The transition from student to researcher in the digital age.

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Poster selected for the 1st UOC Research Symposium, 18th December 2013, Open University of Catalonia, Barcelona

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The transition from student to researcher in the digital age.

  1. 1. The Transiton from Student to Researcher in the Digital Age: Probing the Affordances of Emerging Learning Ecologies of PhD e-researchers. Antonella Esposito1, Albert Sangrà2, Marcelo Maina2 1 PhD student Doctoral Program Educaton and ICT (E-learning), eLearn Center, Open University of Catalonia (UOC), Catalonia 2 Edul@b Research Group, eLearn Center, Open University of Catalonia (UOC), Catalonia Background This research explores the extent to which the emergent engagement of the Italian PhD researchers in the open Web is affectng their doctoral journey. These new profles of individual PhD e-researchers are seen as engaged with hybrid (physical/virtual; insttutonal/self-organized) learning ecologies. They move across them in order to draw and partly co-build the respectve learning opportunites. Objectives This study is located in-between inquiries about digital learners in higher educaton and empirical research on digital scholars at a doctoral level. It aims to: 1) Add to the knowledge base of empirical studies on new forms of ICTs appropriaton and academic practces of doctoral students. 2) Provide suggestons for future design of research training, considering PhD researchers’ personal ecologies, along with networked scholarship practces pioneered by well-established researchers. The topic is to date under-explored in the Italian higher educaton setting. Preliminary findings The analysis of the e-survey delivered across the Italian universites (625 survey respondents) allowed to draw some preliminary results: The Italian doctoral researchers appear to endorse a pragmatc rather than innovatve approach when they focus on academic uses of social media. ➔ There is a general tendency to view the open Web more as a repository of updated and varied content rather than as a venue for networking and collaboraton. ➔ A variety of goal orientatons emerge from the open comments received in the questonnaire. The orientatons are likely to change: - when the phd work evolves; - according to diverse subject areas; - as the local research context provides support. ➔ Figure 1 – Elements of the theoretcal framework considered in this study. Esposito, A., Sangrà, A. & Maina, M. (2013). How Italian PhD students reap the benefts of insttutonal resources and digital services in the open Web. In Proceedings of INTED Conference 2013 (pp. 6490-6500), Valencia, Spain. Esposito, A., Sangrà, A. & Maina, M. (2013). Chronotopes in learner-generated contexts. A refecton about the interconnectedness of temporal and spatal dimensions to provide a framework for the exploraton of hybrid learning ecologies of doctoral e-researchers. eLc research Paper Series, 6, 15-28. Methods The methodology is informed by a constructvist grounded theory approach, in which the perspectve of learning ecologies (Barron, 2006) and the metaphor of chronotope (Bakhtn, 1981) play a role as ‘sensitzing concepts’. Three Italian and one UK universites were involved as research settings to deliver two online questonnaires, three cycles of one-to-one interviews and four focus groups. Sequence of the Data Collection process Figure 3 – The diagram above shows the use frequency of social media in some common, individual-based academic actvites. Figure 2 – The diagram above shows the selected tecniques for data gathering and the respectve types od data they enable to collect over tme and across the research settings. Figure 4 – The diagram above shows the variaton of the goal orientatons of the PhD students as arising from the open comments in the e-survey. RESEARCH POSTER PRESENTATION DESIGN © 2011 www.PosterPresentation s.com Contact: aesposito47@gmail.com

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