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CSC8113 : Research Methods and Group Project in Cloud Computing

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Bo Wei
  • Owning School: Computing
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


To prepare for working on individual research projects
To give experience of reading, discussing and interpreting the professional and research literature
To provide an insight into current and future developments in Cloud computing systems
This module seeks to offer the students the experience in applying the techniques taught in preceding modules and building a cloud-hosted software system for a given specification by working in groups on a set of tasks which would involve literature review, software design, implementation, presentation of design and demonstration of the implemented system.

This module also aims to provide students an opportunity to research the literature on relevant topics and tools in Cloud computing and to collaboratively learn the tasks that lead to an efficient and state-of-art software system. Students will have access to technical guidance from faculty members, but will essentially work as a small independent team under their own initiative. This is meant to provide an opportunity to practice the technical skills developed in other modules, to develop new skills of cooperative working and organization, and to develop skills in preparation for the individual project and dissertation work.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module is structured in several phases:
• Lectures on research methods delivered intensively:
•       Introduction to research projects and planning; identifying information need; assessing quality and reliability of sources of information
•       Role of peer review in research and system development
•       Critical evaluation of published material
•       How to present claims with supporting arguments
•       Academic report writing; standards in the discipline; use and citation of sources
•       Ethical issues

• Research topics are assigned and groups of 5-7 members are allocated by module leaders, mixing backgrounds, abilities and skills. Groups work together, forming reading circles to collaboratively produce a literature review.
• Groups begin work on the software development exercise. Choice of group organisation is left to the group. Development will involve research, requirements elicitation, evaluation of tools and alternative technologies, system design, implementation and testing. Selection of development methods and tools will be done by each group.
• A presentation is given by groups in week 6 together with group and individual report, which should include a risk assessment of the proposed solution.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion201:0020:00Literature review
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture121:0012:00Lectures on research methods. Delivery: pip
Guided Independent StudyProject work601:0060:00Project coursework
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity601:0060:00Formal/informal meetings (online synchronous)
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity161:0016:00Reading circle. through structured discussions; Delivery: pip,
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study201:0020:00Background reading
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study121:0012:00Lecture follow-up
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will be used to introduce the learning material and for demonstrating the key concepts by example. Students are expected to follow-up lectures within a few days by re-reading and annotating lecture notes to aid deep learning. Students aiming for degrees with Distinction/Merit are expected to widen their knowledge beyond the content of lecture notes through background reading.

Project meetings both formal and informal, will provide team members with the opportunity to follow progress and address team issues.

Students gain knowledge in research skills from lectures and working together on the literature review and reading circle. Students gain experience in development of a significant software project from the student-led activities and project work.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report2M25End of week 1, group literature review- max 12 pages
Report2M75End of module, group report- max 40 pages
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Prof skill assessmnt2MGroup presentation (25 minutes)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The literature review provides an opportunity to assess practical research, communication and collaboration skills in a realistic environment. Students will assess each other's contribution to the literature review (formative assessment).
The group work report is used to award a mark to each group. The individual report is used to moderate individual weightings allocated by the group, to award a final mark to each group member.

Reading Lists