Welcome to Jeffrey Keefer’s Blog!

Jeffrey Keefer

PhD in E-Research and Technology Enhanced Learning (Educational Research) ~ Learning and Development Project Manager (Clinical Education) ~ Internet Researcher ~ Adjunct Professor @NYU & @PaceU in New York City.

Research interests cover educational research and interdisciplinarity. I focus on distance and online learning, internet research, digital identity, social learning and social media, networked and technology enhanced learning, threshold concepts and liminal experiences in higher education, teaching and program design in adult and organizational learning, communities of practice, qualitative methodologies, narrative inquiry, and actor-network theory.

My professional work is at JeffreyKeefer.com

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My PhD Research

I successfully defended my doctoral research in my viva voce exam on March 25, 2013, after which I was awarded my PhD in E-Research and Technology Enhanced Learning (Educational Research) forthwith, meaning without corrections.

Title
Navigating Liminality: The Experience of Troublesome Periods and Distance During Doctoral Study

Abstract
The purpose of this research was to examine the experiences of doctoral students, studying at a distance, whose postgraduate studies involved passing through troublesome or problematic liminal periods in understanding concepts or processes that shaped their identities as independent researchers or expert practitioners. This qualitative design used a narrative inquiry methodology as informed by an actor-network approach for elements of the analysis. Twenty-three interdisciplinary doctoral researchers and graduates from around the world were interviewed about their liminal periods and the role distance played in them. Participants reported passing transformative thresholds as they individually resolved their liminal experiences. While they reported not acknowledging or discussing their liminal challenges when they occurred, they all experienced support or encouragement from both human and non-human actors while they overcame their struggles. Distance was found to be a contentious term, and as such did not seem to hinder or otherwise extend doctoral liminality in any way. Findings revealed that doctoral liminal experiences occurred in at least one of three forms—isolation and loneliness, a lack of confidence and impostor syndrome, or research misalignment. Recommendations for supervisors included helping postgraduates to become aware of liminality during their studies and make them aware that they did not have to suffer alone in silence.

Please contact me if you have any questions about my research.