7ET011 Group Project

School of Engineering 
University of Wolverhampton 
7ET011 Group Project  

2. INTRODUCTION

2.1 The following notes are intended to help you in the selection of activities, conduct and reporting of your MEng group project. Please read them carefully and pay attention to the deadline dates. All students who hope to graduate with an MEng must take and pass this 40-credit group project module.

2.2 Project specifications and plans must be approved by the end of week 3 in semester 1. These should be developed for the group as a whole and separately for individuals within the group. In determining project specifications, it is important to reflect on the learning outcomes as expressed in the module specification. Each individual within a group should be aiming to demonstrate innovation and creativity within proposed areas of work, with tasks that have potential and scope for discussion and analysis of sufficient breadth and depth. The project specifications and plans should be resubmitted as Appendices to the final group project report. The project specification and plan are not directly associated with a mark at this stage, but they will clearly have a bearing on successful outcomes.

2.3 A group project interim report is required at week 10 of semester 1 and formative feedback will be provided at this time. All students must contribute to this report. It is expected that at this stage the literature review will be extensive and detailed, hence may contain approximately 2,500 words. The other required information will be fully written up and occupy around 1,000 words. The completed Interim Report must be handed in as per normal assignments either electronically through WOLF or via the Registry Student Access Point, marked for the attention of the Module Leader, and a receipt obtained. The interim report does not contribute to the final mark for the group project, but it is clearly in students interest to be in a position to have made significant progress at this stage, firstly for formative feedback on work undertaken so far, and secondly to be better placed to complete a substantial and challenging programme of work. The interim report must be resubmitted with the final group report in the form of an Appendix.

2.4 A group presentation will be held at week 12 in semester 2, coinciding with the submission of the final group project report. Each individual within a group is expected to make a presentation on their contribution to the group report. The presentation can take a variety of forms and need not be limited to presentations using slides alone. The presentation should be 20 minutes long and will be followed by a question-answer session of 10 minutes. The presentation contributes 10% to the overall grade for the Group Project module.

2.5 The group project report should be submitted at week 12 in semester 2. The report should have a formal structure, to include an abstract, an introduction, clearly labelled autonomous sections, conclusions, references and bibliography and appendices to include items as outlined. Whilst it must gel as a single report, it is essential to identify individual contributions within the report. The marking criteria for the group project report is outlined in section 7 of this handbook. An individual mark will be determined for each group member, and this will mark will be informed by a reflective evaluation of self and peer performance as described in Appendix 2. The group project is a significant undertaking and represents a third of the total number of credits at level 7. The expectation is that the group project report will be a document of considerable substance, with a word count of around 15000 words. The group project report contributes 90% to the overall grade for the Group Project module.

3. PROJECT SELECTION, GROUP FORMATION & REGISTRATION OF A PROJECT

3.1 Group project specifications must meet the educational aims and learning outcomes of the module, as defined in Section 1.

3.2 Students will be allocated topic(s) for Group Projects. This is expected to include a self-directed group design or investigation, requiring integration of the engineering and non-technical subjects and it is this that distinguishes the MEng Group Project from a BEng honours individual project.

3.3 Personality testing will be used in the 1st week of the Group Project to identify natural team role traits and behaviours, which will be used to inform the constituency of groups and roles within groups.

3.4 Please ensure that a clear, reasoned, concise and neatly presented Project Specificationand Plan Form (Appendix 1) is produced. The project specification form must be signed by a member of the module team. An Ethics and Safety Approval Form (see Appendix 3) should also be completed and signed by the student and the supervisor. If the project involves manufacturing or testing involving dangerous machinery or hazardous materials then a Risk Assessment Form must also be completed. The module team will be able to provide advice on whether this is needed or not for a particular aspect of the project.

3.5 The completed signed Project Specification must be handed in as per normal assignments, for the attention of the Group Project Module Leader, and a receipt obtained.

