Tuesday, 8 April 2014
Thursday, 21 March 2013
If you are studying for your ABE Level 7 Diploma in Business Management, then you’ll know that the assessment of this qualification differs from ABE’s other levels in that four of the Level 7 Diploma’s five units are assessed by assignment rather than examination. There are a variety of documents available by following the Level 7 (PgDip) link on the Members Area of the ABE website which are necessary for writing and completing your assignment, and this post should tell you what each of those documents is for. Please remember that ABE does encourage you to sit the examination in Strategic Business Management and Planning before attempting any of the Level 7 assignments, since passing this unit will ensure that you have a base of knowledge that you can apply when producing your assignments.
Syllabuses and Lecture Guides
As for all ABE units, the Level 7 syllabuses and lecture guides outline and expand upon the content that will be assessed in each unit. Please see the How to Study ABE and Lecture Guides - Who are they for? blog entries for more information on these resources.
The texts recommended in the Level 7 reading lists are particularly useful if you are undertaking self-study, since they’ll provide you with a depth of subject knowledge that you can then put to use when writing assignments.
Once you have followed the Level 7 (PgDip) link, you will see another link entitled ‘Assignments’. Please follow this to access the documents described below.
If you are not enrolled with a college, you will have to submit your assignments through Management Approaches. Management Approaches is a company separate to ABE who offer a variety of services to ABE Level 7 students sitting their qualification privately. The document (available in the introductory paragraph of the Assignments section) outlines those services and provides contact details for the company. Please bear in mind that as a company separate to ABE, Management Approaches has a fee structure of its own, and ABE cannot enter into any discussion regarding Management Approaches fees or services.
General Assignment guidance for Students
As suggested by its title, this document explains the features common to all of the four units assessed by assignment – which management skills the assignments will assess, how to select an assignment topic, the general structure of the assignment (although this can vary slightly depending on unit) and the word count. It is therefore essential to read this document at the start of planning your assignment.
How to submit an Assignment
This document lets you know where to submit your assignment, depending on whether you are attending college or submitting privately. If submitting privately, you should read the Management Approaches document. As the How to submit an Assignment document states, please complete an Assignment Entry Form (see below) for each assignment that you submit.
Assignment Submission Process
The Assignment Submission Process document is a flowchart that elaborates on the information contained in the How to submit an Assignment document. Looking at this should inform you of the stages that your assignment goes through during the marking and moderation process, as well as at what point you will be charged your fees and at what point your results will be released.
Assignment Entry Form
You must complete this form for every assignment that you submit, and submit your assignment with the completed form on the cover. This helps your college, Management Approaches and ABE know who you are and what subject your assignment has been written for.
Assignment Payment Form
If you wish, you can use this form to pay for your assignment(s). Simply fill in which assignments you are paying for and how you are paying for them, then forward the form to your college to include with your assignment(s). If you are submitting as a private student, this form can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org when you send your assignment to Management Approaches for marking.
Please bear in mind that this form is not the only way to pay for assignments. Sometimes your college will handle your payment for you. There will also be the option to pay via direct debit on the Members Area when your assignment has been marked.
This document sets out the various regulations assignments are subject to, as regards submission, marking, plagiarism (more in this in a moment!) and results. Please make sure that you read it so that you are aware of your responsibilities when writing and submitting ABE assignments.
Plagiarism and Collusion Policy
The ABE Plagiarism and Collusion Policy sets out how ABE defines the terms ‘plagiarism’ and ‘collusion’, and the risks you take by engaging in either activity. Plagiarising someone else’s work (copying and pasting from the Internet counts as this!), or colluding with other people to produce an assignment can result in your assignment being awarded zero marks, so please familiarise yourself with the policy and ensure that your work is your own!
Assignment Guidelines by Unit
ABE receives a lot of queries from students asking things like ‘where do I get assignment questions?’, or ‘what should I write my assignment about’? Where the General Assignment Guidance document discussed above will give you a broad idea of how to write your assignment, the Assignment Guidelines by Unit cover the specific requirements of each unit, and whilst there are no assignment ‘questions’, they do tell you what you should write your assignment about. Please read the Assignment Guidelines by Unit thoroughly before attempting your assignment, and follow their instructions closely whilst constructing it.
