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Supporting part-time students in doctoral programs: a technology-based situated learning model

Shaoan Zhang (Department of Teaching and Learning, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)
Mark Carroll (College of Education, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)
Chengcheng Li (Department of Teaching and Learning, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)
Emily Lin (Graduate College, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education

ISSN: 2398-4686

Article publication date: 5 April 2021

Issue publication date: 2 August 2021

172

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to expand the theory of situated learning with the application of technology and provides a technology-based situated learning model with suggestions for doctoral program design.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review of the relevant topics was conducted. Themes emerged by the systematic review of the relevant studies and theoretical framework.

Findings

Studies reveal that part-time doctoral students often feel unsupported, dissatisfied and disconnected with their program. Many of these issues may be mitigated by faculty and peer mentoring, and various forms of asynchronous communication through a situated learning framework with interactive communication technologies.

Research limitations/implications

Research of doctoral education should pay more attention to part-time doctoral students and investigate the quality of their programs given their individual needs, and how their progression and completion can be achieved through the innovative approaches proposed in this study.

Practical implications

Program designers may use a technology-based situated learning approach in program design to fulfill part-time doctoral students’ needs toward enhancing mentorship, students’ academic self-efficacy and career preparation. Further support is offered through a virtual community of practice.

Social implications

This paper draws researchers’ attention to program design and part-time doctoral students’ retention and completion of a doctoral program.

Originality/value

This study provides an innovative synergetic model that helps administrators and program designers to design doctoral programs and motivates researchers to conduct research regarding part-time doctoral students.

Keywords

Citation

Zhang, S., Carroll, M., Li, C. and Lin, E. (2021), "Supporting part-time students in doctoral programs: a technology-based situated learning model", Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 190-205. https://doi.org/10.1108/SGPE-11-2019-0082

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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