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Employing Capital Budgeting and Risk

Part A

 

Employing Capital Budgeting and Risk

These resources will help you to complete this discussion:

  • Nockolas, S. (2015). How do you calculate payback period using Excel? Retrieved from https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/051315/how-do-you-calculate-payback-period-using-excel.asp
  • Ross, S. A., Westerfield, R. W., Jaffe, J. F., & Jordan, B. D. (2018). Corporate finance: Core principles and applications (5th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
    • Chapter 9, “Risk Analysis, Real Options, and Capital Budgeting,” pages 262–286. The concept of risk is introduced in this chapter.
  • Sham, G. (n.d.). Capital budgeting: Wrapping it all up. Retrieved from https://www.investopedia.com/university/capital-budgeting/conclusion.asp

Risk is an important aspect of business and investment. The impact of risk needs to be measured on all capital projects and investments. In fact, most accomplished investors consider the measure and management of risk to be more important than the consideration of investment return. If risk is considered effectively, the returns will tend to take care of themselves.

To gain a full understanding of the impact of risk on the success or failure of capital projects, you can see the different views of risk and that all should be considered. For this discussion, you are a financial analyst of a mid-sized corporation, and the CFO has come to you with a pet investment project. The CEO has done a preliminary analysis using NPV, IRR, payback period, and PI, and it appears to be a worthy project that should add significant value to the firm. However, the CFO has a feeling that the CEO has failed to incorporate risk into the analysis. He has asked you do some risk analysis of the project to see if that will alter the final decision to invest or not.

Prepare a post that responds to these questions:

  • What type of risk analysis would you incorporate into your analysis?
  • How reliable are these analyses?

Make sure you provide examples and resources to support your statements.

Part B

Evaluation of Capital Projects

Introduction

This assignment is about one of the basic functions of the finance manager, which is allocating capital to areas that will increase shareholder value and add the most value to the company. This means forecasting the projected cash flows of the projects and employing capital budgeting metrics to determine which project, given the forecast cash flows, gives the firm the best chance to maximize shareholder value. As a finance professional, you are expected to:

  • Use capital budgeting tools to compute future project cash flows and compare them to upfront costs.
  • Evaluate capital projects and make appropriate decision recommendations.
  • Prepare reports and present the evaluation in a way that finance and non-finance stakeholders can understand.

Scenario

Senior leadership has now called upon you to analyze three capital project requests based on forecasted cash flow as they relate to maximizing shareholder value.

Your Role

You are one of Maria’s high-performing financial analyst managers at ABC Healthcare Corporation and she trusts your work and leadership. Senior leadership was impressed with your presentation in the Unit 2 assignment and they are tasking you with the analysis of these three proposed capital projects based on forecasted cash flow. You have completed forecasting the projected cash flows of the projects as reflected in the attached spreadsheets. You now need to conduct your analysis recommending which will provide the most shareholder value to the organization.

Requirements

  • Use capital budgeting tools to compute future project cash flows and compare them to upfront costs. Remember to only evaluate the incremental changes to cash flows.
  • Employing capital budgeting metrics, determine which project, given the forecast cash flows, gives the organization the best chance to maximize shareholder value.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of a variety of capital budgeting tools including net present value (NPV), internal rate of return (IRR), payback period, and profitability index (PI). The analysis of the capital projects will need to be correctly computed and the resulting decisions rational.
  • Evaluate capital projects and make appropriate decision recommendations. Accurately compare the indicated projects with correct computations of capital budgeting tools and then make rational decisions based on the findings.
  • Select the best capital project, based on data analysis and evaluation, that will add the most value for the company. Provide a rationale for your recommendations based on your financial analysis.
  • Prepare reports and present the evaluation in a way that finance and non-finance stakeholders can understand.

 

Project A: Major Equipment Purchase
  • A new major equipment purchase, which will cost $10 million; however, it is projected to reduce cost of sales by 5% per year for 8 years.
  • The equipment is projected to be sold for salvage value estimated to be $500,000 at the end of year 8.
  • Being a relatively safe investment, the required rate of return of the project is 8%.
  • The equipment will be depreciated at a MACRS 7-year schedule.
  • Annual sales for year 1 are projected at $20 million and should stay the same per year for 8 years.
  • Before this project, cost of sales has been 60%.
  • The marginal corporate tax rate is presumed to be 25%.

 

 

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Digital Awareness and Professional Development

Faculty of Business and Law

Assignment Brief

 

Unit Title: Digital Awareness and Professional Development
Unit Code: 5S4Z1000(2) Core: Yes Level: 4
Assignment Title: 1CWK100 – 1 Portfolio 100%
 
 
Submission Date: See date on Moodle Feedback Return Date:  See Date on Moodle
Submission Instructions: To be submitted to Turnitin via Moodle
Feedback Return Information: Via Moodle 4 weeks from submission date
Assignment Task and word count : Your task is to develop a digital awareness, personal and professional portfolio. The e-portfolio MUST include a personal strengths profile, a professional social media digital footprint, CV, action plan and evidence that you have reflected on unrealised strengths and set objectives for developing those strengths.  (Word count between 1,700 – 2,000 words)
 

Unit Learning Outcomes Assessed.

 

1.      Identify their personal and professional skills and their social media digital footprint (SMDF)

2.      Construct and present strategies for the development of their personal and professional skills and the management of their SMDF.