Monday, 13 August 2012
ABE produces a variety of resources to make studying easier, and this article should tell you what each of them is for, what form it takes, and where you can find it. Most of the resources detailed below are available in the Members Area of the ABE website, which you can log into at www.abeukmembers.com
The various links you will need to follow to access the resources are shown in italics.
Members>Member login>Tuition Resources> QCF Resources>QCF Syllabuses
Syllabuses set out the knowledge and skills that you will be assessed on in ABE’s examinations. They are available to both members and non-members under the relevant subsection of the Qualifications tab on the ABE website (www.abeuk.com). For example, if you wish to view a syllabus for a unit in the Business Management programme, you would select ‘Business Management’ from the ‘Qualifications’ drop-down menu, and then scroll down until you see the list of units, which can be selected to reveal the relevant syllabus. Members can also access syllabuses in the Members Area using the above series of links.
Each syllabus includes between 4 and 8 Learning Outcomes. These set out what you are expected to know as a result of taking the unit. You should revise for each learning outcome, as they will all be tested in the examination.
The Learning Outcomes all contain one or more Assessment Criteria. These describe how you will demonstrate in the examination that you have met the Learning Outcomes. The Assessment Criteria are further broken down into Indicative Content, which indicates some of the range of detail covered by the Assessment Criteria.
At the top of each syllabus you will see, among other things, the following information:
Guided Learning Hours (GLH) – this is the recommended amount of time that a student should spend learning the particular unit under the teacher’s direction, both in the classroom and in their own time, before the examination. It is only a guide and colleges may choose to timetable significantly less than the GLH.
Level – this is the level at which the unit has been recognised by OFQUAL, the regulator of qualifications, examinations and assessments in England. It is a measure of the demand or complexity of the unit, so a Level 5 unit would be more demanding than a Level 4 and so on.
Number of Credits – this is the amount of credits the unit is worth on the UK’s QCF framework. One credit equals 10 hours of learning time (which unlike GLH includes private study not directed by the teacher). Credits can be transferred to other qualifications on the QCF.
Members>Member login>Tuition Resources> QCF Resources>QCF Lecture Guides
ABE’s lecture guides offer advice from examiners on how the syllabus for each unit should be taught – for each syllabus, there is a corresponding lecture guide, available to ABE Members by following the above series of links on the ABE website. The lecture guides add important detail to each of the Learning Outcomes presented in the syllabus, giving you an insight into what examiners are looking for, and are therefore particularly helpful when studying for the examination. Our blog entry ’Lecture Guides: Who are they for?’, provides more insight into this particular resource.
Past Questions and Suggested Answers
Members>Member login>Tuition Resources> QCF Resources>Questions and Answers
Answering past questions as though you are in a real exam is useful for practising your exam technique, and for testing your knowledge of a particular unit, and so exam papers from previous examination sessions are available for ABE members to use as part of the learning and revision processes. ABE also supplies suggested answers for questions from each paper in the Members Area of the ABE website, so it’s easy to check how close you are to achieving full marks.
Recommended reading lists
Members>Member login>Tuition Resources> QCF Resources>QCF Reading Lists
ABE’s reading lists contain all the details of the various publications that the examiners recommend you read to fully understand the syllabus. These publications are often referred to in the lecture guides, and reading them will give you a more rounded knowledge of the topic covered in the syllabuses. Where appropriate, the reading list will also direct you to where you can purchase the publication.
Members>Member login>Tuition Resources> QCF Resources>QCF Study Manuals
Study Manuals are textbooks which have been written specifically for particular ABE units. Each manual deals with each of the learning outcomes in the appropriate syllabus and so comprehensively covers all the topics you will need to learn in order to have a chance at passing that examination.
ABE publishes Study Manuals for all units in the BM Pathway of the Business Management stream, and the common BM units in the HRM, MM and TTHM streams. There are also ABE Study Manuals for the specialist units in the Level 4 and 5 HRM Diplomas.
ABE students are able to purchase the BM Study Manuals in PDF format, on CD-ROM, or as printed books either by making an online payment or by downloading and returning the appropriate form. These can be found by following the above series of links on the ABE website. The HRM specialist Study Manuals are available as printed books via BPP Learning Media at http://www.bpp.com/learning-media , and also from a number of bookshops across the world. A list of these, as well as more information about the HRM Study Manuals is available at http://abeuk.com/hrmmanuals.php .
