I think I know how you’re feeling! You would like to do the MA Education; you know you will learn a great deal. But you are a little apprehensive; you feel your work load is challenging enough as it is. I know how you feel because I felt exactly the same way! I teach at MDIS and, like you, I have a very full schedule.
The first advantage of the Bangor University MA Education at MDIS is that there are no examinations. In my own personal opinion, for a part-time programme, an examination would be quite taxing and quite difficult to do. However, assignments are a different matter. Again, in my personal opinion, assignments are a better way of learning because you apply the theories and concepts you have learnt to a particular case study. So today, I thought I would share some tips that I personally have picked up – about how to efficiently tackle your assignments as you juggle your teaching or other work schedules.
1. Begin your assignment draft even before the first lecture
2. Note down thoughts and ideas into the draft during lectures
3. Keep a record of all your references
4. Buffer a few days for paraphrasing
5. Polish it, make it glitter!
Before the first lecture of your MA Education, open and save a word document with your name, calling it the draft of the assignment. Fill up all the usual elements of an assignment – the cover page, a table of contents, list of figures, list of tables, references, the appendices etc. Put all the standard items into your draft assignment even before the first class.
This is a good way to start – to motivate and incentivise yourself. What you will now do is fill in the gaps, fill in the specifics.
To keep up with your assignment, you could apply the technique that worked for me. From the very first class, leave your laptop open and have your assignment draft ready. You have already read and understood the contents of the assignment.
From the very first class, listen to all that the teacher tells you; take down notes and pointers that you feel are very specific to the MA Education assignment. Every time the teacher tells you something that you feel is useful to the assignment (it could be about some particular concept; it could be about some particular book; it could be about some particular educationist), immediately note it down in the draft that you’ve done for your assignment.
Whenever you take some material from a book or a journal or an internet source, remember to immediately put down the source where you’ve taken it so that you don’t have to search for it later. This saves you a great deal of time later.
MA Education academic assignments required plenty of academic references; so remember to use academic references from textbooks and journals. The quickest way to do this is to use Google Scholar and as far as possible try to use references that are recent, the last 5 years if possible. Of course, there are seminal textbooks that could have been written many years ago and are still relevant to your assignment.
If you are copying and pasting items into your assignment and planning to paraphrase it later, you need to keep a buffer of a few days to paraphrase your entire assignment, all at one time. This can be quite a challenge at the last minute. (Sometimes, my students at the last minute, use an online paraphrasing tool; the output is terrible and incomprehensible.)
Once your assignment is done and once you have paraphrased it, you still need a few days to improve it – to format it correctly, to polish it, to make it shine and glitter. This is the last and final stage and you must give yourself some time to give it the finishing touches it needs.
I wish you all the best; I’m sure that you’ll do very well and that you will learn a great deal from doing your MA Education from Bangor University, even if you’re doing it amid of a very challenging work schedule! I’m always there to guide and support you whenever you want to take it!
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