Monday, 28 July 2014

ABE Level 7 graduate tells his story


ABE was recently visited by Top Paper Award winner and Level 7 graduate David Yevugah.   David had successfully completed the ABE Level 7 Diploma in Business Management in 2012 and used it to top up to an MBA from the University of Northampton by distance learning.  Now, he is visiting the UK for the first time for his graduation ceremony.   

Those of you who are members of our Facebook Group may have seen David’s own posting about his graduation.  But what you may not know is that he  managed to achieve this whilst working long hours for the Ghana Police Service and teaching part-time.  He is the oldest of seven children and the first in his family to gain a higher level qualification. This is what he had to say…

Did you find the MBA difficult?  Not really, because I had gone through the same procedure with my ABE Level 7 studies and so I was well prepared for what I had to do.  The ABE qualification serves as a great springboard for Masters level study.

What made you decide to study ABE?  I chose ABE because of the learning resources it offers.  It meant I could catch up on my studies in between working. I also checked with the universities about which qualifications were recognised for progression and they all recognised ABE.

What are your hopes for the future?  I hope to do a PhD and become a full time lecturer.  What I enjoy most is imparting knowledge.  I have been offered places on several courses so I am working hard to save enough money to go ahead and realise my dream. 

Tell us about your job:  I have worked for the Ghana Police Service for ten years.  I work in the training department and took my dissertation in training.  I am also working part-time for local colleges teaching professional courses.

How has your work benefited from your ABE studies?   My boss says he has noticed a big difference in me. Having this qualification gives you a professionalism and practicality.  Now, he relies on me to check every document before it goes to him.  I encourage all new recruits to the police service to get a professional qualification because of the practicality it gives you and the pride in your reputation and respect from fellow police personnel which makes you strive to be a better person.

How was it when you started your studies?  When I first started, my study group didn’t take me seriously because I was a policeman and in Ghana there is a perception that policemen are not academic.  I don’t feel I was an exceptional student but I was very determined and hardworking and as a result achieved the Top Paper Award for my year.

Did you have any setbacks?  I had originally planned to come to the UK and study here to get my MBA but I couldn’t get a sabbatical from the Police Service and I couldn’t risk losing my job so I had to complete the MBA by distance learning.

What advice would you give anyone thinking of doing this qualification?  ABE qualifications are recognised worldwide. The destiny for the development of Africa and the world as a whole depends on practical and professional education and this can be achieved through ABE.

All of us at ABE feel proud to be part of David’s journey and wish him every success for the future.  We have no doubt he will make a great lecturer!

Monday, 14 July 2014

The most inspirational quotes ever (according to ABE)

We all need a bit of inspiration on a Monday morning so here are eighteen great quotes to inspire you in your studies.


How we chose them


We put together as many great sayings as we could think of and did a poll of the office to find out which phrases amongst them the ABE team find most inspirational.  We kept the originators anonymous so that the reputation of the speaker didn’t influence choices for or against the power of their words.  Despite this, you won’t be surprised to know that great thinkers and leaders ranging from Mandela and Ghandi to Einstein and Churchill are amongst those who whose words inspire us most.  There may be a few surprises too. 

Let us know what you think of our choices, or make your own suggestion.  We would love to announce ABE members’ all-time most inspirational quote.


Listed in alphabetic order

  1. Believe you can and you're halfway there. 
  2. Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential. 
  3. Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow. 
  4. Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
  5. Focus 90% of your time on solutions and only 10% of your time on problems. 
  6. Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul.
  7. It always seems impossible until it’s done.
  8. Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.
  9. Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. 
  10. Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end.  It is not a day when you lounge around doing nothing – it is a day when you’ve had everything to do and you’ve done it. 
  11. Never compare your journey with someone else’s.  Your journey is your journey not a competition.
  12. There are two kinds of things that you should not get upset about; the ones that you can change and the ones that you can’t change.
  13. Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.
  14. We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. 
  15. You don't have to be like most people around you, because most people never become truly rich and wealthy.
  16. We can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone. 
  17. Wear a smile and have friends; wear a scowl and have wrinkles.
  18. Well done is better than well said. 
Which one is your favourite?  Is there a saying you love that is not on this list?  Let us know what inspires you…


Sources:  1.  Theodore Roosevelt, 2 & 14 Winston Churchill, 3 & 5 Anthony J. D'Angelo, 4 & 7 Nelson Mandela, 6 Democritus, 8 & 13 Albert Einstein, 9 Mahatma Gandhi, 10 Margaret Thatcher, 11 Cheryl Jacobs, 12 & 15 unknown, 16 Ronald Reagan, 17 George Eliot, 18 Benjamin Franklin

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Study Tips: How to Revise

Revision can seem like a difficult task. Taking everything that you’ve learned over the course of your studies with ABE, then breaking it down, memorising it, and making it useable in an exam situation is certainly a lot of work.  But there’s no reason for it to be impossible, and as an ABE student you’re more than likely up to the challenge!  

