9. Recommendations for Improvement and Effective Implementation of Future Research Methodology Workshop for the Ph.D. Scholars
The training program was highly effective and beneficial for SC/ST PhD scholars as they got exposure to research methodology classes from experts in the field. But the similar program must be conducted for all the PhD scholars every year.
The coordinator of the six day national workshop (Jan 6-11, 2014) tried his level best to devote the time of the workshop to relevant topics of research methodology for social sciences, by giving more emphasis on training in SPSS the same can be followed in the future programs as well. The selection of the resource persons can also be done in the same manner because the resource persons of this workshop were from different disciplines of social sciences considering the heterogeneity of the participants.
The flow of the topics of the sessions was maintained but in the future programs it will be better if the topic arrangement will be done more logically as a continuation to each other. Some issues like searching for reliable secondary data and plagiarism should be given equal importance in the workshop. In addition, more emphasis should be given on qualitative research techniques like Focus Group Discussion (FGD), informal interview, in-depth interviews and participatory rural appraisal (PRA) along with observation and case studies.
Technical arrangements and seating arrangements were perfect as the resource person of each session had face to face contact with each and every participant. There were no issues in the technical aspects because of the technical expertise of the organizers. There were arrangements for every participant to charge their laptop with adapter for the SPSS training session. The future programs can also be conducted in the same effective manner.
The food provided was of high quality and quantity, the quantity of food should be reduced in the future programs so that more quality can be assured. It would be better if the program starts at 9 or 9.30, so that three or more sessions could have been included in the six-day workshop.
Assessment of knowledge of the participants before and after the workshop will be beneficial to understand the efficacy of the workshop.
A follow-up workshop for the same participants after two to three months should be conducted to clarify their queries at the advanced stage of research.
Participants of the workshop should be selected based on their stages of research i.e., fresher and advanced researchers.
Six day Workshop on Research Methodology Course in Social Sciences from 21st – 27th March, 2014held at Dept. of Studies in Economics and Co-operation, Mysore University, Mysorein collaboration with ICSSR, Southern Regional Centre, Hyderabad.
Context to the Workshop The world today is witnessing an explosion of social science research. Social Science Research has attracted much attention due to its dynamism and complexity. The changing structure, requirement and their manifestations have given rise to a new set of circumstances and problems. Understanding the emerging trends and exploring them in a given framework has become a serious challenge. Therefore we are in research of new theories, approaches and methodologies to address these issues. Social scientists have the responsibility of providing meaningful framework and policy choices to improve the functioning of the system and enriching the overall knowledge. In this pursuit we have to re-examine the existing methodologies and develop new methods.
ICSSR is playing a pivotal role in facilitating and supporting contemporary research in social sciences. It was established in 1969 by Government of India to promote research in social science research in the country. It is supporting a number of research institutions, individual scholars by providing fellowships and grants and also providing grants to organise Workshops for training and capacity building. In this way, ICSSR is providing an academic forum for researchers in social sciences to reflect on the contemporary issues and emerging trends and reconsider the paradigms of the existing methodologies.
Why the focus on young researchers? Young researchers have an advantage. Relatively they an open mind, not rigidly attached to a particular set of theories, concepts and methodologies. It is easy to orient and they can be innovative and can go beyond conventional boundaries. Improving their capabilities and sharpening their research skills can contribute to the changing nature and structure of research.
University of Mysore, 100 years old University has made commendable contributions to research and research methods and contributed immensely to enhance the social relevance of research.
The above said Workshop was organised by the DOS in Economics and Co-operation, University of Mysore, Mysore. The Workshop started on 22nd 2014 and concluded on 27th March 2014. Research students from various social science disciplines like Economics, Co-operative Management, Development Studies, Political Science, Sociology, Social Work, History, Commerce, Management Science, Education etc participated in the Workshop. Though it was open to other university students, there were no applications.
The workshop focused on the Ph.D scholars who have registered for the Ph.D programme and it was exclusively for SC/ST Ph.D students of social sciences.
Focus of the Workshop In the present age of information era all that is required to be successful is churning knowledge from piles of raw data. The present information age facilitates the collection of data but the challenges lie in making the data meaningful and purposeful, because it substantially influences the observations and conclusions drawn on the basis of the data. Here, researchers face newer and varied problems regarding research methodology, research design, tools and techniques of data collection and methods of interpretation and analysis. Hence, it becomes pivotal on the part of the researcher to gain an insight into such contemporary research process, their impact and outcome.
This Workshop was designed to provide an interactive platform to research scholars of Social Sciences for acquiring extensive exposure on various issues of Social Sciences research and enhance conceptual understanding of advanced statistical techniques as well as hands on experience, in analysing and interpreting the data using computer & statistical software package (SPSS).
Objectives of the Workshop The specific objectives of the Workshop were:
To improve the research understanding relating to problem identification, research formulation and research design based on qualitative and quantitative data.
Hypotheses testing in accordance with the set research objectives.
To improve the knowledge of the scholars regarding the selection of right tools and techniques while conducting the research.
To help the students to understand the use of statistical software package (SPSS) in data analysis.
To expose the participants to the current trends in research in Social Sciences.
A total number of 43 Ph.D students got registered for the Workshop. The course was designed to cover a wide range of topics like –
Importance of Research in Social Sciences : Emerging Trends in Contemporary Research
The valedictory function was held on 27th March, 2014 at UGC- Academic Staff College, University of Mysore. Prof. G. Krishna Reddy, Honorary Director, ICSSR, Southern Regional Centre, Hyderabad was the Guest of Honour and Prof. Indumati, Ex- Vice Chancellor of Davanagere University and at present Dean of Arts Faculty, University of Mysore delivered the valedictory address. In his address, the honorary director of ICSSR shared valuable information and also contacts with the participants. They are of immense help to the participants. He also highlighted the contemporary role of ICSSR, SRC, Hyderabad in encouraging research activities across the social sciences. He also explained the challenges the social scientists may face in the course of their research. He appreciated the initiatives of the University of Mysore in this regard and assured continuous support and encouragement to capacity building programme with a focus on young social scientists.
Prof. Indumati in her valedictory address focused on the changing dimensions of social science research and the challenges there in. She also advised the participants to equip themselves with the necessary skills and capabilities.
And the programme ended with concluding observations and vote of thanks.