The final project takes place in the second master phase (M2) and conclusion awards 30EC. A final project must address topics in the area of the specialization. The final project must also have a scientific character. A final project normally concerns research, design (development) or a combination of both. Research in a final project has to be carried out according to a systematic approach and the results should be interpreted and verifiable. Design (development) has to be carried out according to systematic methods and techniques and should serve a scientific purpose. For example, prototypes that may be produced in a final project aim at either proving a method or some theory, but they should not be considered as the final goal of the project.
Learning objectives of the final project
For convenience we will first divide the main aim of the final project into four learning objectives, and then elaborate further those objectives:
After completing the final research project the student is capable of:
1.mathematical, empirical or design research into aspects dealing with ICT systems;
2.writing a report on a mathematical, empirical or design research project;
4.giving a presentation on a research project.
As these objectives are still rather vague, we will elaborate on each objective below. Note: the objectives will not necessarily all be touched on in every project, and certain objectives may be emphasized differently in different projects. We have elaborated the objectives as much as possible to give you an idea of the purpose of your final research project.
Objective 1: capable of carrying out mathematical, empirical or design research:
•The student can specify a subject that is suitable for research in the specific area.
•The student can determine the aim of the research.
•The student can demarcate the subject.
•The student can formulate a problem statement.
•The student can collect and process relevant literature.
•The student can deduce the kind of research project.
In case of a mathematical research project:
oThe student can identify hypotheses to be verified from the problem definition.
oThe student can identify the theories and axioms that apply to the problem.
oThe student can perform the proof.
In case of a design research project:
oThe student can identify the technical object of concern from the problem definition.
oThe student can identify models, methods and techniques to be used.
oThe student can identify the steps in the development process and their relationships (methodology).
oThe student can perform the steps according to the methodology, which should result in specifications or prototypes
oThe student can validate the specifications or prototypes.
In case of an empirical research project:
oThe student can deduce research questions from the problem statement.
oThe student can draw up a theoretical framework.
oThe student can identify hypotheses
oThe student can develop strategies for collecting and analyzing data.
oThe student can apply skills/techniques for collecting and analyzing data.
•The student can, on the basis of the results of the analysis, formulate answers to the research questions and the problem statement.
•The student can draw conclusions.
•The student can discuss the research results in the light of the aim of the research and the problem statement.
•The student can present recommendations.
•The student can justify the choices made during the research.
Objective 2: capable of writing a report on a research project:
•The student can structure a report logically (logical layout of chapters, sections, appendices and footnotes and a logical build up of the text within these sections).
•The student can attune his style (complexity, exactness, compactness of information, vivacity, involvement) to his purpose and his target audience.
•The student can present arguments for his statements.
•The student can make a report readable and accessible by writing introductions, tips for the reader and summaries.
•The student can make a report readable and accessible by adding functional visual aids (layout, illustrations)
•The student can refer to literature.
•The student can compile a list of literature.
Objective 3: capable of working independently
•The student can assess his own skills and strengths and weaknesses.
•The student seeks assistance for problems on time.
•The student makes proper use of the support of his supervisors (and other ‘resources’).
•The student can defend his opinion in a flexible manner.
•The student can assess the time needed for various activities.
•The student can draw up a realistic work schedule.
•The student can determine his own activities.
•The student can monitor his own progress.
•The student can find motivation.
•The student can evaluate and adjust his products and work process.
Objective 4: capable of giving a presentation on a piece of research:
•The student can give a logically structured presentation (introduction, crux, conclusion).
•The student can pass on information comprehensibly.
•The student can use media successfully.
•The student can use techniques to hold the attention of his listeners (non-verbal techniques, tell anecdotes, tune in to the interest of his audience, and so on.)
•The student can answer questions from the audience.
•The student can answer questions from the committee.