Assessments and online attendance
On our online only MSc courses for practitioners your e-learning includes one or more formative assessments (unmarked assignments on which you receive feedback) to ensure that you have understood the material in the module prior to submitting your final marked summative assessment (one or two per module). You will be required to complete the formative assessments and any reading and skill-building exercises contained within each e-learning module. One of the special features of these courses is their emphasis on ‘real life’ experiences to develop your understanding of the learning objectives. Therefore, you may write up a case study for one assessment, reflect on research for another assessment, or interview practitioners in yet another. The requirements for each assessment will be clearly outlined for you, and we will ask you to draw on (and question) your practitioner experience.
Formative assessments are assessments where your tutors give you feedback but not a mark. Formative assessments help you develop and learn what is expected.
Summative assessments are assessments where your tutors give you feedback and a mark. The mark counts towards the end-of-module mark and the grading of your final award. Most modules only have one summative assessment, at the end of the module.
Sandro Graca - acupuncture practitioner - Ireland
"I’m enjoying the fact that the course is online, i.e. I can work around the time needed to study because it doesn’t involve travelling and therefore it doesn’t necessarily mean that I have to take too much time off the clinic(s). Professionally, I am really enjoying the experience of how it is challenging my previous acupuncture and TCM knowledge to the new level of research into its mechanisms of action. The prospect of being able to contribute to the professional field of interest is quite a goal to have, so makes it very exciting. The tutors are quite open and helpful when needed and sharing the work experiences and MSc progress with my cohort is quite fascinating too - there’s great interaction in the forum."
Weekly online video conferencing tutorials
You will be required to attend at least 80% of all online weekly tutorials by video conferencing, and also to contribute to these discussions, either during the session or in the discussion forum that follows. This way of working online helps to create strong connections within the group, in a similar way to meeting face-to-face.
What happens during the weekly online tutorial?
We use video conferencing technology which enables students and staff to “meet” on their computer screens and to see and hear one another. Our students find that they build a strong sense of being part of a friendly and supportive group, even though they are in different countries. These online tutorials are a great opportunity to review and discuss the week’s learning and to learn from your tutors and one another. Some online tutorials also feature eminent contributors who are researchers or scholarly experts in a particular field.
Please note that video conferencing works at the limits of current internet technology and is particularly affected by your individual circumstances, especially bandwidth. It is essential to ensure that your computer is compatible with our minimum specification and you will be expected to sign an agreement that this is the case. Even then the quality of the video conference experience can be variable from week to week and person to person. Nonetheless, the positive advantages of everyone meeting up in this way definitely outweigh the periodic frustrations! We are constantly working to make our students’ online experience as good as it can be, and there is help and support available from our IT administrator.