The Era of Hyperconnectivity: Investigating the Times for PhD Supervision

The Era of Hyperconnectivity: Investigating the Times for PhD Supervision

Emilia Rodrigues Araujo (Universidade do Minho, Portugal) and Kadydja Nascimento Chagas (Instituto Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 27
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8163-5.ch009
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This chapter presents and discusses the results of a qualitative study developed in Portugal and Brazil regarding PhD time and the scientific supervision processes, focusing on the manner in which digital technologies are used during the preparation time of doctoral theses. Based on the analysis of data collected by 20 semi-structured interviews with students and supervisors, the main advantages and disadvantages of screen time during scientific supervision are examined. In an academic and social context of high acceleration and time fragmentation, research presents valid development perspectives for a re-evaluation of supervision processes, more specifically in the current context marked by high presence of online platforms.
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How is PhD time being spent? How are digital information and communication technologies influencing the time available to carry out a PhD? How do supervisors and PhD students evaluate the use of these technologies? What advantages and what disadvantages do they attribute to screen time? These are the main questions to be debated in this text, which reiterates some discussions on the level of scientific supervision during the doctorate, whereas discussing some of the major changes introduced by digital media in the way time is experienced. Rosa and Scheurman (Rosa & Scheuerman, 2009, Rosa, 2010) discuss the acceleration trends in contemporary societies and in the increasing rise in the value of short and immediate time. On the other hand, Hassan (2003; 2009; 2010) examines more complex approaches to acceleration. He proposes that the centrality of immediacy is a by-product of an intricate transformation carried out by the development of digital media. For Hassan (2009), the internet provides a singular experience of time and nourishes other non-physical forms of coexistence and coexisting, although they can also bring about anomia and exclusion. It is factual that the theorists of enlarged modernity, globalization and postmodern societies identify themselves seriously with the need to consider the powerful effects and ramifications of technologies and science in the transformation of modes, lifestyles and work. Appadurai (1996), for instance, underscores the role of mediascapes in the construction of globalization, considering the interconnected platforms of human and non-human elements that persistently reconfigure social reality. Partially sharing this theoretical framework, other authors delve deeper into the field of academic time studies (Menzies & Newson, 2007; 2008; Ylijoki, 2010; 2013; Noonan, 2015; Smith, 2015; Spurling, 2015; Vostal, 2015) highlighting the effects of exceedingly time-transformative technological means on academic times. It is assumed that, along with the interest in studying working spaces and the manners in which technological platforms are taking over academic processes, there is a need to study time norms and time constraints, as well as type of experiences and their meanings (Muller, 2014).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Lost Time: Time evaluated as ineffective. Does not achieve a goal.

Deliverables Time: Time marked by the permanent need to present deliverables.

Ever Availability: Be permanently available. Lack of spatial and temporal boundaries or boundaries that prevent contact from others.

BR: Brazil.

Time to PhD: Preparation time of PhD thesis.

Time Acceleration: Intensifying the demands of activities for the same time interval.

Screen Time: Amount and type of time passed on a screen.

Supervision Time: Time dedicated to supervising PhD thesis.

PT: Portugal.

Time Continuity: Subjective experience of the passage of time. Stability.

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