The research module is an important component at the postgraduate level, since research-led insights significantly influence people’s daily lives. Universities, not only in South Africa but around the globe, are under immense pressure to produce scholars who are adept at tackling societal problems through research.
With its many years of delivering employable graduates, the Department of Marketing Management realises that one of the research skills that postgraduate students must master from the onset is the ability to acquire appropriate information to successfully complete research projects. Once the information is acquired, the student needs further skills to analyse and synthesise content into a coherent academic argument.
With that in mind, the research module lecturer, Dr Michael Humbani, organised a library training session that was presented by Mr Mahlangu, the information specialist responsible for the honours students in the Department of Marketing Management. The library session took place on 24 February 2020 in the Red Lab of the Informatorium (IT Building). The primary objective of the library session was to equip students with the requisite research skills to initiate and complete research projects timeously. Specifically, the information session aimed to upskill students on various research skills including how to search for, locate, analyse, interpret and evaluate information relevant to their research projects.
Students thrilled by Mr Mahlangu’s presentation
As part of the requirements for the completion of a BCom honours degree, students must complete a research module in line with the mission of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences (EMS), namely to advance relevant knowledge and develop employable graduates who contribute to solving problems to the benefit of societies at large. Students are required to enroll for Research Methodology in the first semester, which culminates into a research report in the second semester, in the form of an article of publishable standard.
The highly interactive library session covered pertinent topics, including but not limited to:
setting up Google scholar to access all University of Pretoria resources;
checking for any relevant training that the library offers free of charge to staff and students from time to time;
requesting special library training session for needy students;
checking the Faculty of EMS resources page; and
accessing the marketing subject guide.
Mr Mahlangu checking whether students had mastered the art of searching articles in various databases
Of paramount importance was the need to empower students with the skill to identify appropriate literature sources for their research projects, particularly various databases enriched with marketing literature. After the session, the students expressed their sincerest gratitude to both the lecturer and the information specialist for an interesting and informative session that touched on so many critical areas. More importantly, the session served as an impetus to students to immediately start working on their research proposals, which are due at the end of the first semester, and all promised proposals of high quality.