4. GROUP PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION

4.1. The total amount of time, inclusive of self-directed study, devoted to the Group Project is 400 hours. It is important to balance time spent on this module with time spent on other modules of study.

4.2. After consultation with the supervisor, an information survey/literature review should be carried out as soon as possible, using library and other sources including academic journal papers, books, reviews, abstracts and current literature, also company publications and internal reports when available, interviews with relevant people, etc.. OPAC, academic journals, CD-ROM, Internet, and Science Direct (and all the electronic databases) facilities should be used where appropriate. Excessive use of Inter Library Loan facilities should be avoided. Under no circumstances should sources like Wikipedia be used as reference points in the final report.

4.3 Preparation of an acceptable Project Specification and Plan (Appendix 1) at the start of the Group Project is essential and will be used by the module team as a means to monitor individual and group progress in terms of meeting the learning outcomes for this module.

4.4 The Project Specification and Plan should contain a detailed breakdown of activities, milestones and deadlines and must be prepared with a Gantt Chart; group and individual information must be clearly stated. A reasonable amount of time should be spent planning the programme of work so that initial objectives can be refined and or redefined if necessary, at an early stage. It is advisable to allocate a significant proportion of time at the start of the Semesters, to Group Project work.

4.5 The module team will act as mentors for the Group Project. It is the student's responsibility to arrange and attend regular group meetings and to keep minutes of these meetings, recording progress and identifying actions and responsibilities as appropriate. You are advised to maintain these electronically, and to rotate responsibilities for chairing and taking minutes. The minutes must be included as in the Appendices in the group project report.

4.6. All students are required to keep an individual project logbook (a book into which the pages are bound (not removable) on purchase). The logbook replaces all scraps of paper and contains everything however draft/rough. A carefully completed logbook is invaluable when writing the final report and will inform marks awarded to individuals at the point of assessment. Logbooks for each group member must be handed in at the same time as the group project report.

4.7. All School, Faculty and University safety regulations, as to safe working practices, must be read and obeyed, and in particular, students may not work unsupervised in laboratories or workshops at any time, unless the safety notices in that location specifically allow such work. Where specific training is required on particular equipment or systems this will be arranged through the University Supervisor and the Technical Resource Manager.

4.8. Laboratory or workshop space, equipment or other facilities should be arranged in consultation with the module team and the Technical Resource Manager and this includes access to facilities outside of normal working hours. Students are responsible for returning all equipment and waste for disposal to the technical staff who should also be informed of any working equipment left unattended, especially if overnight or for longer duration. "Experiment in Progress" cards should be clearly displayed on such unattended equipment with all possible hazards listed and signed by the supervisor. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the removal of the experiment by the technical staff. Laboratory or workshop space will frequently have to be shared with other classes.

4.9. All accidents, large or small, must be reported immediately to a person in authority and to your supervisor who will take appropriate action, including entering the relevant details in the Accident Book kept in the School Office. A first aid box will be available in most areas.

4.10. If, for any reason, a student feels that satisfactory progress is not being made with the project, a member of the module team should be informed. If a breakdown emerges in the working relationship between members of the group that affects progress, then the student(s) should contact the Module Leader, in the first instance, to resolve the situation. This procedure does not replace any existing student and staff procedures with respect to complaints and support mechanisms.

4.11 A project budget is available to support students for specific items and/or consumables. This is a nominal £200 for each group of students, however, for some projects this may be exceeded, within reason, but the additional cost must be justified. Students are expected to include project costs and the source of locating items/consumables in their interim report with appropriate justification.

5. SUBMISSION OF THE GROUP PROJECT PIECES OF WORK

The submission dates are listed at the front of this handbook and must be adhered to. Work must be submitted either electronically via WOLF or to the Student Access Point at Telford Registry by the due date, and a signed receipt obtained. Students should be aware that rules governing extension of submission date and mitigating circumstances are identical to those applied to taught modules. An electronic copy of the complete group project report must also be submitted, typically by CD or memory stick media.

