Length: 2500 words +/- 250 words
Please refer to the Unit Profile to see how this assessment item relates to the Unit Learning Outcomes.
This assignment is designed to stimulate critical thinking outside of the classroom by requiring students to write a formal academic report. You will need to follow the ARE process described in chapters 2 and 3 of Your Business Degree 2 (prescribed textbook for COIT20249) to analyse the assessment task, research relevant information and evaluate the information you find. This information should be used to write an academic report in which you present your findings or outcomes and make recommendations for future practice. Professional writing and writing reports are described in chapters 4 and 5 of Your Business Degree 2. This assessment task will assess your skills in critical thinking, researching information, forming an opinion, academic writing, logical ordering of ideas and your ability to support your arguments with quotes from literature. These objectives will be measured by the ‘closeness of fit’ to meeting the assessment task, assessment requirements and marking criteria.
Please note that there is a wealth of material available on the Moodle Unit website that you should use to help you through the process of searching for and gathering relevant information, evaluating that information and writing your report.
General Assessment Criteria
Assessments provide the opportunity for students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills to achieve the required standard. To do this, assessment responses need to be both clear and easy to understand. If not, the University cannot determine that students have demonstrated their knowledge and skills. Assessments will, therefore, be marked accordingly including the potential for 0 (zero) marks where relevant.
The report must focus on the case study scenario given in the Assessment Task section. Any assessment items that do not address the case study scenario may be awarded 0 (zero) marks.
If you use Track Changes when writing your report, you must ensure that the submitted document is the final and correct version of the document. That is, if your submitted report contains Track Changes or Comments or any other editing marks it may be awarded 0 (zero) marks. It is your responsibility to submit the final and correct version of your report.
The length of the report must be within the recommended range. If the report exceeds the maximum word count the marker will stop marking after 2750 words.
Moodle auto-submits draft files that are in Moodle at the originally set deadlines. Files that are auto-submitted will not be reverted to draft status except in extenuating circumstances (evidence required). It is your responsibility not to leave draft assessments in Moodle at the due date and time if the files are not ready to be submitted for marking. However, late submissions may attract penalties.
Students are required to write an academic report as per the format outlined in chapter 5 of the textbook. The report must follow the CQU APA referencing style. See the American Psychological Association (APA) abridged guide updated Term 1 2019 available from: CQU APA referencing style. Please note that the prescribed textbook uses APA referencing guidelines. See also the Referencing Style subsection below.
The report is to be based on the following case study.
Without referring to a rigorous definition of intelligence, which one of the following is more intuitively intelligent? An iPhone or a 5-year-old child? One would reasonably think that a 5-year-old is more intelligent not because they can perform complicated calculations at their age but because they have the potential to learn to perform well in a variety of settings.
The ability to learn is an integral part of intelligence. Thanks to the ever-increasing computational power, much advancement has been possible in the field of machine learning, which is fundamentally concerned about how we can build computer systems and algorithms that can automatically improve with experience.
Some machine learning algorithms mimic the way humans learn. Whenever they make a mistake, they receive a punishment; whenever they perform well, they receive a reward. Assuming machines are programmed to maximise the total reward, over time they will learn to choose actions that lead to reward rather than punishment. This particular type of machine learning is called reinforcement learning.
Some machine learning algorithms are based on a large training dataset. For example, spam filtering algorithms can be trained with a large set of emails labelled “spam” and “not spam”. Those algorithms are intelligent enough to extract the “features” in spam emails that can be used to discern spam from normal emails. This type of machine learning algorithm is commonly called statistical machine learning.
Machine learning has been adopted in an increasing number of applications – it is the backbone of many well-known applications that we use every day, for example, face recognition, natural language processing, fraud detection and personalised recommendations on Netflix, Amazon and Youtube.
Case study situation:
You are an IT consultant of a consulting company. Your company has an excellent track record for applying innovation to unlock trapped value within their clients’ organisation and helping them to
embrace IT innovation. One of your clients, JD has recently contacted you to prepare a document on the use of machine learning in their company.
Here are the details of your client company:
JD is an Australian online retailer that sells a large range of merchandise, including consumer electronics, apparel/accessories and books to customers worldwide. With the mass adoption of e-commerce, JD saw a robust increase in sales over the past decade. However, as the big players in this industry continued their quest to capture market share, shoppers around the world only spent A$200 million on retail goods purchased on JD’s online store over the past 2018/19 fiscal year. This is 20% down from the A$250 million of the previous year.
The Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of JD believes the application of machine learning in their company equates with future business success and is keen to increase the role that machine learning plays in their customer’s experience. “Consumers expected personalised recommendations tailored to their individual tastes and preferences. Many online retailer platforms have embedded machine learning algorithms to entice customers and to make sure they keep coming back to their online retail stores”, said the CTO of JD, “machine learning can also be applied in other business functional areas, for example, automated resume screening in HR, to increase the overall business efficiency to gain a competitive edge in this industry”.
Before JD shifts their IT strategy to embrace the power of machine learning, they want your organisation to prepare a document addressing the following tasks:
(1) Explain the definition of machine learning, and the difference and relationship between artificial intelligence and machine learning;
(2) Survey the application of machine learning in three different industries other than e-Commerce;
(3) Investigate how machine learning can be adopted in JD. Discuss its application to at least two different business functional areas of JD; and the advantages and disadvantages of its application.
(4) Discuss the ethical, legal and social issues about the application of machine learning on online retailer platforms;
(5) Make at least three recommendations as to how JD can adopt machine learning in their business.
You have to complete this investigation and write a report for your team leader in the next three weeks. Since this is an initial investigation the report should not contain in-depth technical details.
Please note that you might need to make some assumptions about the company in order to write this report. These assumptions should match the information in the case study and not contradict with the objectives of the report. They should be incorporated in the introduction of your report when you describe the organisation and outline the problem to be solved. Relevant assumptions should be incorporated when addressing tasks 2 and 3 above. To avoid loss of marks, do not make assumptions that are not relevant or contradictory, or will not be used in your report discussion.
Specifically, your report should include the following (word count details are approximate guidelines):
1. Title page: unit code and name, assessment number, report title, assessment due date, word count (actual), student name, student number, CQU email address, campus lecturer/tutor, and unit coordinator. If applicable, add extension request ID and the new due date. Must be formatted to a standard required for a professional/business report. Check week 6 materials for example of a professionally formatted title page. Not included in the word count.
2. Executive summary: should include the purpose of the report, the problem including key issues considered and how they were investigated, your findings, and an overview of your recommendations. This part should be approximately three quarters of an A4 page but must not be longer than one (1) A4 page. Not included in the word count.
3. Table of Contents (ToC): should list the report topics using decimal notation. Need to include the main headings and subheadings with corresponding page numbers, using a format that makes the hierarchy of topics clear. Because you are including a ToC the report pages should be numbered in the footer as follows: title page has no page number; preliminaries should use Roman Numerals and the main text (from the start of the introduction) to have Arabic numerals (‘common numbers’ – i.e. 1,2,3,etc.) commencing at 1. Create the ToC using MS Word’s ToC auto-generator rather than manually typing out the ToC. Instructions can be found here https://support.office.com/en-gb/article/Create-a-table-of-contents-or-update-a-table-of-contents-eb275189-b93e-4559-8dd9-c279457bfd72#__create_a_table. Not included in the word count.
4. Introduction: provide a brief description of the organisation as given in the case scenario including any assumptions, a concise overview of the problem you have been asked to research, the main aims/purpose of the report, the objectives to be achieved by writing the report (include the tasks outlined in the case study) and how you investigated the problem. Provide an outline of the sections of the report. Should be approximately 250 words.
5. Body of the report (use appropriate headings in the body of the report.): Define key terms you will use in your report that are directly related to the problem and the technology considered. Then present your ideas on the topic and discuss the information you found in your research that was relevant to the report’s objectives. Provide an analysis of the information that you gathered. Ensure that you explore the tasks listed in the case study scenario.
Do NOT use generic words such as ‘Body, Body of the Report, Tasks’ as section headings. Create meaningful headings and subheadings that reflect the topic and content of your report. Should be approximately 1850 words.
6. Conclusion: restate the purpose of the report and key issues investigated and the related findings based on your research and analysis. Explain the significance of your findings for addressing the problem stated in the case scenario and any limitations. State how your report has achieved its objectives and any future work to be considered. Should be approximately 250 words.
7. Recommendations: 3 to 5 recommendations required. Format according to the Report Writing Guidelines discussed in the Unit. Should be approximately 150 words.
8. Reference list. Not included in the word count.
9. Appendices if necessary. Not included in the word count.
Note: Additional information regarding this assignment may be placed on the Moodle Unit website as required. Check the Moodle Unit website at least once a week for further information relating to the report. Regular access to the Moodle Unit website is a requirement of this Unit.
