Show Navigation Menu
Hide Navigation Menu
Section 3 The Journey Ahead / Chapter 9 The Doctoral Journey
A great resource that GCU has created to assist doctoral learners on their journey is the Doctoral Community Network, also called the DC Network.
A great resource that GCU has created to assist doctoral learners on their journey is the Doctoral Community Network, also called the DC Network. It is a Web-based scholarly network to which all doctoral learners gain access during the second course in their program of study. This online scholarly community is separate from LoudCloud, GCU’s learning management system. LoudCloud is a digital approximation of the classroom, where discussion, assignments, and instruction focus on the learning outcomes of the current class, and where learners interact with a specific faculty member and the small group of learners who have also been assigned to that classroom. The is the digital equivalent of the rest of the building. It is the hallway outside of the classroom where learners from different classes meet and engage in quick chats about their research topics or recent discoveries. It is the graduate student lounge where learners from all stages of the program can connect, interact, and collaborate, and those in Years 2, 3, or beyond can give advice and tips to those in the early stages of the doctoral journey. It is a variety of small personal meeting rooms where learners in the dissertation phase meet to communicate regularly with their committees about the current state of their dissertation research.
Through extensive monitoring of usage and feedback regarding the DC Network, GCU frequently updates or modifies the system and its contents to provide the best possible experience, resources, and support. College of Doctoral Studies surveys have shown learners who are heavier users of the DC Network during the dissertation process experience significantly lower feelings of isolation. A survey of doctoral learners regarding the DC Network found that:
• 75% indicated it helped with their research and dissertation;
• 53% indicated that it helped complete their program of study;
• 86% felt it connected them to the College;
• 77% felt it connected them to other learners in their program; and
• 79% stated that it enhanced the overall doctoral experience (Berman & Radda, 2012).
While the DC Network is a useful tool for working on research-related course work, it is the support that it offers during the dissertation process that makes it effective. It is just one of many dissertation resources that GCU makes available to learners and their dissertation committees.