First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine
Course unit
AVP7078921, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2018/19

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
AV2091, Degree course structure A.Y. 2017/18, A.Y. 2019/20
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Degree course track Common track
Number of ECTS credits allocated 2.0
Type of assessment Evaluation
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction English
Single Course unit The Course unit CANNOT be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit is available ONLY for students enrolled in FOREST SCIENCE - SCIENZE FORESTALI

Teacher in charge LAURA SECCO AGR/01

Course unit code Course unit name Teacher in charge Degree course code

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Other -- -- 2.0

Course unit organization
Period Annual
Year 2nd Year
Teaching method distance e-learning

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 2.0 16 34.0 No turn

Start of activities 30/09/2019
End of activities 20/06/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2017 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
3 Commissione a.a. 2019/20 01/12/2019 30/11/2020 SECCO LAURA (Presidente)
GATTO PAOLA (Supplente)
PISANI ELENA (Supplente)
2 Commissione a.a. 2018/19 01/12/2018 30/11/2019 SECCO LAURA (Presidente)
GATTO PAOLA (Supplente)

Prerequisites: No pre-requirements.
Target skills and knowledge: The aim is to give students guidelines in the process of developing their MSc thesis work, from the ideation to the initial phases of activities planning.

At the end of the e-course, students are expected to acquire the following skills and competences: (i) theoretical and practical knowledge on how to deal with the steps along a research development process that can help them in developing their own thesis; (ii) practical knowledge and familiarity on the use of international scientific publications databases; (iii) skills on how to identify a possible thesis topic, how to structure and drafting a literature review; (iv) capacity to write a short research synopsis as the basis for their own MSc thesis, and capacity to structure a MSc thesis index; (v) awareness of the risks connected with plagiarism and knowledge of ethical codes of doing research and publishing.
Examination methods: The course is made of 3 online e-modules and each e-module is made of a number of e-lessons ranging from minimum 2 to maximum 3. In order to pass the course, the student must complete at least 75% of the e-modules (2 out of 3 lessons). An e-module is completed when at least 70% of the e-lessons are completed (at least 2 out of 3 e-lessons completed). The student has to actively participate to the on-line discussion forums launched by the teacher and upload in due time the required in-course and final written assignments. The examination does take into consideration both the quality/regularity of online activities attendance and the quality of written assignments. Please look at the section "evaluation criteria" for more details.
Assessment criteria: The evaluation is based on two components: 1. Completion and quality of e-modules and in-course assignments; 2. Completion and quality of final assignment.
1. Completion of e-modules and in-course assignments: In order to pass the course, the student must complete at least 75% of the e-modules (2 out of 3 lessons). An e-module is completed when at least 70% of the e-lessons are completed (at least 2 out of 3 e-lessons completed).
An e-lesson is completed when ALL the following conditions are met: a) the student posts at least one message which is addressing the task within the defined deadlines; b) the post(s) is/are adding new contents/perspectives to the discussion; c) the student's post(s) contribute and stimulate a dynamic discussion (hence the student is expected to address contributions of e-fellows concerning his/her post(s)); d) when required, the in-course assignments are posted in due time, are complete and respect the requirements (as explained in the tasks as described in each e-lesson). A part from the respect of deadlines and other possible requirements defined on case by case, student's ability to correctly express concepts, to be coherent with the assigned tasks, issues and objectives, to be original in ideas, to be accurate in references reporting and citations, to be able to critically analyze key-issues and to be synthetic in writing are evaluated.
A minimum number of 2 assignments out of the 3 required in total have to be completed and submitted in due time during the course.
Student's performance will be evaluated on the basis of:
1) regular and active participation to the e-lessons (i.e. respect of completion requirements as stated above, included quality of posts and deadlines respect); quality of posts will be evaluated on the basis of evaluation of student's capacity of critical analysis, of bringing original perspectives into the discussion, of suggesting new sources of information about the topics under discussion;
2) quality of home assignments (contents and capacity of writing in terms of clearness, completeness, respect of assigned tasks, etc.).
The completion of e-Modules and quality of in-course assignments (i.e. online participation) counts for 50% of the final score; the quality of the final assignment count s for 50% of the final score. The final assignment is evaluated according to the contents and capacity of writing in terms of clearness, completeness, respect of maximum allowed length, originality, capacity to integrate what learned during the e-lessons and feedback provided by the e-fellows and the e-teacher, etc.). A final score is assigned to both the final assignment and the whole course. The final mark on the overall performance is calculated as the average score among the two components of student's performance evaluation.
Course unit contents: The course is an e-learning activity based on the use of Moodle platform and continuos interactions between the students and the teacher as well as among students. The exam is based on the evaluation of students performance both during the online activities and the submission and discussion of a final assignment, to be completed individually.
The main contents are the following:
1. Research methodology: How to select the topic of the thesis, The Research Process (types of research, research steps, etc.), What it is and how can be developed a research synopsis.
2. Thesis development and structure: How to carry out the literature review, How to access and use AIRE (the portal of the University of Padova to access the scientific literature - thousands of journals available full text) and other important scientific publications databases (e.g., SCOPUS), How to organize the bibliography, Technical writing: how to structure and write the MSc thesis, from the formulation of a problem statement to the formulation of research objectives.
3. Research ethics: plagiarism, tools useful to prevent the risk of plagiarism, intellectual property rights (co-authorships, primary data collection from rural areas, ...).

The e-modules are arranged as described in the following:
Module 1: "Warming up!" (e-lessons: 1. Log in and answer the welcome letter; 2. Introduce yourself to the e-moderators and e-fellows by creating your own profile; 3. Don't you feel a scientist... do you?)
Module 2: "The first steps: literature analysis, problem statement and objectives definition" (e-lessons: 1. How to draft a literature analysis; 2.Drafting your own problem statement and MSc thesis objectives).
Module 3: "The second step: developing a draft research synopsis and thesis structure" (e-lessons: 1. Develop your own draft/preliminary research synopsis; 2. The importance of thesis index; 3. Ethics: an overview).
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Each e-Module runs for 1 to 4 weeks. Each e-module is divided into 2-3 e-lessons, where single specific issues are described and discussed. Objectives, tasks, useful documents and sources of information, suggested organisation of working activity (in groups or individually, for example) and deadlines are defined for each single e-module. Students are required to start by firstly reading the e-lesson's introduction, contents and structure and secondly posting comments and/or submit in-course assignments. E-moderators (course teacher and some experts eventually invited to participate) are continuously participating by commenting students' posts, stimulating the on-line discussion forums launched for each e-lesson and providing clarifications if necessary. If necessary, at the end of each e-module, a technical sum-up is prepared by the e-moderator on the main aspects emerged during the discussion; students are expected to read through it before passing to the next e-module.
Additional notes about suggested reading: Useful documents are suggested per each single e-learning lesson. They are uploaded as PDF files in the Moodle platform. Also Power Point presentations and video prepared by the teacher or available online are made available on Moodle. Other resources (e.g. web sites or books/papers) are suggested in each e-lesson. Being the course a collaborative learning tool based on continuous interactions, ideas, comments and discussion contributions of both the students and the teacher themselves have to be considered as resources to the e-course. Students are encouraged to share their own experiences and special knowledge.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Case study
  • Interactive lecturing
  • Questioning
  • Peer feedback
  • Peer assessment
  • Use of online videos
  • Loading of files and pages (web pages, Moodle, ...)
  • Students peer review
  • online discussion forums

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Quality Education Reduced Inequalities Life on Land Partnerships for the Goals