A learning-centred blended model for professional doctorates

Álvarez, Inma (2018). A learning-centred blended model for professional doctorates. In: Ubachs, George and Konings, Lizzie eds. The Envisioning Report for Empowering Universities. Maastricht, The Netherlands: European Association of Distance Teaching Universities, pp. 34–36.

URL: http://empower.eadtu.eu/images/report/The_Envision...


A solid pedagogy can ensure the achievement of the learning outcomes set for any university qualification, whether at undergraduate or postgraduate level. Currently there is an urgent need for a wider consideration of appropriate pedagogies for doctoral programmes. This paper looks in particular at the characteristics of professional doctorates, which are typically studied part-time and focus on researching a professional setting. Based on the needs of these programmes, it proposes a learning-centred blended mode of delivery that fosters students’ engagement with activities anchored in the set learning outcomes. The range of activities aims at facilitating the multiple interactions necessary for competent researchers by making use of the resources, tools and spaces within two main learning environments: the virtual and the physical. This model prompts universities to consider appropriate pedagogies for the delivery of professional doctorates and suggests the need to ensure the alignment of their approaches with available technologies, educational policies, and practices of teaching and learning in their institutions. In order to ensure a successful implementation, such a consideration must also include effective action for the development of the relevant academic staff.

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