C5 - Taking researcher training online: approaches, platforms, & pedagogy for the virtual classroom

Day 2 at 11:10 - Taking researcher training online: approaches, platforms, & pedagogy for the virtual classroom
Day Day 2
Session C
Start time 11:10
Room York
Researcher Developers
Code C5

Dr Simon Watts, PGR Training Coordinator/Deputy Director of Graduate School, University of East Anglia

Dr Emma Smith, Academic Support Manager (Research), University of Salford

Davina Whitnall, Research Development Coordinator, University of Salford

Workshop overview: 

It’s estimated that by 2019 over half the courses taken at universities will be delivered online*. RCUK asks individual institutions and DTP’s to ensure that PGR students from across the demographic spectrum are given “all possible access” to relevant training courses and programmes of study. They are also keen to encourage the development of new, innovative, and imaginative activity in training and development for all researchers and to promote alternative modes-of-delivery. It follows that researcher developers are increasingly being called upon to take training online and to offer a greater number and variety of online learning options and solutions for researchers, despite inevitable constraints on our time, financial resources, and technological expertise. This interactive workshop session is designed to help! It will begin by considering a range of different online approaches and platforms, including examples in practice at the University of Salford, before discussing the issue of effective online pedagogy via a focus on the ‘University of East Anglia Online Training Series for PGR’s’, which has been attended by approximately 600 students from 10 different HEI’s over the last year. In so doing, both presenters and participants will be asked to draw on examples from our own practice, to consider the range of factors that make for a high-quality online learning experience, to explore potential collaborations and possible shared resources, and to set out potential future directions for the online provision of our own institutions.

 *By 2019 half of all classes will be done online https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlJshzOv2cw&utm_campaign=elearningindustry.com&utm_source=%2F6-killer-examples-gamification-in-elearning&utm_medium=link

Published on Jan 19, 2012 http://www.znanja.com/elearningfacts a 3min. video that outlines the growth of the eLearning industry with amazing facts and statistics that shows how fast online eLearning is growing. 

Workshop topics covered: 

  • Digital skills for researchers
  • Supporting digital literacy development
  • Enhancing organisational capacity for innovative professional development
  • Sharing ideas and good practice with a network of colleagues who have a stake in developing researchers
  • Innovative Training Networks - developing virtual networks and platforms 
  • Online training and its delivery (pedagogy for the virtual classroom)
  • Strengths and weaknesses of virtual classroom software
  • Scheduling and access issues for online training
  • The importance of teaching style in an online context
  • Developing interactive teaching sessions in an online context 

Themes covered: 

  • Leadership development of early career researchers
  • Researcher development across boundaries including international collaborations, inter-cultural competences, international researchers experiences, business/industry collaborations and engaging society through open research
  • Innovative uses of the Vitae Researcher Development Framework
  • Researcher development within doctoral programmes, including doctoral training centres/ partnerships, Innovative Training Networks (ITNs) and other cohort based models

Workshop outcomes: 

  • By the end of the workshop, participants should: 
  • Participate in an active discussion
  • Identify and explore functionality of digital platforms for learning
  • Explore the digital agenda and strategies to increase researcher digital skills/engagement with it
  • Contribute to a curated list of digital platforms to support the researcher developer community
  • Identify the core issues when considering an online approach e.g. scheduling, access and context 
  • Develop awareness of teaching styles in the context of online training
  • Discover strategies to develop interactivity and pedagogy in an online training context


Interactive Workshop/demonstration