I. Background: Coupling Language Support with Subject Knowledge
With the goal of supporting the BSc Information Management students in learning effective English which is relevant to their context, an adjunct course in English would provide a closer fit with their studies. The adjunct English course runs in parallel with a major course (BSIM0006 Knowledge Management) from the BSc. Information Management (BScIM) program in the Faculty of Education.
The overall objectives of the BSIM0006 are:
- To introduce students to Knowledge Management (KM) theories and related issues;
- To provide students with the opportunity to apply KM theories in a group research project and a case analysis;
- To familiarize students with a range of technology-related KM tools, including Wikis and PowerKM.
This English course will allow students to benefit from mastering the subject knowledge of KM issues through a group research project and a case analysis, with appropriate and timely language support from their English teacher as well as subject education from their core teacher. To make sure the existing resources can be shared more effectively, the English teacher will collaborate with the Faculty subject teacher to develop course materials in parallel with the lesson focus of the KM course. In the parallel courses, the English teacher will work cooperatively with the Faculty staff to comment on assignments submitted for the KM course.
II. Proposed Components in the Adjunct English Course
The assessed tasks of the current KM course are:
- A group research project on “Near Miss Analysis”
- An individual case analysis
- An oral report of the project findings and analysis
- Responses to an online discussion forum
The following skills will be incorporated into the adjunct English course:
- Interviewing skills
- Interviewing a company regarding its applications of various KM techniques/ideas in its business practices
- Conducting a research project
- Designing questionnaires
- Writing a research report
- Writing a literature review
- Writing an introduction, methodology, conclusion
- Analyzing and interpreting findings
- Presenting an oral report on the research project
This course has the advantage of allowing students to target their English learning at different stages within the research project. In particular, they will have access to ongoing feedback from both their English teacher and subject teacher at various phases. For example, the English course will begin with interviewing skills and questionnaire design, and the students will carry out a small-scale research project. Later in the course they will learn how to interpret research findings, write a final research report, and reflect on guest speakers’ seminars. This progressive and pedagogical motivated learning approach will allow the BScIM students to practice relevant English skills for their discipline.
More importantly, the research aims to allow students to experience knowledge sharing as a process of knowledge exchange through the use of MediaWiki. In particular they will learn how to make meaning through the co-construction of knowledge in online collaborative writing.
IV. Course Learning Outcomes
Aiming at encouraging commitment to their major discipline, the adjunct English course attempts to provide the opportunity for students to develop their English writing skills for academic purposes and to build connections between specific language needs and KM issues and theories.
Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
- communicate an argument to an academic audience in report writing with appropriate organizational and rhetorical skills.
- identify, evaluate, critique and synthesize appropriate academic sources in an academic report.
- organize and articulate coherent ideas with appropriate linguistic devices in an academic oral setting.
- plan, draft, edit and proof-read academic essays in an autonomous manner.
- To build upon the writing skills which students already possess and help them to use the skills more effectively for written academic communication.
- To introduce students to the demands of academic essay and report writing and the skills involved in editing and revising their own and others’ work.
- To encourage the development of independent English learning skills through self-access work.
- To maintain close links with academic staff in the Faculty of Education, through on-going discussion of the relevant BSc. curricula.
A planned series of written tasks is completed during the course; students’ performance on a selection of these tasks forms the basis for continuous assessment, which contributes 100% to the final grade for the course.
- Questionnaires are handed out at the end of the course.
- Informal feedback from students is frequently sought during the course.
- Course objectives, materials and strategies are frequently reviewed in the light of student feedback.
VIII. Schedule & Assignments
Students will be asked to hand in the following written assignments for this course:
- Week 1: An initial short essay (pre-course essay writing) of about 200 words (not to be graded)
- Week 7: A citation and referencing test (20%)
- Week 12: Oral presentation (40%)
- Submission date to be confirmed: A group report on a KM-related topic of about 3000 to 4000 words with an outline (not to be graded), a first draft (not to be graded) and a submitted version (30%)
This course is designed to provide small group interaction in class as well as the opportunity for teamwork. Because of the practice component and the collaborative nature of the course, we advise and expect you to be present at all classes. Your absence affects not only your own learning but also that of your classmates.
Although allowances for exigencies such as family emergencies and other special circumstances will be made, 80% attendance is the minimum course requirement. Any student with an attendance rate lower than 80% may be deemed as not having fulfilled the course requirements and will be reviewed by the Director of the Centre for Applied English Studies and/or the course coordinator as appropriate.
X. Course Assessment
The assessment of your performance on this writing course is based on your attendance and participation, and continuous assessment (including citation and referencing test, group written report, oral presentation).
Citation and Referencing Test (Week 7) 20%
*Group Written Report (Week 12) 30%
*Oral Presentation (Week 12) 40%
*Co-assessed by the English teacher and the subject teacher of the KM course
Attendance and Participation 10%