3.      Apply reflective practice to their digital awareness, and their personal and professional development

 

Assignment Details and Instructions.

 

The assessment gives you the opportunity to produce a personal narrative reflecting your own strengths, experiences values, aspirations and skills development and understand the impact of your own professional social media footprint.

 

Assignment:

 

Your task is to develop a portfolio – this must be presented as a portfolio in electronic form.  The portfolio MUST include a CV, and evidence that you have reflected on unrealised strengths and set objectives for developing those strengths and identified and developed your social media footprint.  Your portfolio will enable you to identify, and evidence, your developing strengths for your next level of study and your future career, and will be based on identifying your current position and reflecting on the next steps and actionable points. You MUST include evidence of considerable engagement with the PPD process and demonstrate areas of development and developments in your professional social media footprint.

 

In your portfolio you should:

 

1.      Demonstrate how you have used your experience to learn about yourself during your first year at university and the contributions and implications of this learning for your future professional development and career choices

 

2.      Clearly identify your personal strengths and areas that you need to develop in relation to your degree programme, your professional development, social media footprint and the expectations of potential employers.

 

3.      Clearly identify appropriate actions that you should take to enhance your unrealised strengths in relation to your university journey as an early career professional and your future career path

 

 

One way of doing this is to use for the five-step process for PDP planning as set out below:

  1. Identification of unrealised strengths
  2. Goal setting
  3. Action planning
  4. Implementation / action (you will discuss how you will implement or action this)
  5. Review/ reflection

 

You should produce you portfolio in electronic form via a program such as Word, PowerPoint, or Pages, and converted to PDF format, you must show you have engaged with the learning materials (20%). It MUST include:

 

  • Personal Profile(15%) this brief personal profile gives us a snapshot of you: your skills, attributes, values, experience, aspirations and personality. It should conclude with a brief identification of your planned career path or your ideal job (around 400 words).

 

  • Social Media Footprint (20%)– Show an understanding of your digital footprint through an evaluation of your professional social media and digital footprint. Reflect upon how you have implemented and developed your e-professionalism such as development and utilisation of LinkedIn Profile, introduction or increase of privacy. (around 500-600 words)

 

  • Critical reflection on strengths questionnaire (20%) what strengths did the questionnaire reveal, how accurate and why. What other ‘unrealised strengths’ resonate, and why. (around 600-700 words in total)

 

  • Brief action plan for next year (10%)– this will outline how you intend to achieve your Goals, with particular reference to developing your unrealised strengths. If you choose new goal(s), a brief justification of these and an action plan is required (around 200-300 words)

 

  • C.V. & Linkedin Profile (15%)– CV- up-to-date to reflect the skills and experiences you have gained during your first year at university.  The summary / profile should  contain reference to strengths link to opportunities to develop unrealised strengths. This should follow a standard MMU format, either from the Career Hub’s Employability service or from the Placement service. (no word limit or count restriction in this section, maximum of two A4 pages in length anything over 2 pages will not be marked). The Linkedin profile should be as complete as possible, and up-to-date. It should contain a picture, a profile which discusses strengths and opportunities to develop unrealised strengths, a summary of education / work / voluntary experience, it should list skills and strengths, evidence of building connections and a network, engagement with relevant groups, engagement with Business related content, engagement with interests.

 

 

The word limits are approximate and are intended as guidance.  It is expected that as a minimum you should submit 1700 words (not including your C.V). The length of the submission has been specified to allow concise but sufficiently detailed submission.  Any submission which is longer than the indicated 2000 words is likely to receive a reduced mark on the grounds of ineffective communication. Any submission which is shorter is likely to receive a reduced mark on the grounds of insufficient detail.

 

Detail on how to structure these sections will be covered in the unit sessions.

 

 

SUBMISSION GUIDANCE

 

Format:

·         Use an appropriate medium to showcase your work (Word, PowerPoint, Pages, Keynote)

·         Use of MMU Harvard Referencing is essential (A PDF guide link is on Moodle)

·         Use headings and sub-headings to structure your assignment

·         Use images and pictures if appropriate.

·         The portfolio must be convert to, and submitted in, PDF format

 

You will need to upload your PDF to the Turnitin link provided on the unit Moodle site.

 

Your deadline for submission will be under the assessment area of Moodle

 

You will receive marks and feedback on your assessment four weeks after the final deadline, as shown on the Moodle site.

 

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 

What you MUST do:

 

·         Use MMU Harvard Referencing appropriately and in full, both in the text as citations and listed in full, alphabetically, at the end in a References section

·         Use grammatically correct formal English.

·         Proof read your work

·         Attend supporting tutorials and engage with all material on Moodle

·         You must discuss your goals with your class Tutor (this will ensure they are appropriate)

·         You must use your own words

·         You must read this assignment brief!

·         You must use British English, not US English.

 

What you MUST NOT do:

 

·         Do not use Wikipedia or other inappropriate web sites as reference material

·         Do not leave portfolio completion until the last day

·         Do not submit late – see the Late Submission section for details.

 

 

LATE SUBMISSION

 

If your submission is after the deadline but within five days of it, your mark will be capped at 40%.  You will then be offered the opportunity to re-submit at the next assessment opportunity as determined by the Assessment Board.

 

Please Note: your Tutor cannot grant extensions.  If you think you are unable to submit on time due to a health or some other unforeseen issue you must contact the Student Hub and apply through formal channels for Exceptional Factors.

