About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2068-2077
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-608-2657-6
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain

AM I WHERE I WANT TO BE? ONLINE DOCTORAL STUDENTS’ BELONGINGNESS

M. Gray, L. Crosta, M. Ferreira, V. Manokore

University of Liverpool / Laureate International Universities (UNITED KINGDOM)
Despite the knowledge that has been gained over decades on students’ retention, engagement, progression and resilience continue to be challenging in Higher Education (e.g. Baxter, 2012; Tinto, 1993; 2007). Research in higher education indicates that there are many factors that influence students’ retention and progression. These include student’ personal issues, institutional factors, student’s identify trajectories as well as biographical factors (Baxter, 2012; McAlpine, 2012). Though knowledge on student retention has been gained over the years, institutions continue to struggle to find practical ways of applying the knowledge to provide positive change with regards to student’s retention and progression (Tinto, 2007). Spalding et al., (2012) and King and Williams (2014) report that between 40 and 60% of doctoral students drop-out before completing their degree. It is known that belongingness (incorporating connectedness, relatedness and autonomy) provides support for intrinsic motivation as well as students’ persistence on the programme (Mason 2012).

In terms of improving retention rates in doctoral programmes, research has focused on the qualities of the doctoral supervisor (Crosta & Gray 2014; King & Williams 2014) or the effect of peer support (King & Williams 2014). Ten years ago Wulff and Austin (2004 cited in King & Williams 2014) called for more research incorporating the student voice and perspective, however to date, there remains a paucity of literature in this respect. Anderson et al. (2013) also refer to a dearth of research looking at what doctoral students’ value in their academic experience during their programme. Our research gives students’ their voice to express how belongingness (if any) is created, developed and sustained across the length of a professional doctorate in Higher Education programme.

We will report our findings from our research which followed a case study design using multiple sources of evidence (Yin, 2014). The unit of analysis were six cohorts of students studying an online professional doctorate in higher education. We will share the insights gained from investigating what online EdD. Students’ perceived in respect to a sense of belongingness or connectedness and how this develops during their programme. This study investigated the three levels of belongingness (if present); how it is created, developed and sustained through the collection of data from a survey and in-depth interviews. Furthermore, we aimed to discover the consequences (if any) of the presence or absence of belongingness within an online learning environment.
@InProceedings{GRAY2015AMI,
author = {Gray, M. and Crosta, L. and Ferreira, M. and Manokore, V.},
title = {AM I WHERE I WANT TO BE? ONLINE DOCTORAL STUDENTS’ BELONGINGNESS},
series = {8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2015 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-2657-6},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {18-20 November, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {2068-2077}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Gray AU - L. Crosta AU - M. Ferreira AU - V. Manokore
TI - AM I WHERE I WANT TO BE? ONLINE DOCTORAL STUDENTS’ BELONGINGNESS
SN - 978-84-608-2657-6/2340-1095
PY - 2015
Y1 - 18-20 November, 2015
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2015 Proceedings
SP - 2068
EP - 2077
ER -
M. Gray, L. Crosta, M. Ferreira, V. Manokore (2015) AM I WHERE I WANT TO BE? ONLINE DOCTORAL STUDENTS’ BELONGINGNESS, ICERI2015 Proceedings, pp. 2068-2077.
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