Swapna Kumar

“Designing Doctoral Learning Expeditions in Virtual Environments”

Assistant Prof. Dr. Swapna Kumar
University of Florida (USA)

Abstract. Doctoral learning has traditionally taken place in face-to-face environments that are dependent on apprenticeship models and supervisor expertise. In an increasingly mobile and technology-enhanced world where doctoral learners are often working professionals, how can their learning expeditions to becoming researchers be designed in virtual environments? In this presentation, the scaffolding of virtual activities that facilitate learner development of interdisciplinary frameworks to inform and implement research over the course of a doctoral program will be presented. Conceptual frameworks are crucial to the understanding, use, and articulation of theory and prior research in research design and implementation. Further, the nature of the adult learner and doctoral inquiry requires not only a learner-centered, but also a learner-driven design. Specific cases of learners’ development of frameworks will be used to discuss the challenges of designing for and with adult learners, and the implications for technology-enhanced doctoral education.



Swapna Kumar is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Educational Technology Program at the School of Teaching and Learning, University of Florida, USA. She directs the online doctoral program in Educational Technology at the College of Education, University of Florida, teaches graduate seminars and courses, and supervises doctoral learners. Her research lies in the area of online education and blended learning design, with a focus on community-building and transformational learning experiences in online programs. Her prior experience includes teaching in national and international settings, technology integration, professional development, and training evaluation. Website http://www.swapnakumar.com


Kumar, S. (2014). Signature Pedagogy, Implementation and Evaluation of an Online Program that impacts Educational Practice. Internet and Higher Education. 21, 60-67.

Kumar, S. & Antonenko, P. (2014). Connecting practice, theory and method: Supporting professional doctoral students in developing conceptual frameworks. TechTrends. 58(4), 54-61.

Kumar, S. (2014). Quality Considerations in the Design and Implementation of Online Doctoral Programs. Inaugural Issue of Journal of Online Doctoral Education, (1)1, 6-22.

Jahnke, I. & Kumar, S. (2014). Digital Didactical Designs: Teachers’ Integration of iPads for Learning-Centered Processes. Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education, 30(3), 81-88.

Kumar, S. (2014). A systematic approach to the assessment of impact in a professional doctorate.. Higher Education, Skills and Work-based Learning 4(2). 171-183. Doi: 10.1108/HESWBL-10-2013-0020

Arnold, P., Kumar, S., Thillosen, A. & Ebner, M. (2014). Offering cMOOCs collaboratively: The COER13 experience from the convenors’ perspective. E-learning Papers (37).

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