Methodology

The overall project adopts a mixed quantitative and qualitative research design. After looking into the national and international literature, the research teams will concentrate on distinctive lines of research: good practices in the field of alternating study and work, construction of innovative models for some strategic points in university training; types of career guidance; personalised teaching; internship and job placement practices.

In particular, the intervention research will concern the following formative processes:

° career guidance upon entry, through 1) study of skills in the use of language and thought in the interpretation and production of texts, and 2) trials of training-teaching-career guidance devices to help increase metacognitive skills for critical use of the relationship between thought and language;
° university teaching, through 1) interventions for its personalisation by way of scientific reflection and research into teaching methods for personalised learning centred around the student as the person actively involved in the individual and group learning process, and 2) study of – at individual level – the development of the students’ professional vocation and the individual and academic factors that contribute to the growth in time of a sense of a ‘calling’ towards a career and a flexible professional identity;

° end-of-university professionalisation training, through the identification, formalisation and sharing of the various practices circulating within the Italian university system for the planning and management of ‘job placement and internship’ activities;
° post-graduate professionalisation training, through 1) creation of guidelines for a placement training curriculum that gives more central importance to recognition, motivation and reflexivity programmes, 2) identification of professional skill requirements by studying data from the analysis of performance management systems in a sample group of selected companies, according to set criteria, and 3) planning and provision of extra-curricula job placement programmes for the acquisition of suitable transversal and specific professional skills as well as the critical relationship and communication skills that can effectively be used for entry to the job market.

The five research units will concentrate on specific aspects. At the same time they will rapidly exchange information, also thanks to the use of Open-Source and Open Access web platforms containing data, reports and projects, and work together through:

° a common longitudinal line of work from university entry to exit, to support the passage to the world of work;
° a common line in personalisation of the teaching interventions, to support a training programme that fits the people’s needs and the skills to be developed on the basis of personal resources and job market requirements;
° a common line in development of student employability, in devising and creating opportunities to combine expected skills and those developed at university.

During the project, the research results will also be made public through the Web Research Community in an on-line database. They will be considered an integral part of the scientific development of national and international literature, with wide margins for improvement at global level too.

This Community will remain active, and will be maintained after the end of the project by the five universities involved in the action-research.