This paper presents experiences from a joint virtual PhD course for doctoral students at a Norwegian and a US university. Based on an experiential learning approach, the course focused on practices for virtual research collaboration. Through six synchronous online sessions, interspersed with interaction in sub-teams, the participants worked on developing a joint conference publication. This gave the PhD students first-hand experience with working in a virtual research team. Based on our analysis of the experiences from the course, we discuss challenges of the virtual course setting and present guidelines for the design and conduct of similar virtual courses. Our results indicate that the virtual mode of learning could well be included in PhD education, thus enabling interaction between students and instructors in different programs and institutions that otherwise would be difficult. As for any form of virtual work, this requires careful coordination, clarification of leadership roles, and technology and process support for effective interaction and co-production.
Munkvold, Bjørn Erik; Zigurs, Ilze; and Khazanchi, Deepak, "Virtual PhD courses – A new mode of PhD Education?" (2012). Information Systems and Quantitative Analysis Faculty Proceedings & Presentations. 13.
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