The Virtual Sabbatical: A Pioneering Case Study

Innovative Higher Education, Vol. 35, No. 5, pp. 297-311, 2010

15 Pages Posted: 28 Oct 2010 Last revised: 10 Aug 2014

See all articles by Patricia L. Easteal

Patricia L. Easteal

University of Canberra - School of Law and Justice

Nicole Westmarland

Durham University

Date Written: October 28, 2010

Abstract

International exchange is an important aspect of academic life. Thus, international sabbaticals are, in general, seen as a measure of research collaboration, networking, and international standing. There are, however, a few groups who are likely to be disadvantaged by such criteria even though they may be implicit, that is, those for whom international travel is problematic. Using reflective learning, the researchers conducted a virtual sabbatical for six months as a metaphorical "ramp" - that is, a way of making international sabbaticals accessible to more people. We now present a case study of this action research project, which answers the following questions. How does the concept of a virtual sabbatical fit holistically within the context of higher education? How can the aims of the sabbatical be fulfilled in a virtual context? What are the problems and successes of the virtual sabbatical?

Keywords: sabbatical, virtual, online technology, action research, case study

JEL Classification: I29

Suggested Citation

Easteal, Patricia L. and Westmarland, Nicole, The Virtual Sabbatical: A Pioneering Case Study (October 28, 2010). Innovative Higher Education, Vol. 35, No. 5, pp. 297-311, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1699049

Patricia L. Easteal (Contact Author)

University of Canberra - School of Law and Justice ( email )

Australia

Nicole Westmarland

Durham University ( email )

Old Elvet
Mill Hill Lane
Durham, Durham DH1 3HP
United Kingdom

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