A document that summarises your insights and experiences during your learning on the module. It is a personal set of writings that allows you to explore your own learning process. This could be your use of lecture material, experiences in seminars and the wider reading of journal papers and books. Unlike assignments the learning portfolio is not another third person, ‘objective’ essay. Rather it is a reflection of your honest personal perspectives, opinions and feelings experienced during the module and your subsequent learning from these experiences. It is also an indicator of your engagement with the subject material. You should aim to be both critical and creative in your reflection on the subject material, supported by extensive reading or other supporting information. You will therefore need to include references and /or appendices at the end of your Portfolio, (these are NOT included in your word count). Remember the Learning Portfolio is still an academic assignment and will be marked using the UMS Undergraduate Criteria for Assessment. For further information on assessment criteria see your Undergraduate Handbook or the UMS Student Intranet.
Key lecture: ALL
Key seminar: ALL
The key to achieving good marks in assessments is reading. Students need to familiarize themselves with core texts early on and build upon their initial understanding by progressing to more advanced reading as indicated under each topic and also by independent research and reading. Students also need to discipline their learning. For instance, doing lots of reading will not help much if you are unable to remember what you have read. Get into the habit of being a good student writing up notes immediately after lectures, planning, carrying out further reading and reviewing your learning and developing understanding at intervals. It is also a good idea to study the marking criteria for assessments and examinations set out in the Undergraduate Handbook. The criteria give a good idea of what is expected to achieve high degree classifications. It is not enough just to read, however. You need to make sure you understand what you read and you need to read critically. For instance, it could be argued that many of the psychological theories taught on the course imply that human beings are basically stupid. If that is true then how have we managed to survive on the planet for so long? Listen out in lectures and seminars for references to such controversial issues. Do some reading round them and some thinking. For instance, are decision-makers completely at the mercy of uncertainty or can they learn to make better decisions? This would also be valuable material for your Reflective Learning Portfolio – see assignment