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ERIC Number: EJ815558
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 15
ISSN: ISSN-1446-5442
Qualities and Characteristics in the Written Reports of Doctoral Thesis Examiners
Holbrook, Allyson; Bourke, Sid; Lovat, Terence; Dally, Kerry
Australian Journal of Educational & Developmental Psychology, v4 p126-145 2004
This paper outlines the procedures used in the textual analysis of examiner reports for 101 PhD candidates across disciplines in one Australian University. The method involves the use of QSR software. Three levels of findings are outlined. The first level is the coding categories that emerged out of reading the report text. There are five broad categories of codes that capture: the structure of the reports, the ways in which examiners communicate, the subject matter of the thesis, the characteristics of examiners' evaluative comment and their comments on their role and the examination process. The second level of findings concerns the frequency of different categories of comment and the prevalence of comment on the analysis and interpretation of the candidate's results. The third extends beyond the individual categories to what we can learn about the utilization of the report. One key finding is that the examiners took on specific roles: mentor-colleague, supervisor-instructor and assessor-arbiter. It was also found that the examiner tends to "enter the examination" at a point beyond the proposal, that is they comment primarily on elements that they feel they can influence, and this influence was evident in the preponderance of the formative instruction provided. (Contains 3 tables.)
University of Newcastle. School of Education, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia