WOU workshop on research skills for Thai PhD students

(8-15 April, 2019)

WOU conducted a workshop for seven doctoral degree students from Silpakorn University (SU) to equip them with practical knowledge and skills in undertaking research and preparing dissertations.

The PhD students from Silpakorn University.

The PhD students from Silpakorn University.

The five-day workshop on "Refining Research Skills" for the second-year PhD students from SU, a national university in Thailand, was held at the main campus from April 8th to 15th. It was organised by the Centre for Professional Development & Continuing Education (PACE) and facilitated by the School of Education, Languages and Communications (SELC).

The workshop aimed to assist the students in completing their PhD. The SU students were Prueksa Dokkulard, Napaporn Boonsri, Massaya Rungaroon, Waleerat Puttasri, Chonthicha Manosin, Naraya Sirapanuwat and Praiwan Khantasiri.

Grace Lau talks about the University.

Grace Lau talks about the University.

The workshop kicked off today with an introduction to WOU by Director of Public & Student Relations, Grace Lau, who highlighted that WOU to date has produced 2,726 graduates from the undergraduate programmes and 1,029 graduates from the postgraduate programmes.

Speaking on ‘Pedagogical Transformation’, Acting Vice Chancellor Prof Zoraini Wati Abas mentioned transforming the teaching and learning at WOU to address the skills needs of students and employers, as well as to improve sustainability, enhance retention, and increase enrolment.

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She declared that of the 23, 120 students enrolled in WOU as at March 2019, 62% are aged 19-32 years, adding that young learners have short attention span, demand quick responses, require just in time knowledge, and value recognition. She said that they would prefer biteable learning content delivered just in time, fast responses via LMS and WhatsApp messages, and badges or mini-certificates for their efforts.

Meanwhile the Dean of SELC, Prof Balakrishnan Muniandy, in his presentation on ‘PhD Journey: Before, during and after’, offered tips on managing life before, during and after their doctoral degree.

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SELC Lecturer Dr Tan Saw Fen shared on the use of the NVivo qualitative data analysis computer software. She said the software helps the researchers to organise, store and retrieve data so that analysis can be done more efficiently and rigorously. “Both textual and visual files, like audio, video, emails, images, spreadsheets, online surveys, social and web content, can be imported into NVivo for analysis. The use of query and visualisation tools in NVivo helps researchers to make sense of their data.”

There were also presentations of other WOU researches, such as developing a scale to measure students’ psychological capital, identifying the challenges to APEL, and studying the impact of student engagement on performance.

Prof Phalachandra Bhandigadi (centre), flanked by Dr Tan (4th from left) and Arathai Din Eak (4th from right) of SELC, pose with the students after the workshop.

Prof Phalachandra Bhandigadi (centre), flanked by Dr Tan (4th from left) and Arathai Din Eak (4th from right) of SELC, pose with the students after the workshop.