Friday, December 29, 2006

Engaging with international researchers

Having accepted an invitation to participate in an international working conference entitled Challenging Research Pedagogies to be held in Canada next April, I have been participating as a member of an online working group on Doctoral Practices for the past couple of months.

Around 50 people who are actively conducting research on doctoral/research education are participating, with a view to collectively producing “cutting edge writing” that will be published as an outcome of the conference. There are five members in my group—from Canada, UK and Australia—and we have been exchanging ideas initially by email and are just beginning to interact via a user-friendly conference website. This technology will enable all group members to work collaboratively—prior to, during and immediately following the conference—in order to produce one or more chapters for the intended publication.

Given the diverse backgrounds and experiences of group members, the discussion to date has been lively, stimulating and challenging. Much of our early dialogue has been about identifying key issues that we intend to pursue. Examples include the purposes of research and research education; identity and status; and disciplinary differences. I have found the online dialogue not only enjoyable but also informative and look forward to working collaboratively on the chapter for which we are responsible.