In order to improve the advanced training model of the European Doctorate on Social Representations and Communication in a collaborative way, we have expanded distance research tutoring and interactive co-operative research tools and activities on the web via the "European Ph.D. Marratech Web Auditorium" and Video-Chats.
Utilizing the appropriate evaluation forms already in place on the dedicated website, these will integrate face-to-face and distance research training opportunities, such as "research training monitoring".
The "video-chats" aim to improve not only asynchronous communication, but also real-time interaction between leading scientists in the network, including the founder of the theory, young researchers enrolled in the program, other distinguished experts from outside the network and the wider potential audience both in and outside European universities.
There are two main types of Video-chats:
A. Video-chats aimed at improving knowledge and scientific discussion based on:
- interviews with scientists and outside experts on papers critical to developing the state-of-the-art; these video-chats are managed directly by the programme's Scientific Co-ordinator and are distributed via multi-point modalities;
- discussions with scientists and policy makers on issues relevant to research in this specialized field and to EU policy.
B. Video-chats aimed at improving monitoring, quality management system and decision making based on:
- scientific discussion: exchanges and discussions between tutors and research trainees on research training activities. These are organized into several "rooms", corresponding to the personalized European Ph.D. tutoring room created for each European Ph.D. research trainee, his/her three tutors, the Co-ordinator and the European Ph.D. program Director;
- discussion among the members of the European Ph.D. Executive Committee, the European Ph.D. Teaching Board, the European Ph.D. Recruitment Board, the European Ph.D. International Final Jury, and/or any other committee established for the monitoring and quality management of the European Ph.D. and the So.Re.Com. THEmatic NETwork.
The Video-chats were created using "European Ph.D. Marratech Web Auditorium" software. It is a cross-platform package that can be downloaded free of charge from http://webauditorium.europhd.eu/
Marratech will run on any PC or Mac with the following system specifications:
PC Windows Pentium III or Mac OS X G4 or Linux Pentium III
RAM 512 MB recommended (For Vista users at least 1000 MB)
Display Min 1024x768, 16 bit color depth
Windows 2000, XP or Vista
Mac OS 10.3, Java 1.4.2 Update 1 or better
Red Hat 9.0 and SuSE 9.0 and up
Plantronics Audio 330, Sennheiser PC-131 or similar (Analog)
USB also works but are normally more expensive.
For conference rooms, echo cancelling microphones are need to be used.
Not using a headset or headphones will cause echo (audio feedback), which is disturbing to the other participants.
Logitech QuickCam Pro USB or Creative Live! Optia or Philips SPC 900NC USB
You also need a broadband connection with at least 300 - 500 kbps of free capacity down and 128 kbps up
With the European Ph.D. Marratech Web Auditorium it is possible to establish Point-To-Point or Multi-Point connections at no cost using the server provided. To set up the Video-Chats, rooms have been and will be created on the European Ph.D.'s server. Each is protected by a specific password.
All participants in the European Doctorate on Social Representations and Communication (including young researchers and professors), the International Summer Schools, and Marie Curie Fellows are able to access these rooms via passwords. Certain "Rooms" (for example, those designed for tutoring and co-tutoring individual research projects) are confidential and accessible only to those enrolled in the European Ph.D. programme, their personal tutors, the Programme Co-ordinator and Director.
Via a special room, European Ph.D. research trainees can use video-chats to establish a virtual scientific community that will strengthen their ties both to their tutors and other Fellows. This will enable them to keep these ties vital over time, even after their internships abroad have ended. In order to access these "rooms", other users may make an e-mail request to the European Ph.D. Scientific Co-ordinator, who, via the Webmaster, will see that they are provided with access passwords for the rooms specifically requested.
Further information on the use of "European Ph.D. Marratech Web Auditorium" software can be found at: http://www.marratech.com