Members>Member login>Tuition Resources>QCF Resources>QCF Study Tips
Study Tips is a series of articles written for ABE students by ABE staff and examiners. Some of the articles cover examination technique such as how to improve your essay writing skills, whilst some address how to study for and write exams in a particular ABE unit. As well as being available in ABE’s quarterly student publication Student Focus, the articles can also be found in the Members Area by following the above series of links, or at www.abeukmembers.com/c_qcfStudyTips.asp.
‘Changes to ABE Examinations’ Document
Members>Member login>Tuition Resources>QCF Resources>Important changes to ABE examinations under QCF
Following the introduction of the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) in the UK, ABE has taken the opportunity to revise its qualifications in order to provide the most relevant and focused learning experience for students. The new QCF qualifications were examined by ABE for the first time in December 2011, and the various changes to ABE’s examinations under this framework are detailed in the ‘Changes to ABE examinations’ document. It is important to read this document as a starting point to familiarising yourself with the structure and requirements of ABE’s examinations under the QCF.
If you sat ABE examinations before December 2011 you should also consult the Transition Arrangements on the ABE website (www.abeukmembers.com/c_transarrangements.asp) to find out how you can use your previous ABE passes to complete your QCF qualification.
Members>Member login>Benefits>Student Focus
Student Focus is a quarterly publication, received free by all ABE members. Its content is specifically for ABE students. It contains relevant information about examinations, courses and colleges, plus articles, news, competitions and study tips from examiners, and is available in PDF form from the Members Area of the ABE website.
Business Executive is a quarterly magazine received by students with current membership who hold a QCF (or NQF) Level 5 Diploma, and its stimulating articles are relevant to anyone with an interest in business or management. It can therefore be a valuable source of information for students taking a Level 6 Diploma with ABE.
Friday, 1 June 2012
Tuesday, 8 May 2012
As a student, it’s easy to see or hear the term ‘lecture guide’ and dismiss it without much thought. After all, you’re not giving the lectures – why would you need a guide on how to teach them?
It’s true that ABE’s lecture guides are used by your tutors as a teaching aid. The lecture guide for each unit shows where the examiner places the focus in each learning outcome, and so lets your tutor know which areas of a unit to place emphasis on when teaching. In turn, this will help you, the student, to pass your exams. But in this sense, lecture guides can be just as useful as a study aid as a teaching aid. Attending lectures is important for stimulating your mind and encouraging debate, allowing you to develop original thought on a subject, but reading a lecture guide outside of lecture time will provide you with a concrete example of the detail that you need to be concentrating on in each unit.
No doubt you will have looked at the syllabus for each unit you’re studying, in order to get an idea of what the learning outcomes for each unit are, how these outcomes will be assessed, and what sort of information you’ll need to cover when learning the unit. The lecture guides go hand in hand with the syllabuses for each unit, expanding on the indicative content to give a more fully-developed idea of what the examiners are looking for when they mark your exams.
Let’s use Introduction to Business as an example. Looking at the syllabus, you can see that by the end of studying Learning Outcome 1, you will be able to ‘understand the objectives of a business, what resources they need and to whom they are accountable.’ Assessment Criterion 1.1 lets you know the first step you need to take to demonstrate that understanding, that you need to be able to ‘define and show an understanding of the important business terms related to corporate objectives.’ In turn, Indicative Content 1.1.1 is even more specific, stating some of those terms as ‘corporate aims’, ‘corporate objectives’ and ‘corporate strategy’.
This is as far as the syllabus goes, since by definition it aims only to provide a summary of a unit’s content. A lecture guide, however, goes even further; the Introduction to Business lecture guide then details what is meant by the above terms, advising that you ‘distinguish between aims (long term intentions often expressed in qualitative terms, e.g. to become the world’s largest airline); objectives (medium to long term goals expressed in quantitative, terms e.g. increase sales in Asia by 10% in the next four years) and strategy (the plan for achieving the objectives including the resources required).’ From the lecture guide, you’ll know where to focus further reading on the subject, for example in ABE’s Study Manuals or a text from one of our recommended reading lists. Look out for blog posts on these in the near future!
So don’t be fooled into thinking that ABE lecture guides are only for lecturers – they’re for students, too! Lecture guides for each unit are available for students to download from the Members Area of the ABE website, which you can log into by clicking here.
Friday, 13 April 2012
ABE has always strived to support its global network of students as effectively and efficiently as possible. As a not-for-profit organisation, ABE reinvests any surplus into the services and resources it provides to its members.