The Group Project Report must also be submitted electronically in the Group

Project WOLF topic through ‘Turnitin’ software, to check for plagiarism and/or collusion. A report will be produced by Turnitin and this will be attached to the Group Project Report for marking purposes. Failure to do this will result in the Group Project Report being rejected and a failure grade given.

6. GUIDE TO PRODUCING THE GROUP PROJECT REPORT AND LOGBOOK

6.1 Introduction

As level 7 students, by now you should be well versed in presentation and referencing requirements; you are referred to the level 6 individual project handbook for specifics on report structure and presentation aspects. However, as a guide to the format of presentation required, examine writing styles and presentation of academic journal papers that are available through the electronic databases subscribed to by the University. The Learning Centres will be more than willing to help you find examples, and of course you will have discovered these as part of the information/literature discovery process.

The group project report should be written in good clear UK English, without spelling mistakes. A word processor should be used to prepare the report. This will allow corrections to spelling, layout and content to be made easily.

The total number of words for the group report should be 15,000 words.

Diagrams, and graphs etc. may be plotted, printed or hand-drawn. Black ink is preferred by the University for scanning and archiving, but in some cases colour has many advantages - consult your module team. Graphics produced by computers should have as high a resolution as possible. Pages must be clearly numbered.

All figures (graphs, photographs, engineering drawings etc.) should have a Figure number and caption, and should be specifically referred to in the text. Figures not mentioned in the text should not be included. The same applies to tables.

The text should be cross-referenced adequately. For example, if calculations yield a result that is used in another section, the later use must refer to the section where the original result was obtained.

6.2 Structure of the Group Project Report

The following structure is suggested for your group project report:

1. Title page

The first page of the report must include the Module Code and Module Title, the title of the Group Project, and identify the group member(s) by name and student number.

2. Declaration

The Declaration should be the page following the title page, and should include the following

"This work or any part thereof has not previously been presented in any form to the University or to any other institutional body whether for assessment or for other purposes. Save for any express acknowledgements, references and/or bibliographies cited in the work, we confirm that the intellectual content of the work is the result of my own efforts and of no other person."

You should ALL sign and date the above statement

3. Abstract

This should consist of no more than 500 words and be written last i.e. after the rest of the report has been written. An abstract summarises the contents of the report, so that a prospective reader may judge whether it contains information useful to him/her. It is not a statement of objectives or conclusions, or general discussion. It is important to make a good first impression in the abstract, which is frequently poorly written.

4. Contents Page

This should be specific to your report, and should comprise appropriately titled and numbered sections of your report.

5. Introduction

Discuss the background to the project and detail the aims and objectives of the work. Your proposed methodology for undertaking the work should be clearly stated, with justification.

6. Main Body of the Report

The main report should be used to detail exactly your contribution to the Group Project, and should be specific to the aims and objectives of the your part of the overall Group Project and reflect the learning outcomes of the Group Project module in terms of content.

Results should appear in their fully processed form (a large quantity of raw data which is essential to present is best included as an appendix). Where possible, present results as tables and graphs to assist the reader. However, the results section should not be just a series of graphs and tables, but contain text that briefly explains the logic for each item.

A significant proportion of the marks awarded will depend on critical discussion of results, so make sure that it is not superficial, and that you clearly demonstrate the highest level of analytical, critical, evaluative, and synthesis skills of which you are capable.

The module team should be consulted for guidance as to whether your proposed analytical methods and discussion is appropriate for the particular subject matter of the report.

7. Conclusions

A brief summary of major findings, and the extent to which the objectives of the project were achieved, it may be presented in a bullet list form. Nothing that has not already been reported earlier should be included.

8. Acknowledgements

Under "Acknowledgements" it is standard practice to thank University staff and others for their guidance. This is not a required section.

