Multilevel papers : guidelines

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At the outset it should be stated that BUGS considers dual level papers to be generally less desirable than single level papers. Nonetheless some departments and programmes have found it necessary to teach papers simultaneously at both the 200 level and the 300 level.

Where a proposal for a 200/300 level paper comes forward for approval it is important that there is a clear distinction between what is offered to, and expected of, the two streams of students. In particular, it is important to show that students at each level are learning and being assessed in a way that is (a) equivalent to single-level study and (b) does not disadvantage learners.
300-level papers differ from 200-level papers in two respects:

It is not expected that a student completing 200-level study will have achieved all the attributes of a graduate, but a student completing 300-level study should have done so. Obviously, a student embarking upon the 300-level version of a paper should be at the stage of academic attainment expected of a student who has completed the 200-level version of the paper, although of course the specific knowledge contained in the paper has not yet been acquired. In essence, then, it is important to indicate clearly the differences between the two versions in the following areas.
1. Learning Aims and Objectives

The statements for the two streams should be quite different. It could be expected that 300-level students will, during the course,

The differentiated statements made about the Learning Aims and Objectives will determine the practical differences outlined in the other areas.
2. Workload Expectations

Given the different aims and objectives for the two streams, the workload expectations will be different. The total number of student workload hours will be the same, but while it is to be expected that there will be a common core of lectures, differences can be expected in two other respects:

  • in the contact hours that support the lectures: 300-level students would probably have quite different and more demanding follow-up topics, with different forms of communication and interaction with the tutor/lecturer and with each other;

  • in the non-contact hours: 300-level students would probably have more hours of self-directed learning (including research tasks)

3. Assessment Procedures

Given the different aims and objectives for the two streams, the assessment requirements will be different. While it is to be expected that both streams will have a mix of formative and summative assessment, it can be expected that 300-level students will have

John Drummond

Kerry Shephard

Ruth Taylor

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