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4 Visual Exercises for good research by prof. Enriko Ceko from Wisdom University College of Tirana

Updated: Aug 31, 2020

Here the article written by prof. Enriko Ceko, Lecturer at the Economics and Social Sciences Faculty at Wisdom University College of Tirana (Albania) about the speech who had during the Learning Mobility which took place at UBI University in Covilhã (Portugal) in November 2019 for the CSB project. He gave a catchy and interesting presentation about 4 visual exercises (1.Effective Listening; 2. Effective Visuals and attention - Concentration; 3. Details Vs General Picture; 4.Orders Vs Standards) to give to the audience a practical guide about research, what skills a good research requires and to realize, softly and clearly, which are the characteristics of a good research.

Keeping in mind my experience of the past with students in Albania, Italy, Northern Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, etc, as well as using visual materials I had prepared for my classic presentation, I split my 40 minutes time of presentation in four parts, each of them 8 minutes, and 8 minutes resume at the end.

1. I started a visual exercise about effective visuals and attention with Mona Lisa paint of Da Vinci, from which together with students and guests, extracted the idea that there are three types of research (1) narrative & reporting research, (2) comparisons, explanatory, using some maths type of research and (3) predictive, use of mathematics and statistics type of research.

2. After that, a second visual exercise of a short video with several details to be identified in a framework of a big picture, took place, on which students have been asked to define where is in the video the chocolate, but in fact, other events took place, most of students have not been able to see. So, with this exercise we realised that the ratio between big picture and details makes the difference between a great and a weak research.

3. The third visual exercise was about orders Vs standards. A short exercise with hands, moving them in a way that at the end of the exercise no one can move hands as lecturer does, because all of the class, students and guests included, followed rules, orders and standards, while lecturer not (besides the fact that it was the lecturer that told to follow rules and not to break them), brought us together into the morale of the fabula that the final result of the research should not be changed a per emotions of the researcher, because it is a result based on a certain methodology.

4. The fourth exercise, called effective listening, was a short story full of details, which 6 students should tell to each other.

At the end, the last student told the story to the class and of course the original was too far from the last student’s version. So, the issue and lesson is that handling research needs keeping records.

Research skills are important for good research. These skills include gathering more information before selecting a course of action, understanding the level of the study, understanding the research design, evaluating and resolving dilemmas, etc.

Good research starts with something that catches attention. A research idea is general enough to describe anything you might research. A research topic defines an area to research. A research setting and sample will emerge.

About generating ideas for research projects, good ideas come from all kinds of places and sources of ideas are one that can be identified, one that is identified for by an organisational sponsor, one that comes from the world, but we should make sure that it is relevant. About selecting ideas, they should meet the project requirements, to be relevant to any practical problem, and people should be interested in this project and it should be worth studying. Characteristics of good research topics should satisfy project guidelines, should be feasible or possible, should be relevant to business and management practice and findings/recommendations should be relevant to project stakeholders.

The most important element of a successful research is the development of attainable goals and measurable objectives under the SMART scheme. Purpose of the research should have been clearly defined. Research process should have been detailed. Research design should have been thoroughly planned. Limitations should have been frankly revealed. High ethical standards should have been applied. Adequate analysis for decision-makers is needed. Findings of the research should have been presented unambiguously. Conclusions should have been justified. Researcher’s experience should have been reflected.

But, generally there are four issues to be addressed when a research has been handled.

Firstly, people handling research should take care about the level of study and involvement of mathematics and statistics.

Secondly, people involved in research should have a clear idea about relations between general picture and details of the issue to be studied.

Thirdly, people involved in research should make sure they follow standards, laws and rules of the research and are not emotionally involved at the final result.

Fourthly, good research comes from taking notes for everything related to the research.

So if we talk about the characteristics of a good research they are:

  • The topic satisfies project guidelines

  • Topic should be feasible or possible

  • Topic should be relevant to business and management practice

  • Findings / recommendations should be relevant to project stakeholders

  • Every research, to be a good ones, should follow the standards of the scientific method

So, what good research is? A good research should have (a):

  • Purpose clearly defined

  • Research process detailed

  • Research design thoroughly planned

  • Limitations frankly revealed

  • High ethical standards applied

  • Adequate analysis for decision-maker’s needs

  • Findings presented unambiguously

  • Conclusions justified

  • Researcher’s experience reflected

Keeping all of the above in mind handling the presentation, I was able to manage the situation, besides the fact even for me was a new experience, making possible a unique impact for students and guests, who was surprising, concretely involved as the audience into the exercises, understanding the issue much better than a formal lecture, as it was prepared formally at the beginning of the session.

I have used visuals often in my experience as a lecturer in the past, but no more than 10 – 15 minutes and only one type of visuals per lecture. This was the first time for me, explaining the issue of research methods, using four visuals for the same lecture, with international audience, students and guests from different academic subjects and with different research perspectives, bringing for me and for all of them a new experience, which at the end of the day, resulted in a innovative way of lecturing, not only by the economic, managerial, research angle, but even from cultural perspective, making clear that this method works on Cultural Studies on Business subject.

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