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Department of Computer Science and Technology

 

About halfway through the project you have to report on the progress that you have made. There is a formal requirement for a written report of 300 to 500 words, which will go to your Overseers who will check it. You then prepare a short (~5 minute) presentation on the contents of your report that you deliver to your Overseers and all other students who share your Overseers.

The Progress Reports and Presentations are mandatory. Any student unable to attend the Presentation with his or her own Overseers should arrange to join another group, and must inform both sets of Overseers, and Student Administration. Any student who cannot attend any of the sessions must present a letter of excuse from the Senior Tutor of their College.

The written report and oral report provide a natural opportunity to consider adjustments to your original plan and schedule. In many cases these will be minor. In a few cases, the Overseers may feel that there is a need to discuss any special difficulties which have arisen in a more private setting. In such circumstances they will arrange to meet you individually. Such a meeting would be in addition to the overseeing group’s oral report meeting. You may request an individual meeting yourself if you feel that it is necessary; this request should be put in writing at the end of your written report.

Overseers will write a formal report, of a few sentences, that will go via student admin to your Director of Studies and Supervisor. 

Progress report contents

The Progress Report should be submitted via Moodle and should contain:

  • Your name and email address.
  • The title of your project.
  • The name of your Supervisor.
  • The name of your Director of Studies.
  • The names of your Overseers. 
  • An indication of what work has been completed and how this relates to the timetable and work plan in the original proposal. The progress report should answer the following questions:
    • Is the project on schedule and if not, how many weeks behind or ahead?
    • What unexpected difficulties have arisen?
    • If the project is behind, what actions have been taken to address this and when will progress be back on track?
    • Briefly, what has been accomplished?
  • It should be possible to understand the progress report independently of the original proposal, thus ‘I have completed implementing the wombat module’ rather than ‘I have completed points 1 and 3 in the proposal but not point 2’.

In straightforward cases (entirely on schedule), one side of A4 could suffice. If the project is in difficulties, a new work plan should be included.

Presentation

In addition, students must make an oral report on their progress. Overseers will arrange a meeting attended by all members of their overseeing group (typically 8 to 10 people), and each member of the group will describe progress made so far in a 5-minute presentation to the whole group. This oral report should be carefully rehearsed. Note that:

  • The use of slides projected from a laptop is encouraged.
  • No more than four slides can usefully be described in 5 minutes.

The presentation should summarise the progress report.  If the project is on track, then this will be a straightforward case of describing what has been achieved and key work remaining before starting to write up.  Where work is behind schedule, you should focus less on what the difficulties have been and more on what steps you are taking to address them so that you can still deliver a high-quality dissertation.