The problem is set out and explored in Andrews and Haythornthwaite (2007), with some solutions offered. This Handbook of E-learning Research emerged from a previous ESRC seminar series on dialogue and communities of enquiry in e-learning in higher education. The handbook contains sections on the content for researching e-learning, theory, policy, language and literacy, and design issues. However, the Handbook does not address specifically the question of the format of PhDs in Education and the social sciences, nor the question of multimodality. Such a question is central to the concerns of research students in this increasingly popular field for research; and for supervisors and users of the research. The problem is compounded by the fact there is little or no research literature on the topic, because it is a new area for practice, policy and research. The information is buried in diverse regulations and practices of UK universities. Part of the aim of the seminar series will be to bring these practices to light, and to see where and how arts- and computer science-based practice can inform new developments in Education and the social sciences.
Accordingly, the seminar series will consist of six one-day seminars at three universities and the BL, all with different areas of expertise and experience to lend to the challenge of making a breakthrough in PhD formats for Education and the social sciences. The series will consist of papers in the morning and early afternoon; and a concluding small-group workshop session in which solutions to the problems encountered are worked out.
Andrews, R. and Haythornthwaite, C. (eds) (2007) The Handbook of E-learning Research London: Sage