The transition ‘from student to researcher’ in the digital age: Exploring the affordances of emerging ecologies of the PhD e-researchers


Work data:

Type of work: PhD Thesis


e-Learning and Instructional Technology | Education | Knowledge Management




This doctoral dissertation is concerned with an exploratory study on how emerging learning ecologies enabled by Web 2.0 and social web are affecting the self-organized practices and dispositions in the digital settings of individual PhD students. The research endorses a constructivist grounded theory approach, where data collection has been undertaken across three Italian and one UK universities and has included a sequence of online questionnaires, individual interviews and focus groups. The findings being generated provide a repertoire of social media practices for research purposes; a framework conceptualizing the trajectories in the digital, in terms of Space, Time, Socialization, Digital identity, Stance and Tensions; the forms of resilience and the tensions underlying the PhD researchers’ digital engagement. The affordances of PhD e-researchers’ emerging ecologies are therefore understood as multi-dimensional and transitional trajectories intentionally undertaken by the individuals and generating a range of reactions toward the opportunities provided by the open Web.