The missing link in graduate completion appears to be the discourse available in 30 years of literature. Why have we lost both the pragmatic and theoretical foundation of socialization as we train graduate students in new tasks, skills, and ways of thinking? Technology enhanced learning platforms like ours at DoctoralNet have to opportunity to equalize difference between faculty in this area.
Alana is a career educator, and author who was fortunate enough to work in online education as it began. This experience threw her into the traumas and intricacies of graduate student isolation. Now an examiner for universities, her early work saw her mentoring over 50 EdD and DM student through to completion. Her experience that, no matter how the pathways to completion were delivered, students stumbled at the same places threw her into a decade of research on: PhD completion, award winning dissertations and theses and what makes them different, leading to the elements required in graduate student socialization and new conceptual models in technology enhanced learning (TEL).
Now an educational entrepreneur, Alana focuses on how TEL can help universities equalize the graduate student socialization experience, at very little per student cost. Consulting with universities with the goal to reduce their “all but dissertation or thesis,” or “slow to complete” graduate population, she researches, writes and presents findings, each in their own way aimed at re-igniting discussions of socialization within university programs.
An author for Sage Publications with three textbooks, Dr. James currently is working on exposing aggregate engagement data as she raises questions and provokes innovative answers to the questions: “What can technology do to push back on the increasing isolation experienced by our graduate students?” “What does socialization mean in a digitally driven, knowledge based university environment?”