Deadline season is in full swing, which comes with additional stress, worry and excitement to be done with deadlines for another semester. In a similar fashion to first year we haven’t had many big assessments in the first 10 weeks of term. Only one presentation worth 10% of the module.
Types of Assessments
To add to changes in first year we now have more group work rather than independent assessments. Group work is not new to my degree but the means of assessment is, group essays/reports, none of which we encountered in first year. The amount of presentations has decreased also, from four last year to only one so far. Unfortunately for me, we still have final exams for all of my core business modules. All worth 60% or more…
Working in groups of 3-5 it is safe to say I haven’t experienced working in conditions like this before. The emphasis of the project is completely different to preparing for presentations, this could be down to learning styles and outcomes or different resource preferences etc. Either way one must always accommodate different people’s preferences in order to work cohesively as a team.
Split up the work
To begin the marketing research module course work, we sat down as a group and decided to go through each of the three elements and split the work as equally as possible. Once this was completed we begun to think about how we would tackle each different element.
- The proposal
- The discussion guide
- The questionnaire
- Finding resources
We quickly determined that all three would need information from the course ebook Marketing Research, an Applied Approach, Naresh K. Malhotra et al, but also other literary works to supplement our decisions. These were mainly mentioned in the lecture notes or in the handbook. This was all relatively easy to find with the assistance of our extensive online library and google scholar. Fortunately for me I was given a PDF version of the online textbook by a member of my group making it a lot easier to navigate and function on my macbook. Command F will always be my favourite tool for easily searching for key phrases or sentences in online resources.
The hard part was finding relevant and credible resources to help write our discussion guide and our questionnaire. Deciding to use the textbook information as a foundation, we moved on to relevant google searches to provide us with modern up to date examples. This assignment was trickier than first thought out due to the nature of the company and information to be researched being very vague and made up. For our questionnaire we decided to use the simple tool known as surveymonkey; an online website that takes you step by step through the creation of your own questionnaire. It also has an efficiency rating at the end to tell you how many people would respond to your survey and how long it would take them to complete it.
Once again GoogleDocs has helped us organise and input our work altogether without being physically present. This was particularly useful to help give feedback to each other and get the work done in a more efficient time.
Now onto my favourite part… Referencing as a group is extremely difficult and an experience that is even more stressful than usual. This is mainly down to having too many cooks in the kitchen and I strongly advise letting only a few members of your group performing this task. However, it is also down to the types of resources we used. Having mainly websites as our form of resources made it harder to find out certain information such as the author, when it was published, if they had taken their information from a different reference etc. It took us a while to work on it and get it to the correct standards with a bit of help from a website called ref me and the guides on skills hub, we got there in the end. – By the end of second year I am determined to know how to properly and quickly reference my work, preferably as I do it to save myself from spending ages doing it at the end.
When writing a group work assignment it is very easy to become caught up in a stress bubble. There are so many different elements that are involved and depend on other people to complete them. Therefore it is important to break it down into two piles:
- Things you can change
- Things you cant.
If you cant change them forget about them, if you can change them then find out a way to do so. It is also an important lesson about putting trust in others!
All in all, they weren’t kidding about when they said second year gets a whole lot tougher.