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PhD Courses

One of the key goals of the iCom project was the establishment of a bilateral offer within the framework of the doctoral studies “Computer Science” and “Business Informatics” that would support graduates in challenges they would face in their future jobs and thus provide them with higher qualification and research inspirations. A curriculum of four PhD courses was elaborated, conducted with support of web 2.0 technologies and evaluated for further application. The group of participants in these blended learning courses consisted of PhD students, some of whom were teachers and lecturers at University or had a business background, as well as professors from universities. Most of the participants had an interdisciplinary research focus in their research projects integrating concepts such as experience based learning, the self-organizing principle or agile methodologies in ICT project contexts. International guest lecturers got in contact with PhD students and professors from the border region of Austria and the Czech Republic. A meta-network of communication between participants could be established in face-to-face meetings as well as through virtual communication channels.  In that sense, new knowledge was generated at the University of Vienna and at the Masaryk University. Further, the participating PhD students act as multiplier of the courses topics in the future in research and education.

International Person-Centered Communication & Groupwork
The first PhD course “International Person-Centered Communication & Groupwork” took place from 18/05/2011 to 21/05/2011 at the Campus (“Altes AKH”) of the University of Vienna. The primary goal of this course was to allow participants to communicate more sensitively and effectively in an international group. Facilitators of the group were Jeffrey Cornelius-White, associate professor of counseling leadership and special education at Missouri State University and Renate Motschnig, professor at the Faculty of Computer Science at the University of Vienna and head of the Computer Science Didactics and Learning Research Center. Participants were invited to contribute themes according to their personal and/or professional concerns. Group members could learn in active participation face-to-face and online, by expressing and tracking personal goals, through thematic encounter, self-experience and group experience, dialoguing and reflecting and by studying accompanying literature.

Agile management and SCRUM methodology
The second PhD course “Agile management and SCRUM methodology” was held at the Masaryk University in Brno (Czech Republic) from 23/11/2011. To 25/11/2011. The course provided information on the working of agile methodologies, the competences and responsibilities of project stakeholders, and the requirements that accrue for organizations and their executives from adopting agile management.The invited lecturer Michal Vallo is managing director of the consulting company Aguarra, agile coach and trainer. The goal of the course was to get a deeper insight in so-called “agile methods” in software development, to build up knowledge, but also to reflect critically and compare an agile management approach with acknowledged approaches in IT projects.

Research Methods for Advanced Socio-Technical Systems
The third PhD course “Research Methods for Advanced Socio-Technical Systems” took place from the 08/03/2012 to 12/03/2012 in the Campus Lounge of the Postgraduate Center at the University of Vienna. The course was open for PhD students in computer science and business informatics as well as for international students. Focus of the course was the elaboration of adequate research designs for interdisciplinary dissertations close to lived work practice. Through the international and interdisciplinary diversity among participants and through inputs of the lecturers, Jürgen Kriz, professor of clinical psychology and psychotherapy at the University of Osnabrück, Renate Motschnig and Tomáš Pitner, professor of computer systems and communications at the Masaryk University Brno, different perspectives for the conception of research projects could be gained.

The Learning Organization in the Age of the Internet
From 21/11/2012 to 23/11/2012 the fourth iCom PhD course was held in cooperation with the Faculty of Informatics (Masaryk University) in Brno. The course offer was designed for doctorate candidates in the field of Informatics and Business Informatics, but also available business partners from the iCom project in order to include a practical perspective. The course was facilitated by visiting lecturer Antonio Monteiro dos Santos (Brazil/USA), Professor Renate Motschnig (University of Vienna), Priv.-Doz. Nino Tomaschek (Postgraduate Center / University of Vienna) and Professor Tomáš Pitner (Masaryk University Brno).  Besides content-related inputs on “learning organizations”, “innovation” and “wise intelligence” in the context of new communication media, the course allowed the international participants to elaborate the principles of a learning organization based on practical cases in small work groups and reflect critically on the characteristics and demands of such an organization.