The Bachelor’s Program in International Business at the Mikkeli Campus relies on visiting faculty from around the world, teaching year-round in three-week modules. In the Bachelor’s thesis process, Mikkeli students are mentored over several months by supervisors in Finland and abroad. While students prepare for their research in various courses such as research methods, many need additional support.
A pilot A!OLE project was carried out in 2018 by Dr. Suzanne Altobello of Fayetteville State University (within the University of North Carolina system), who teaches marketing and research methods in Mikkeli.
Suzanne offered support for thesis students in the data gathering and analysis stages of their research. Her work comprised:
- Creation of asychronous tutorials. Using an online screen-capture tool (screencastomatic.com), she created audio and video lectures that students viewed “on demand” on topics such as survey instruments; questionnaire design; qualitative methods such as text and sentiment analysis tools; and tests of significance (e.g., Anova, between-group/within-group test; regression; and mixed-method designs).
- Curated resources, such as links to websites, links to other Aalto resources, readings, YouTube videos, and other research methods support.
- Synchronous online office hours, held via Skype. Students could register for these office hours using signupgenius.com in 30-minute increments. Skype allowed Suzanne to share her screen while demonstrating a coding or analysis issue. Students could sign up multiple times for assistance with data design, data collection, and data analysis.
Suzanne will give an overview of the project and offer advice on how to carry out a similar project in other programs. She will introduce some tools like signup genius and screencastomatic that she used to help make videos, schedule students, and run distance consulting hours.
In addition, she will address the issue of curating (selecting from among existing resources) versus creating and adapting material to your specific audience. Given sufficient time, Suzanne will share the results of her survey of thesis supervisors and students concerning the needs she addressed.
The workshop will offer insights into new ways to provide online support to students in the research and writing process that provide flexibility to both students and faculty.