9. References*

All the information in your report comes from somewhere; it must be clear to the reader where everything has originated, e.g., your data and calculations, your interpretation of those results, someone else's results or opinions etc..

References must be included in your report to:

  1. Support a statement, making it clear that the statement, if not based on evidence you have presented, is based on someone else's evidence.
  1. Show how your work relates to that of others, demonstrating that by knowledge of other work, you have used existing knowledge and not duplicated the work of others.
  1. Allow readers of the report to find out more information by accessing the sources to which you refer.
  1. Acknowledge your sources, thus not claiming others' ideas or words are your own.

All references given in the text should appear in the References section. References should not appear in this section unless they have appeared in the text. For further information about referencing, please see: http://www2.wlv.ac.uk/lib/harvard/Harvard2009.pdf

Appendices

Include appendices which are essential for the report, but which would make the results section too cumbersome. Some items have already been stipulated, other items including computer programmes can also be included here.

Resist the temptation to include too much information in appendices, such as manufactures' advertising and sales brochures etc., unless a member of the module team agrees that they are essential.

6.3. Logbook

All students are required to keep their own Group Project logbook (a book into which the pages are bound on purchase and cannot be removed; normally a hardback book). A member of the team will sign and date the student’s logbook at regular intervals. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure this happens. The reasons for so doing are to help ensure that logbooks are kept up to date and to confirm that content is appropriate. Logbooks should be handed in together with the group project report. Whilst no marks are awarded for the logbook as such, they will help inform marks awarded to individuals for their contribution to the group project.

7. ASSESSMENT OF THE GROUP PROJECT

7.1. The assessment mark for the Group Project module will be based on the group report (90%) and the presentation (10%). A percentage mark for each individual will be determined based upon individual contributions to the group project report and presentation, and further informed by the logbook, the interim report, and a reflective self evaluation of one’s own performance and others’ performance within the group.

7.2. Contributions to the Group Report (GR) mark are as follows:

(a)

Problem articulation and project task specification

/10

(b)

Use made of reference source materials, including emerging technology considerations

/15

(c)

Development and evaluation of ideas from a range of concepts through to design, including extent of creativity and innovation

/20

(d)

Discussion of results, problem solving skills and analysis

/20

(e)

Economic, social and environmental considerations

/15

(f)

Project management

/10

(g)

Health and Safety considerations

/10

Total 100%

7.3. A mark out of 100% will be awarded for the presentation (PR). You should aim to give an overview of the final report content and all students are expected to present. Marks are allocated as follows:

(a)

Structure and content of the presentation

/30

(b)

Quality of presentation materials

/25

(c)

Effective use of presentation materials

/15

(d)

Imagination and creativity demonstrated in the presentation of information

/15

(e)

Appropriateness of level of technical content

/15

Total 100%

7.4. The overall Group Project mark for all students is calculated as:

{0.9*GR + 0.1*PR}

7.5 Individual marks will then be allocated according to a points distribution that will be determined by the assessors of the Group Project module. Points will be distributed amongst group members by the module assessment team according to contributions made by individuals and this will be informed by a reflective selfevaluation undertaken by all students of their own performance and of the performance of peers within their group. A template is provided (Appendix 2) for completing the reflective evaluation. This should be seen as being confidential, and should be handed into the Registry point and a receipt obtained immediately following the presentation in Week 12 of semester 2.

The following example illustrates how individual marks will be allocated:

For a group comprising 4 members (total points available is 40 points), with an overall group project mark of 67%:

Group Member

Points Allocated, (N)

Weighting Factor, (N/10)

Group

Project Mark (GP)

Mark

Awarded

(GPxN/10)

Person A

12

1.2

63

80%

Person B

8

0.8

63

54%

Person C

15

1.5

63

100%

Person D

5

0.5

63

34%

Clearly, in the unlikely event of someone being awarded a mark above a 100% this is capped at 100%; the distribution used in the example above is for illustrative purposes only.