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Helping doctoral students understand PhD thesis examination expectations: A framework and a tool for supervision:

Published on Nov 17, 2017in Active Learning in Higher Education 2.29
· DOI :10.1177/1469787417742020
David Hodgson4
Estimated H-index: 4
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Abstract
The examination of a PhD thesis marks an important stage in the PhD student journey. Here, the student’s research, thinking and writing are assessed by experts in their field. Yet, in the early stages of candidature, students often do not know what is expected of their thesis, nor what examiners will scrutinise and comment on. However, what examiners look for, expect and comment on has been the subject of recent research. This article synthesises the literature on examiner expectations into a framework and tool that can assist students to understand PhD thesis examination expectations. Suggestions of how this tool may be used as part of a broader supervision pedagogy are offered.
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Published on May 1, 2017in Nature 43.07
David A. McDonald1
Estimated H-index: 1
1 Citations Source Cite
Published on Mar 1, 2017in Active Learning in Higher Education 2.29
Lena Päuler-Kuppinger1
Estimated H-index: 1
,
Regina Jucks13
Estimated H-index: 13
This study examines how academics and students from different disciplines perceive teaching and knowledge acquisition. University academics and students from both hard and soft disciplines completed the Domain-specific Epistemological Beliefs Questionnaire and the Approaches to Teaching Inventory. Results showed that academics held more student-/learning-centred and less teacher-/content-centred conceptions about teaching than students. Furthermore, prior findings on different beliefs about know...
4 Citations Source Cite
Published on Feb 17, 2015in Teaching in Higher Education 1.72
Siân Lindsay1
Estimated H-index: 1
(City University London)
Writing a thesis is one of the most challenging activities that a doctoral student must undertake and can represent a barrier to timely completion. This is relevant in light of current and widespread concerns regarding doctoral completion rates. This study explored thesis writing approaches of students post or near Ph.D. completion through interviews. The study's aim was to highlight factors identified by participants as helpful or hindering thesis writing. The analysis revealed ‘helpful’ factor...
9 Citations Source Cite
Kirsi Pyhältö19
Estimated H-index: 19
(UH: University of Helsinki),
Jenna Vekkaila6
Estimated H-index: 6
(UH: University of Helsinki),
Jenni Keskinen6
Estimated H-index: 6
(UH: University of Helsinki)
Although supervision has been identified as one of the central determinants of the doctoral experience, there is still an insufficient understanding of the ways in which supervisors and doctoral students perceive supervisory activities. The study focuses on exploring the fit between doctoral students’ and supervisors’ perceptions of who are involved in supervision, the frequency of supervision and the main task of the supervisor, and further, how the perceived fit contributes to students’ satisf...
28 Citations Source Cite
Allyson Holbrook13
Estimated H-index: 13
(University of Newcastle),
Sid Bourke18
Estimated H-index: 18
(University of Newcastle),
Hedy Fairbairn6
Estimated H-index: 6
(University of Newcastle)
As we were aware of the confusing and wide-ranging disciplinary and individual positions on the importance of theory in research, this study sought to determine how thesis examiners emphasised theory in their reports in order to inform candidate learning. While references to theory were not prominent in reports, examiner comment coalesced into six categories indicative of ‘accuracy and completeness’, ‘grasp’, ‘alignment’, ‘coherence and consistency’, ‘treatment of findings and discussion’, and ‘...
6 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jul 3, 2014in Studies in Higher Education 2.85
Allyson Holbrook13
Estimated H-index: 13
(University of Newcastle),
Sid Bourke18
Estimated H-index: 18
(University of Newcastle)
+ 1 AuthorsTerence Lovat16
Estimated H-index: 16
(University of Newcastle)
In practice and process PhD examination is distinctive, reflecting the high expectations of students whose learning has been directed to their becoming researchers. This article builds on previous research on the examination of Australian theses that revealed that examiners in Science (n = 542) and Education (n = 241) provide a substantial proportion of formative comment in their reports, much of which is constructed in a way that anticipates reflective engagement by the student. Detailed examin...
