MELE eCourse Academic Skills
this Academic Skills eCourse was developed within the framework of the Eramus+ Project ‘Modernising Legal Education’ (MELE). It is designed for students of all levels as well as PhD candidates who have to submit an academic work. Traditional ways of research have changed dramatically in the last ten years due to the increasing digitalisation of publications and the internationalisation of research. Students thus have to master several difficulties when preparing research papers. The problems vary from literature research to the correct structure and focus of the work to the formatting of the paper.
This course is made up of several short videos, aiming at teaching you the necessary academic skills (Video-‘Encyclopedia’) to enable you to write a good research paper. These videos can either be watched systematically or individually on demand. You can thus use it either to familiarise yourself with academic writing before attempting to write your own paper or to look up certain questions while you are working on a research paper. The focus lies particularly on legal academic research in the European and international context. The course is structured in the following 5 Units which are entirely independent from one another.
To access the course:
MPE i02: E-COURSE ACADEMIC SKILLS IN LONDON – Follow up report
The second multiplier event (MPE2) regarding the “Online Course for academic skills in a European and international context” was implemented in person in London. The event aimed to promote the online course which provides the necessary academic skills for research in a European or international context. It took place on 14 July 2022 at Regent´s University in London as a half-day event for all interested parties, but especially for young researchers who need such skills for their future in science. The event was addressed not only at participants with a legal background, but also at graduates who want to use these skills in their work, and at other faculties that have a humanities approach that requires such skills. The event was also aimed at members of scientific academies or think tanks, as well as staff of scientific consultancies. The first part of the event dealt with the current developments referring to the constitutional crisis in the United Kingdom before and after the resignment of Boris Johnson and which was used also as an example about the importance of proper academic research and the quality of resources. The presentation was held by Prof. Dr. Stephen Barber of Regent´s University. The second part was dedicated to the project results. For this purpose, Dr. Mareike Fröhlich of Saarland University presented the structure and overall idea of the online course as well as the different contents to the participants. She pointed out the importance to acquire new research skills, especially to access information and data in a European or international context. Because of some last-minute cancellation of a scientist from the University of Belgrade, who wanted to share her findings from a survey about the problems to teach the generation Z, Dr. Fröhlich included this topic into her presentation and tried to explain the requirements of the generation Z and which consequences this might have for teaching at universities. These extremely interesting presentations led to lively discussions and interesting ideas which the project consortium will discuss in the aftermath of the meeting.
All in all, they were two successful multiplier events within the project of MELE and we are looking forward to the next one, which will take place in the beginning of 2023 in the Netherlands!
this Academic Skills eCourse was developed within the framework of the Eramus+ Project ‘Modernising Legal Education’ (MELE). It is designed for students of all levels as well as PhD candidates who have to submit an academic work. Traditional ways of research have changed dramatically in the last ten years due to the increasing …
General Information about the eCourse:
This eCourse on academic skill is one of the first outputs (Intellectual Outputs) of our project MELE.
MELE eCourse Academic Skills
– free of charge –
It is not only the task of universities to teach subject-specific knowledge, but also to impart basic skills to students, which is why MELE would like to create an online course to enhance academic and research skills in an European and international context. In this field the level of competence among students is declining in the last decade due to the infinite mass of data available and the distinction in useful, reputable and important data. Traditional ways of research have changed dramatically in the last ten years due to the increasing digitalisation of publications and the internationalisation of research. In particular, students are experiencing difficulties with the preparation of research papers. The problems vary from literature research to the correct structure and focus of the work to the formatting of the paper. As the needs analysis has shown this is particularly evident in research and scientific work in a European and international context, so that this will be the focus of the online course. Universities mainly provide academic skills for the work with a national background.
This disregards the importance of European law and ignores the needs of today’s labour market, where the handling of cases that are not purely national is to a large extent an everyday occurrence. This shows that there is a need for action, since these basic skills are not only important in legal studies but also in the later working life where the research and writing of briefs for instance is part of the daily routine in the entire legal sphere. However, universities do not cover such skills in depth in their education due to a lack of financial and human resources. Either the introduction to academic research is a more general course, which does not cover the particularities of legal studies, or it is mostly taught on a very early stage when most of the students are not aware of the importance. The project aims at establishing an online course designed for the use by students and PhD candidates who have to submit an academic work. All levels of studies will be included since at each stage problems with academic writing and research might come up. Especially, the choice of an online course guarantees the flexibility and the availability when there is a certain need. Whenever and wherever students struggle, they can access the relevant parts of the course to solve their problem.
This course will be distinguished in two main parts – academic writing and research methods, whereas small units will be developed regarding the following topics:
- What is academic writing?
- Structuring your work: This is a crucial step in successfully writing research papers. This will give insights on how to create your overall structure, how to arrange your points and how to build your argument.
- Language: The tone of your writing has an important impact on how your arguments are received. This part should therefore focus on using a precise and formal language. Moreover, awareness will be raised for the use of foreign texts and the difficulties of translations.
- Footnoting & Citation: To avoid any problems with plagiarism, it is crucial to evidence the arguments made in a paper, so that the students need to learn how to insert evidence and how to cite correctly.
- Formatting: Students struggle more and more with the use of Microsoft Word. Therefore, it is necessary to teach how to properly format an academic paper.
- Mistakes to avoid: There are some mistakes which are done frequently. The online course will therefore focus on these questions and give advice on how to avoid these mistakes.
- Legal research: The increasing amount of literature, which is available for students via online databases, is difficult to find relevant and useful sources. This part of the online course will focus on the use of the most common databases and will give students an input on how find the relevant material and distinguish between different resources.