The University of Southampton
Courses

ENGL1087 Group Research Project

Module Overview

Do we really work better alone? Francis Bacon wrote that when a man discusses his ideas with a friend, ‘he waxeth wiser than himself; and that more by an hour’s discourse, than by a day’s meditation’. On this module, you will have the opportunity to benefit from ‘faithful counsel’ and ‘friendly discourse’ by working as part of a small group. You will choose from a range of broad subject areas, each of which is led by a lecturer who specialises in the field. You will then work together in small groups to choose and develop your own research project, presenting it to your peers and then drafting, redrafting and revising a group essay online. Finally you will reflect individually on the entire process. The module gives you time and opportunity to experiment with different approaches and arguments, to offer and receive feedback, and to reflect upon the processes of your group and individual work. It aims to give you a good foundation in research, criticism, presentation skills, and writing, essential not only for the rest of your degree, but for your future careers. And it shows how the study of English literature can be personally rewarding by being collaborative and sociable, rather than solitary.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aims of this module are to: • provide an opportunity for you to carry out a supervised research project as part of a group; • reflect on the issues involved, and present your research orally and in writing; • enable you to develop the range of qualities and attributes necessary to your degree, including interpersonal skills, self-confidence, initiative, and a mature sense of self-awareness. Having successfully completed this module you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of: • a specific area of literary studies, including aspects of genre, history, cultural studies, and theory as appropriate; • generic organisational issues involved in teamworking and group problem-solving; • your own strengths and capabilities as a researcher and as a member of a team.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Work effectively and creatively as a member of a team, on a group task
  • Demonstrate a range of interpersonal skills, including listening skills, self-confidence, and clarity of thought and expression
  • Present a project effectively in written, visual and oral presentation form

Syllabus

Working in a group of usually six students and under the guidance of your tutor, you will: choose, define, and design a research project; design and prepare a suitable form of public presentation (whether live, videoed, or online); and write both a group research essay, and an individual reflective account. You will be offered introductory lectures on research techniques, written and oral presentation, group working, and ethical issues that affect the success of groups, such as unconscious bias and equal opportunities. You will have regular support and guidance from your group’s tutor, but you will also be expected to use your initiative, both in contributing to the success of your group’s activities and in your individual work.

Special Features

Groups may decide to visit art galleries, theatres, or museums in the course of their research, but as public places, these all have accessibility arrangements in place. Students will be able to contribute to the work of their group online. A particular feature of this module is group tutorial; the majority of the module will be delivered in small group sessions.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

A mix of formal lectures and seminars, with face-to-face and online group activities, in which tutors have an important though non-directional role, will help facilitate self-directed learning and promote a good understanding amongst students of different methods for receiving and also giving feedback. You will learn to work with each other with a view to producing a lively and informative group presentation; you will then develop this research in a group research essay.. Finally you will reflect as an individual on what you have learned during the module, both about the subject of your researches and yourself as a researcher, collaborator, and writer. This iterative method will help you develop as an independent learner and confident communicator.

TypeHours
Lecture3
Completion of assessment task80
Supervised time in studio/workshop10
Preparation for scheduled sessions3
Follow-up work50
Project supervision4
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Meena Thuraisingham, The Secret life of decisions: how unconscious bias subverts your judgement.

Daniel Kahneman (2012). Thinking fast and slow. 

(May, 2011). Excellence in Teams : How to Achieve Performance Gains in Working Groups. Journal of Managerial Psychology. ,26, Issue 3 , pp. 0.

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

.

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Group essay  (2000 words) 50%
Group presentation 10%
Individual written reflection  (1000 words) 40%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2000 words) 60%
Reflective account  (1000 words) 40%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal

Costs

Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

Costs for this module will not exceed £40.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

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