Building social learning communities
Undertaking independent professional learning or further study such as a PhD or EdD can be an isolating experience. You may be juggling full-time work and studying part-time; have caring responsibilities; studying in person or as a distance learner. Irrespective of study mode, the experience of being a PhD or EdD student is very different to a taught undergraduate or postgraduate degree where a cohort of students study together and follow the same curriculum for the main part of their degree. The PhD experience whilst an individual learning experience, can still open up opportunities for serendipitous conversations. These may occur on campus in the corridor, seminars, guest lectures, in the workplace, during social activities or through attending conferences. However, during the pandemic opportunities for such interactions were curtailed and all contact was shifted online through remote learning. The session will be facilitated through a ‘fireside chat’ where we will share the spaces (tools), places (groups), and resources that have helped us through the pandemic; considering those we will take forward to support our continued journey, those that we will try to incorporate, and those that we are glad to leave behind.
This session will provide input to a co-created toolkit which will be shared openly for use and adaptation by others. The toolkit could also be used by individuals undertaking other types of professional development. This might include scholarship, research or study, for example an Academic Professional Higher Degree Apprenticeships, Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice or applying for a Senior/Principal Fellowship, SEDA Fellowship, CMALT (Certified Membership of ALT) or other professional recognition scheme.