DEV 1.4.2 Assessing Current Research Methodology Syllabi at HEIs in TURIL and Serbia

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In addition to the mobility capacity addressed by DEV 1.2.1, the students need to be prepared to realize their planned research during the mobility runs. Good research outputs are achieved by relying on research methodologies. To develop those curses according to real needs, EU partners have assessed current research methodology courses at HEIs in Partner Countries and identified gaps to be bridged in development of the online/digital course. Research methodology syllabi at HEIs in Partner Countries have been compared with each other as well as with those of EU partners to get ample insights into further development of learning and teaching materials.

By analyzing the 16 syllabi of research methodology courses collected from universities in Ukraine and Serbia some common gaps emerged. In terms of language of both the course itself and the reference literature, there are no courses taught in English and there are just two courses with supporting literature in English. Foundations of research methodology are covered by different courses, nevertheless there are few references to ethical foundations of research. Referring to specific type of methodology, just one course syllabus, offered by SU, includes a systematic literature review, which is a relevant methodology transversal to different disciplines. The same holds true for qualitative methodologies as case study (cited just in the syllabi of two courses from SU and UNS) and surveys or large scale data collection and analysis (cited in terms of “data analysis” and “statistical analyses on data” in two courses). The form of examination adopted is an interesting aspect to be analyzed, given the constraints imposed by online type of courses. It is interesting to note that 14 out of 16 courses include oral forms of examinations. These forms of assessment as well as the written forms (adopted by 7 courses in the sample) are not feasible for distant-learning/online classes.

With reference to the above gap regarding the form of assessment, an interesting distinguishing aspect emerges from the comparison with the sample of methodological courses offered by the POLIMI Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, as well as with most of the courses offered to PhD students by AAU. All the methodological courses from POLIMI address only PhD students and include an assessment based on application of the research methodology to each PhD student’s research subject. This means that students are evaluated through presentations developed during class and/or through a final essay on the application of the methodology on their research subject. In this way students can directly apply the methodology on a topic they know very well, obtaining feedbacks from scholars highly experienced in the research methodology. This type of assessment is also feasible for online/digital courses. The same considerations apply to the course offered by AAU, in which students are evaluated on the basis of their actual participation on the discussion during the course and through a written essay which matches with their research interests. Research and Innovative projects course offered by TUHH to Master level students has a more traditional type of assessment, in written form, which is anyway compatible with an online version