Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Refer to Page 2, under Sample Examination Questions.

In groups of 4 each, choose one sample examination question and answer in a group report (500 words) and Group Oral Presentation.

For the Group Report, refer to the course notes of researching, verifying sources and referencing sources.

Your group report should be typed and have a clear beginning, middle and conclusion. Use a Contents Page to specify the different sections in your report.

There should be in-text citations of sources that you have used and a reference page at the end of your report.

Group Oral Presentation

Use the PP slides on how to make oral presentations and use good visuals.

Each group member has up to 1 min to make their main points and examples. Each member should only be presenting up to 3 slides.

For the different roles of each member in a group presentation, refer to the notes that I've sent you.


Mass Communication Students: 12 May 2010

Business Students: 14 May 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Referencing Exercises

These is an exercise that I found from Tafe in Tasmania, Australia on their E learning website.

Exercise 1
Seven publications of various formats are described below.

Try expressing the reference details for each in the Harvard style and putting them into alphabetical order in a reference list.

  • A book with the title: 'Occupational health and safety', published in Sydney in 2004 by McGraw-Hill, with authors M. Stewart and F. Heyes. This is the second edition.

  • A book with the title: 'Internal control and corporate governance', with authors K. Adams, R. Grose, D. Leeson and H. Hamilton, published in Frenchs Forest, NSW by Pearson Education Australia in 2003.
  • An article by M. Scardamalia and C. Bereiter, called 'Schools as knowledge-building organizations', published in 1999 in a book edited by D. Keating and C. Hertzman, called 'Today's children, tomorrow's society' in New York by Guilford as pages 274 to 289.

  • An article by J. R. Savery and T. M. Duffy, called 'Problem based learning: an instructional model and its constructivist framework', published on pages 31 to 38 in the journal 'Educational Technology', volume 35, number 5, in 1995.

    An article called 'Integration and thematic teaching: integration to improve teaching and learning' by S. Lipson, S. Valencia, K. Wixson and C. Peters, published in 1993 in the journal 'Language Arts', volume 70, number 4, pages 252 to 263.

    A videorecording of a television documentary called 'Embers of the sun', produced in 1999 by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in Sydney.

    A Web page with the title 'Telstra conferencing - video overview', found at the address: on 11 August 2004. No date on it, though Mozilla gives a last modified date of 4 July 2004.

Homework Assignment: Give these as references in a Microsoft Word Document to be submitted on :

12 May Mass Communication Students

14 May Business Students

Exam tips for students taking exams

These are some tips which I found from Dave Chaffrey's website:

Exam time management

It is common for students to drop a grade or even fail since they haven't balanced their time between all questions, so one or more is significantly weaker than the others.

Do plan your answer – In a 3 hour exam it’s well worth spending 5 minutes on this per question. Use the notes area if you wish to identify 5 or 6 areas to focus your answer. Don’t just ‘braindump’.


  • Don’t over-write on your best answer

  • Do remember all questions carry equal marks. 2 good and 1 unanswered not so good will give your a poorer mark than 3 fairly good

  • Don't repeat the question or background on company

  • Be efficient in your answer - don't waffle - don't repeat - focus on the questions asked - ask yourself "will I get a mark for this sentence / paragraph against the criteria suggested by question"?

Answering the question

  • Think about how you check your answer covers what the examiner is looking for.
    Ask yourself:
    What are the main requirements of the question? Underline what you are asked to do, e.g. give advantages and disadvantages, review best practice, create a model, identify metrics

  • What is the scope of the question? For example, is it about general digital media, search engine marketing, SEO or PPC - or one aspect of this. Ring the answer. Don't go beyond the scope since marks generally won't be available for this.

  • Does it apply to a particular type of company or level of issue - strategic or tactical.

Formatting and style

My advice is to treat your exam rather like copywriting for an email marketing campaign or direct mail piece where the emphasis is on key messages to communicate.

Examiners will read all your answer, but it helps if you prove the emphasis of your answer and give a clear narrative flow and logic through:
So, you need to highlight your structure and main points.