 

 

 

  1. The assessment tests your written communication skills, and ability to produce a professional and personal narrative of your journey.  The portfolio also tests your understanding of the importance of recording and reflecting upon your skills, goals and achievements in a structured way.  Both elements require you to show evidence of how the skills you have learned are transferable, how you used them in different contexts and how you intend to do so in future. This is an exercise that helps you to prepare for future job applications and career decisions.

 

  1. It also tests your ability to identify and review your personal strengths as well as aspects that need to be developed. Therefore, you should highlight the skills, competencies and attributes that you already have and the areas that need to be developed in relation to your degree programme, your professional development and the expectations of potential employers.

 

  1. A key element of your university-level thinking and your subsequent working life is the ability to reflect on your experience and knowledge, and use that to make improvements. Therefore, the assignment tests your ability to develop critical thinking skills and improve on future performance by analysing your experience.  This will, in turn, test your understanding, knowledge, and capacity to structure information.

 

A Good Critical Reflection…

 

  • means that you stand back from yourself – think more deeply about your successes, challenges and problems this year. You can think about your motivations, choices you have made, your behaviour and responses, feelings and performances.  In other words, think more deeply about the who and why, how you got to this point, what can you learn from it and what you can do next.
  • helps you to learn from your personal experiences.  Look back on this year with the aim to improve your performance in future years.
  • Helps you to write a good reflection. It may help you in you think in terms of these expressions – ‘If only I had known what I know now…’ or ‘with hindsight, I realise…’ on different sources

·         draws on different academic and professional sources in order to develop your own thinking.  You will be expected to reference a minimum of three sources for this piece of work using MMU Harvard Referencing.

 

 

Portfolio Feedback

 

You will receive feedback on your submitted work that covers your ability to be critical of information to support your argument, and how you have analysed it in context of your own development. You will also receive written commentary on the academic and professional skills you have further enhanced and developed.

 

 

 

Early Career Professional Skills (PLOs) being assessed or developed/assessed.

 

This assessment will help you to develop a set of key skills needed by all professionals:

 

1.      Self-awareness – of your own personality, aptitudes, skills and personal development needs

2.      Critical Thinking – the ability to identify what you need to improve and to construct, carry out and reflect on a Personal Development Plan to achieve this

3.      Demonstrating Values – the ability to identify your personal values and to represent this when you present yourself professionally

4.      Communication Skills – the ability to communicate about yourself and your skills professionally and effectively; and to use a creative digital medium to do this

5.      Professionalism – the ability to develop employability skills.

 

Intellectual skills

 

At the end of this unit, you should be able to:

·         identify your personal strengths and weaknesses in relation to your personal development and your degree programme and the expectations of potential employers

·         work independently and in groups

·         identify appropriate actions you should take to enhance your personal qualities and competences in relation to your life and your future career.

 

Relevant practical skills

 

At the end of this unit, you will have improved your ability to study effectively and efficiently at undergraduate level.

 

Transferable skills

 

At the end of this unit, you will be able to:

·         Interpret material in an original and evaluative way

·         Synthesise to form links between concepts and theories producing coherent arguments

·         Use a variety of information sources in their research and learning activities

·         Keep effective records of their learning and progress towards personal, academic and career goals.

 

Communication skills

 

At the end of this unit, you will be able to:

•          Plan, organise and structure work that is coherent, fluent and grammatically accurate

•          Develop fluency in verbal and written reasoning

•          Write effectively using academic and business conventions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resources

 

All resources needed for the assessment cab found on the unit Moodle site.

 

MARKING CRITERIA

 

Assessment Attainment Bands

 

Please see below for the marking criteria setting out what is expected for each level of the assessment.  Marks will be allocated accordingly.

 

In line with University guidance, this unit will use STEP marking. Step marking means using a restricted number of marks within the range of 0-100%. All marks would end in 2, 5 or 8 (e.g. 52%, 45%, 88% – the only possible exceptions would be 0% and 100%). The use of step marking shows the extent to which the piece of work meets a specific criterion within a grade range (e.g. 50-59%) The template marking system is detailed after the assessment criteria below.

 

Unit Specification

 

Course Unit Specification

 

Course Unit Details and Outline

 

Course Unit Title

 

Digital Awareness and Professional Development

 

Course Unit Code

For completion by CDM team

 
Effective From

Academic Year

2020/21
Course Unit Occurrence/s Mode of Study Start Month End Month
Full time (F) September December
Level of Study 4
Credit Value 15
Home Department SES
Home Faculty Business and Law
Unit Leader Rosalyn Marron
JACS Code X220
HECOS Code 101278
If Option Cluster

 

Theme Academic Lead
   
   
   

 

Course Unit Description

 

Brief Summary The Unit aims to enable students to recognise their digital and professional strengths and build on them, to manage their digital footprint, to engage with professional bodies, to advance their mental toughness, to reflect, and to become more self-aware and confident. The Unit enables students to meet the significant challenges facing individuals and enhances employability in an extremely competitive market.
Indicative Content The unit will help students analyse the importance of continuous personal and professional development in achieving objectives. It has a holistic approach enabling students to identify, understand, develop and communicate (in writing and orally through in-class activities and podcasts) their professional skills and digital footprint in the context of their future career aspirations. The unit will provide tools and techniques to help students identify, develop, and reflect upon, their personal and professional skills.

