Show of hands for Twitter usersFeel free to tweet during the session using @drkatyvigurs and #EduConfSUWhat is this session about? What is the focus?Who are postgraduate researchers (PGRs)? What is the relationship to social media?What do I want the audience to get out of the workshop?
That of a past PGRThat of an academic who supports PGRs as a core part of my professional roleI continually reflect on my past PGR experience to inform how current and future PGRs’ experiences can be developed and improved.
Moral support & encouragementAcademic help & practical adviceNeed to be part of a culture that is academically and socially inclusive
In the medium term, the findings from the evaluation of the project should inform the Faculty’s and University’s approach to using social media to support doctoral students.
Twittering on about research: Using social media to develop doctoral researchers
What skills on
Twittering and about research:
abilities do they need
Using develop? media to develop
How might social
media help PGRs?
postgraduate researchers (PGRs)?
What can we do to
Dr Katy Vigurs
Where does my position on PGRs stem from?
New PGR student
New to social research
Postgraduate Award Leader
What challenges do PGRs face?
£££ issues –
Can I do this?
Who am I?
Am I a
student or a
Feel in limbo
/ a spare part
Out of the loop.
Why don’t I know
what’s going on?
What areas of support do PGRs need?
Vitae: What skills & abilities
should PGRs be developing?
Researcher Development Framework (2010) www.vitae.ac.uk
Knowledge & Intellectual abilities
Research governance and organisation
Engagement, influence and impact
Domain A: Knowledge & PGRs develop?
What skills shouldIntellectual abilities
Information literacy &
Academic literacy &
What Domain B: Personal Effectiveness
skills should PGRs develop?
Domain C: Research governance and develop?
What skills should PGRs organisation
Health and safety
Ethics, principles &
IPR & copyright
Attribution & coauthorship
Finance, funding &
Income & funding
Project planning &
Domain D: Engagement, influence develop?
What skills should PGRs and impact
Influence & leadership
Equality & diversity
Society & culture
What abilities did I develop as a PGR?
How did I develop these skills?
Advice and support
Identified individuals, journals
& organisations central to
research interests. Followed
Read a lot of
texts – didn’t
read for pleasure
when a PGR
help on other
Did a lot of writing
– made sacrifices
Said ‘yes’ to select
opportunities & ‘no’ to
Did I use social media for academic
purposes? Was I a digital PGR?
Which skills & abilities might be
enhanced using social media?
Subject knowledge, Research methods knowledge, Info seeking & management,
Language, Academic literacy, Critical thinking, Evaluating, Inquiring mind, Intellectual
insight, Argument construction.
Enthusiasm, Self-confidence, Self-reflection, Responsibility, Preparation &
prioritisation, Commitment to research
Ethics & principles, Respect, Co-authorship, Appropriate practice, Research
Strategy, Project planning, Funding generation, Infrastructure & resources
Collegiality, Team working, Supervision, Mentoring, Collaboration, Communication
methods & media, Publication, Teaching, Public engagement, Enterprise, Policy,
Society & culture, Global citizenship
How do I use Twitter for academic
Find out what other people are thinking & doing in your area
of research & professional practice: identify & follow
academics, researchers, policy makers, teachers, educational
organisations, colleagues & students. Locally, nationally &
internationally. Respond to their questions & ideas.
Make yourself & your practices visible: Tweet regularly about
what you are thinking & doing (academically & professionally)
Rally up support: Tweet questions at those you follow and your
followers. Have conversations with your followers.
Share unique content: Tweet interesting & relevant links
Learn from others: Observe others’ critical thinking in action on
your subject area.
Respond to opportunities tweeted by others
So how might we investigate the value of
social media for developing PGRs?
Potential Research Questions
In what ways is the use of Twitter (within and
beyond the classroom) of value for processes of
In what ways does Twitter usage by doctoral
students and staff allow the building of
communities of practice:
within a cohort of learners?
between two cohorts of learners?
between learners and a range of academics, practitioners
and doctoral students beyond the University?
To produce an initial Doctorate in Education (EdD) Social Media
Strategy, particularly focusing on the use of Twitter for effective
To use this initial EdD Social Media Strategy to run a staff
development workshop for the EdD programme team in 2013-14.
To use this initial EdD Social Media Strategy to run a ‘Twitter for
Doctoral Purposes’ workshop for the EdD students in 2013-14.
To trial the use of Twitter for doctoral learning within the
professional doctorate classroom with a cohort or Year 1 EdD
students and a cohort of Year 2 EdD students.
To trial EdD students’ use of Twitter for doctoral learning outside
To evaluate from both staff and students’ perspectives the process
and value of using Twitter, within and beyond the classroom, to
build an effective, active and engaged community of practice.
Short term: Intended outcomes
To impact positively on the doctoral learning experience
of EdD students by introducing and developing their use
of Twitter for academic purposes
To impact positively upon their dialogic interaction with
their peers and staff, as well as other
academics, professionals and doctoral students outside
To develop their confidence and autonomy in relation to
‘becoming a researcher’, as well as being able to
practice their ‘critical voice’ in a public sphere.
Short term: Intended outputs
Draft School of Education Social Media Strategy for PGRs
Project Evaluation Report
Presentation of findings at a range of Faculty and
Burgess, H., Sieminski, S. and Arthur, L. (2006) Achieving your Doctorate in Education, London: Sage.
Crossouard, B. and Pryor, J. (2008) Becoming researchers: a sociocultural perspective on assessment, learning and the construction of identity in a professional doctorate,
Pedagogy, Culture and Society, 16 (3), 221-237.
Drake, P. (2011) Practitioner Research at Doctoral Level, Abingdon: Routledge.
Green, B. (2009) Doctoral education in transition, in D. Boud and A. Lee (Eds) Changing Practices of Doctoral Education, Abingdon: Routledge.
Minocha, S. and Petre, M. (2012) Handbook of social media for researchers and supervisors: digital technologies for researcher dialogues, Cambridge: Vitae.
Lee, N. (2009) Achieving your Professional Doctorate, Maidenhead: OU Press.
Lee, A. and Aitchison, C. (2009) Writing for the doctorate and beyond, in D. Boud and A. Lee (Eds) Changing Practices of Doctoral Education, Abingdon: Routledge.
Leonard, D., Metcalfe, J., Becker, R. and Evans, J. (2006) Review of the literature on the doctoral experience for the Higher Education Academy, Cambridge: Institute of
Education and UK GRAD Programme.
Leonard, D. and Becker, R. (2009) Enhancing the doctoral experience at the local level, in D. Boud and A. Lee (Eds) Changing Practices of Doctoral Education, Abingdon:
Mollet, A., Moran, D. and Dunleavy, P. (2010) Using Twitter in university research, teaching and impact activities: A guide for academics and researchers, London: LSE
Public Policy Group.
Vitae (2010) Researcher Development Framework, Cambridge: Vitae. Available at http://www.vitae.ac.uk/CMS/files/upload/Vitae-Researcher-DevelopmentFramework.pdf