WIDENING THE PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCES OF STUDENTS BY INCLUDING THEM IN ACADEMIC RESEARCH PROJECTS
University of Library Studies and Information Technologies (BULGARIA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:The paper shares the experience of the team of university lecturers, actively and non-traditionally implementing the “Learning by doing” method. In their academic practice, lecturers include students in their research-led projects and apply a variety of innovative teaching methods through the practical application of theoretical knowledge. Also, the creation of conditions and opportunities for future specialists to participate in fundamental research undoubtedly contributes to their scientific development.
The development and implementation of academic projects in an academic environment enables the modernization of the teaching methodology by applying appropriate forms of “Learning by doing”.
The participation of students in the implementation of research projects (in the field of cultural heritage) is traditional for the University of Library Studies and Information Technologies (ULSIT) and is effective because field work provides opportunities for interesting and non-traditional methods to enrich the qualification of future specialists, to expand their professional competences.
The authors of the paper have extensive experience in studying the cultural heritage of Bulgaria, with the active participation of the students from ULSIT. These are scientific trips with student participation for the purpose of studying the life, museum, history and religious heritage in various small settlements. Experience shows that participating students have accumulated not only practical research experience but also the ability to present their scientific observations to the academic community in the form of papers, course work assignments and diploma work.
The project “Creating a Model for Preservation, Socialization and Promotion of Orthodox Christian Monuments in Bulgaria” (Dn 15/4) is part of the traditional scientific research of ULSIT funded by the Science Fund of the Ministry of Education and Science, which explains its scale. This project enables a large group of students to engage, work, and build practical skills and habits for research work. The students’ involvement in the project is essential. They identify research areas, pre-arrange interviews with the local community, prepare surveys. The next stage of their work is their participation in permanent and long-term scientific trips to designated sites where they personally study, systemize and explore cultural monuments in real time and space. Since the project focuses on various active actions for the preservation of Christian monuments at the local level, the main form of work is the field trips, which includes scientific expeditions, surveys and interviews, filming and describing various monuments. A key point in the report is the disclosure of the mechanisms for engaging young people in the team, the nature of their involvement in research and the impact on their professional training. It is concluded that due to the active participation of the students in these activities and the synthesis of the scientific results, the knowledge acquired by them in the study of the preservation of the monuments of cultural Orthodox Christianity in Bulgaria, actually builds up and enriches their professional competences as future researchers.
Keywords: Project, cultural heritage, Learning by doing, professional competences.