 

The unit will facilitate students’ understanding of how their social media digital footprint informs their professional identity. These are essential for those seeking rewarding career paths as managers and leaders, in a world that is increasingly digitally aware, diverse and international.

 

The unit will introduce students to the tools of reflective practice to help them access their own performance and reflect on the impact of their own working style. Through the development of their reflective abilities, their resilience and self-awareness and their confidence and competence, students will evaluate their current strengths and take ownership of their professional development. The unit will help students analyse needs, examine opportunities and create measureable objectives within a reflective account. It will help students evaluate their use of and approaches to reflective practice. Moreover, students will explore how internships, placement, overseas study, and links to professional bodies, can enhance their professional development.

 

Resource Requirements 1hr lecture and 2 hr tutorial each week (capped at 40 per tutorial).

 

Learning Outcomes

 

Course Unit Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this Course Unit students will be able to:
1 Identify their personal and professional skills and their social media digital footprint (SMDF)
2 Construct and present strategies for the development of their personal and professional skills and the management of their SMDF.
3 Apply reflective practice to their digital awareness, and their personal and professional development

 

Summative Assessment

Please list the components of assessments in expected order of submission.

 

  Weight Type Method Description Submission Route Submission Week and Final Component
1 100% Assignment Portfolio This individual Portfolio will capture the student’s learning journey and will include assessment milestones. The portfolio provides a platform for students to identify and present strategies for their personal and professional skills and their digital awareness. Electronic Submission Term 1, Week 12.

Final Component.

 

Final submission date includes interim stages for the opportunity to feed forward and feedback.

 

 

Learning Activities

 

Breakdown of Student Learning Activity Type of Activity %
Summative Assessment 25
Directed Study 25
Student-Centred Learning 50

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learning Resources

The information required in this section can either be typed in in the table below, or a download version of the information from the relevant Talis Aspire area can be appended to this paper version of the unit specification.

 

Books recommended for purchase by students N/A
Essential Reading/

Resources

Cottrell, S. (2010) Skills for Success: Personal Development and Employability (2nd edition) Palgrave Study Skills, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke

 

Further Reading/

Resources

Gallagher, K. (2016) Essential Study and Employment Skills for Business and Management Students (3rd edition), Oxford University Press, Oxford

 

Journal article (examples only – there are many others):

·         Kietzmann, Jan et al. (2011) Social media? Get serious! Understanding the functional building blocks of social media. Business Horizons 54: 241–251

 

Other resources:

·         BBC business

·         The Independent

·         The Financial Times

·         The Economist

·         Bloomberg

·         www.statistics.gov.uk – Official UK statistics

·         www.bized.ac.uk – Business education website including learning materials and quizzes

·         www.careers-in-business.com – Information on a variety of business careers

·         www.direct.gov.uk – Gateway to public services

·         www.learnthings.co.uk – Learn things – providers of interactive digital resources

·         www.nln.ac.uk – National Learning Network

·         www.rdn.ac.uk/news/headlines – Resource Discovery Network – a gateway to internet resources for learning, teaching and research

·         http://businesscasestudies.co.uk – Free materials and case studies

 

Specialist ICTS Resources  
Additional Requirements  

 

Additional Comments

Please indicate below if there is any additional information not captured above, e.g. specific co-taught information, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

Assessment Marking Criteria Rubric-  This is how your work will be graded.  You will receive an overall grade that will be GUIDED by each of the criteria.  The mark will fall into a 2, 5, or 8 range such as 72, 75, 78.  This grade may be achieved by the demonstration of strengths in different areas.  For example, a grade of 72 may be indicated by the highlighted sections on the rubric

 

Assessment descriptor 0-19%

Very poor Fail (No)

20-29%

Clear Fail

(Little/poor)

30-39%

Marginal Fail

(inadequate/

limited)

40-49%

Third

(Adequate/

acceptable)

50-59%

2.2

(Good)

60-69%

2.1

(Very good)

70-85%

First

(Excellent)

86-100

Outstanding

portfolio: presentation / structure

(20%)

Your portfolio is unstructured, has no creativity and many issues with format.

 

Your portfolio is unstructured and has confusing format

 

Your portfolio is poorly constructed, lacks creativity and the format is inappropriate.

 

There are many areas of your         portfolio that require improvement in terms of structure, creativity and format. There are some areas of your         portfolio in terms of structure, creativity and format which could be improved.

 

Your portfolio demonstrates a clear structure with elements of creativity and professionalism. Your portfolio is very clear, well-structured and creative. Your portfolio  is very clear, well-structured, creative, and with a highly professional format
Extremely poor spelling, language, grammar and syntax. Many writing errors which affect clarity and readability.

 

Very poor spelling, language, grammar and syntax. Many writing errors which affect readability.

