January 27, 2023

Peer support (taking the penguin pledge)

So a couple of weeks ago some of the folks from GO-GN got together informally for some much needed peer support aka PhD therapy with virtual hugs as I like to call it.

We met in response to an open invite from a Gabi who wanted a way of ‘kick starting’ her PhD again. A few of us contributed to a shard google doc to outline how we thought the get together could work and then met online via zoom.


There were six of us all together at varying stages of PhD including two that have already got theirs but who still interested in taking part for various reasons.

It was so helpful to have different voices and experiences and yet find so much synergy in the challenges we were going through. It felt good just to have someone else validate my concerns at how sometimes reading journal articles can just be so .. well let’s say hard going at times .. sometimes they are so densely worded and sprinkled so many academic-ee phrasing I just lose the will … . ?

we also talked about how we really want to stretch how research can be done in terms of openness and methodology …

I found out a couple of really useful things from the fact that IRRODL International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning (IRRODL) makes its articles available with an MP3 download (thanks Leo) to different ideas about how to “own” your research (thanks Gabi), and some great practical advice from Aras.

We agreed that we would meet monthly but also if anyone wanted to say when they would be online and felt like some company like a ‘shut up and write’ type session we would also do that.

These things all speak to me in volumes in relation to the need and importance of online social and emotional support and how critical this is for educators. Just the act of connecting and being open about the difficulties we were facing and acknowledging that we were not in our own gave me renewed motivation to get my arse back to the desk and Phd’ing …

We also talked about how making a declaration could help with making progress and in true GOGN style this soon morphed into making a “PhD Penguin Pledge” where we could state our intentions about what progress we hoped we would make by the time the next get together comes around.

My Penguin Pledge is to practice ‘owning’ my research … this blog post is the first step …

My GOGN Penguin

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