This innovation provides an online platform with a range of tools for supporting postgraduate research students. The case study describes how Dublin City University has been using a subscription-based service known as DoctoralNet to enhance postgraduate completion rates and the overall experience of research students.
The major objective of this innovation was to provide a suite of online tools and services to enhance the postgraduate research student experience and more specifically support the development of research proposals, completion of thesis writing and dissemination of findings.
The current set of tools and features available through DoctoralNet include:
Several major outcomes underpin our increased understanding of postgraduate use of these digital tools:
We have learned that innovation in both technology and how to continue to grow supports and services for research students is an ongoing process. More specifically, the services available through DoctoralNet need to be embedded in the range of existing resources available to postgraduate research students rather than seen as an ‘add on’ solution to the challenge of student success. Additionally, we now better understand the importance of personalizing the tools and resources to meet individual students’ needs depending on their progress and the nature of their research.
We have found that you can support postgraduate research students in ways that go beyond traditional models of supervision. Also we have discovered that you can’t predict who will need or use the tools available through DoctoralNet. For example, both the strongest and the weakest postgraduate students use the tools. Moreover, while Business, Health and Social Sciences faculty may perceive the greatest need, STEM students use the digital tools as well.
Dublin City University (DCU) is a young, ambitious and vibrant university, with a mission ‘to transform lives and societies through education, research, innovation and engagement’. Known as Ireland’s ‘University of Enterprise and Transformation’, DCU is committed to the development of talent, and the discovery and translation of knowledge that advances society and the economy. The university is based on three academic campuses in the Glasnevin-Drumcondra region of north Dublin. It currently has more than 18,000 students enrolled across its five faculties – Science and Health, DCU Business School, Computing and Engineering, Humanities and Social Sciences and DCU Institute of Education.More information