Reimagining the Dissertation for Online Doctoral Students
Concurrent Session 4
The focus of this session is on the redesigned Northeastern University Doctor of Education Dissertation. The Dissertation was redesigned to meet the needs of scholar-practitioners in an online doctoral program who can leverage skills gained through online coursework to demonstrate and disseminate knowledge.
The focus of this Discovery Session in the Teaching and Learning Effectiveness track is on the redesigned Northeastern University Doctor of Education Dissertation. The Dissertation was redesigned to meet the needs of scholar-practitioners in an online doctoral program who can leverage skills gained through online coursework to demonstrate and disseminate knowledge. The shift to the below described dissertation was done in response to faculty, administrator, and student desire for a more relevant, forward thinking reporting of research findings as well as the work of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate.
The Northeastern University Graduate School of Education Doctor of Education Dissertation engages students at the onset of their coursework to identify a problem of practice and work through iterative cycles of planning, data collection and analysis, change work and reflection. This approach is identified as action research. Action research supports an experiential degree that works toward social justice through on-going change work. Students graduate from the EdD program with the habits of mind to approach on going challenges and serve as change agents within their organizations and larger professional contexts with the goal of improving the human condition.
The Dissertation in Practice represents the culmination of two years of coursework and two cycles of action research. The Dissertation in Practice requires three components to disseminate knowledge gained through on-going change work. They include: 1) Action Research Written Report 2) Change Agent Dissemination-with the option to present to stakeholders, create a multimedia presentation aimed at a broader online audience or write a publishable journal article 3) Final Reflection analyzing impact of research with the option to be oral or written.
The session will present the process of redesigning the dissertation and final products. It will then turn to group discussion about the possibilities for reimagining the format for dissertations and formal research in online academic programs. Participants will be split into small groups to brainstorm ideas and identify potential challenges. The session will end with a large group share out of ideas and discussion of next steps.