 

Poor spelling, language, grammar and syntax. Insufficient information and inadequate application. Issues with layout/readability. Whilst improved there are still issues with spelling, language, grammar and syntax.  information and your application of the content. Good, although there are still some issues with spelling, language, grammar and syntax throughout. Very good use of spelling, language, grammar and syntax throughout. Excellent use of spelling, language, grammar and syntax throughout. Outstanding with clearly developed articulation of spelling, language, grammar and syntax.
Fitness of CV & LinkedIn Profile for Professional use

(15%)

 

The CV is missing. The CV is very confused, poorly laid out; not updated since university entry. Skeletal CV is included but not appropriate / not updated to include university experience. CV is basic and with acceptable layout, but needs development. CV identifies strengths. CV has a clear layout, some room for improvement. CV identifies and contextualises strengths. Very good CV – Clear and attractive layout. CV identifies and evidences strengths and areas for development (unrealised strengths) Professional CV layout. CV identifies and evidences strengths and areas for development (unrealised strengths) and links them to professional opportunities Outstanding CV. Professional CV layout. CV identifies and evidences strengths and areas for development (unrealised strengths) and links them to professional opportunities seamlessly.
  Both content and presentation need very substantial work. Cannot be used outside the university. Both content and presentation still need considerable work. Should not be used outside the university. Not yet ready for professional use within the university. Needs substantial work to achieve a professional level. Acceptable for internal use as a university assessment. Needs more development for professional level. Acceptable as a university document. With further work will be suitable for professional level use. Suitable to seek summer job, internship or placement. Placement quality, this is ready to seek a placement. Professional quality CV; fully ready for job search.
No Linkedin Profile Linkedin Profile is created with no context. Linkedin profile is created with some areas populated but not a coherent profile. Linkedin profile is well populated in some  areas, no introduction, few or no connections, , key strengths listed, some information on education / work and voluntary experience Linkedin profile is well populated in some  areas, with a brief introduction, few connections, evidence of engagement with Business related content, key strengths listed, some information on education / work and voluntary experience Linkedin profile is well populated in most areas, with a good introduction which outlined the purpose of the profile, some of connections, evidence of engagement with Business related content, key strengths listed, clear information on education / work and voluntary experience, Linkedin profile is well populated in most areas, with a photograph, with a good introduction which outlined the purpose of the profile, a number of connections, evidence of engagement with Business related content, key strengths listed, clear information on education / work and voluntary experience, Linkedin profile is fully populated in most areas. A photograph, good introduction which outlines purpose of the profile, a number of connections, evidence of active engagement with a variety of Business Related content, key strengths listed, clear information on education and work / voluntary experience .Accomplishments and additional information listed
PPD/CV Engagement

 

No evidence of engagement in the PDP process Little evidence of engagement in the PDP process. Inadequate evidence of engagement in the PDP process. Adequate evidence of engagement in the PDP process. Good evidence of engagement in the PDP process Very good evidence of engagement in the PDP process. Excellent evidence of engagement in the PDP process. Outstanding evidence of engagement in the PDP process.
Identify and evidence

awareness of key personal skills, values and aspirations

(15%)

No evidence of your ability to articulate thoughts, emotions, goals and achievements Little evidence of your ability to articulate thoughts, emotions, goals and achievements Shows limited ability to articulate thoughts, emotions, goals and achievements You have shown some ability to articulate your thoughts, emotions, goals and achievements You have demonstrated your ability to articulate your thoughts, emotions, goals and achievements You have shown astute ability to articulate your thoughts, emotions, goals and achievements You have shown a sophisticated level of ability to articulate your thoughts, emotions, goals and achievements You are showing an exceptional level of ability to articulate your thoughts, emotions, goals and achievements
Critical and reflective exploration of self-development

(20%)

 

No evidence of any exploration of critique of self-development.

 

Little exploration of critique of self-development. Insufficient/ineffective exploration of critique of self-development. Acceptable exploration of critique of self-development. Good exploration of critique of self-development.

 

Very good exploration of critique of self-development. An extensive exploration of critique of self-development. Outstanding exploration of critique of self-development.
No evidence of your ability to demonstrate critical and reflective awareness as necessary outcomes to measure personal development. Little evidence of your ability to demonstrate critical and reflective thinking as necessary outcomes to measure personal development. Inadequate evidence of your ability to demonstrate critical and reflective thinking as necessary outcomes to measure personal development. Adequate demonstration of critical and reflective thinking as necessary outcomes to measure personal development.

 

Good demonstration of critical and reflective thinking as necessary outcomes to measure personal development.

 

Very good demonstration of critical and reflective thinking as necessary outcomes to measure personal development Excellent demonstration of critical and reflective thinking as necessary outcomes to measure personal development Outstanding demonstration of critical and reflective thinking as necessary outcomes to measure personal development
No articulation of personal goals. Poor articulation of personal goals. Inadequate articulation of personal goals. Some articulation of personal goals Articulation of personal goals is good. Articulation of personal goals is very good. Articulation of personal goals is excellent. Articulation of personal goals is outstanding
No reflection which articulates engagement with the PPD process and demonstrates personal development. The reflection articulates little engagement with the PPD process, little personal development. The reflection articulates little engagement with the PPD process and demonstrates minimal personal development The reflection articulates an acceptable level of engagement with the PPD process and demonstrates some personal development The reflection articulates a good level of engagement with the PPD process and demonstrates your personal development. The reflection articulates considerable engagement with the PPD process and demonstrates good personal development. The reflection articulates significant engagement with the PPD process and demonstrates very good engagement with your personal development. The reflection articulates substantial engagement with the PPD process and demonstrates your outstanding commitment to your personal development.
No information from relevant academic or professional sources. Very little information from relevant academic or professional sources. But those chosen may be of limited relevance to the PPD process, the learning experience and the critical reflection. Little information from relevant academic or professional sources. But those chosen may be of limited relevance to the PPD process, the learning experience and the critical reflection. Some attempt to use information from academic or professional sources. But those chosen may be of limited relevance to the PPD process, the learning experience and the critical reflection. Information from relevant sources used lacks analysis, although does bring insight to the PPD process, the learning experience and critical reflective analysis. Information from academic sources is collected, analysed, interpreted and applied. Bringing some understanding the PPD process, the learning experience and critical reflection. Information from academic sources is collected, analysed, interpreted and applied. Developing an enhanced understanding the PPD process, your learning experience and development of your critical reflection skills. Outstanding information from relevant academic sources which is both interpreted and applied, bringing insight to

the PPD process, the learning experience and enhancing your critical reflection.

