Investigating uses and perceptions of an online collaborative workspace for the dissertation process

  • Amanda J. Rockinson-Szapkiw
Keywords: doctoral education, computer-mediated communication, cooperative/collaborative learning


The intent of this study was to investigate 93 doctoral candidates’ perceptions and use of an online collaboration workspace and content management server, Microsoft Office SharePoint, for dissertation process. All candidates were enrolled in an Ed.D. programme in the United States. Descriptive statistics demonstrate that candidates frequently use SharePoint for a variety of reasons, including assisting them in sharing and gaining information, improving the flow and organisation of the dissertation process and collaborating with their advisors mentors, in the dissertation process. Results of the multivariate analysis of variance demonstrated that doctoral students’ who extensively use SharePoint have significantly higher student-to-student connectedness and student-to-advisors connectedness than doctoral students who use it moderately and on a limited basis. Additional results revealed that sense of connectedness and satisfaction are positively associated with the different features of SharePoint. Since using SharePoint to facilitate the mentorship during the dissertation process is positively associated with connectedness and satisfaction, it may positively influence completion and time to completion of a doctoral programme.

Keywords: doctoral education; computer-mediated communication; cooperative/ collaborative learning; distance education

(Published: 24 September 2012)

Citation: Research in Learning Technology 2012, 20: 18192 -


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How to Cite
Rockinson-Szapkiw A. J. (2012). Investigating uses and perceptions of an online collaborative workspace for the dissertation process. Research in Learning Technology, 20.
Volume 20, Issue 3 (2012)