MSc Social Research and Evaluation

Delivery and support

In this distance learning master's degree, a consistent approach to the delivery of course materials via UniLearn, the University's virtual learning environment, promotes a focus on the subject matter, whilst regular synchronous interactions, webinars, between you and the academic teachers builds relationships and creates a sense of community. Many of the resources we use are freely available as Open Educational Resources (OERs) on, e.g. YouTube (see the Resources page), but all are accessible by students via the appropriate space in UniLearn. Adobe Connect is used for webinars, and this is available to all via your web browser.

The 'flipped classroom' concept is a key concept underpinning the way the course is delivered. Learners work with a range of educational resources during guided personal study time, including texts, videos and exercises. This allows for self-determined pacing of learning and provides an opportunity for repeated review of materials. This is followed by regular webinars where interactions with the academic staff are used to explore and further your understanding of the session content.

Videos and other learning resources provide a guide to the key literature, concepts, theories and research studies. Webinars, run on an interactive basis, provide space for discussion and facilitate the use of case studies and problem-solving exercises to allow for a mixed and more varied diet of communication methods to be deployed. Online demonstrations and tutorials enable the demonstration of key analytic activities and software use (especially NVivo and SPSS) and the offering of individualised support in these activities.

Crime prevention evaluation case study - an alley

A screen capture of a webinar session from a case study evaluation of crime prevention initiatives.

Students experience shared learning. Through the use of both synchronous (webinars) and asynchronous (discussion boards, blogs, wikis) communication methods, you are provided with the opportunity to share your experiences and consider subjects from multiple perspectives.

Assessment aims to support learning and to measure achievement. Assessment methods are varied and include essays, laboratory reports, webinar presentations, research reports and workbooks. There are no examinations.

The School of Human and Health Sciences uses Turnitin® via UniLearn. This means all assessments are submitted electronically and helps both students and staff ensure and protect the originality of work submitted for assessment.

 

Support for Students and their Learning

Support for students undertaking this course operates at University, School and Course level as follows:

University Level

The Library

            The Library provides a range of facilities and materials to help your studies. We give you access to a wide range of printed, audio-visual and electronic information sources including e-journals and e-books via our library search engine SUMMON. Most electronic sources of information are available on our computers at the University or off-campus from any internet-connected computer. You can expect excellent customer service from experienced, friendly staff who are information and IT specialists, including Subject Librarians. For more details on subject resources please see our Library Subject Guides at: http://hud.libguides.com/

If you wish to access books from Huddersfield University Library (or order books or journal papers via Inter-Library Loan) you can (for a fee) arrange Door to door delivery - http://www.hud.ac.uk/library/borrowing/door2door/

In order to use a library more local to yourself, you will also be able to obtain a passport from the SCONUL Access Scheme, which means you can borrow books from over 140 libraries in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
            (http://www.access.sconul.ac.uk/sconul-access)

 

Central to the provision of student support are Student Services. Many of these services are accessible via the Internet. The range of services they offer include:

Wellbeing and Disability Services

Once the applicant/student has made contact they are guided through the DSA process (where applicable) and the service liaises with the School about the support they need. This is the same as support provided to on-campus students. Where support will differ is if the student requires a non-medical helper. On campus, support of this type is provided by University staff. For a DL student it will be necessary to source alternative support which could be provided in the student's home. If the student is recommended specialist equipment this will usually be delivered direct to their home address and the suppliers usually provide training where necessary.

Careers and Employability Service

More information on the range of student services can be found on their website at: http://www.hud.ac.uk/student-services/

The Student Finance Office provides:

Further information can be found on their website at:

http://www.hud.ac.uk/students/finance/financeoffice/

With the exception of in-person appointments the full range of services are available to those off-campus. Appointments may be made by telephone (Monday - Friday, 9.00 - 4.30 UK time) or by e-mail. Also, queries are answered on the SFO social networking sites.

Computing services provide induction and ongoing support for all students. More information on the range of computing services can be found on their website at: http://www.hud.ac.uk/students/it/

Library Services provide induction and ongoing support for all students. More information on the range of library services can be found on their website at: http://www.hud.ac.uk/library/ . Of particular relevance to off-campus students are:

Library Guides - http://hud.libguides.com/

The basics of the Library - http://www.hud.ac.uk/library/thebasics/

Door to door delivery - http://www.hud.ac.uk/library/borrowing/door2door/

Students will also be able to obtain a passport from the SCONUL Access Scheme, so they can borrow books from over 140 libraries in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

(http://www.access.sconul.ac.uk/sconul-access)

School Level

The School of Human and Health Sciences provides additional student support using a variety of approaches:

The Learning Quality Support Unit (LQSU) in the School of Human and Health Sciences provides support, development and encouragement for students at all levels with help on a range of academic skills areas. Further information on the services provided can be found on the School pages in Unilearn in Shum Quick Links. the LQSU currently provide support via telephone or Skype. Appointments can be booked either by email ( lqsu@hud.ac.uk ) or by telephone (01484 473181 or 01484 4730184). It is important that the type of appointment required (telephone/Skype) is identified at the time of booking. In addition to individual appointments, the LQSU are have developed web pages to provide access to a range of online resources to support academic skills development: http://hhs.hud.ac.uk/lqsu/index.htm   

Finally the School has a Student Hub with a Student Support Officer. The Student Hub provides a service for all students in the School. The Hub is open on Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm. The following services are offered for fully distance learning students:

The Student Support Centre and they can be contacted on +44 1484 4730184 or by email at: hhsstudentsupport@hud.ac.uk

Course Level

At course level support is provided by:

Personal Tutor

The University has implemented a personal tutor system. This system aims to both improve the student experience of learning and teaching, and increase student retention and achievement rates. Specifically personal tutors:

Module Leader

The module leader is responsible for teaching, learning and assessment of the modules within this course.

Course Leader

The course leader is responsible for the entire quality assurance arrangements for the course.

Induction arrangements

All students will be provided with an online induction session. This will be available and run before each teaching start point.

Prior to enrolment students will have taken the Student Digital Driving License. This aims to provide students with an understanding of what it required both in terms of IT competence, equipment and software, but also discusses the personal requirements of lone studying (time management, drive, motivation etc.) and promotes making use of the interactive elements of the course to help build support networks. So by Induction students will have both an appropriate level of IT competence and suitable IT equipment to use.

The induction will be run using an online system. It will cover a range of issues including:

  1. The form of teaching and learning in the degree
  2. Documents and services relevant to the modules
  3. Student Services
  4. Library Services
  5. IT services

These will be delivered partly by presentation and demonstration and partly by pre-recorded video. The session will be interactive and will include a question and answer section. Videos and a recording of the induction session will be available online for students who wish to review the material.

PDP Statement

Personal Development Planning (PDP) is defined as 'a structured and supported process undertaken by an individual to reflect upon their own learning, performance and/or achievement and to plan for their personal, education and career development' (QAA 2001) From September 2005 it has been a QAA requirement that all students have access to PDP. PDP enables the student to develop an awareness of their strengths and weaknesses, construct a record of achievement documenting the acquisition of knowledge, skills and competencies and reflect and act upon their personal, professional, academic and long term career goals. PDP is introduced to students at the commencement of the course and is normally supported through the personal tutor system. PDP also provides a medium for creating an effective C V. Students who wish to will be able to use an e-portfolio in which they can record their progress. This portfolio of materials may then be used in preparing for job applications and/or supporting continuous professional development.