The Students’ Experience of Research, Researching and Being a Researcher: Creating a Digital Transformative Learning Space for Postgraduate Students in Higher Education

Emergency remote online teaching was introduced in response to national lockdowns aimed at slowing down the rate of infection during the COVID-19 pandemic. Little is known about how postgraduate research students maintained scholarly relationships with their peers without the physical interaction and social relational contexts of the university research-learning environment. The study contributes to knowledge on PG students experiences of digital spaces of learning. This qualitative interpretivist study used a purposive sample of nine students representing a range of practitioner experience, contexts, disciplinary backgrounds, and research experiences. The data sets were analysed using a mix of inductive coding and the constant comparative method to construct categories or themes that captured the recurring patterns. Comparisons between individuals built a multi-perspective view that informed the findings shared in the paper. Results show that a powerful transformative digital space of learning created the conditions in which individuals experienced perspective transformation, an evolving PG student researcher identity and a community of practice where individuals can voice their fears and concerns regarding their digital and ‘real world’ knowledge and competence in conducting practitioner-focused research projects, that has continued to operate - post lockdown and into the ‘new normal’.

Keywords: Transformation, Identity, Digital, Community of Practice

Format: Paper Presentation


Anne Graham Cagney, South East Technology University (WIT)
Michelle Greene, South East Technology University (WIT)
Session Date & Time: Thu, 07 Apr 2022 | 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM EDT