Everyone has different ways of learning that work for them, and so the techniques explored here might not be the right ones for you. Don’t be afraid to experiment – do some of your own research into learning styles and revision techniques, and find out which work best for you. A helpful quiz, What is your learning style?, can be found in the August 2010 issue of Student Focus, which is available online in the Members Area of the ABE website (www.abeuk.com).
Be careful to avoid practicing only rote learning, or learning by repetition. Whilst this method can be useful for memorising simple facts, it will not help you understand material or how to apply what you have learnt to different contexts. A lot of what goes on in exams is about applying your knowledge to the specific situation presented to you by the question. Think of it as a way of showing off to the examiner, and exhibiting your business ingenuity!

If you find that you lack focus when it comes to revising, a particularly structured method of study known as PQRST (Preview, Question, Read, Self-recite, Test) has been developed over decades of research by psychologists Thomas and Robinson (1982), Spache and Berg (1978), and Robinson (1970). The research may seem dated, but it’s a method still used widely today, and it’s easy to see why. You can apply the framework to a chapter of your Study Manual, recommended reading, or even an excerpt from your own notes (for the sake of simplicity, we’re going to use the word ‘chapter’ from this point onward to refer to any excerpt, section, or body of writing that you can apply the method to). Here’s an outline of what to do at each of the five stages of the PQRST method:

1.    Preview

At this stage, you need to make yourself aware of the basics of the material you’ll be covering.
The best way to do this is to ‘skim’, or quickly glance through, the chapter that you’ll be looking at, taking into special account any lists of contents, the introduction, headings, and diagrams. These will give you a quick, brief overview of what the chapter is about.

When you have done this, it’s a good idea to read the summary of the chapter you are focusing on (usually located at the chapter’s end), which should briefly lay out everything that has been covered in that chapter.

2.    Question

Once you have skimmed through the chapter and are broadly aware of what it concerns, you should formulate a list of questions relating to the major points in the chapter that you would hope to be able to answer after reading the chapter more thoroughly.

Usually, chapters will be split into sections or topics, each concerning a different aspect of the same area of subject matter. These sections are denoted by headings, and sometimes broken down further into subheadings. You can use these headings to formulate your questions.

For example, in the ABE Human Resource Development Study Manual the second topic is entitled ‘What is Human Resource Development?’ Here, the question has already been made up for you. But the subheadings for this topic – ‘Defining Human Resources’, ‘Defining Human Resource Development’, ‘Different approaches to HRD: some key concepts’ and so on, can be turned into questions like this: ‘How do you define Human Resources?’, ‘What are the key concepts of the different approaches to HRD?’ etc.

You can then go on to think about how to answer these questions in the next stage of the process, which will engage your brain more fully than if you were simply reading with no concrete goal. If there are no obvious headings or sections to the material that you’re reading your job will be slightly harder, but don’t worry, it should still be possible for you to invent a number of questions based on your knowledge of the material.

3.    Read

Time to get properly stuck into the material itself! Read the chapter carefully, doing your best to fully understand the information presented, and seeing how it can be used to answer those questions that you’ve come up with. Try to create a meaningful link in your head between the different points that you come across, seeing how they all fit together.  

After you’ve read the chapter through once, go through it again and highlight any key points, or parts you find difficult to remember.

Making notes the second time around is also a good idea, but it’s recommended that you keep them to the absolute essentials at this stage, and also that you phrase any notes you take in your own words, since this forces you to reinterpret and understand the material rather than just memorising it.

4.    Self-recite

This is where you’ll really start to learn the material that you’ve been revising, both understanding it and committing it to memory. Take short sections of the chapter at a time – perhaps a page or two, or the points that come under one of your questions – and after reviewing the information, cover up the section and try to recall (aloud, if possible) the main points it presents.

Write what you can remember down (in your own words – you don’t want to just memorise information, you want to understand it), and then go back to the material and check what you have missed. Only move to your next section when you can remember all the information, including the details, from the section that you are concentrating on.   

It can be useful to concentrate at first on just remembering the main ideas in each section, to then being able to ‘fill in the blanks’ and recall the detail from this more basic information.
Everybody’s different, so find your own ways to memorise the information. If you thank that you learn better through visuals, for example, draw diagrams to help you remember details connected to main points.

5.    Test

This is where being able to build up detail from simply remembering the main ideas becomes important. After you’re able to recall and understand pieces of information and how they fit together, test yourself at regular intervals, going through the same process as the self-recitation stage.

Give yourself hours, days, and then weeks (if you have time) to ‘forget’ the information. After whichever time period you’re using, give the section a brief skim again, then see how much you can remember. When you can build up detailed notes from just the main points, you’ll have completed the process!

