Assignment briefs contain a lot of academic language which you may well have not come across before. The words and phrases in bold in the paragraphs below are examples.
You will often find that a title by itself could be approached from any number of different angles. Assignment briefs contain valuable information about how the assessment links to the learning outcome of both the individual unit and the course as a whole.
Familiarise yourself with the course learning outcomes in your course handbook. You should then look for the unit learning outcomes for the unit you are studying (many of these documents will be posted on BREO). You should also read the assessment criteria closely. You will often find useful information about how your tutor expects you to approach the task. You may find it worth highlighting key sections of the assignment brief with a marker pen.
You should pay attention to all parts of the assignment brief, especially the submission date, word count and the guidelines for formatting and submission. It is also useful to be aware of the assessment weighting. All these factors will influence how you plan your learning hours. Learning hours can include a range of learning activities such as attending lectures and seminars, reading, lab work, planning or e-learning.
As a general rule 10 learning hours = 1 credit, therefore a unit of 30 credits will require approximately 300 hours of learning time. If an assignment is part of a 30 credit unit and has a 10% weighting it is possible to calculate that you will need to organise approximately 100 hours of learning time to develop the knowledge and skills to meet the assessment criteria effectively.
It is worth remembering that courses at university level are often designed in such a way that approximately half the learning hours are allocated to self-directed study. Successful students have highly developed self-directed study skills. Students should use support services such as Professional Academic Development and these tutorials to develop skills to make sure they get the most value out of time spent on self-directed study. The unit assessment is your opportunity to prove to your tutors that you have spent your time wisely.