The paper 'Reports in University Assessment " is a perfect example of education coursework. Universities have the responsibility of generating information and preparing graduates for future responsibilities in society. In order to attain these objectives, they regularly test student progress through assessments. Assessments help to show whether the students have acquired the necessary skills that they are supposed to. One of the ways through which this is done is the assigning of individual and group projects after which students submit reports (Lee-Davis & Bailey 2006). Although they have a few shortcomings, reports remain to be an effective way of assessing student progress.
This paper offers a critical analysis of reports as a component of assessment in universities. Reports in University Assessment According to Brown (1997), reports are official documents that provide information. In universities, they are therefore supposed to be as accurate and clear-cut as possible. A good report needs to reflect knowledge, professionalism, attentiveness and writing proficiency. There are various kinds of reports that may be required in university assessment. These include progress reports, feasibility reports and site reports. The reports are usually divided into three sections.
These are the preliminary part, the body and supplementary sections. Preliminary includes the cover page, abstract, contents list and illustrations list while supplementary incorporates appendices and references. Research reports attempt to provide justification for the information that they present. Students are therefore required to stick to clarity, content and organization as ideals. They should provide introductions that articulate whatever is to be discussed and its scope. Students are also expected to clearly state their exact quantitative tools. In sciences, the writing needs to fully correspond with the discipline and investigation line.
In order to present a report on empirical findings, the report generally uses the format of a typical scientific report, showing technique, conclusions and fallouts. When reports are required in undergraduate studies in scientific disciplines, the procedures are always mandatory. In writing reports, students should not forget to use subheadings and headings so that they may guide any reader while going through the work. Statistical evidence is expected to be placed as graphs and tables as part of appendices (Jeffs 1990). Effective Report Writing In addition to following the scientific procedure, assessments check on the extent to which ideas presented are clear, accurate and concise.
A good report should reflect a high degree of skill and technique application. Students need to invest a lot in preparatory work while ensuring the maintenance of the best possible final look of the document. The report needs to have a proper structure and format. This is made up of the cover page, table of contents, an executive summary, an introduction or background, the method, result, observations and conclusion of the report (Pyrczak & Bruce 2007). Goodman (2006) notes that the body is the most significant component of the document and is made up of the introduction, the method applied, findings, discussion, conclusion and recommendations offered.
To have an effective report, the student needs to ensure that the style used is as much as possible objective, clear, brief and accurate in nature. Because of variation in length requirements for reports, there is always the need for clarification of the specific departmental requirements relating to the length of reports. Reports may be presented either by individuals or groups.
Through giving projects and looking at reports, course instructors are able to assess the ways in which they organize their time, generate problems and provide solutions to the problems. When done in groups, it is possible to assess the extent to which students are able to interact with one another and the way that they are able to participate as members of groups. To ensure success in student assessment, instructors need to give clear deadlines and instructions.
Brown, G., 1997, Assessing Student Learning In Higher Education, Routledge, New York
Goodman, D., 2006, Report it in Writing, Penguin Books, London
Jeffs, R, 1990, Report Writing Skills, Prentice Hall, New York
Langan, J., 2007, College Writing Skills, McGraw-Hill, New York
Lee-Davis., L & Bailey, S, 2006, Developing Work and Study Skills, Greenwood press, Westport
Lichtenberger, E., Mather, N. & Kaufman, A., 2004, Essentials of Assessment Report Writing, Hauthon Publishers, Ontario
McMillan, K & Weyers, J., 2006, The Smarter Student: Skills and Strategies for Success at University, Pearson Prentice Hall, New York
Pyrczak, F., & Bruce, R., 2007, Writing Empirical Research Reports: A Basic Guide for Students of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of Michigan Press, Detroit
Rowntree, D., 1987, Assessing Students: How Shall We Know Them? Kogan Page, London