This Virtual Doctoral Workshop on Networked Learning ran from 13th to 16th November. About 16 or so students from all around the world attended, together with four academics: Etienne Wenger, Chris Jones, Caroline Haythornthwaite and Lone Dirckinck-Holmfeld. It was funded by the Kaleidoscope European mobile learning SIG. We had a nice blend of talks by the workshop leaders mixed in with more informal workshops where we discussed our own research as well as opportunities for socialising and even exercise! Lone had hired lots of Danish bicycles and at lunchtimes we’d cycle off and get a real good feeling for our location, Skagen at the northernmost tip of Denmark.
I found this one of the most useful things I’ve ever done. We had the benefit of four additional academic minds for the duration of the workshops – and I think we all made productive use of this. In addition, it was really helpful to meet other students from different PhD systems and get their input on our own methodological problems/issues. There were full time students in 1st, 2nd, 3rd year as well as one who was about a month of finishing. There were also part-time students.
Probably an unrealistic hope, but I think it would be incredibly useful to have something like this avaialable on an annual basis. Studying for a PhD can be fairly lonely and isolating, and meeting other students and academics in such a supportive informal atmosphere was just great.