Work Integrated Research Higher Degree Studies: Experiences, Benefits, Barriers and Coping Strategies
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Attributed to the changing social, political and economic landscape of the 'knowledge economy', Australian universities are under pressure to produce researchers that have a variety of skills which meet the demands of an increasingly diverse job market. As a consequence, the Australian PhD now includes a range of doctoral degrees. This paper reports on the experiences of two PhD students engaged in an informally managed research higher degree program described in this paper as a Work Integrated Research Higher Degree (WIRHD). Their learning process shares the attributes from both the traditional PhD program and professional doctorates. However, because of the blended nature of the learning contexts, what students need to manage within the WIRHD is much more complicated than the established RHD programs. An exploratory case study approach exploring experiences, benefits, barriers and coping strategies was conducted with the view to develop a preliminary integrative framework that attempts to explain the various contexts that influence the learning experience of WIRHD candidates. The paper concludes with some recommended strategies for helping WIRHD candidates to manage the challenges associated with their learning process.
19th Annual Conference for the Australasian Association for Engineering Education
© 2008 UNESCO International Centre for Engineering Education (UICEE). The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Use hypertext link to access the publisher's webpage.
Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy