Supporting the The Master of Research: Education and Society Programme

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Slides from induction

Here are the slides from the first induction session, which give an overview of the programme as a whole.

MRes 2013-14 Welcome (pdf)


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Ground rules (draft 1)

Here’s our summary of the discussion on ground rules and expectations from last Tuesday’s session. Please feel free to add your comments.

Expectations of students

  • Collaborative working (e.g. group projects, online discussions, blogging).
  • Reflection and criticality.
  • Active participation – contributing, asking questions, reading and responding to blog posts, showing initiative, doing your share, preparation, self-directed reading .
  • Independent learning – taking responsibility for your own study, and raising issues if they occur.
  • Time management – attendance, punctuality and meeting deadlines (e.g. assignments).
  • Professional conduct (e.g. adherence to university rules and regulations, adhering to ethical standards).
  • Supporting others, having respect for others, and listening to others.
  • Appropriate online conduct (netiquette).

Expectations of staff

  • Communicating our availability (office hours).
  • Prompt reply to emails (within three working days maximum, but sooner if possible).
  • Provision of feedback (e.g. blog comments, reviewing assignment plans)
  • Openness to feedback.
  • Professional conduct (e.g. punctuality, appropriate preparation).
  • Support for group learning (e.g. fair facilitation of discussion and awareness of group dynamics).
  • Opportunities for interaction, including social events.

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Hello fellow bloggers

Hi everyone,

As the resources from today’s induction session ‘Introducing online learning on the MRes: Moodle and Blogging‘ are useful for everyone across the programme, I thought it useful to post them here.

Thanks everyone for participating in the discussions today around online learning and blogging – it was great to share our varied experiences and perceptions, and I’m sure as you progress through the programme you’ll help each other in becoming active and reflective learners facilitated by the Moodle and blogging environments.  Using the ‘technology in my pocket’ (camera phone!) I captured our thoughts and thought it useful to share.

Hmmmm, note to self “write more neatly/clearly on the whiteboard in future” – perhaps while the discussions are fresh in your mind you could reflect on the discussions in your own blogs, or comment here!

Remember, this is a blog ‘post‘, therefore as more pre/post-session thoughts and reflections are posted by the programme team it will disappear out of sight (posts appear in date order, newest at the top).  By categorising this post (with ‘induction’) and tagging it with various keywords, you’ll be able to find this post more easily in the future using the MRes categories and MRes tags displayed to the right.

Well done on creating your blogs, and I look forward to seeing you all again soon,

Cheryl 🙂


Get ready to blog


Cheryl here, supporting the MRes programme team to consider how blogging can facilitate your research practice, and to get you all up and running with your own reflective blogs.

Have you any blogging experience?  Please comment below.

(We’ll be referring back to this post and the web form below once you’ve all created your own blogs.)

See you all soon.


And the answers are…

I had some feedback yesterday that I’d forgotten to give you the answers to the induction treasure hunt quiz.

Sorry. I won’t keep you in suspense any longer. Since all groups got all the answers correct to the first ten questions, I’ll only post the answers to the round 3 puzzles here.

1. Which two letters come next?

O T T F F S S E ? ?

Answer: (O)ne (T)wo (T)hree (F)our (F)ive (S)ix (S)even (E)ight N(ine) T(en)

2.  Where in the world is this?

Answer: BRAZIL. These are the flags for Bolivia, Romania, Austria, Zambia, Iceland, and Lebanon.

3.  (commandments × steps × bears) – (baker’s dozen × bits in a byte) = ?

Answer: (10 × 39 × 3) – (13 × 8) = 1066 = Battle of Hastings (You got half a mark for 1066)

4.     Analog, Chain, Serial, Estimator, Plane.

Which word is like those above?

Leaf, Throne, Emitter, Pure, Paws.

Answer: Pure. They are all anagrams of countries: Angola, China, Israel, East Timor, Nepal and Peru.

5.   D B O Z P V D S B D L U I J T D P E F?

Answer: Yes (although you would also have got a point for no). It’s a one letter shift cipher (i.e. replace each letter with the one before it in the alphabet) and you get C A N Y O U C R A C K T H E C O D E?

No one got them all, and they were meant to be hard (particularly the last two), so well done if you got any of them!

Bonus question: Prize to the first MRes student to correctly answer the following question in a comment to this post.

In the possible answers to question 4 above, only Pure is an anagram of a country. What are the other options anagrams of?


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A short post on referencing

In your assignments you will be expected to cite and reference literature correctly. Correctly acknowledging someone else’s work – and words – is part of academic protocol. It helps to locate your work within a field and show your awareness of a research topic. It is also essential in avoiding being accused of plagiarism.

Students are expected to use this both within their formal assignments and the weekly writing activities, including online reflective blogs, discussion posts and so on. The sooner you start using this, the easier it will be when it comes to your assignments.

In this course, as with other courses across the university, you should use MMU Harvard referencing style. Guidance on this can be found here: mmuharvardref guide . We encourage students to read this carefully as soon as possible.

Throughout the course there will be a number of opportunities for students to familiarise themselves with referencing protocol.  This includes:

  • After the  ‘Core Design’ session in week 2 (Tuesday 1th October),  there will be an additional training session with Nicola Whitton and Cheryl Dunleavy at 1.30-2.30 pm in Birley 2.3 (ICT room 3) which will introduce students to assessment technology  (‘Turn It In’)
  • In week three of ‘Core Design’ (Tuesday 8th October), we will discuss the role of the literature review in research design and your research proposal. This will include a discussion of correctly citing and referencing work.
  • After the  ‘Core Design’ session in week 3 (Tuesday 8th October),  there will be an additional training session  at 1.30-3pm in in Birley 2.3 (ICT room 3) with Emily Shields of the Library on Endnote – a software package which can assist you will keeping an annotated bibliography and citing and referencing literature correctly.