10 Citations Source Cite
Published on Feb 17, 2014in Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education 2.47
Svein Kyvik2
Estimated H-index: 2
This article focuses on the assessment procedures of Norwegian PhD theses as viewed by external members of evaluation committees from three countries with different examination systems; the USA, the UK and Sweden. Their viewpoints give useful information not only on the pros and cons with the Norwegian system, but also on the strengths and weaknesses of their own national assessment systems. Various procedures of the four national PhD assessment systems are compared: the composition of the evalu...
9 Citations Source Cite
Published on Nov 1, 2013in Active Learning in Higher Education 2.29
Kerry Hunter2
Estimated H-index: 2
(UTS: University of Technology, Sydney),
Harry Tse3
Estimated H-index: 3
(UTS: University of Technology, Sydney)
Educators and researchers are increasingly calling for the processes of writing and knowledge construction to be an integral part of disciplinary learning. This article contributes to the literature by presenting an empirical analysis of a programme that was designed to expose students to the complexities of academic practices in conjunction with disciplinary concepts. The impact of the programme was evaluated through analysis of student grades before and after its implementation and student and...
12 Citations Source Cite
Published on Jun 1, 2013in Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education 2.47
Sid Bourke18
Estimated H-index: 18
(University of Newcastle),
Allyson Holbrook13
Estimated H-index: 13
(University of Newcastle)
The examination of research theses has only relatively recently attracted research interest that has focused on what examiners do and how consistent they are. The research questions in this study address firstly whether PhD and research masters theses were treated by examiners as qualitatively different on 12 indicators of importance across the areas: contribution of the thesis, the literature review, approach and methodology, analyses and results and presentation. Secondly what was the examiner...
20 Citations Source Cite
Published on Mar 1, 2013in Active Learning in Higher Education 2.29
David Kember51
Estimated H-index: 51
(HKU: University of Hong Kong),
Celina Hong7
Estimated H-index: 7
,
Amaly Ho4
Estimated H-index: 4
(HKU: University of Hong Kong)
The study looks at issues around the power of the hidden curriculum of assessment and its effects on student behaviour. The assessment regime at school level has an impact on study approaches at university level, and if we are to help students to make the transition from school to university, then it is important that we understand the beliefs and behaviours involved. The study looks at changes in behaviour in the light of beliefs about knowledge and their understanding about knowledge, that is,...
10 Citations Source Cite
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Valerie Anderson13
Estimated H-index: 13
(University of Portsmouth),
Jeff Gold17
Estimated H-index: 17
(York St John University)
Abstract This paper addresses the value of doctoral studies as a form of management education. Whilst attention is paid to the value of undergraduate and taught postgraduate programmes, research degrees have received scant attention. We report an exploratory qualitative study to examine the concept of value in relation to the doctorate as described in doctoral thesis documents and by doctoral supervisors. We develop an initial conceptual model of the value of the doctorate. Our analysis identifi...
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Published on Jun 22, 2019in Studying Teacher Education
K. Andrew R. Richards12
Estimated H-index: 12
(UIUC: University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign),
Tim Fletcher10
Estimated H-index: 10
(Brock University)
ABSTRACTFaculty members are important agents in the socialization of doctoral students into academia, but little training is available in preparation for the role of doctoral supervisor. In this self-study, we consider the personal and sociopolitical challenges that Kevin faced as an early career teacher education faculty member who had just begun supervising doctoral students. Data sources included Kevin’s reflective journal and regular debriefing discussions between Kevin and his critical frie...
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Published on Jan 1, 2019
Ray W. Cooksey21
Estimated H-index: 21
(UNE: University of New England (Australia)),
Gael McDonald (RMIT International University)
There are various models for examining postgraduate research outcomes, depending upon where in the world and which university you are undertaking your degree: examination by an internal panel or committee, examination by external experts, examination by oral defence or a viva or some combination of these models. Ultimately, it is through the examination process that quality assurance is achieved, and educational standards are maintained. However, what you must realise is that the examination pro...
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