About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3201-3210
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain


L. Barroca, L. Rapanotti, M. Petre, M. Vargas-Vera

The Open University (UNITED KINGDOM)
Research degrees have been changing radically in the last twenty years, with an extensive body of work accumulated on improving the practice of research degrees and on developing skills for independent researchers. However, most of this work focuses on full-time residential research degrees, and little attention has been paid to part-time research degrees at a distance. There is still a gap in universities between the level of support made available to full-time, on campus, research students and that offered to part-time distance research students.
The Open University (OU), UK, has built a comprehensive research student support infrastructure and training programme. As part of this programme the OU launched in October 2009 a Virtual MPhil in Computing. The OU is a market leader in distance higher education, particularly for taught degrees, and the Virtual MPhil capitalises on, and extends such an infrastructure. This is an innovative research degree delivered entirely at a distance supported by a blend of different technologies, designed to better support part-time distance students in Computing. The vision for the Virtual MPhil is to provide a rich and flexible Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) to foster an online research community, to support the development of research skills at a distance, and to accommodate a large variety of user needs and attitudes to technology.
This paper presents how the technology-function match is achieved within the Virtual MPhil and discusses the lessons learned and issues raised in dealing with online education of research students; in particular, the support provided for the development of a student community, research dialogue and progress monitoring of distance research students. The paper also presents early results of an ongoing evaluation of this research degree.
author = {Barroca, L. and Rapanotti, L. and Petre, M. and Vargas-Vera, M.},
series = {3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2010 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-2439-9},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {15-17 November, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {3201-3210}}
AU - L. Barroca AU - L. Rapanotti AU - M. Petre AU - M. Vargas-Vera
SN - 978-84-614-2439-9/2340-1095
PY - 2010
Y1 - 15-17 November, 2010
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2010 Proceedings
SP - 3201
EP - 3210
ER -
L. Barroca, L. Rapanotti, M. Petre, M. Vargas-Vera (2010) SUPPORTING RESEARCH DEGREES ONLINE, ICERI2010 Proceedings, pp. 3201-3210.