University of Exeter Handbook (Physics) Questions/Comments Department (Physics)

Assessment of Physics Project Work and Notebooks

BSc Procedures

On the occasions specified in the module descriptor, each student will have their notebook(s) read by an assessor and will then discuss their project in a short interview, normally lasting 10 minutes. Assessors will be rotated from one assessment to the next.

MPhys Procedures

Each student will have their notebook(s) evaluated by two assessors and answer questions in a viva voce examination normally lasting 20 minutes.

Common Procedures

In accordance with the published Marking Strategy, each assessor should complete an individual pro-forma, on which comments are to be made and marks recorded. These, along with a further pro-forma of 'agreed marks' are to be returned to the Module Lead. All marks are subject to consistency checks and, if necessary moderation. The marks for this assessment contribute to the overall module mark in proportion to the weighting indicated in the module descriptor.

Marks (maximum total 100) are allocated under four categories:

  1. NOTEBOOK (25 marks max)
  2. PROJECT WORK (30 marks max)
  3. EXCEPTIONAL PERFORMANCE(20 marks max)
  4. ORAL DEFENCE (25 marks max)

judged according to the criteria below. The categories (b) 'PROJECT WORK' and (c) 'EXCEPTIONAL PERFORMANCE' are intended to be progressive, i.e. a student who does not achieve a very good score for (b) is unlikely to gain more than a few marks for (c); it is also possible for a student to get a very high mark for (b) but to get a very low mark for (c). The mark under heading (d) relates directly to performance in the viva, and marks under the other headings may be influenced by performance in the viva.

N.B. The marks in each category, including (b) and (c), must not be based on the supervisor's sole evaluation. There needs to be evidence in the notebook to justify them. The evidence supporting unusually high marks needs to be made explicit on the marksheet/feedback form.

(a) NOTEBOOK (Max 25)
Mark RangeAssessors look for: high-quality contemporaneous record-keeping; results of investigations and their analysis recorded in appropriate detail; records that could form the basis of a professional publication and/or be used by a third party to verify or reproduce the work.
21–25A professional standard of record keeping has been achieved, with only one or two minor inconsistencies or omissions.
18–20The notebook has been kept in a systematic way and represents a true and useful record of the work carried out. No significant inconsistencies or omissions but a number of minor deficiencies.
15–17The notebook has been kept in a systematic way and represents a true and useful record of the work carried out. Only one or two significant deficiencies.
12–14The student is developing a professional approach to keeping a notebook. No major inconsistencies or omissions, but a number of significant deficiencies.
10–11A notebook has been kept, but there are one or two major inconsistencies or omissions.
5–9A notebook has been presented but has not been properly used. A number of major inconsistencies and omissions.
0–4No evidence that a notebook has been kept.

 

(b) PROJECT WORK (Max 30)
Mark RangeAssessors look for: an appropriate volume of work and progress made (relative to the credit weighting of assessment); practical/technical competence; production of reliable results; correct interpretation results; quantitative grasp of uncertainties / approximations; attention to detail.
28–30 A command of all relevant aspects which is difficult to fault. The student has been self-motivated and self managing. Little guidance has been necessary from the supervisor. Work at the rate expected from an able postgraduate student.
25–27 A command of most relevant aspects which is difficult to fault. Some minor deficiencies. Approaching the rate expected from an able postgraduate student. Reasonably ambitious aims have been exceeded. The student has generally been self-motivated and self managing. Occasional guidance from the supervisor has been necessary, and the student has taken advantage of this.
20–24 Outcome at focal level. The student has worked very hard. Some guidance from the supervisor has been necessary, and the student has taken advantage of this. A command of most relevant aspects in some depth. The student has the ability to produce experiments (or software, etc.) which work well. Outcome at focal level. Reasonably ambitious aims have been achieved.
16–19 An adequate command of most relevant aspects. The student has the ability to produce experiments (or software, etc.) which work adequately. Reasonably ambitious aims have mostly been achieved. The student has worked hard. A significant amount of guidance from the supervisor has been necessary, and the student has taken advantage of this.
13–15 Outcome at threshold level. A command of most relevant aspects at a relatively superficial level. The student has the ability to produce experiments (or software, etc.) which work to some extent. At the minimum acceptable level of effort for a student at this stage. A significant amount of strong guidance from the supervisor has been necessary at times, and the student has generally taken advantage of this. Some progress has been made towards achieving reasonably ambitious aims.
6–12Little evidence of effort and initiative shown, and the student has generally failed to respond to guidance from the supervisor. Little evidence of technical prowess or relevant skills. Experiments (or software, etc.) unlikely to work. Little progress made.
0–5Little or no evidence of: effort / initiative, response to guidance from the supervisor, technical prowess or relevant skills, progress made.

 

(c) EXCEPTIONAL PERFORMANCE (Max 20)
Mark RangeAssessors look for: advanced practical / technical skills; finesse; consistency checks and validation of results; independent input to the project; innovative creative approach; self-detection and self-correction of errors; identification and follow-up of interesting results; independent use of the literature; refinement / optimisation / adaptation of existing methods; a well-judged and strategic approach.
17–20Almost all the listed qualities are clearly evident throughout.
13–16Most of the listed qualities are clearly evident throughout.
9–12Most of the listed qualities are evident somewhere.
6–8Evidence of several of the listed qualities listed is present.
3–5Evidence of one or two of the listed qualities is present.
0–2Little or no evidence of the listed qualities.

 

(d) ORAL DEFENCE (Max 25)
Mark RangeAssessors look for: ability to address questions in a concise, clear and technically accurate manner; detailed knowledge of the work undertaken and its rationale; a knowledge of key literature; ability to interpret and drawn conclusions from work undertaken, etc.
21–25A thorough understanding of all aspects which allows questions to be answered accurately and fluently and the discussion to be extended with confidence into difficult or unfamiliar areas.
18–20Outcome at excellent level. A thorough understanding of most aspects, with some ability to extend the discussion into difficult or unfamiliar areas
15–17Outcome at focal level. An understanding of most aspects in some depth, with the ability to extend the discussion so as to make relevant links (e.g., between theory and experiment).
12–14An adequate understanding of most aspects, with some ability extend the discussion so as to make relevant links.
10–11Outcome at threshold level. A relatively superficial understanding of most aspects, with the ability to make relatively simple links.
5–9Little understanding shown. Unable to make relevant links.
0–4No understanding demonstrated.


University of Exeter Handbook (Physics) Questions/Comments Department (Physics)