On 11 Feb Simon Buckingham Shum (KMi) and Wendy Stainton Rogers (OU Research School) hosted a Joint Workshop between The UK GRAD Programme and The Open University. This broke new ground in the integration of KMi's social software and knowledge mapping technologies, with both physical and virtual attendees participating, virtual presence being provided by Peter Scott's CNM team as part of the European PROLEARN Project.
“e-PhDs: Developing Research Skills, Presence and Collaboration at a Distance” was a hugely successful event attended by over 40 people from all over the UK, and another 20 online receiving the webcast in the UK, Switzerland, Belguim and Sweden. Online participants were aware of each other's presence in a video wall in Hexagon (also projected in KMi to bring together the two groups), and online participants posted contributions in discussion sessions or phoned in. A brief video conference using FlashMeeting and desktop sharing was held with a New York-based PhD student to show how online supervision can be conducted. Compendium was used to capture and structure the collective input, making this a showcase for the OU as a leader in emerging tools and techniques for tackling a key new challenge: virtual research environments to support PhDs.
This has seeded a new community of interest who will be networking to build on this start-up event. Full details, outputs and resource links on the workshop website.