Identify Student Of Their Study Skill English Language Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

The referencing software is to identify student of their study skill, supporting behaviours of the students according to certain variables. The first phase of the study was to identity who we are making the software for (i.e.). The second phase was to find out the problem students are lacking and how to help them with the study skills software, and also the content of the software.

The term study skills refer to the conscious and deliberate use of the processes of learning to achieve effective study practices. According to John B. Watson, study skills are strategies and methods of purposeful learning, usually centred on reading and writing; but effective study skills are essential for students to acquire good grades in school.

A principle that we have emphasised in these materials is about the importance of developing your study skills. Using recommended practices and strategies will lead you to become more effective with your studying. Submitting assignments on time is a major concern for some students, so as to referencing your report writing. So, another principle is to avoid leaving preparation until the last minute and getting in a panic when a deadline is 'just around the corner'.

When writing a piece of work you should provide references to the sources used. A reference is the detailed bibliographic description of the item from which you gained your information. In simple terms, this means the details of the items that you have used, e.g. author, title, and date of publication. References are briefly cited within the text, and then given in full at the end of your work in a reference list. Any other items read for background information but not referred to in the text should be given in full at the end of your work in a bibliography.

References are used to:

Enable the reader to locate the sources you have used;

Help support your arguments and provide your work with credibility;

Show the scope and breadth of your research;

Acknowledge the source of an argument or idea. Failure to do so could result in a charge of plagiarism.

The purpose of this project is to help student in referencing their academic work. Referencing is a system used in the academic community to indicate where ideas, theories, quotes, facts and any other evidence and information used to support your assignments, can be found.

Problem definition Dr. John G. Sullivan

According to Janice Newton, The difficulty 80% of students have in mastering the technical skills of proper referencing is often rooted in weak academic-writing skills. Students who lack confidence (or who have poor academic-writing skills) may find the expectations of proper referencing overwhelming when applied to their writing process. The problem is some student don't know how to reference.

In one common form of plagiarized academic-writing, the student has done the research, written most of the essay, but leaves out critical quotation marks or footnotes, which is the referencing aspect. Another common problem is students' reliance on inappropriate sources for instruction on how to reference. Almost half of the students we interviewed acknowledged that they knew they were probably not doing it right, but instead of consulting their tutor, the required reference text in the course, or the course handouts, they turned to unsuitable sources for help: friends, parents, or old handouts from high school. In these cases, the advice they got or remembered was often misleading.

Plagiarism - where you include information/research/ideas in your work that come from another source and (often, through poor referencing) you do not specify that this information is not your own.

If you are found guilty of academic misconduct, there are a number of potential implications:

Your mark may be capped at the minimum pass stage (40%)

Your mark may be capped at 0

You may be deemed to have failed the work

Your overall year's average may be capped

This software is intended to help you:

Feel confident in tackling activities (referencing) that you may find challenging.

Understand that success, as a student, is more than being clever and getting good grades and other kinds of successful outcomes.

Understand that study skills are more to do with awareness, strategies, confidence and practice leading to an overall development in your learning.


The purpose of the software is to:

Show you how you can develop good referencing study skills.

Share with you some ideas and experiences in Study Skills.

Help you manage your own success as a student.

Why Reference?

Undergraduate students are ALL expected to fully reference the materials they use in their work; this software guide will show you how to reference using the Harvard System as accepted by the Criminology team. Students who do not reference correctly are at risk of committing academic misconduct or 'plagiarism', and as such, may be subject to the school's policy on such matters.

There are essentially three types of academic misconduct

Referencing is important in the Academic Community for a number of reasons:

To avoid Plagiarism, a form of Academic Theft

Referencing your work correctly ensures that you give appropriate credit to the sources and authors that you have used to support your research.

Referencing the sources that you have used for your assignment demonstrates the evidence and research that you have undertaken to complete and support your ideas.

Referenced work enables the reader to independently consult the same materials that you have used.

Literature review

Learning Theory and Behavioural Psychology


Learning can be defined as the process leading to relatively permanent behavioural change or potential behavioural change. In other words, as we learn, we alter the way we perceive our environment, the way we interpret the incoming stimuli, and therefore the way we interact, or behave. John B. Watson (1878-1958) was the first to study how the process of learning affects our behaviour, and he formed the school of thought known as Behaviourism. The central idea behind behaviourism is that only observable behaviours are worthy of research since other abstraction such as a person's mood or thoughts are too subjective. One effect of behaviourism is Reinforcement.

The term reinforce means to strengthen, and is used in psychology to refer to anything stimulus which strengthens or increases the probability of a specific response. For example, if you want your dog to sit on command, you may give him a treat every time he sits for you. The dog will eventually come to understand that sitting when told to will result in a treat. This treat is reinforcing because he likes it and will result in him sitting when instructed to do so.

There are four types of reinforcement: positive, negative, punishment, and extinction. We'll discuss each of these and give examples.