Above all, don’t panic! Working too hard can be almost as damaging as doing no work at all, so don’t forget to take a step back. Take 5 or 10 minute breaks from revision every 40 minutes or so, preferably away from your study area. If you are able to go outside and do some light exercise, so much the better. Similarly, staying hydrated is important for your memory and focus, so drink plenty of water if you can. For further advice on how to prepare for revision and how to follow it up in your exams, we recommend reading the Student Focus articles listed below. Good luck from all the staff and examiners at ABE!

Helpful articles

(All these articles can be found in the back issues of Student Focus on the Members Area of the ABE website, www.abeuk.com)

Study tips: Effective Examination Technique, Student Focus, November ’09 (pp14-15),

Quiz: What is your learning style?, Student Focus, August ’10 (pp18-19)

Special feature: 6 easy steps to exam success, Student Focus, Nov ’10 (pp7-8).

Bibliography

Robinson, F.P. Effective Study. 4th ed. New York: Harper and Row, 1979.

Spache, G., Berg, P. The Art of Effective Reading. 3rd ed. New York: Macmillan, 1978.

Thomas, E.L., Robinson H.A. Improving Reading in Every Class. Boston: Alyn and Bacon, 1982.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Assignments for Level 7 Diploma in Business Management (QCF)

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.

Reading Lists

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.

Management Approaches

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 pgdassignments@abeuk.com 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.

Assignment Regulations

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

How to Study ABE

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.

Syllabuses

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.

Lecture Guides

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.

Study Manuals

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 .

Study Tips

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.

Student Focus

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

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

Quick tips for landing a job

The biggest question lingering the minds of those who have just completed a qualification is often ‘Will I be able to find a job?’

Yes, it is true that competition is fierce no matter where in the world you are based, especially when considering the current economic conditions, but on the bright side we should always stay optimistic and be very prepared in order to get that job!
Here are the essential steps you should take in order to get the job!

1.    Write your Curriculum Vitae (CV)
Be sure to follow a layout that will allow you to sell your experience, skills and education in a manner that is attractive to prospective employers. Remember that the CV is the first point of contact that employers have with potential candidates, and therefore your CV needs to stand out!  
Recruiters and human resource departments get inundated with CVs, and they will literally skim through them in order to shortlist the few strong candidates that get invited to an interview. That being said, you must make sure that your grammar is impeccable, that your layout is tidy and that your experience is relevant to the job you are applying for.
It is always a good idea to tweak your CV for each job that you are applying for as you always want to show that your experience matches the job’s requirements. Researching the company and position you are applying for is crucial as this will allow you to tailor your CV appropriately. This may mean you will end up with multiple versions of your CV but it will increase your chances of being invited for an interview.
Here are some helpful links that will help you create your CV:
2.    Write a cover letter
Now that you have a great CV in your hands, the next step is mastering the art of writing a cover letter.
The cover letter should be both an introduction to your CV and should also give employers some insight into who you are, so simply regurgitating the contents of your CV is not the way to go. You should seize the opportunity to give employees a snippet of your personality and impress them with your writing style. Remember that you must come across as very professional and therefore you must write in a style that is business appropriate. This means using the sort of language you would for a business letter or report, not a letter, text or facebook message to your friend.

Be sure to write about why you want to work for the particular organisation that you are applying to, and also why you would be suited for the job (this means fitting the requirements of the job description). This is where your initial research about the company and job becomes useful. Another good idea is to personalise the cover letter with the name of the hiring manager or the recruiter. This may require a bit of research but it makes a huge difference as it will show employers that you took the extra steps to find this information out.
The cover letter can also allow you to explain anything that is unclear from your CV like, for example, gaps in employment. Your grammar, style and tone are very important, as recruiters will disregard CVs that are accompanied by a cover letter full of grammatical mistakes. Poor grammar and writing style will make you look very unprofessional, and will also tell employers that you don’t pay attention to detail and ultimately give off a bad first impression.

3.    Prepare for the interview
Once you have reached this stage, you should feel very proud as you now have solid proof that your CV and cover letter was impressive enough to get you a step closer to getting the job!

The first thing you should do before an interview is further research the company and prepare a few questions you may have about the company and position for the interview.
Here is a list of things you should know about a company before you attend an interview:

·         Industry/nature of the business

·         Competition

·         History

·         Recent news
Here is a list of general things you should know before the interview:

·         The job description for the job you are applying

·         Your CV (you should know this inside and out, and be prepared to answer questions about it during the interview)

·         You should prepare answers to the typical interview questions – click here for examples.
Once you have reviewed all this information and prepared for the interview, you should make sure that you dress to impress. It is advisable to have a suit ready, since looking as professional as possible will not only impress the employer but will also help build your confidence during the interview. Please click here for tips on what to wear for an interview, for both men and women.

On the day of your interview be sure to eat before the interview, review the location of your interview and give yourself enough time for any delays in travel in order to arrive at least 20 minutes before the scheduled time.
Please click here for further interview advice, and good luck!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Lecture Guides - Who are they for?

By Rob Hollamby, Editorial Assistant

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.