ReLeVAnt to ALL ACCA stUdents
This provides a general guideline; more specifically, markers will be looking for evidence of understanding of concepts, theories models etc. Understanding implies that you can define concepts, explain interpret and critique theories selected, and draw appropriate inferences from them. Thus a clear definition of ‘motivation’, and explanations of ‘factors of motivation’ (what motivates employees?) and ‘indicators of motivation’ (evidence that employees are motivated) must be provided. A range of relevant theories must be reviewed, and their implications considered. Explanations must demonstrate understanding, and be linked appropriately to the organisation studied. Similarities and differences between theories should be explained, for example between ‘content’ theories – which focus on what motivates employees – and ‘process’ theories, which focus on how employees are motivated. Where there is little evidence of understanding of concepts/theories of motivation, incorrect interpretation of theories, and no discussion of factors or indicators of motivation, then the project will fail. Application of accountancy/ business models The generic A descriptor is: ‘insightful and critical application of models to the project topic’. Application implies that the theories chosen can, and must be, related to the organisation studied. Markers expect to see theories used to design appropriate research tools about motivation in the organisational context (eg in a questionnaire or suitable questions for interviews) which enable conclusions to be established.
Why do students fail the OBU Research and Analysis Project (RAP)? One significant cause of failure is that they either have inadequate knowledge and understanding of the relevant guidelines, or they do not follow the guidelines in their submitted projects. The current guidelines (2008) are on the ACCA website, and should be regarded as a template for achieving a good pass. The assessment details for the RAP are a vital part of the guidelines, as they specify what you have to do to pass. The RAP Assessment Grid (available at www.accaglobal.com/ documents/assessmentgrid.pdf) is also a key document: it provides details of what is required for each assessment criterion.
Assessment of the RAP the research project In order to pass the RAP students must , attain a pass grade (A, B, C) in the four technical and professional skills (see below). In order to pass this element, students must show understanding of relevant concepts, theories and models in accountancy/business. They must show that they can apply these concepts, theories, models in accountancy/business to gather, analyse and evaluate information, and present conclusions and recommendations on their chosen project topic. Understanding, applying, analysing and evaluating are important cognitive or thinking skills, and the research project is a guided independent study to enable students to demonstrate that they possess them. In addition, students must also demonstrate competence in each of three ‘graduate’ skills
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in: communication, information gathering and referencing, and information technology. The grade awarded for the research project is the grade for the technical and professional skills element. the skills and Learning statement Students must pass the Skills and Learning Statement (SLS) by demonstrating competence in two ‘graduate’ skills of self-reflection and communication. Self-reflection is assessed by answers to four specific questions and communication skills by the preparation and delivery of a presentation to the mentor. Note that if you pass the RAP , but fail the SLS, then on successful resubmission of the SLS you will be awarded the original grade for the research project. how do markers apply the assessment criteria? Let us consider how markers interpret the RAP Assessment Grid in assessing a specific topic:...