Other Assessment Requirements
Your response should be structured as a report (chapter 5 of textbook), written in accordance with standard academic writing principles (chapter 4 of textbook). The report must be written using your own words with any in text citations clearly provided (see Referencing Style subsection below). You may discuss the assessment task with other students and the lecturing staff but you must WRITE the report YOURSELF in your own words.
You will need to conduct research to support your arguments using at least ten (10) but no more than 15 current references. Note that all the references you choose to use should be evaluated using the Triple-R framework in the research stage of preparing your Report (do NOT include this evaluation in the Report). You must have a minimum of ten (10) current references in your reference list. At least six (6) of these references should be from refereed academic journals and conference proceedings. Other references could be sourced from books, industry websites and magazines. All sources should be current that is, within the last 5 years. Minimum requirements relate to a Pass mark. You are encouraged to use more than the minimum requirements (up to 15 for a HD mark for References 2 criterion) for a better quality outcome to your report through improving the quality of your analysis.
The assignment should demonstrate a logical flow of discussion, and be free from typographical, spelling and grammatical errors. It should be prepared in MS-Word (or equivalent) using 12-point font (Times New Roman), 1.5 line spacing and margins of 2.54 cm. The final outcome must be clean and tidy.
It is highly recommended that you make an appointment with the Academic Learning Centre (ALC) to get your report checked prior to submission AT LEAST ONE WEEK before the due date. The ALC can check your report for correct structure, referencing, paragraphing and some language issues.
Your report must include in-text referencing and a correctly cited list of references ordered alphabetically by surname of first author, in accordance with the CQU APA referencing style of referencing as referred to in the American Psychological Association (APA) abridged guide updated Term 1 2019 available from: https://www.cqu.edu.au/student-life/services-and-facilities/referencing/cquniversity-referencing-guides.
The report must be written using your own words with any in text citations clearly acknowledged using the CQU APA referencing style.
Helpful information on referencing techniques and styles can also be found on CQU’s referencing webpage:
Marks will be deducted for poor referencing, falsifying references, having less than ten (10) recent references, or for significant variations to the required word length.
Use quotation marks for direct quotes and you must include the author, date and page number(s) with the quote as per the referencing standards.
Students must write the Report themselves. You may be asked to prove that you have written the Report. You should keep evidence that you have written the Report yourself, for example, early drafts of your Report, and annotated copies of references and notes of using the Triple R technique to evaluate the references. Once the assessment is marked, the Unit Coordinator (or nominee) may request additional written information and/or an oral discussion to clarify the student’s understanding of the submitted work. Failure to comply and/or to demonstrate an understanding of the Report’s content could result in 0 marks for the Report.
ALL assignments will be checked for plagiarism (material copied from other students and/or material copied from other sources) using TurnItIn. If you are found to have plagiarised material or if you have used someone else’s words without appropriate referencing, you will be penalised for plagiarism which could result in zero (0) marks for the whole assignment. If you falsify references you will also be penalised. In some circumstances a more severe penalty may be imposed such as having a plagiarism incident raised.
The University’s Academic Misconduct Procedure is available in the policy portal https://www.cqu.edu.au/policy.
Useful information about academic integrity (avoiding plagiarism) can be found in the ALC resources on the Moodle Unit website and at:
Guidelines with respect to self-referencing are available on the COIT20249 Moodle website.
The report has to be submitted using the COIT20249 Moodle Unit website on or before the due date. The submission link can be accessed through the Assessment block.
Before submitting your assignment, you should check it against the detailed assessment criteria in the following table to ensure that you have satisfactorily addressed all the criteria that will be used to mark your report.
It is your responsibility to ensure that your report is submitted for grading. At the due date of the assessment Moodle will auto-submit files that have been uploaded and left as drafts. However, any files uploaded after the due date must be manually submitted. This means that if you have been granted an extension or are uploading a late assessment (after the due date) you must complete the Moodle submission process. Further details on completing the submission process are available via the ‘Moodle Help for Students’ link in the Support block of your Moodle website.
If your report is left as a draft in Moodle after the due date it will accrue a late penalty. Late submissions attract a penalty of 5% per day of the total available mark for the individual assessment item. See the Assessment Policy and Procedure – Higher Education Coursework in the policy portal https://www.cqu.edu.au/policy.
Note: if your Report is auto-submitted the submission will not be reverted to draft unless there are extenuating circumstances. Any request is to go to the Unit Coordinator and must be supported by evidence.