Cafe Delphi: Strategies for successful remote academic collaboration

Developing collaborative and cooperative research across academic disciplines and university administrative boundaries can be a challenge. In an attempt to understand and propose solutions to this challenge, the authors of this paper set out to: test an innovative combination of methods to generate and evaluate ideas and strategies; and to write about the findings using collaborative online methods. During this process Universities in the UK moved to online working and so the authors completed this paper through entirely online means.
The authors - a team of academic researchers from the University of Wolverhampton - came together in sessions designed as a hybrid of World Café and Delphi technique approaches to discuss challenges and solutions. The findings were written up drawing on insights from the use of massively authored papers (also known as ‘massively open online papers’, MOOPs), and online tools to enable remote collaboration. This paper presents details of the process, the findings, and reflections on this collaborative and cooperative exercise. That this paper was written using the methods discussed within it, highlights the value and success of the approach.
In light of the current Coronavirus pandemic and the increased need to work remotely, this paper offers academics useful strategies for meaningful and productive online collaboration.