'PGR Connections': using an online peer- learning pedagogy to support doctoral researchers

Conor Wilson*, Rabia Arshad, Maria Sapouna, David McGillivray, Stephanie Zihms

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


Peer learning is defined as a reciprocal learning relationship among peers for their mutual benefit. This form of learning is now commonly used at undergraduate level within Higher Education internationally. However, less is known about how peer learning pedagogies can support the education and development of doctoral researchers. Initial evidence suggests that peers can help build a ‘researcher’ identity through social interactions where perspectives and experiences are shared. This study adds to these initial findings by exploring the benefits of an online peer learning scheme for postgraduate research students in a Scottish university. Results from this study suggest that peer learning pedagogies can help to develop a sense of community, enable honest conversations, boost motivation and provide a forum where postgraduate research students can learn from the experiences of others. These benefits emphasise the need to reconceptualise postgraduate research as a less solitary and isolating process by recognising the potential of peer-support and peer-learning pedagogies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)390-400
Number of pages11
JournalInnovations in Education and Teaching International
Issue number3
Early online date3 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2023


  • peer-led learning
  • communities of practice
  • doctoral education
  • postgraduate research


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