WHAT AM I BEING ASSESSED ON?
There are 3 sets of criteria on which you are being assessed:
1.Module Learning Outcome.
2.The key objectives for this assessed task.
3.General criteria as detailed in the accompanying marking matrix.
1. Module Learning Outcome being assessed:
To demonstrate the relevance and significance of research in counselling practice.
2. Key objectives being assessed:
The purpose of this assessment is to develop your planning skills for essay writing. You will be assessed on the following key objectives:
·Interpreting assignment questions/tasks and directing your responses accordingly.
·Conducting effective literature searches and in doing so, develop an understanding of the significance of research in mental health.
·The essential academic requirements of planning academic essays in the context of counselling and psychotherapy research and evidence-base.
·Evaluating your sources.
·Collating, organising and structuring of source material for written assignments.
·How to structure an academic essay fit for purpose.
·Originality and the use of Turnitin.
·Conventions of the USW Harvard Referencing System.
HOW TO APPROACH THIS ASSESSMENT
Key Term: ‘Demonstrate’ – using multiple examples, evidence, logical argument and reasoning to show how the topic is valid, thereby supporting your claim.
So, referring to the essay title [above], we can establish the following hypothesis:
‘counselling is effective (or produces effective outcomes) for people with mental health disorder’.
By establishing a hypothesis that is absolutely relevant to the essay title, we can then set out to substantiate claims we make in an essay, based on evidence, logical argument, examples and reasoning, which prove or disprove this hypothesis.
However, in this assessment, you are NOT required to write an essay in response to this hypothesis. Instead, you are required to demonstrate how you would plan such an essay.
This means you will need to conduct diligent searches of the literature, evidence and relevant sources as you would in preparing to write the essay. This will:
a)Prepare and assist you with your study on your Mental Health Module, and
b)Provide you with the opportunity to practice and further develop a range of essential academic study skills required for learning and essay writing.
Research is a systematic process of inquiry that leads to the development of new knowledge. The intention then, is for new knowledge to be shared for the benefits of the profession. In Counselling and Psychotherapy, these benefits are expected to extend to clients, as well as to further contribute to the evolution and development of counselling and psychotherapy practice. We all have a role to play in research.
Empirical research builds on theory, because it is based on concrete experiences (observations). The value of empirical research reaches beyond what therapists are taught, by challenging us to re-evaluate our assumptions, beliefs and expectations in order to be more responsive to our clients in the moment.
Importantly, it is still the case that many counsellors and psychotherapists are unfamiliar with research, often showing little interest with empirical findings (Boisvert and Faust, 2006, cited in Cooper, 2008).
There are, however, limitations of research and as such, an objectively sceptical, but inquiring attitude is an important attribute for therapists to hold. For example, research publications are often expressed as generalities, rather than specifics. So any benefits to clients shown in a particular research study, or set of studies, should not be assumed as valid for all individual clients. In point of fact, what can appear beneficial for some, can be harmful to others. Therefore, empirical research findings should not be at the exclusion of other important factors, such as the expressed preference of the client. This would be unethical. The Pluralistic approach addresses this as it is based on an ethical philosophy, and at its core, recognises that: ‘any substantial question admits of a variety of plausible but mutually conflicting responses’ (Rescher, 1993 in Cooper and Dryden, 2016).
Pluralistic therapy recognises, from the research, that clients do better in therapy when it meets their needs and preferences (Swift, Callahan & Vollmer, 2011, in Cooper and Dryden, 2016). It also recognises there is a strong relationship between client therapeutic outcomes and the client-therapist agreement on the goals, tasks and methods of the therapy (Horvath, Del Re, Fluckinger & Symonds, 2011; Tryon & Winograd, 2011, in Cooper and Dryden, 2016).
What is the Focus?
Your final submitted work should provide evidence that you understand fully, the academic requirements of planning essays in the context of mental health.
·Explain how you would plan & prepare an academic essay.
·Define and explain the academic qualities, structure, format and other requirements, such as searching and accessing relevant literature, research and other relevant resources.
·Explain how an academic essay would need to make clear any connections between theory and practice so as to highlight any benefits to the role of the Counsellor.
·Provide definitions of key terms and demonstrate how these are relevant.
·This is a written assignment to be written in the ‘third person voice’ throughout.
·As with all written responses to assessments (unless specifically required otherwise), you must adopt a standard format: Introduction, main discussion and conclusions.
·The word count is stated on the front page of this brief.
·Ensure the title is copied verbatim at the head of your essay.
·State your actual word count at the end of the essay.
·Provide page numbers and include your Student ID as a header on each page.
·Do NOT provide your name anywhere on your essay (so we can ‘blind mark’ your paper).
·Ensure your work is fully referenced according to the USW Harvard Referencing Guidelines.
·Include a ‘Reference List’ at the end of your essay starting on a new page.
·Include a ‘Bibliography’ to follow your Reference List. This should detail any literature you have used as background reading, but have not used as references to your essay.
·Use size 12, Arial font – double line spaced (as this makes it clearer to read).
·Ensure you adopt a critical writing style throughout the essay, thus avoiding subjectivity and personal opinion.
·You should refer to the Assessment Matrix below and the relevant Learning Outcomes when considering your response to the essay title.
For Rules and Regulations e.g. Extenuating Circumstances, Late Submission Penalties etc., please see Student Handbook.
Your completed paper must be submitted electronically through TURNITIN on your Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) no later than midnight by the stated submission deadline.
You can access the electronic submission through the module’s VLE (Blackboard-UniLearn). Please ask your lecturer if you have any questions about this process.
Originality reports are produced each time you submit a draft of your work. You can submit as many drafts as you wish, but you should submit at least one, to obtain the Turnitin Originality Report, and make any necessary amendments to ensure your work is original, and is not therefore at risk of plagiarism. Note: following your first Turnitin Originality Report, any further submissions will take 24 hours for an updated report.
Tutorials are booked on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis via email ([email protected]) at least 3 working days prior to the tutorial slot requested. Students should prepare for tutorials through bringing, e.g. preparatory notes / research, a set of questions, points of reading for discussion, rough essay structured notes. This should enable students to use their tutorial time in a constructive manner.
In response to the Covid-19 restrictions if face to face tutorials are not permitted, tutorials will be virtual using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. Your tutor will give you guidance on how to access your virtual tutorial session if you have not had previous experience.
Tutorials can be recorded at your request. This means that you will be able to have ongoing access to your tutorial discussion, referring back to it as necessary. This will comply with Data Protection (GDPR) and your recording will only be accessible by your teaching staff and yourself.
You should take responsibility for your tutorial, and present your ideas and proposed solutions to your tutor, rather than rely on them to provide you with direction from the outset. You should also allow plenty of time, so that you can use the outcomes of your tutorial to further progress your work in plenty of time for the submission deadline. Please bear in mind, which days your tutor works when allowing sufficient time. You should only discuss your paper with your Module tutor, unless they are unavailable for lengthy periods of time.