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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 89-90  

Are all birds same? Looking beyond the purview of research methodology workshops


1 Department of Anatomy, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India
2 Department of Paediatrics, Rajah Muthiah Medical College and Hospital, Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication22-Jan-2019

Correspondence Address:
V Dinesh Kumar
Assistant Professor, Department of Anatomy, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_210_18

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How to cite this article:
Kumar V D, Prabha M S. Are all birds same? Looking beyond the purview of research methodology workshops. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth 2019;12:89-90

How to cite this URL:
Kumar V D, Prabha M S. Are all birds same? Looking beyond the purview of research methodology workshops. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth [serial online] 2019 [cited 2019 Nov 12];12:89-90. Available from: http://www.mjdrdypv.org/text.asp?2019/12/1/89/250432



Sir,

We read the editorial[1] on the utility of research workshops in pruning the interest of students to do research, with great interest. We wish to emphasize few pertinent issues which could be implemented in our existing academic settings to promulgate the research capacity development among postgraduates. Even though the need for research – teaching integration to has been highlighted as one of the challenges in higher education, the individual differences between the students' perception of research determine the research capacity of a particular environment. It has been showed that intrinsic motivation of students and course competency in a research-rich environment contribute to the positive beliefs about research, while negative beliefs or indifference to research are more associated with motivation arising out of external factors such as lack of “committed research time” and mentoring.[2]

Visser-Wijnveen et al.[3] postulated that the students' perception toward research is determined by the following factors: (a) will to participate in research as a student, (b) familiarity with research done by faculty, (c) interest and motivation to do research, (d) beliefs of students about the value of research in learning process, and (e) perceived quality of research environment. In a similar note, Brew et al.[4] explored the researcher identification by asking the academicians if they consider themselves to be “research-active.” Interestingly, those who prioritized their researcher identity were highly productive in terms of research and those who prioritized teaching identity were lesser productive. One could realize that, beyond the short-term sparks offered by the research methodology workshops, long-term impacts, and scholarly productivity are often determined by the local environmental factors. It has to be mentioned that many medical universities mandate publishing at least one original article and conference presentation before awarding the degree. However, the confidence exhibited by the students in terms of research skills should be assessed and evaluated by the guides/mentors. Furthermore, the guide/mentor would be the right person to evaluate students in terms of their proven credibility in overcoming the challenges faced during the tenure of thesis work.

Second, the role of positive supervisory relationships is quintessential in determining the sustainability of academic quest and committed perseverance for research among postgraduates in their career. The initial “spark” for a research idea often sprouts out of questioning attitude about the prevailing dogma or from the “hunches” stemming out of clinical encounters. A positive supervisory approach would promulgate the students to assimilate the solid pieces of evidence which already exist related to the spark, define the precise area of uncertainty and if warranted, ensure that correct research methods are used while designing the study.[5] We believe that if a student could frame few robust research questions and present it with convincing methodology, then he/she shall be deemed to be competent in terms of research capacity.

Third, as regards, the personality determinants of the assimilator – explorer style dimension, assimilators tend to be creative or inventive, but under conditions of high experiences for the task, strong motivation or positive mood and explorers tend to be more creative under any conditions.[6] Using the metaphor of Banerjee,[1] the explorer birds have the innate embodiment to explore the surroundings and acquire the desired skill set for research without much training and assimilator birds require the training and situated experiences to fly. Fourth, we perceive the need to upgrade the research methodology workshops into research capacity development workshops, which would ignite the awareness about multiple components of research system and their interaction in the contexts in which they are implemented.[7] We could witness that the research capacity in many settings is dampened due to contextual barriers such as lack of recognition, collaborator networks, and limited leadership support. Providing suitable incentives for project development could sustain the thirst for pursuing research.

To conclude, after a very long hiatus, we could achieve the most important tenet of Abraham Flexner's report, i.e., teaching research methodology with academic rigor. Indeed, this helps the future physicians not only in conducting research but also to interpret the literature and provide the best medical care. However, the sustainable and palpable growth can be achieved if we aim higher in terms of research capacity development and scaffolding the measures according to local contexts. In essence, some birds need not be lectured about flying, some birds need to be demonstrated to unleash the flying ability, and some birds need to be flocked together with high flyers. Finally, it is the belief which the bird keeps on its wings (motivation to do) which determines the heights attained.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Banerjee A. Do research workshops lead to research: Or is it like lecturing birds how to fly? Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth 2018;11:383-4.  Back to cited text no. 1
  [Full text]  
2.
Breen R, Lindsay R. Academic research and student motivation. Stud Higher Educ 1999;24:75-93.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Visser-Wijnveen G, van der Rijst RM, van Driel JH. A questionnaire to capture student perceptions of research integration in their courses. Higher Educ 2016;71:473-88.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Brew A, Boud D, Un Namgung S. Influences on the formation of academics: the role of the doctorate and structured development opportunities. Stud Contin Educ 2011;33:51-66.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Keshavan MS. How to come up with a research idea. Asian J Psychiatr 2012;5:108-10.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Kaufmann G. The explorer and the assimilator: A cognitive style distinction and its potential implications for innovative problem solving. Scand J Educ Res 1979;23:101-8.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Willis C, Riley B, Lewis M, Stockton L, Yessis J. Guidance for organisational strategy on knowledge to action from conceptual frameworks and practice. Evid Policy 2017;13:317-41.  Back to cited text no. 7
    




 

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