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Evaluating the impact of a multi-disciplinary, international course for PhD researchers

Evaluating the impact of a multi-disciplinary, international course for PhD researchers Purpose – The aim of this study is to highlight how responses to student evaluation of a European Commission-funded multi-disciplinary summer course for international PhD students can be used to demonstrate a range of potential outcomes for individual researchers. It details the mixed-methods approach taken to evaluation of this course and shows how the results of this can be used to inform, validate and strengthen future provision of intensive training of this nature for PhD researchers. Design/methodology/approach – The two-week LEADER course held in Edinburgh in July 2013 is used as a case study for the use of a mixed-methods evaluation approach to measuring potential impact. The Vitae Impact Framework is used as a tool to map three different evaluation methods and responses to impact levels. Further analysis of evaluation responses gives insight into rates of participant satisfaction, learning attributed to the course and behavioural changes made as a result of the experience. Findings – The results of this study demonstrate the potential value of intensive, multi-disciplinary courses in providing lasting benefits to researchers both in personal and professional contexts. Research limitations/implications – The timeframe of this study spans a total of seven months. Although initial findings demonstrate clear short-term positive effects of the course on researchers, a longitudinal tracking study over several years would be required to assess longer term impact. Originality/value – These findings can be used to inform and strengthen researcher development activities of this nature at other institutions. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal for Researcher Development Emerald Publishing

Evaluating the impact of a multi-disciplinary, international course for PhD researchers

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2048-8696
DOI
10.1108/IJRD-06-2014-0008
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The aim of this study is to highlight how responses to student evaluation of a European Commission-funded multi-disciplinary summer course for international PhD students can be used to demonstrate a range of potential outcomes for individual researchers. It details the mixed-methods approach taken to evaluation of this course and shows how the results of this can be used to inform, validate and strengthen future provision of intensive training of this nature for PhD researchers. Design/methodology/approach – The two-week LEADER course held in Edinburgh in July 2013 is used as a case study for the use of a mixed-methods evaluation approach to measuring potential impact. The Vitae Impact Framework is used as a tool to map three different evaluation methods and responses to impact levels. Further analysis of evaluation responses gives insight into rates of participant satisfaction, learning attributed to the course and behavioural changes made as a result of the experience. Findings – The results of this study demonstrate the potential value of intensive, multi-disciplinary courses in providing lasting benefits to researchers both in personal and professional contexts. Research limitations/implications – The timeframe of this study spans a total of seven months. Although initial findings demonstrate clear short-term positive effects of the course on researchers, a longitudinal tracking study over several years would be required to assess longer term impact. Originality/value – These findings can be used to inform and strengthen researcher development activities of this nature at other institutions.

Journal

International Journal for Researcher DevelopmentEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 4, 2014

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