Helen Wilding & Colleagues – PhD Students, Division of Health Research
Undertaking university study on a part-time or distance basis presents some very difficult challenges that differ fundamentally from those experienced by full-time, on campus students. Amongst these challenges is the difficulty of getting to grips with new technology and software without the peer support network that most full-time students have to fall back on.
Under guidance from Dr Steve Wright and Professor Katherine Froggatt, Helen and her colleagues, all part-time distance learner students, are hoping to use their own experiences to develop a set of resources in Moodle where a community of PhD students can develop to allow the creation of a virtual peer support network. They hope to use this network and their own experiences to help to build a timetable for introducing the different types of technology they are likely to come across into the taught aspect of their PhD studies.
The project is not without challenges, as part-time or distance learners they must all juggle work on the project with careers, studies and everyday life. Time also poses another challenge, with contributors from across the globe they will need to overcome the time differences between their locations to allow collaboration to be effective.
By making use of software like Skype and a project forum the group hope to make the process accessible for all and create the circumstances for success. If they are able to overcome these challenges they aim to have developed the tools for future students to make the most of all the technology available to them from the University.
Project Update: May 2018
This project took part in a sharing practice event of the work done by the students and staff – see the recording of the sharing practice online. The project did not complete a case study.