  • Use these techniques in your exam answer:

  • Using subheadings to highlight how your answers is structured

  • Use formatting – underline and limited caps e.g. At start of bulleted lists to highlight key points

  • Use lists (ordered and unordered) to make your key points – not simply a bullet list of 2 or 3 words – but expand on these with a sentence or two

  • Increase clarity of handwriting (as examiner I endeavour to read every word, but I would say that for 1 in 10 exam papers this is impossible)

  • Avoid colloquialisms and generalisations which sound unprofessional e.g. “Online, every competitor is a click away” is one I have read recently.

Showcasing your knowledge

Your mark will be better if you give a clear, well-structured answer which shows a step-by-step approach to problem soliving.

You need to substantiate your knowledge through these techniques:

  • Show you have a clear framework for your answer

  • Use references to specific concepts covered on course or in text books, for example briefly define concepts “Permission marketing”, "Web analytics"

  • Use frameworks (tables or step-by-step approaches) for developing strategy or identifying appropriate metrics. These can be based on ones from the course or an amalgamation of these. Ask yourself the question – how does my answer differ from someone who hasn’t done the course?

  • To show your knowledge reference recent similar campaigns or company examples
    Avoid generic answers and be more specific on your recommendations. For examples if asked to describe the principles of SEO don’t try to fit each factor into a long sentence listing the factors, whereas it would be best to expand into a bulleted list giving a little explanation on each

  • Relate individual answers to specific types of industries or companies where these are referenced in the questions, i.e. again make answers less generic.

  • Define assumptions clearly - particularly for budgeting calculation pages where you have made them of if you don't understand question.

Using frameworks in exams
This is a question I was asked recently:

"In an internet marketing strategy plan that uses SOSTAC, would you suggest we should use both the eight decision framework and the 7Ps?"

I thought this was worth repeating here since students answering exam and assignment questions can get carried away in both exams and assignments.

Generally speaking, with frameworks exam markers will be flexible.

  • You will get credited for using frameworks which show engagement with course and topic
    Make sure you select a relevant framework

  • More than one framework can be good if you blend/combine frameworks

  • Don't let the framework(s) get in the way of the answer - it is quite common that students will spend too much time covering every element of the framework even if only some parts are relevant to the question - so don't feel you have to cover them all - state which parts you think are relevant


Monday, April 26, 2010

Understanding What The Question Requires of Me

Very often, when given an essay or project question, you may not understand its requirements. For example, what is the difference between "Describe" and "Discuss".

Below is a list of glossary words that will help you understand and master the requirements.

Glossary of Key Verbs Used In Examinations

Account: account for: state reasons for, report on

Give an account of: narrate a series of events or transactions

Analyse: identify components and the relationship between them; draw out and relate implications

Apply: use, utilise, employ in a particular situation

Appreciate: make a judgement about the value of

Assess: make a judgment of value, quality, outcomes, results or size

Calculate: ascertain or determine from given facts, figures or information

Clarify: make clear or plain

Classify: arrange or include in classes or categories

Compare: show how things are similar or different

Construct: make; build; put together items or arguments

Contrast: show how things are different or opposite

Critically analyse or evaluate: add a degree or level of accuracy, depth, knowledge and understanding, logic, questioning, reflection and quality to (analysis/evaluation)

Deduce: draw conclusionsDefine: state meaning and identify essential qualities

Demonstrate: show by example

Describe: provide characteristics and features

Discuss: identify issues and provide points for and/or against

Distinguish: recognise, note or indicate as being distinct or different from; to note differences between

Evaluate: make a judgement based on criteria; determine the value of

Examine: inquire into

Explain: relate cause and effect; make the relationships between things evident; provide why and/or how

Extract: choose relevant and/or appropriate details

Extrapolate: infer from what is knownIdentify: recognise and nameInterpret: draw meaning from

Investigate: plan, inquire into and draw conclusions about

Justify: support an argument or conclusion

Outline: sketch in general terms; indicate the main features of

Predict: suggest what may happen based on available information

Propose: put forward (for example a point of view, idea, argument, suggestion) for consideration or action

Recall: present remembered ideas, facts or experiences

Recommend: provide reasons in favourRecount: retell a series of events

Summarise: express, concisely, the relevant details

Synthesise: putting together various elements to make a whole

Board of Studies NSW (1999) The New Higher School Certificate Assessment Support Document, pp.19 - 20.