Assignment Guidelines

Introduction

Assignments are designed to consolidate your learning from courses and promote thinking around how you might implement what you have learnt in your own professional practice and the practice of others. In an assignment you are required to demonstrate professional and academic skills including good writing skills, providing evidence to support your statements, appropriate referencing and the evaluation of learning and the interpretation of learning into practice.

The assignment is designed to:

  1. Encourage you to reflect on your learning and how this may change your professional practice.
  2. Provide you with a method to demonstrate that you have understood the course content and are able to implement it into your professional practice.
  3. Allow you to dig deeper into a topic that is of particular relevance to you and your context.
  4. Contribute to your profession. On achieving a pass we may identify that your work is of a sufficient standard to be published in Physiopedia (with your permission of course!) and be used by the physiotherapy community for teaching and learning purposes. This is a great opportunity to contribute to the profession and demonstrate your professional leadership!

Assignment requirements and criteria

Please note: Now that our courses are fully accredited with leading professional organisations we expect a high standard to achieve a pass. This high standard is equivalent to a UK Masters level piece of work and/or of a publication standard (e.g. academic journal, Physiopedia).

To pass an assignment we expect the assignment to:

  1. Be related to the topic of the course for which you are submitting the assignment.
  2. Follow the assignment guidelines. See below.
  3. Be written in English.  Unfortunately we do not have the resources to operate in all languages and can only mark English language writing. We are aware that some course participants will struggle writing in English, this is not a problem and will be taken into account when reviewing the submissions.
  4. Have academic integrity. The assignment must be your own work and not have previously been published. Make sure you know what academic integrity is.
  5. Demonstrate evidence of learning from the course.  We must be able to see that you have reflected on your learning and related practice. This section should describe how what you have learned, has changed or will change your professional practice. To ensure you meet this criteria we suggest including in your assignment a specific heading and section where you address this requirement.  Read more about clinical reflection here.
  6. Include at least FIVE references to support what you have written. These references must be the highest levels of evidence available, used appropriately, cited in the text where they support your statements and be listed in full at the end of your assignment. You must follow our referencing guidelines.
  7. Include a description of your literature search. This must include the search criteria and parameters used as well as the sites and databases searched.

We are not looking for correct or incorrect answers! We are looking for the implementation of the knowledge, techniques and skills covered during the course and an engagement with the relevant literature. 

Submitting your assignment

  • We recommend you write your assignment using Microsoft Word or similar.
  • Your assignment should be 1000-3000 words in length.
  • You should submit your assignment online through the specific link on the related course page in Physioplus. The link will take you to an online form where you provide some details and upload your document.
  • Please make sure you keep a copy of your document for your own professional development portfolio.

Marking procedure

Please note - assignments are marked against a high standard as set out in the rubric below.

All submitted assignments are reviewed by the course team in relation to the assignment requirements and criteria mentioned above. You will not receive a mark for your assignment, you will receive a pass or fail. The assignment will be marked in relation to the following rubric:

Assignment requirements PASS/FAIL Comments
Relate to the topic of the course Yes/No
Follows assignment guidelines Yes/No
Written in English Yes/No
Academic Integrity Yes/No
Required level FAIL PASS
Assignment criteria Not competent Novice Proficient Expert
Demonstrates learning from the course/s and the ability to apply and interpret this in practice Struggles to identify new knowledge and does not describe changes in practice Identifies new knowledge from course but struggles to apply this appropriately in their practice Identifies new knowledge and applies this appropriately in their practice Identifies new knowledge, applies this appropriately in practice and also identifies weaknesses in the latest evidence and where further research is required
Description of literature search and inclusion of appropriate referencing. No evidence of literature search or references provided References provided but are inappropriate and/or not used to support the approach taken Appropriate references provided and used to support the approach taken Provides a thorough review of the relevant literature. References used to support the approach taken with limitations in this evidence highlighted.

Certificate

Assignments are usually part of a programme or course. If you complete all the required activities of that programme or course and pass the related assignment a certificate will be provided. This is accessed at the top of the related programme or course page. Please note that marking of assignments is a manual process that takes up to 2 weeks and your certificate will not be available until this process has been completed. You will be emailed with the results of your assignment marking with details of whether you have passed and feedback.

Assignment options

You may be specifically asked to do one of the following types of assignment or you may be directed to choose one of the following types of assignment.  For which ever assignment type you do please make sure that you read the guidelines detailed below and ensure that you have done what has been instructed to do before you submit. 

Patient case study

A patient case study is an evidence based report of your interaction with a patient. Your case study should include interventions supported by evidence, appropriate clinical conclusions and use the following template:

  1. Title - the title should be specific to and descriptive of this case and should refer to the topics covered in the course.
  2. Abstract - this is where you simply summarise your case study into a story which flows logically. It is a narrative that consists of a much shortened version of the whole paper. There are no headings within the narrative abstract.
  3. Introduction - this is where you write about what is particularly interesting about the case and why. Should be supported with references.
  4. Patient characteristics - this is where you describe the case in detail. The patient demographics, complaint that the patient has and any interventions that have already taken place.
  5. Examination - this is where you provide information obtained from the history and results of clinical examination.  If using you should include classification systems here such as the ICF (environment, personal, structure, functional and participation) model, or the treatment based classification models.
  6. Clinical Impression - this is where you describe your initial hypothesis of what was contributing to the patients symptoms. You should back up your clinical thoughts with referenced evidence.
  7. Intervention/Management - this is where you clearly describe the care plan, as well as the care which was actually provided. You should back up your interventions and management with referenced evidence.
  8. Outcome - this is where you describe the outcome of the intervention. Is there any evidence to support the outcome?
  9. Discussion - In this section you should identify any questions that the case raises, implications for practice and summarise the clinical conclusions. You should support your statements with evidence where available.
  10. References - Only use references that you have read and understood, are cited in the text of your case study and support your writing.

Useful links:

Physiopedia page

Writing a new page in Physiopedia is a great way to contribute to your profession.  The Physiopedia page that you write should:

  1. Not already exist in Physiopedia (please do a thorough search to ensure that it does not already exist, we cannot accept duplicate pages) We recommend contacting us with your intended topic before starting this type of assignment to ensure that your topic is appropriate.
  2. Relate to the topic of the course.
  3. Be divided into appropriate subheadings.
  4. A concisely written evidence based summary of a topic.
  5. Include physiotherapy specific information.
  6. Supported by up-to-date published literature and referenced.
  7. Include media (copyright free images and youtube video) to enhance your writing as well as links to other Physiopedia pages and external resources to lead readers to other sources of knowledge.

To prepare your work for submission you should:

  • Write the content for your new page into a word doc (or similar) and if you are updating an existing page include tracked/suggested changes.
  • Write a cover note (one side of A4) that demonstrates that you have reflected on your learning from the course/s and how what you have learned has changed or will change your professional practice.

Useful Links:

Knowledge Translation Guidelines

One of the main challenges following a course is to transfer this knowledge into professional practice.  As a physiotherapist you may wish to transfer your new knowledge to several different groups of people such as fellow physiotherapists, other health care professionals, patients, carers etc.  Knowledge translation resources can take many forms such as a journal article, information leaflet, poster, presentation etc.

To prepare your work for submission you should:

  1. Create your knowledge translation guidelines that provide key messages that you think are important to share with your target population.
  2. Write a cover note (one side of A4) that:
    1. Describes how and when you will use the resource, who it aims to help, and why this resource is important (you should provide evidence for this)
    2. Details the sources of evidence used to develop these guidelines.
    3. Demonstrates how your learning from the course/s has changed or will change your professional practice.