Pedagogical and Didactic Approaches
The So.Re.Com. THEmatic NETwork's teaching/learning strategy for social representations and communication is to examine historical, theoretical and methodological aspects, fieldwork and applications in their different institutional and organisational contexts, with an emphasis on comparative European research projects on current social issues relevant to EU policies. Each network university site has special expertise in a specific research methodology in social representations. The didactic structure thus benefits from a variety of complementary methodological approaches. Although innovative compared to traditional doctoral training, the research training didactic structure within this overall strategy is a well-tested formula that can also be shared as a best practice with other disciplines/fields. As the open distance learning system outlined below demonstrates, partners in the So.Re.Com.thematic neTwork will be involved in an interlocking system of virtual and physical mobility allowing considerable flexibility in meeting research needs while guaranteeing individual tutoring and interactive learning.
1. Bibliographic training by intensive “stages” and on-line access. The active participation of the entire So.Re.Com.thematic neTwork will enable the development of a comprehensive bibliography for social representations and communication, already created by the coordinator of the program.
2. Intensive High Level Didactic Stage. Some experts from partner networks of the So.Re.Com. THEmatic NETwork will be invited to attend the annual European PhD International Summer School on Social Representations and Communication and the three sessions (winter-spring-summer) of the new series of the European Ph.D. International Lab Meetings.
3. Seminars and advanced courses. Invited experts from the So.Re.Com.THEmatic NETwork will attend seminars and advanced courses at network university sites held under the teacher exchange mobility programme, including guest experts from outside the network.
4. Multimedia and open distance learning system. Members of the So.Re.Com. THEmatic NETwork can access upon registration fee - the open distance learning system via on-line didactic material on the European PhD web site. These include digitalised video-lessons, e-lab small group meetings for advanced methodological research training, on-line meetings for individual tutoring and co-tutoring, web-auditorium for on-line lectures, CD-ROM or DVD multimedia systems produced by the So.Re.Com. THEmatic NETwork, forum discussion, video-chat and multi-point audio and videoconferences via Internet.
5. Tutoring and co-tutoring. In the case of degree candidates, the development of research programmes is monitored at the national and two additional European training sites from start to final dissertation. Research trainees are assigned their own research “space” on the web site to allow supervision and maintain regular communication via e-mail and synchronous video-chat with their tutors at three different host Universities.