Scientific Work and Research Methods – SEA


Elective T3110 Scientific Work and Research Methods – SEA
Exam Code 3110
Credit Points 5 ECTS
Term Winter
Module Coordination Santiago Penedo
Lecturers Dr. Dang The Phong, Dr. Ta Hoa Binh
Workload (h) 45 Attendance 105 Self-Study
Prerequisites None
Intended Learning Outcome

Students are able to systematically follow the scientific method to conduct their own research by doing a thorough literature research to identify research needs and gaps as well as to formulate clear research questions and hypotheses and selecting sound scientific methodologies to address these questions. Finally, they are able to scientifically communicate their results in written and oral forms.

Students work in interdisciplinary and intercultural groups to address relevant broad environmental subjects preparing a scientific report and an oral presentation.

In order to develop research skills (including structured preparation of scientific reports and presentations) relevant for other master courses and, especially, for the completion of the final thesis.

Content Case study / Group work (15h)

  • Introduction to case study
  • Group work on case study
  • System sciences and challenges of trans-disciplinary sciences

Science and scientific methods (9h)

  • Definitions, objectives and classification of science
  • Introduction to the scientific method
  • Hypothesis formulation and testing
  • Introduction to natural science methods
  • Introduction to social science methods

Literature research and review (9h)

  • Introduction to literature search at the FH Köln library
  • Literature research and review
  • Organizing and archiving literature and data
  • Referencing methods and tools (e.g. software)

Scientific research and scientific writing (8h)

  • Mind map
  • Research and its phases
  • Scientific writing – journal articles (way from abstract to conclusion)

Scientific ethics (4h)

  • Citation scientific misconduct
  • Plagiarism
  • Basic ethic principles while conducting research

Scientific publication and communication (7h)

  • Scientific communication: presentation and poster
  • Scientific publications (incl. peer review process)
  • Scientific vulgarization (incl. jams, TED)
Teaching Method Lecture, group work, exercises
Assessment Method Case study group report: 60% Group presentation: 40% (the report and presentation are based on the same literature review but they have to be presented in oral and written forms to assess if the students are able to do both scientifically).
Recommended Reading

Curd, M. and Cover, J. A (1998): Philosophy of science – the central issue. W. W. Norton & Company, New YorkMcCaskill, M. K. (1998): Grammar, punctuation and capitalization: A handbook for technical writers and editors (NASA SP-7084). Langley Research Centre, Hampton, Virginia

Popper, Karl (2004): The logic of scientific discovery. London: Routledge-Classic

Strauss, A. and Corbin, J. (1990): Basics of qualitative research: Grounded theory procedures and techniques. Sage Publications

Others: to be announced in class

Version 11.05.2016

Next Methods and Tools Module: Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing – SEA

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