Identified Gaps: A Summary

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2.4 Summary of Identified Gaps: The literature shows no consensus regarding what is considered as effective from the HE Islamic studies course design perspective. Though the western universities have implemented a number of best practices with regards to HE course design in general, it has been highlighted that very limited attention has been given to the structure of Islamic studies courses and the assumptions that underlie such studies (Morris et al., 2013). Research has also identified that existing Australia-based Islamic studies courses lack cohesion (Akbarzadeh, 2014) and are not positioned to meet the learning outcomes expected from them (Albayrak, 2012; Albayrak, 2015). On the other hand, Islamic studies courses offered in Muslim-majority …show more content…
The foregoing discussion implies that there is an impetus for studies conducting an in-depth analysis of the characteristics of Australia-based and international Islamic studies courses; identifying the objectives of students for enrolling in these courses; exploring the perspectives and experiences from students and teachers; and conducting comparative analysis in order to identify the best practices from these courses offered under different settings and contexts. The proposed study will contribute to bridging the highlighted knowledge gap and will be of assistance in determining the direction of existing and future Islamic studies …show more content…
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY: The proposed research, a comparative case study, will be conducted within an interpretivist paradigm. Case study methodology is suitable for situations when detailed insights are required about the cases in their specific contexts under naturalistic settings (Stake, 2013; Yin, 2013). Though case studies can be of numerous different types (Yin, 2013; Stake, 1995), a comparative case study methodology has been selected for the proposed research, as it allows for comparison of similarities and differences between the cases and synthesis of findings to support or refute the research propositions (Goodrick, 2014). The multiple case approach is considered more robust than a single case study design (Yin, 2013, 2012), as it reduces the researcher bias (Yin, 1993). It also provides an opportunity to analyze the cases for replications, deliberate and contrast comparisons, or hypothesized variations (Yin, 2006). It is imperative to note that the different types of case study research are not mutually exclusive and their features can combine and overlap (Crowe et al., 2011; Schell, 1992). Schell (1992) suggested that the best case studies are either exploratory and descriptive or descriptive and explanatory. The proposed research can be categorized as exploratory (as it involves an in-depth exploration of Islamic studies course design at two selected universities) as well as descriptive (as it will provide rich descriptions of the two cases under study and

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