Research Methodology is a required course common to most graduate programs globally. The applied research methodology course at the College of Engineering, Qatar University is a compulsory course for all graduate students. In this course, various aspects of the foundation, types and methods of research are covered in the curriculum, along with experimental programme planning, research article writing, data processing and depiction, and the increasingly important (and often contentious) subject of bibliometrics. To fully engage the students with the key course element of the reading and critical assessment of published research papers, active learning is introduced. From the first week, students are actively engaged in the course, with the course mentor establishing the motivation for the course and the palpable benefits offered by it in furthering the research and, on a more practical level, the production of research articles. Active debate during presentations is encouraged, creating a climate conducive to critical thinking which underpins research per se. A conference is organized as part of the course to familiarize the students with the processes and etiquette of conference paper submission and presentations. This includes call for papers, submission of abstracts through the online system, communication with conference organizers, conference registration, transferring copyright, and full paper submission according to standard paper format. Each author of an accepted paper is given the opportunity to present their work orally in front of a panel of 4 faculty members and the conference participants. Time management and communication skills form a critical part of the assessment criteria. Students are also expected to develop a complete research proposal, again according to strict criteria as befit those instigated by the various funding agencies. From the course assessment and student course outcomes surveys, it has been found that the interest, engagement and learning curve for students has increased with these novel aspects. In summary, the approach has been interesting and led to further enhancement of the student learning process through the use of different learning styles with varied and innovative teaching techniques.


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  • Received: 30 April 2015
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