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Concourse 2

Things to do before you hand in your Module Three Delta assignment

hand in

Not so fast!
Before you submit your Module Three assignment, there are a number of things to do.



This is not just a matter of running the text through a spell checker.  They aren't too good at recognising homophones.  It is generally preferable to get someone else to check your work because they will read what you wrote, not what you think you wrote.
Apart from simple matters of spelling and lexical and syntactical accuracy, you need to check:

  1. Your use of terminology and subject-specific concepts.
    1. Is your use of any specific terminology accurate?  Have you checked?
    2. In particular, have you clearly understood the difference between these?
      1. use and usage
      2. register and style
      3. cohesion and coherence
      4. modality and modal auxiliary verbs
      5. phonemic and phonetic
      6. summative and formative testing
      7. diagnostic, achievement and proficiency testing
  2. Coherence:
    1. Does the content of each section match what the (sub)heading leads the reader to expect?
    2. Do you make clear links between the sections, referring back and forward where necessary so the text is clearly signposted?
    3. Have you maintained relevance or are there parts of the text which are too general and not linked to your specialism?
    4. Do your appendices contain discussion that should be in the main text?
    5. Have you clearly signposted where in the appendices the reader can find the relevant support for your discussion?  Don't make the reader hunt around.  Label the appendices logically.
  3. Style:
    1. Have you avoided sounding too assertive with terms like Clearly, Obviously, Certainly, rightly, unarguably, definitely etc.
    2. Have you avoided contractions and colloquialisms?
    3. Is the presentation consistent, with the same fonts and text sizes for headings, subheadings and citations etc.?
    4. Are any citations from authority clearly identifiable using "inverted commas" or indenting text in a different font or font size?
    5. Have you referenced everything appropriately and accurately?  Plagiarism checks are in place in Cambridge.
    6. Is your bibliography correctly set out?
  4. Presentation:
  5. Make sure you have
    1. a proper cover sheet with the usual data (name, title, date, centre number (if you have a centre), candidate number (if you have been given one)
    2. numbered all the pages
    3. included a footer with your name and the assignment title
    4. a conventional bibliography between the text and the appendices
  6. Respected the maximum word count (4000 – 4500 words) and put the number on the cover page, along with the version of Microsoft Word which checked it for you.
    This is from the Delta Module Three Manual published by Cambridge:
    Candidates should ensure that the main body of the assignment does not exceed 4,500 words (from contents page until the beginning of the bibliography).  Assignments up to 100 words over-length will be marked but will subject to loss of marks.  However, assignments over 4,600 words will be returned unmarked.
    If your assignment is near the lower end, what have you left out?

Getting all these things right is not just a cosmetic exercise.  The impression you give is important and, incidentally, worth 10% of the overall marks awarded.  You can start at +10% simply by presenting and organising your text appropriately and accessibly.


Remembering how the assignment is marked

Your assignment is marked as follows:

  1. Grasp of topic – maximum 35 marks (25%)
  2. Needs analysis and commentary (this includes the testing done before the event) – maximum 28 marks (20%)
  3. Course proposal – maximum 35 marks (25%)
  4. Assessment – maximum 28 marks (20%)
  5. Presentation and organisation (clearly this includes the coherent structure described above) – maximum 14 marks (10%)

If you prefer a picture:

m3 marking

That's a good guide to how much space you should have devoted to each section.

banana skin

Avoiding the obvious weaknesses

Principal Examiner's reports often comment on the most frequent weaknesses markers complain about.  They are more or less the same every year.
Here they are:

  • not basing the whole assignment and course on the chosen specialism
    • So, apart from in the introduction, where you show a grasp of the whole area, make sure that what you say is relevant to what you are doing
  • not adequately researching the chosen specialism
    • So, do your research thoroughly and make sure you understand competing authorities and their views
  • lack of theoretical underpinning in some or all sections
    • So, refer to theory frequently
  • failure to analyse learners’ needs adequately and identify learning priorities from the analysis
    • So, use the data you have collected
  • failure to link the design of the course to the needs identified
    • So, keep your list of priority areas in mind when you design the course.  Make sure that the course content reflects the needs you have prioritised.
  • lack of clarity as to what is to be tested, when and how during the course
    • So, set this section out carefully distinguishing between formative and summative assessment procedures clearly
  • lack of clear development of argument within sections and links between sections
    • So, refer frequently to earlier and later parts of the essay while you are writing so the essay is not a set of independent sections but a coherent whole

When you re-read your assignment, keep this list by you.  Can you be accused of any of it?  If the answer is yes, then re-visit and re-write that section.
The guides on this site to each section also tell you the most common weaknesses so it may pay to check those again.


Ticking it all off

OK.  Now you have proofread your assignment, checked for accuracy and avoided all the banana skins, you are almost ready to submit it for assessment.
There's one final checklist recommended by the Principal Examiner for the Module and it looks like this:

Have I Yes or No
  clearly chosen a specialism from the list provided, and indicated this on the cover page?
  outlined key features of the specialism and indicated what distinguishes it from other forms of teaching?  
  referred to and commented on background reading and key sources throughout?  
  discussed principles underlying needs analyses, diagnostic tests, course and syllabus design etc.?  
  clearly justified my choice of needs analysis tools?  
  included completed samples of diagnostic tests used in the appendix?  
  analysed the results of the diagnostic tests adequately?  
  justified the learning priorities I have identified clearly in relation to my needs analysis?  
  justified my course objectives in terms of learner needs?  
  added my course plan and Needs Analysis / Diagnostic Test summary results as an appendix to the main body of the text?  
  included sufficient detail in my course plan?  
  made it clear what I will assess and how, with samples in the appendix?  
  outlined how the course will be evaluated?  
  respected the word-limit and indicated the word count and version of Microsoft Word used on the cover page?  
  linked all parts of the assignment coherently to one another?  
  signposted all the appendices clearly in the main body of the text?  
Source: Delta Module Three Principal Examiner's Report December 2014 (and other years), Cambridge Assessment English
If you would like this grid as a PDF document, click here.

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All done?
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