Why do students fail the OBU
Research and Analysis Project
(RAP)? Onesignificant cause of failure is that theyeither have inadequate knowledgeand understanding of the relevantguidelines, or they do not follow theguidelines in their submitted projects.The current guidelines (2008) areon the ACCA website, and should beregarded as a template for achieving agood pass.
The assessment details for the RAPare a vital part of the guidelines, asthey specify what you have to do topass. The RAP Assessment Grid(available at www.accaglobal.com/documents/assessmentgrid.pdf) isalso a key document: it providesdetails of what is required for eachassessment criterion.
A f RAPhe research project
In order to pass the RAP, students mustattain a pass grade (A, B, C) in the fourtechnical and professional skills (seebelow). In order to pass this element,students must show understanding ofrelevant concepts, theories and modelsin accountancy/business.They must show that they canapply these concepts, theories,models in accountancy/businessto gather, analyse and evaluateinformation, and present conclusionsand recommendations on theirchosen project topic. Understanding,applying, analysing and evaluatingare important cognitive or thinkingskills, and the research project is aguided independent study to enablestudents to demonstrate that theypossess them. In addition, studentsmust also demonstrate competencein each of three ‘graduate’ skillsin: communication, informationgathering and referencing, andinformation technology.The grade awarded for the researchproject is the grade for the technicaland professional skills element.
he kills and Learning tatement
Students must pass the
Skillsand Learning Statement
(SLS) bydemonstrating competence in two‘graduate’ skills of self-reflectionand communication.Self-reflection is assessed byanswers to four specific questionsand communication skills by thepreparation and delivery of apresentation to the mentor.Note that if you pass the RAP,but fail the SLS, then on successfulresubmission of the SLS you will beawarded the original grade for theresearch project.
ow do markers apply theassessment criteria?
Let us consider how markers interpretthe RAP Assessment Grid in assessinga specific topic: The key factorsor indicators in the motivation ofemployees in an organisation.This is the second most populartopic, normally representing 10 to 11%of all submissions.
Understanding accountancy/usiness models
The starting point is the grade descriptor,and for our purposes we will considerin all cases what markers are looking forin a grade A submission. The generic Agrade descriptor (see RAP AssessmentGrid) is: ‘highly appropriate choice oftheory/concepts; very clear relevanceand shows evidence of wider reading’.This provides a general guideline;more specifically, markers will belooking for evidence of understandingof concepts, theories models etc.Understanding implies that you candefine concepts, explain interpret andcritique theories selected, and drawappropriate inferences from them. Thusa clear definition of ‘motivation’, andexplanations of ‘factors of motivation’(what motivates employees?) and‘indicators of motivation’ (evidencethat employees are motivated) mustbe provided. A range of relevanttheories must be reviewed, and theirimplications considered. Explanationsmust demonstrate understanding,and be linked appropriately to theorganisation studied. Similarities anddifferences between theories shouldbe explained, for example between‘content’ theories – which focus on whatmotivates employees – and ‘process’theories, which focus on how employeesare motivated.Where there is little evidence ofunderstanding of concepts/theories ofmotivation, incorrect interpretation oftheories, and no discussion of factorsor indicators of motivation, then theproject will fail.
Application o accountancy/usiness models
The generic A descriptor is: ‘insightfuland critical application of models tothe project topic’. Application impliesthat the theories chosen can, and mustbe, related to the organisation studied.Markers expect to see theories usedto design appropriate research toolsabout motivation in the organisationalcontext (eg in a questionnaire orsuitable questions for interviews) whichenable conclusions to be established.
how to pass
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