No attempt at any form of referencing system (as appropriate). No application of MMU Harvard reference system (as appropriate). Major issues with MMU Harvard reference system (as appropriate). Some attempt at applying MMU Harvard reference system (as appropriate). Although some further work is required on this. Good attempt at applying MMU Harvard reference system (as appropriate). Very good application of MMU Harvard reference system (as appropriate). Excellent application of MMU Harvard reference system (as appropriate). Outstanding application of MMU Harvard reference system (as appropriate).
Exploring digital footprint and developing e-professionalism

(20%)

 

No attempt at any form of referencing system (as appropriate). No application of MMU Harvard reference system (as appropriate). Major issues with MMU Harvard reference system (as appropriate). Some attempt at applying MMU Harvard reference system (as appropriate). Although some further work is required on this. Good attempt at applying MMU Harvard reference system (as appropriate). Very good application of MMU Harvard reference system (as appropriate). Excellent application of MMU Harvard reference system (as appropriate). Outstanding application of MMU Harvard reference system (as appropriate).
No information from relevant academic or professional sources. Very little information from relevant academic or professional sources. But those chosen may be of limited relevance to the digital footprint and e-professionalism the learning experience and the critical reflection. Little information from relevant academic or professional sources. But those chosen may be of limited relevance to the digital footprint and e-professionalism, the learning experience and the critical reflection. Some attempt to use information from academic or professional sources. But those chosen may be of limited relevance to digital footprint and the learning experience and the critical reflection. Information from relevant sources used lacks analysis, although does bring insight to e-professionalism, the learning experience and critical reflective analysis. Information from academic sources is collected, analysed, interpreted and applied. Bringing some understanding to e-professionalism, the learning experience and critical reflection. Information from academic sources is collected, analysed, interpreted and applied. Developing an enhanced understanding the digital footprint and e-professionalism your learning experience and development of your critical reflection skills. Outstanding information from relevant academic sources which is both interpreted and applied, bringing insight to

The digital footprint and e-professionalism, the learning experience and enhancing your critical reflection.

No reflection which articulates engagement with e-professionalism development process. The reflection articulates little engagement with e-professionalism, little digital footprint development. The reflection articulates little engagement with e-professionalism and demonstrates minimal development of their digital footprint The reflection articulates an acceptable level of engagement with e-professionalism and demonstrates some  development of their digital footprint. The reflection articulates a good level of engagement with e-professionalism and demonstrates digital footprint development The reflection articulates considerable engagement with the e-professionalism and demonstrates good  development of their digital footprint. The reflection articulates significant engagement with e-professionalism and demonstrates very good engagement with developing their digital footprint The reflection articulates substantial engagement with e-professionalism  and demonstrates your outstanding commitment to developing their digital footprint.
No evidence of any exploration of e-professionalism Little exploration of critique of self-development. Insufficient/ineffective exploration of critique of self-development. Acceptable exploration of e-professionalism Good exploration of critique of e-professionalism Very good exploration of e-professionalism An extensive exploration of e-professionalism Outstanding exploration of e-professionalism
Action Plan

(10%)

No realistic action plan identified.

 

Very limited action plan identified Limited action plan identified Acceptable action plan identified Appropriate action plan identified Good action plan for next year. Excellent clear action plan for next year. Outstanding and detailed action plan for next year.

 

Step Marking

Mark UG Classification
95 – 100% Outstanding
90% Very High First
85% High First
80% Mid First
75% Low First
72% Marginal First
68% High 2.1
65% Mid 2.1
62% Low 2.1
58% High 2.2
55% Mid 2.2
52% Low 2.2
48% High third
45% Mid third
42% Low third
38% Marginal Fail
35%  
32%  
28% Clear Fail
25%  
22%  
18% Very poor Fail
15%  
12%  
8%  
5%  
2%  
0% Non

 

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How to write a successful argument

STEPS to a SUCCESSFUL ARGUMENT

THE OVERVIEW

An Argumentative essay takes a position on a debatable issue, such as abortion rights, same-sex marriage, gun control, tax increases, and so forth.

In writing your argumentative essay, you think out the issues and take a position, which is called your thesis. You use the body of your essay to defend and explore your position. The goal is to persuade the reader to agree with your side of the issue.