Positive Reinforcement: The examples below describe what is referred to as positive reinforcement. Think of it as adding something in order to increase a response. For example, adding a treat will increase the response of sitting; adding praise will increase the chances of your child cleaning his or her room. The most common types of positive reinforcement or praise and rewards, and most of us have experienced this as both the giver and receiver.

Negative Reinforcement: Think of negative reinforcement as taking something negative away in order to increase a response.  Imagine a teenager who is nagged by his mother to take out the garbage week after week.  After complaining to his friends about the nagging, he finally one day performs the task and to his amazement, the nagging stops.  The elimination of this negative stimulus is reinforcing and will likely increase the chances that he will take out the garbage next week.

Punishment: Punishment refers to adding something aversive in order to decrease behaviour. The most common example of this is disciplining (e.g. spanking) a child for misbehaving. The reason we do this is because the child begins to associate being punished with the negative behaviour. The punishment is not liked and therefore to avoid it, he or she will stop behaving in that manner.

Extinction: When you remove something in order to decrease behaviour, this is called extinction. You are taking something away so that a response is decreased.

Research has found positive reinforcement is the most powerful of any of these. Adding a positive to increase a response not only works better, but allows both parties to focus on the positive aspects of the situation. Punishment, when applied immediately following the negative behaviour can be effective, but results in extinction when it is not applied consistently. Punishment can also invoke other negative responses such as anger and resentment.

What is constructivism?

Constructivism is basically a theory based on observation and scientific study about how people learn. It says that people construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world, through experiencing things and reflecting on those experiences. When we encounter something new, we have to reconcile it with our previous ideas and experience, maybe changing what we believe, or maybe discarding the new information as irrelevant. In any case, we are active creators of our own knowledge. To do this, we must ask questions, explore, and assess what we know. 

Benefit of constructivism

Children learn more, and enjoy learning more when they are actively involved, rather than passive listeners.

Education works best when it concentrates on thinking and understanding, rather than on rote memorization. Constructivism concentrates on learning how to think and understand.

Constructivist learning is transferable. In constructivist classrooms, students create organizing principles that they can take with them to other learning settings

How do people learn?

Upon researching about learning theory and how people learn we ended up finding out very interesting things.

There are 2 parts of the human brain the left side and the right side, researchers shows that there are student who use certain parts of their brains more dominantly than the others. People who use the left side of their brains more are better taught in sequence whereas people who dominantly use the right sides of their brains learn better off when they can see something in its entirety.

This is very important because it means that certain learning techniques are better for certain people and it is important to find out which part of their brains the student would use dominantly in order to try and teach them in a manner which suits them best. The way researching in schools is setup favour student which are more left side brain users since subjects in the curriculum are taught gradually in sections whereas students who use the right side of their brain will focus more on aesthetics.

This information leads us to believe that out of all the students if any of them lack certain study skills it is more likely to be student which dominantly use their right side of their brain since the teaching system in schools doesn't favour them as much. This leads us to research on a test which helps to determine a user which side of their brains they dominantly use. We saw that there were a few methods for this, one involving optical illusion and another involving asking certain questions about how a person learns and certain preferences which apparently help one to determine which side of your brain they use most.

The questions asked to determine this are very specific questions since left brained people are good at certain things and it even goes as far as to determine characteristics and specific things such as being organised and preferring to study in a quieter atmosphere, if they prefer to read fiction or non fiction and are generally good at algebra and maths. Although these things aren't just exclusive to left brain people for it's more likely to favour them the most decreasing the possibility of them being right brained. It works both ways though since there are equally many things which are more common in people that use the right sides of their brains, a well filled out questionnaire doesn't guarantee anything but it helps determine better to give you clues as to how people may learn.

I believe it would be best to have a manifest at the start of the program and have a proper description on the results page of that manifest which informs people of left sides and right sided dominant thinking in the brain and give them a basic idea of the differences. If the test didn't make a clear determination the user could have an option of choosing if he wants to be given learning skills that would benefit left or right side brained people.

Computer aided learning

This is the use of computer to aid or support the education or training of people. CAL can test ability of the user at any point, provides faster or slower routes through the material for people of different aptitudes, and can maintain a progress record for the instructor.

CAL covers a range of computer-based packages, which aim to provide interactive instruction usually in a specific subject area. These can range from sophisticated and expensive commercial packages to applications developed by projects in other educational institutions or national initiatives to simple solutions developed by individuals with no funding or support to tackle a very local problem.

Detailed Requirement Analysis AND Design Specifications

The software requirement provides a complete explanation of the data gathering of the students which is the expected targets.

The software would consist of 4 main pages with the introduction page being the first page.

The first sector would consist of the meaning of referencing, the advantage of referencing, where to add referencing etc.

The second sector is an example of how to reference i.e. reference a book, website, articles etc.

Also a help sign with (?) would be place there in case of any misunderstanding.

The fourth sector would be for exercise, for the student to practice on how referencing is done.

