This paper presents the methodology employed in the Research Methodology course, part of the Master Program in Engineering Mechanics of the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH). As a higher education institution, KTH aims at excellence in both generation and dissemination of knowledge. Even though these two activities are traditionally seen as independent –or even mutually exclusive-, there is a positive correlation between performance in research andin pedagogical activities, reinforced by the fact that inquiry-based or researchbased learning activities enhance deep learning among the students. The course Research Methodology in Engineering Mechanics poses a unique opportunity to engage the students to research in different areas through diversity-oriented learning activities.The course’s main learning outcome is that the students become acquainted with the most common concepts and research methodologies used in the fields of Fundamental Mechanics, Solid Mechanics, Fluid Mechanics, Acoustics and Biomechanics. After the completion of the course, the student should also be able to identify and analyze the methodologies in a given published work.The course consists of 9 lectures and a group project, with an estimation of the total dedication time of 80h (3hp). One lecture is focused on research ethics;while in the other 8 researchers from KTH present their areas of expertise, introducing the most relevant methodologies applied. The attendance is about40 students.In the last two years, and based on the course assessment survey, the structure of the course has been continuously shifting from traditional lectures to cover a broader range of teaching activities. In this way, different learning styles are covered and the learning outcomes can be achieved by as many students as possible. In this regard, traditional lectures are combined with problem-based or case-based lectures, and role-play. Additionally, in the content of the lectures we also try to keep a balance between experimental and numerical research methods of the different disciplines, in such a way that the students get a holistic view of the research in that particular field.This project involves reading a research journal article in the subject of engineering mechanics and presenting, in written and oral form, a critical analysis of the methodologies employed. In the beginning of their project, the students give an oral presentation of their article to another group. At the end of this activity, each group is asked to mention a positive aspect of the presentation they just heard and something that they believe should be improved. As an additional task, each group is asked to peer-review another group’s report. To do so, the students are given a document with some guidelines and evaluation criteria. Special instructions are given to make sure positive feedback is also included in the review. With this, the students get to read the work of others, learn to apply quality criteria and give feedback, and self-reflect on their own work after the review process.
IATED , 2016.
10th annual International Technology, Education and Development Conference (INTED2016)