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Athabasca University

Project Assessment

1. Project Quality Standards

The Project should meet or exceed the content, layout and production standards set by the University and the program.  The Graduate Student should consider the following quality issues when producing the Project.
Content Quality Considerations
•    Did the literature review consider all appropriate sources of information?
•    Did the Graduate Student properly address the problems identified in the Project Proposal using valid tools or methods?
•    Does the final version of Project thesis adequately describe how the Graduate Student applied the research methodology and steps described in the original Project Proposal?
•    Are the data gathering techniques described or attached to the final version of Project thesis?
•    Is the reliability and validity of all data gathering techniques described in the final version of Project thesis?
•    Does the final version of Project thesis demonstrate the proper and effective use of statistical analysis or qualitative analysis tools?
•    Are the findings, conclusions and recommendations in the Project thesis supported by collected evidence and other information described in the literature review?
•    Does the Project conform to the Research Ethics Policy of Athabasca University?
•    Will the Project stand up to rigorous academic scrutiny?
Production Quality Considerations
•    Does the Project layout and format conform to the MSc IS Project style Guide?
•    Are the citations and reference list formatted in accordance with the MSc IS Project style Guide?
•    Are the tables, figures, diagrams and graphs of sufficient print quality that they can be reproduced on a high quality photocopier?  Are they suitable for microfilm reproduction?
•    Is the Project free of spelling or grammatical errors?
•    Is the Project printed on appropriate paper?  Please refer to the style guide for advice on appropriate paper for Projects.

2. Assessment Criteria

The Project and supporting materials will be assessed based on their ability to meet the program mission to provide leadership in:
•    assessing the integration of the IS function, IS technologies and scientific scope of an issue or problem pertaining to sustaining or enhancing IS in the enterprise;
•    identifying, evaluating and comparing, from all perspectives, solutions or goals and alternative strategies; and
•    preparing plans for, and securing action.

University Assessment Criteria

The Project must be a sustained, creative, independent and original piece of applied work.  Athabasca University requires that:
•    The Project must be conducted according to sound research and inquiry methods.
•    The Project must be open to critical examination and review by peers, scholars and practitioners in the Graduate Student’s major field of study.
•    The Project must be defensible by the author, in that all claims, observations or recommendations made must be supported by intellectual and practical constructs.
•    Underlying empirical evidence and methods used to analyze the problem and develop recommendations should be available for review upon request.
•    The Project must demonstrate thorough understanding of the program mission.
•    The Project must be presented in a manner that is suitable for evaluation and cataloguing.
•    The Project must conform to the MSc IS Project style Guide or approved equivalent.
 
Supervisor and External Reader Assessment Criteria

The Project Supervisor and external reader will base their assessment of the Project on an examination of four key areas:
•    Critical Reasoning
•    Communication
•    Knowledge and Skills
•    Perspective
These key areas are outlined in the Project Assessment Form.

3. Grading

After completing a final review of the Project, the Project committee members will discuss the results.  The majority of Committee members must agree on one of the following Project grades:
  • Acceptable: No modifications are required to the Project.  The Graduate Student will be allowed to submit his/her Project and apply for graduation. 
  • Acceptable with Minor Revisions: Some minor modifications are required to the Project.  When these modifications have been completed, the Project Supervisor will review the changes with the Graduate Student.  If the changes conform to the direction provided by the Project committee, the Graduate Student will be allowed to submit his/her Project and apply for graduation.  
  • Acceptable with Major Revisions: Major modifications, further justification or additional research is required before the majority of the Project committee members would consider the Project acceptable.  When the Project has been revised, the Project Supervisor will review the changes with the Graduate Student.  If the changes conform to the direction provided by the Project committee, then the Graduate Student will re-circulate the Project to all Committee members for review.  The Project Supervisor will discuss the results of the second review with the members.  If the majority of Committee members consider the revised Project to be acceptable, then the Graduate Student will be allowed to submit his/her Project and apply for graduation.
  • Not Acceptable/Rejected: If the majority of Project committee members reject a Student’s Project, the Project plus all Project assessment documents and other supporting materials will be passed to the Graduate Program Coordinator for review.  The Graduate Program Coordinator will determine whether the Student should withdraw from the program or be given an opportunity to complete a second Project.  Students who are required to withdraw from the program will be sent a letter by the Graduate Program Coordinator explaining the reason for the decision.
4. Student Appeal Procedures

Students will have an opportunity to appeal their assessment if the Project is deemed to be “Not Acceptable/Rejected”. This appeal should be directed to the director of the School of Computing and Information Systems (SCIS) for review and consideration.
Students must submit a Letter of Appeal to the Director of the School of Computing and Information Systems explaining their reasons for the appeal.  The letter must be received within 60 days of being informed that their Project was considered “Not Acceptable/Rejected”.
Students who submit a Letter of Appeal will receive a formal decision from the Director of the School of Computing and Information Systems within 30 days of the receipt of their letter.

Updated October 05 2015 by FST Technical Staff

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