Doctoral education has increased in popularity amongst working professionals, who are driven to update their knowledge and skills continuously. As a result, a new type of PhD fellow has emerged, with considerably different background characteristics than regular PhD fellows, for instance a higher average age and job tenure. While this development should have had a profound impact on the way in which doctoral education is facilitated, traditional (teaching) methodologies remain the dominant form of instruction. Communities of Learning (CoL) have been suggested as a new and more flexible way of facilitating PhD research that takes into account the characteristics of the new type of PhDs. This chapter provides empirical evidence from an actual CoL, which has been specifically designed, implemented and facilitated for the new type of PhDs at a Dutch university. Based on the presented findings and the authors’ experience with CoL for doctoral education, some practical implications will be discussed that can contribute to the success of similar initiatives elsewhere.
- Online Module
- Doctoral Education
- Focus Group Meeting
- Coordination Team
- Online Learning Community
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Note: We consider overall progress to be a multidimensional variable that captures aspects such as engagement into PhD research, as well as time to complete a PhD project.
Note: The particular component parts of the CoL were (i) PhD Work (e.g. including PhD proposal, chapter, working papers); (ii) Discussion Boards (e.g. to exchange general information or post inquiries); (iii) Content Materials (e.g. readings, video-recordings, online resources); (iv) Online Modules (e.g. refreshers or remedial teaching modules); (v) Face-to-Face Preparations (e.g. agenda, general logistics, required readings); (vi) Experience from Previous Cohort(s) (e.g. anecdotes and tips from experienced fellows and how they combine their research with their other obligations).
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Rehm, M., van de Laar, M. (2015). The Potential of Communities of Learning for Dual Career PhD Programs – A Case Study. In: Dailey-Hebert, A., Dennis, K. (eds) Transformative Perspectives and Processes in Higher Education. Advances in Business Education and Training, vol 6. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-09247-8_9
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