THE STEPS

  1. Create a Strategy by exploring both sides of the argument and considering who will be your audience. To do this you will LIST the arguments on both sides of the issue and take notes on whom your readers will be.
  2. Consider the Merits and Weaknesses of Both Sides by looking over the lists of arguments and weighing them against how you previously felt about the issue. You also reconsider the audience as you do this.
  3. Take a Position by writing out your thesis. This is your firm stance on the issue.
  4. Create an Outline by using the items in your list that support your side of the issue.
  5. Draft an Introduction that clearly states your thesis, your position, and invites the reader into your argument.
  6. Use the Body of the Essay to Support Each Point in Your Argument with specific evidence. You may want to use statistics, evidence, examples from real life, expert opinions, and other reasonable sources of evidence.
  7. Present and Refute Opposing Arguments by drawing from you original lists. Show the weaknesses and problems in the other side’s position. This will bolster your case.
  8. Build a Link to Your Readers by finding some common ground between the two sides. This is often done by sharing the common values underlying a position on an issue, such as a sense of justice or fairness.
  9. Be Sure to Avoid Common Mistakes in Reasoning by carefully using inductive and deductive reasoning. Inductive reasoning means: you arrive at a conclusion based on several facts. Deductive reasoning means you reach a conclusion based on premises, which may or may not be proven true. Also be sure to avoid logical fallacies, such as making hasty generalizations, using circular language, or employing biased language.
  10. Always provide a thorough bibliography for your well-researched argument essay.

(taken from Rules for Writers, by D. Hacker [pp. 348-361])

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Vulnerability to Natural Hazards

Vulnerability to Natural Hazards

The topic of the society’s vulnerability to hazards and natural disasters is one that captivated further interest and attention after brief analysis on the issue. Vulnerability in this case refers to the potential of a group of people to be able to cope with a natural hazard (Wisner, Blaikie, Cannon, & Davis, 2003). When a hazard causes a disaster, numerous people get injured and killed. The situations tend to be gruesome to the people affected but it does not affect everybody equally. There are people who are more susceptible to certain natural hazards than another group of people. Vulnerability to natural hazards differs from region to region. For example, people who live in an area that is a plateau and is near a large water body they are most likely to suffer from floods. Regions that are close to tectonic plates are more likely to experience earthquakes than other places. My research would like to involve what factors lie behind the vulnerability, what affects other areas more than others and how can the issue be improved or how can the people protect themselves. My interest in this segment was sparked by various factors that I came across. Most researches and work done on natural hazards do not look at the vulnerability angle of the society but rather concentrate on the triggers (Wisner, Blaikie, Cannon, & Davis). Events that took my keen notice into the research were to specific ones: Haiti’s natural hazard and disasters experience and the Dhaka area in Bangladesh that is populated with squatters within the area. Both these regions have something in common: They have been key witnesses of natural hazards which have led to insurmountable amounts of damage that have set them back. I was curious to the factors that made these areas more vulnerable to the hazards as compared to other places which have fairly similar experiences but are able to maintain their progress. The research topic is well connected with content we are learning in class that is related to natural hazards and its geography. Through the content I have learnt in class I have been able to apply it and to understand how to approach a topic of research. Vulnerability of these regions gives a deeper scope of knowledge that I have learnt about natural hazards and disaster in our class.

For me to be able to learn more about vulnerability and how its related to natural hazards I had to first go through the historical experience of Haiti and disaster. Throughout time, the region has experience a continuous torrent of earthquakes and floods. Based on archived information and newspaper articles, I was able to really dig deep into articles providing the statistics of Haiti’s experience of with hazards (Jones, 2016). In 2008, Haiti was badly devastated by four storms which left almost 75% of its farm land destroyed and cost the life of 800 people (Jones). In 2010, they experienced one of the worst disasters in history. An earthquake left around 90,000 people killed and over 1.5 million people lost their homes. The information was able to really put into perspective the tragedy that the hazard had upon the people and the disaster they experienced. The research was able to provide to me information on the vulnerability that made Haiti vulnerable by the natural hazard. It was more than just their geographical location but factors such as instability in their political circle and high amounts of corruption (Jones). For information on Dhaka and the factors that also made it vulnerable to the disasters I was able to find reliable sources of information from research done on the area (Wisner, Blaikie, Cannon, & Davis).

While undergoing this research I was able to find certain important factors that have been given considerable thought. In relation to vulnerability to hazardous natural factors, one key component that determines how much impact the disaster will have upon the region are certain human factors (“Vulnerability to Natural Hazards”). Some of the factors involved are the wealth of the people in the region. Rich people are able to access medical help and have more stable housing as compared to impoverished people which will make them experience the disaster differently. Education is a major component as people who have knowledge on dealing with hazardous situations can be able to protect themselves more adeptly than those who do not. Governance was also shown to be of key importance as they are the ones who develop policies that can reduce the vulnerability of the people to potential natural hazards. Other important factors include age of the people affected and the technological advancement of the area.

To limit my coverage of the topic I have decided to only look at vulnerability and factors that propagate it to make the society less protected to natural hazards. As significant as the hazards and disasters are by themselves, I will not delve into that but concentrate on how the people make themselves vulnerable to the situations. I will dig deeper and uncover more analysis on various areas that have lower vulnerability to hazard compared to those that have a higher amount like Haiti, and compare what the safer areas are doing to protect themselves.

 

References

“Vulnerability to Natural Hazards”. (n.d.). Retrieved May 6, 2017, from https://www.e-education.psu.edu/geog030/node/379

Jones, S. (2016, October 4). Why is Haiti vulnerable to natural hazards and disasters? Retrieved May 6, 2017, from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/04/why-is-haiti-vulnerable-to-natural-hazards-and-disasters

Wisner, B., Blaikie, P., Cannon, T., & Davis, I. (2003). t Risk: natural hazards, people’s vulnerability and disasters 2nd Edition.

