ERIC Number: ED561074
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Nov-4
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 6
Student Perceptions of Their Doctoral Programs: Case Study
Moffett, David W.
Online Submission, Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association (Lafayette, LA, Nov 4-6, 2015)
The Investigator studied three Doctor of Philosophy program concentrations for a two year period, 2013-2015. The intent of the confidential study was to determine factors affecting program participants' perceptions most. A mixed methods embedded study was applied, with the quantitative portion representing the secondary data source and the qualitative portion primary. Questionnaires were provided to the doctoral students and 42 of 165 were completed and received. Quantitative results revealed average to above average program satisfaction, but a substantial range of perceptions regarding quality of the program, connectedness to advisors and other students, most useful courses, and least useful courses. Qualitative results revealed 27 areas of concern possessed by the study participants regarding their doctoral journeys. Of the 27, four were selected for further analysis: concerns regarding too few students completing the dissertation process, concerns with lack of meaningful formative and summative assessments occurring across courses, retribution among some faculty for students expressing opinions regarding courses and their programs, and faculty and advisor turnover. Follow up interviews of both study participants and program faculty, beyond the initial survey, provided greater illumination regarding the four selected items. Study results can be applied to the particular program, in the spirit of continuous improvement. The results can also be considered by others designing program evaluations of participant perceptions of education programs. The merit of using mixed-methods embedded study design in program evaluation became obvious.
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A