Information Technology Department Organizes Research Workshop
The IT Department at Ibri College of Technology (IbriCT) inaugurated its first research group, the Data Mining Group, in a full day workshop organised in collaboration with the Arab Open University (AOU).
The aim of the workshop in general was to harness research skills and to promote a research culture within the college and in particular to foster increase awareness and understanding of research methods, proposal writing, and the publishing process.
In a short welcome address, Mr Younus Al Za'abi, Assistant Dean Academic Affairs (ADAA), highlighted the relevance of research and learning nexus with peer institutions. Mr Younus also stressed the importance of having quality academic research at Ibri College of Technology among staff and students so that they can assume a more proactive role in solving social challenges in different arena.
The welcome address was followed by the first of four sessions that were presented in this workshop. Dr Sherimon P.C., a lecturer at the AOU, gave a talk that was titled "How to write a good research grant proposal”. In his presentation, he highlighted the main steps of taking a good research idea and turning it into a proposal to be submitted to a funding agency. In this session, Dr Sherimon advised on how to choose a good title and how to a structure such a proposal. He also offered information on how to come up with a realistic research budget and potential funding agencies in Oman and the Middle East.
In the following session, Dr Muna Al Kalbani, a lecturer at the AOU, gave a quick refresher in concepts in statistics related to scientific research. She reminded the audience of the different types of research and the different perspectives of categorising research. She also highlighted the various statistical analysis tools that suit each type of research.
Dr Vinu Sherimon, a lecturer at the Higher College of Technology (HCT), Muscat, presented the third session about "How to Prepare and Publish Research in a Reputed Journals". She talked about the basic structure of a research papers and the types of publication avenues one may consider. She gave information about some of the accessible research databases, and indices that can be used to find trusted journals for publications. Last, Dr Vinu Sherimon explained the different metrics (e.g., impact factors and journal rankings) that are often used to assess the quality of research venue.
The afternoon session started with a presentation by Dr Vinu Sherimon about some essential research tools. This talk covered a range from choosing a leading topic in an area of interest to selecting keywords for exploring a research area to converting those keywords into an effective research title. Finally, Dr Vinu Sherimon provided advice on how research can promote his/her publication and how to stay on the top of recent papers by setting up an online alert system.
The four sessions of the workshop were followed up by a discussion forum that was facilitated by Dr Duhai Alshukaili and Dr E. Anupriya, lecturers at Ibri College of Technology. The aim of this was to provide the opportunity to representatives from participating institution to share their research experiences. Participants in this forum all stressed the need for a local network for sharing and collaborating on research projects.
To conclude the workshop, Mr Younus Al Za'abi, ADAA, felicitated the main speakers in the seminar, and then the floor was given to Dr G. Shanmugarathinam to give a vote of thanks for all who participated in the workshop.
The feedback of the workshop was positive. The majority of attendees found that sessions have improved their learning and knowledge towards research. Also, the attendees have all agreed that the facilitators have delivered contents that met the objectives of the workshop.
A total of 66 academics from five different institutions attended the workshop. A total of 11 participants were from external institutions which were University of Nizwa, Ibri College of Applied Sciences, Ibri Vocational Training Centre and Nizwa College of Technology.