plan of the foreseen activities. These tasks help them develop PDP attitude and skills.

Literature review is a relevant part of both the research proposal and the dissertation. This increases the information and academic literacy of students, and gives them the opportunity to enhance the capacity to assess critically and summarise existing knowledge.

Assessment (formative or summative)
The assessment includes a coursework and a dissertation.

The coursework in its turn has two elements: A research proposal, which lays the foundation for the dissertation, and then review of a proposal.
The proposal gives the students the opportunity to reflect on and apply concepts and techniques presented by the lecturers. The proposal should describe research area, scope for research, research design, and the work programme of the dissertation. Each student gets comments from the supervisor (responsible for marking the proposal) and from a fellow student. The feedback is a valuable contribution to define the content of the dissertation.
Each student has to review the proposal of a colleague, assessing it and making recommendations to improve it. The peer review has to follow a detailed marking framework, which explains what is expected in each part of the proposal. Reviewing somebody else’s proposal, students realize the shortcomings of their own proposal and can improve their plan for the dissertation.

The dissertation is a scientific essay of medium length, structured according to the academic standards. Students work under the supervision of members of the staff who mentor them in the transport research field. However, the students are responsible for the choice of subjects and methods. This ensures a personalised approach to research. Given its relevance within the master, the dissertation is normally marked by two members of the staff including the supervisor.

Research / teaching linkages
The module is a research exercise.


Formative Assessment:
to be added

Summative Assessment:
to be added

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Tutorial 12
Independent Learning Guided independent study 588
Total Study Hours600
Expected Total Study Hours for Module600


Assessment
Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Report 100 1,2,3,4 13 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 20000
Component 1 subtotal: 100
Component 2 subtotal: 0
Module subtotal: 100
2018/9, Trimester 2, BLENDED, Edinburgh Napier University
Occurrence: 002
Primary mode of delivery: BLENDED
Location of delivery: MERCHISTON
Partner: Edinburgh Napier University
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Achille Fonzone
Module Organiser:


Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
Lectures, tutorials, and research seminars support the achievement of LOs 1-3 and 5. Lectures give students an overview of the subjects, with the aim of illustrating some aspects of the scientific method and of helping them to take the first steps in the world of transport research. Group activities during lectures foster collaborative learning and critical thinking. Tutorials provide students with basic skills on literature search and review, and on statistical analysis using R. Seminars in collaboration with academic and non-academic experts offer students a glimpse of what good research is, and introduce them to contemporary research topics and techniques.
Students put in practice the content of the lessons preparing a research proposal on a topic of their choice (LO 5). As a source of inspiration, the staff of School of Engineering and Built Environment suggests a list of possible subjects. To foster a proactive approach to learning and research, students select their own supervisor whenever possible and work with them for the proposal.
The students work autonomously on their dissertation (LOs 4 and 5), following the plan developed in the research proposal. They have continuous interaction with the supervisors so that the dissertation involves a mix of directed and independent study.

The module relies on a blended learning approach. We use Moodle to manage the course, to disseminate update material, and foster collaborative learning with the participation of distance learners. We use WebEx to extend the possibility to attend on-line some of the class activities, in particular seminars of guest lecturers. Conditional on the consensus of the guest lecturers and on the technical feasibility, we record the seminars and put the videos in Moodle. We suggest readings and case studies using Twitter. Students submit their work in Turnitin, which helps them reflect on ethical issues on research.

Formative Assessment:
see below

Summative Assessment:
The assessment includes a coursework and a dissertation. Given the nature of the required work, both components have also a formative element.

The proposal gives the students the opportunity to reflect on and apply concepts and techniques presented by the lecturers. The proposal should describe research area, scope for research, research design, and the work programme of the dissertation. Each student gets comments from the supervisor (responsible for marking the proposal). The feedback is a valuable contribution to define the dissertation project.

The dissertation is a scientific essay of medium length, structured according to the academic standards. Students work under the supervision of members of the staff who mentor them in the transport research field. However, the students are responsible for the choice of subjects and methods. This ensures a personalised approach to research. Given its relevance within the master, the dissertation is normally marked by two members of the staff including the supervisor.


Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 12
Face To Face Seminar 3
Face To Face Tutorial 3
Independent Learning Guided independent study 582
Total Study Hours600
Expected Total Study Hours for Module600


Assessment
Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Report 15 5 5 , WORDS= 3000
Dissertation 85 1,2,3,4,5 14/15 , WORDS= 15000
Component 1 subtotal: 15
Component 2 subtotal: 85
Module subtotal: 100

Description of module content:

The module comprises two components.

1) The taught part of the module offers (in Trimester 2 only) an introduction to research in transport. Students learn how identify research objectives and questions linked to the existing knowledge gaps in the transport field. They develop the skills to carry out a literature review, searching for literature by means of the resources available through the University. We exemplify research methods by focusing on surveys. We present the fundamentals of statistical inference and run some tutorials on statistical tests. Students attend research seminars, which give them the opportunity to interact with professional researchers. Students have to submit a research proposal and review the proposal of a fellow student.

2) The second component is the development of a dissertation on a topic chosen by the students. Students work under the supervision of a member of the staff. The deadline to submit the dissertation depends on when the student takes their last taught module and on the student status (full- or part-time) as per regulations.

Learning Outcomes for module:

Upon completion of this module you will be able to
LO1: Develop research objectives/questions and strategies to address them in the transport field
LO2: Search for and critically review literature
LO3: Collect and analyse quantitative and qualitative evidence
LO4: Draw recommendations for transport policy and research based on factual evidence
LO5: Synthesise the work undertaken and present the critically-insightful findings drawn
from the study

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:

Please contact your Module Leader for details
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