User Research Methods:

We routinely ask students in the university about how they carry out their referencing, and how they reference. We discover that students has collected Xerox copies or take copies note from the library or internet sources, with absolutely no reliable way of tracing the source or page number. We think of these students as enthusiastic vacuums who suck up all the relevant material they can find, without understanding the need for retrieval and verification of sources. These students understand the logic and mechanics of referencing, but decide to leave the citations out, hoping that no one will notice. Careless students are easy to identify.

This method was used because:

good response rate

completed and immediate

one can observe the behaviour of the one responding to the questions which is very useful

interviewer can give help if there is any question

one can make use of recording instrument (I.e. video or audio recorder)

Also unstructured interview data collecting was used to gather data at the first step of the research. The use of audio device to record the information in other for no lost of data was used in this step as well. After gathering the information we notice there are many unnecessary requirements gathered and listening to the audio tape wastes time. These methods can be used in a big project and not in small project.

Not referencing correctly can mean students often get marked down by up to 5%. This could mean the difference between a pass and fail.

Result finding

After interviewing and asking questions to students in the university, we found out that some of them don't know what referencing means, some don't the style of referencing (i.e. Harvard, …), and while some of them don't care which style they use. So we took the leverage to explain the different type of referencing and tell them why it matters to reference.

Observation and data gathering

When carrying out the interview, we found out the 20% of the student population don't know what a referencing is, it's possible they have made use it of it one way or the other, but they don't know what it's called.

50% of the interviewed student wants a referencing software to teach them how to reference.

20%of the student prefers to ask the lecturer on how to reference

Research Objective:

The objective of this aspect is to create a referencing software that teach people how to reference and also the many way and what to reference. Using the result gotten from the user research section and also to do and evaluation on the system prototype to identify usability problems afterward analysing and discussing the results gotten from the evaluation sections.


We are going to create a low-fidelity paper prototype to test out our system and see how it would work.

Paper prototypes save time and money before creating the real thing.

Users often feel more comfortable criticizing paper prototypes as it does not have a polished, complete look, allowing users more freedom to express their opinions.

The balsamiq mock up application was used as well, it was chosen because it has the features of paper prototyping also.

In this report, we shall be looking at the user research that has to be done prior to designing the system.

What do you need to Reference?

There are two scenarios when you are writing a piece of work in which you need to reference:

When you directly quote verbatim (word for word) the words of another author,

When you use the ideas of another, but put them into your own words.

It does not matter if the source you are using is a book, journal article, newspaper, documentary or web site - you still need to reference the information.

The one thing you should NEVER use as a source or refer to in your work is lecture slides - you should not quote a lecturer, or reference a particular lecture or seminar - you must locate the original source of the data for yourself.

This below are examples of how reference, this would be found inside the software:

What information should you include when referencing within the work itself.

For a quote:

Author's surname (or organisation's name) + year + page number (unless from a website) For example: Jones (1996: 2) or Home Office (1996)

For information summarised in your own words:

Author's surname (or organisation's name) + year - NO PAGE NUMBER NEEDED

6. What information should you include in the reference list?

Every source that you refer to in a piece of work should be listed in a reference list. It does not matter if you have quoted from a source; or whether you have taken information/ ideas from it and put them into your own words - it must be included in your reference list. If you have not directly used a source in the work (i.e. you've read it but not used it or referred to it) it should NOT be included as that is a bibliography, NOT, a reference list.

How to Reference Quotes

The entire quote must be placed in single, NOT double, speech marks, for example:

"This is a quote" = INCORRECT 'This is a quote' = CORRECT

Quotes should NOT be in italics, for example:

There are two places that you can reference the quote within the work itself:

Example 1:

'This is a quote' (Author, Year: page). - AT THE END OF THE QUOTE


Example 2:

Author (Year: Page) states that 'this is a quote'. - AS PART OF THE SENTENCE

How to Reference Information that you put in your Own Words

Unless it is a direct, word-for-word quote, you DO NOT use speech marks

You simply include the information then at the end of the sentence or paragraph which contains that info, you need to state (Author, Year). No page number is needed because it is not a quote.

The following pages show you how to reference each of the individual types of sources that you will use during the course of your degree

How to Reference a Book?

If you were to refer to their work in an assignment, you would reference it as follows:

Within the work itself, you need to include the author's surnames and the year of the book -

For example:

This is the info from the book (Cavadino and Dignan, 2001)

If you are quoting from the book, you will also need to include the page number from which the quote has been taken

How to Reference an Edited Book

Where a book is edited, each chapter will have been written by a different author as a result the reference needs to reflect this. The Oxford Handbook of Criminology is an example of an edited book - it contains chapters written by different authors, with the editors of the book being Maguire, Morgan and Reiner. Within the work itself, you will need to provide the author of the chapter, the year (use the year of the book if no chapter date is indicated), the editors' names and the year:

For example:

(Newburn, 1996 in Maguire et al, 2001)