Connectedness in an Online Doctoral Program: Building Community and Advancing Understandings as Emerging Scholars

ID: 53672 Type: Brief Paper
  1. Tasnem Alarbi, Nouf Alghamdi, Lisa Beaulieu, Mihiri Meepegama, Nichole Scarlett, Christie Vanorsdale, and Rachel Van Campenhout, Duquesne University, United States

Tuesday, October 16 3:20-3:40 PM

Presider:
Eloho Ifinedo, University of Jyvaskyla, Finland

This collaborative self-study applied a Community of Practice (CoP) framework to examine how a cohort of first-year doctoral students in an instructional technology program utilized Slack, an online communication tool, to develop a supportive scholarly community. Preliminary findings revealed participants in the online program initially reported anxiety about isolation. However, members found Slack instrumental in forming feelings of engagement, cultivating peer support, and developing relevant scholarship skills. Data sources included personal narratives, group discussions, and communication transcripts from May 2017 to May 2018. Findings suggest ways the tool helped transform the cohort from individuals to a community of emerging scholars. Implications and recommendations for future research on similar methods to support online graduate emerging scholar identities are discussed.

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