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Experiential learning in doctoral training programmes: fostering personal epistemology through collaboration

journal contribution
posted on 21.06.2018 by Cho Kwong Charlie Lam, Cuong Huu Hoang, Ricky Wai Kiu Lau, Basil Cahusac de Caux, Yang Chen, Qiao Qian Tan, Lynette Pretorius
There has been increasing recognition for the need to reform doctoral training practices to foster students’ personal epistemology. This study describes the design and evaluation of a learning experience designed to help students understand the scholarly publication process. Firstly, this study discusses the design of the learning experience, describing the collaborative process of writing an interdisciplinary publication using both online and face-to-face learning. Secondly, this study evaluates the effectiveness of the learning experience by examining students’ reflections. We show that participation in the learning experience helped students to develop their academic writing proficiency, collaboration and teamwork, intercultural competence, and ability to engage in reflective practice. Importantly, we show that each student also created more individualised knowledge, gaining insight into how they and others think. This study, therefore, demonstrates that personal epistemology can be fostered through collaboration in a doctoral writing group context.