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Leveraging simulation-based research methods in building research-based culture within undergraduate methodology course

Amrit Bahadur Poudel of the Faculty of Engineering and Science at the University of Agder has submitted his thesis entitled «An exploration of how social science students utilise an opportunity to learn about simulation-based research methods: A design-based study» and will defend the thesis for the PhD-degree Wednesday 23 June 2021. Trial lecture Tuesday 22 June.

Therefore, a significant conclusion is drawn from the present study’s findings that introducing simulation-based educational tools could help to build a collaborative, innovative, research-based culture among students and staff in an undergraduate study program.

Amrit Bahadur Poudel

PhD Candidate

The disputation will be held digitally, because of the Corona covid-19-situation. Spectators may follow the disputation digitally – link is available below.

 

Amrit Bahadur Poudel  of the Faculty of Engineering and Science at the University of Agder has submitted his thesis entitled «An exploration of how social science students utilise an opportunity to learn about simulation-based research methods: A design-based study» and will defend the thesis for the PhD-degree Wednesday 23 June 2021. Trial lecture Tuesday 22 June.

He has followed the PhD-programme at  the Faculty of Engineering and Science at the University of Agder, with Specialisation in Mathematical Sciences, scientific field of Mathematics Education.

Summary of the thesis by Amrit Bahadur Poudel:

Leveraging simulation-based research methods in building research-based culture within undergraduate methodology course

In the dissertation, I study how social science students utilise their opportunities to learn about Modelling and Simulation (M&S)-based research methods to study social dynamics.

The study dealt with two types of human activities:

  1. learning at university is mediated by symbolic and material artefacts such as language, sign/symbols, computer simulations,
  2. workplace practices are influenced by sophisticated artefacts or tools such as computer software and applets.

The study seeks to bridge the understanding gap between university studies and workplace context where students have to deal with sophisticated software or applets, and mathematics is embedded in the so-called black box.

Methods

The study adopts a design-based methodology to design, implement and evaluate innovative research methods module by creating a simulation-based learning environment to explore the future of teaching, learning and developing a research methods curriculum.

The study examines the use of illustrative methods tools, the Schelling Applet, to show how the M&S-based tool can add experimental knowledge dimension to traditional research methodology training.

The data generation methods entail audio and video recordings of students’ interaction with the Schelling applet, peers, teachers, and M&S-based researchers in their field.

The analysis is based on the thematic approach, and the findings are interpreted through the lens of adopted theoretical foundations and epistemological analysis tools.

Findings and conclusion

The innovatory curriculum module helped create a new learning environment to explore future possibilities in teaching, learning and development of the M&S-based research methods module.

Students have advanced their awareness about M&S-based research methods such as critical processes of the methods, opportunities, limitations, and challenges by imagining situations in which M&S-methods could be applied in their field.

The study’s findings showed that students’ engagement in the M&S-based research methods curriculum module was explorative, informed, and persistent. Further, the M&S-based tools help develop students understanding of early stages of research methods, such as experimenting, generating and testing hypothesis questions, and identifying relevant variables.

Furthermore, the study’s findings revealed that students could identify boundary objects that could help them bridge the understanding gap between university studies and professional work practices.

Therefore, a significant conclusion is drawn from the present study’s findings that introducing simulation-based educational tools could help to build a collaborative, innovative, research-based culture among students and staff in an undergraduate study program.

Disputation facts:

The trial lecture and the public defence will take place online, via the Zoom conferencing app (link below)

Head of the Department of Mathematical Sciences Ingvald Erfjord, Faculty of Engineering and Science at the University of Agder, will chair the disputation.

OBS: Trial Lecture and Public Defense at different days.
Trial Lecture Tuesday 22 June at 15:00 hours
Public defence Wednesday 23 June at 14:00 hours

Given topic for trial lecture:  «What are the conceptual advantages to be gained by framing mathematics teaching and learning within socio-cultural theory, with attention to the role of boundary objects? Please include perspectives from theory, personally acquired empirical evidence (e.g. PhD research), and personal experience»

Thesis Title: «An exploration of how social science students utilise an opportunity to learn about simulation-based research methods: A design-based study»

Search for the thesis in AURA - Agder University Research Archive, a digital archive of scientific papers, theses and dissertations from the academic staff and students at the University of Agder.

The thesis is available here:

https://hdl.handle.net/11250/2758716

(Paper I is excluded from the dissertation with respect to publisher´s copyright and self-archiving policy. Paper III and Paper IV is excluded from the dissertation until they will be published. They will be included into the dissertation after they are published.) A full copy can be obtained from the Faculty of Engineering and Science before the disputation - contact Victoria Belous.

 

The CandidateAmrit Bahadur Poudel (1972,  Lamjung, Nepal) B. Sc. Tribhuvan University, Nepal (1996), PG Diploma in Education, Kathmandu University, 2005, M Ed Mathematics Education, Kathmandu University, Thesis title: Exploring Mathematics in motherly nature: An autoethnographic inquiry (2010), M Phil Mathematics Education, Kathmandu University, Thesis title: Journeying into motherly mathematics education: A muse towards transformation (2016). Teacher in high school mathematics for nine years, now working as a teacher educator since 2008 at different organisations in Nepal.

Opponents:

First opponent: Professor emeritus Daniel Clark Orey, California State University, Sacramento, USA

Second opponent: Professor emeritus Paul Ernest, University of Exeter, UK

Associate Professor Jorunn Reinhardtsen, University of Agder,  is appointed as the administrator for the assessment commitee.

Supervisor in the doctorial work was Professor Simon Goodchild, UiA

What to do as an audience member:

The disputation is open to the public, but to follow the trial lecture and the public defence, which is transmitted via the Zoom conferencing app, you have to register as an audience member.

We ask audience members to join the virtual trial lecture at 14:50 at the earliest and the public defense at 13:50 at the earliest. After these times, you can leave and rejoin the meeting at any time. Further, we ask audience members to turn off their microphone and camera and keep them turned off throughout the event. You do this at the bottom left of the image when in Zoom. We recommend you use ‘Speaker view’. You select that at the top right corner of the video window when in Zoom.

Opponent ex auditorio:

The chair invites members of the public to pose questions ex auditorio in the introduction to the public defense, with deadlines. It is a prerequisite that the opponent has read the thesis. Questions can be submitted to the chair Ingvald Erfjord on e-mail ingvald.erfjord@uia.no