What is there to know about how research work is conducted at the leading e-learning University
“In order to conduct quality research work all faculties must cooperate and speak to each other because only team work makes science and knowledge expand”: with these words of the Rector, Maria Amata Garito, the “Research Day” at the International Telematic University UNINETTUNO began. A public meeting to take stock of the state of the art of the University research work and launch new projects and new ideas.
It is a multifaceted framework within which there are, on the one hand, the “University research activities”, namely those dealing with technologies and methodologies related to distance teaching and learning processes; on the other hand, the “Faculty research activities”, linked to the specific features of the single degree courses.
In both cases, figures speak for themselves on the liveliness of UNINETTUNO University in this field: 12 currently running research projects (and 44 ones already completed) and many projects linked to the single Faculties, all carried on jointly with international universities and research institutes. More specifically, these research activities related to single degree courses are divided as follows: 17 in the Economics Faculty; 2 in the Law Faculty; 20 in the Engineering Faculty; 3 in the Literature Faculty; 6 in the Psychology Faculty and, finally, 6 in the Communication Sciences Faculty.
Ideas and proposals following one another, told – one after the other – by UNINETTUNO researchers, during a day devoted to them and which saw the participation of all the Deans of the Faculties and of several professors as well. “I had no feeling of competitiveness – Rector Garito comments – Ours are youths who love science and who are proud of the results of their own work; results that today they had the opportunity of sharing with all their colleagues to give life to a new model of research based on cooperation among different Faculties”.
The “Research Day” organized by UNINETTUNO was, therefore, also a way to dispel a very widespread idea, according to which “distance” teaching universities do not conduct research work. “Our University – Professor Luciano Modica, coordinator of all UNINETTUNO research activities, states – is the largest Big Data repository on university teaching and precisely the web-based tools used by the University and on which its pedagogic model is based, represent its added value contributing to the quality of the launched research projects”.
Actually, the research laboratories are included into UNINETTUNO technological platform; this allows web-based connections with other research laboratories of various countries (as for example, in China and Japan) and of other universities worldwide, allowing researchers to exchange data, standardize research protocols and share materials, equipments and laboratories. This model allowed to maximize costs, reduce the number of travels and missions, share knowledge at a global level and make assessments before, during and after the implementation of expensive and complex experimentations. Instead, as for humanities, researchers can exploit the book heritages of several libraries of the world, made available on the Web. The digitalization allowed for the creation and updating of library catalogues that it would be otherwise possible to use only on site, in the libraries and study centers.
The coordinator of the research activity, Modica, while closing the works launches a new idea: “Our University should become a vehicle for explaining, using a language that can be understood by a large audience, the best national and international research projects, in such a way as to make research no longer a place only for specialists, but overcome the boundaries of laboratories and go among people”.
Therefore, new projects in store for a University that can count on over 14,000 enrolled students (including degrees and master’s courses), students coming from over 140 countries, dozens of branches spread all over the world and which today can pride itself on a growth of 30% of enrolments.
Rome, the 25th February 2016
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