Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The student knows how to tackle a research problem by articulating it in time phases according to the following scheme: 1. the collection of information, to be carried out through a systematic and analytical approach of the available literature, distinguishing what is pertinent or not relevant to the problem addressed; 2. information assembly, which consists in interpreting the information collected in order to plan the subsequent phases of the research activities; 3. the development of an activity plan aimed at solving the scientific problem and consistent with the previous phases of the research process; 4. the processing and interpretation of the results in order to verify the achievement of the objective. If the research purpose is not achieved, understand what data can be used for the purpose of developing a new research project. The student is able to distinguish between the use of the term "research" in emotional ways to impress and create confidence, and the use of the term "research" to indicate a methodological process, structured and aimed at scientifically solving a problem.

Course contents

The course will have the following modular structure:

1. Definition of the "scientific method" and definition of its component parts (6 hours)

In this phase, through lectures, what is meant by the scientific method will be explained, all the phases that characterize it, and its areas of application, will be detailed, also through the use of examples.

2. Definition of a "research problem" (8 hours)

Design thinking and the scientific method are both approaches to problem solving, learning and knowledge development. In this part of the course, students will define a research problem and develop a solution by comparing the principles of the two methodologies.

3. Critical reading and definition of possible common mistakes (8 hours)

To make students aware of the common mistakes that can occur in the definition of a research problem or during the phases of a project, "critical reading" of scientific articles will be organized.

The final part of the course will be dedicated to the discussion of the teachers together with the students on the topics covered and their possible implications for the future will be analyzed.



During the course, material will be provided in the form of a handout relating to the frontal lessons provided. For the part "definition of a research problem" students will be provided with various scientific articles selected before the start of the course.


Teaching methods

During the frontal lessons, all the part that consist of the scientific method will be described by the teacher by giving the theory and several examples.

For the second part, students will be divided into working groups where they will have to find out a problem of common interest from everybody. They will have to discuss and find out the solution according the scientific methods rules. At the end of this phase, each subgroup of participants will have to return the solution of the chosen problem to the teacher and all the other course participants. During the last part of the course, students will be divided into subgroups among which they will have to perform a “critical analysis” of a research paper selected according to the indications previously provided by the teacher.


Assessment methods

The learning outcomes of the section “Definition of a research problem” will be validated by an elevator pitch presentation presented from each subgroup and directly evaluated by the class interactively.

The learning outcomes of the section “Critical reading and definition of possible common errors" will be validated by a presentation of the scientific analysis which will performed from each subgroup and it will directly be evaluated by the class interactively.

The validation of the acquisition of knowledge of all the topics addressed will be carried out at the end of the course through a questionnaire of 10 closed-ended questions.


Teaching tools

Laptop and/or smartphone with WIFI connection for the interaction with the teacher throughout Wooclap and Mentimeter freeware.

Office hours

See the website of Giovanni Dinelli