 

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Writing your Research Report

Writing your Research Report

Topic: The topic of the research final paper is open to the interests of the students. Students should find a question they would like to answer using the statistical techniques learnt in class.

To find the topic of your final report you need to start from a broad perspective looking at some general idea that you would like to explore. For example, let’s say that you would like to look at the relationship between interest rates and the economy. This is a very broad topic and you need to start doing research looking to specify your main research question. In figure 1 we can see all the different sub-topics, or more specific areas, in which we can divide our broad topic.

Interest Rate and the Economy

Figure 1

 

We could list more sub-topics than the ones we represented in Figure 1. However, we need to pick one so we can have a more focused research topic. Let’s assume that we choose to research the question regarding the impact of interest rates on the growth of construction in the United States. Once that we decided what our topic is going to be, we need to solve three main issues regarding our research project:

  1. Review of literature: we need to research what other people have done previously. Especially, we need to find peer-reviewed publications of researchers that have worked in this specific area and look at their results. To find other research you should go to the website of the UNF Library and search for research papers in this specific area. The following is a guide on how to search the library at UNF:
    1. Enter the Library website and in that website you click on Databases by Subject
    1. Once you click that link a new page will open, which will show you all the different databases of research articles according to the disciplines of study. In our case, we will be interested in the Business (Finance, Investment, International, Management) and the Economics and Geography databases. The specific database will depend on the research topic you choose.
    1. In our specific example, we should click on the Economics and Geography link. There a list of databases will appear. You should select one of them. Let’s say that we pick EconLit.
    1. Once we picked EconLit, a new page will open, where we can start searching for research reports. Then, if we find one that we believe is germane to the selected topic, we can download it and read it and use it in our review of literature and reference sections.

It is important to remember that when we read other people’s work we are looking for the following:

  1. How they addressed the research question
  2. What data they used?
  3. What kind of statistical technique they utilized?
  4. What conclusions they reached?

This will allow us to move further in our research project and to be able to understand how to perform our task.

  1. Data Availability: once we do a review of literature we should be able to tell what kind of data we need to do our research project. At this time, it is very important to be able to find out if the data is available and where we can find them. Many times a research project cannot continue because of the lack of datasets or because the information does not exist yet. It is very important that you can find the data. Useful sites to check out:
    1. Census Bureau: www.census.gov
    2. Bureau of Labor Statistics: www.bls.gov
    3. Bureau of Economic Analysis: www.bea.gov
    4. Federal Reserve Database: http://www.research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/
    5. U.S. Government Open Data: www.data.gov
    6. International Data (World Bank): http://data.worldbank.org/
  1. Statistical Methodology: finally, after the review of literature is done and the dataset is located we need to determine what the methodology that we are going to use is. That means we need to decide which technique that we learnt in class is appropriated to answer the research question. Accordingly, you can use your review of literature to inform this decision, the textbook, class notes, etc.

Once you performed these three tasks you are ready to use excel to calculate your model and show your results. Accordingly, we are ready to write our research report.

Format Research Report

The following are the main sections of your research report and a short explanation of what the contents of each section should be:

  1. Cover Page: contains the title, authors and class section.
  2. Introduction: this is a short section of your paper, no more than one page. However, this is a very important part of your report, as this is the section that most people are going to read first. As a result, you need to make sure that people are convinced of the worthiness of your research. You should emphasize the following:
    1. Why is this research topic important? Why the reader should keep reading? Why should the reader care about this paper?
    2. What are the main findings of your research?
    3. Why these findings are important?
  3. Review of literature: Explains the previous work on this topic, if any, and how the topic of this paper fits that body of work. You need to explain, very shortly what other people have found with regards to this research question and how their findings compare to your findings. By mentioning other people’s work you discuss the problem at hand and how other people have addressed this problem. If your research topic is about your company you need to discuss the nature of the problem and the different solutions that were offered and why you think that your empirical analysis could improve those proposed solutions. This section should have 2-3 pages.
  4. Data: in this section you need to describe the data you found, show a table with the main statistics, like the mean and the standard deviation for each variable. Explain what the sources of your data are. This sections should be 2 pages at the most.
  5. Methodology and results: In this section you need to proceed as follows: first, explain the statistical techniques that you are going to use to answer your research question. For example, if you are using a regression model you need to show the theoretical equation with the independent variables and why are you using the variables that you are using. Second, you need to show your results and do the tests to show that your model, if it is a regression model, satisfies the assumptions. If you introduced some modifications to satisfy the assumptions, then you need to explain those changes. Finally, you need to explain your results main results and conclusions. This section should be 4-5 pages long.
  6. Conclusions: Explains what the results are and why they are important. This sections should be 1 page long.
  7. References should be listed at the back of the paper.
  8. Appendixes after the references (if needed)

Length and Format: The length of the paper is 12-15 pages (12 pages minimum), including title page, references and figures, but excluding appendixes.

The format of the page should be 1.5 spacing, font size 12 Times New Roman. The margins should be Right:1.25”, Left:1.25”, Top:1” and Bottom:1”

Format Standard: you can use any style: APA, MLA, Chicago, etc. The library has a great guide for citation styles at http://libguides.unf.edu/citationguide

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