Development for Online Graduate

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1 Research Support and Skill Development for Online Graduate Students Laura Knight Lynn, PhD, Executive Director Daniel Salter, PhD Director, Strategic Research Initiatives Louis Milanesi, PhD Director, Research Quality Management Center for Research Quality Walden University Lee Stadtlander, PhD School of Psychology Walden University

2 For Discussion Today Walden University Background Centralizing i Research hsupport and Quality Assurance for Students Research Quality Assurance Efforts and Findings Data informed Efforts and Resources 2

3 Walden University Background History Founded in 1970 as a distanceeducation institution to assist working adults with completing their doctoral education. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association since Fully owned by Laureate Education, Inc. since Launched full four year undergraduate d programs in Curriculum primarily online with face to face residencies for all doctoral programs and one master s program; field experiences for some doctoral and master s programs Colleges Richard W. Riley College of Education & Leadership College of Management & Technology College of Health Sciences College of Social & Behavioral Sciences College of Undergraduate Studies Student Demographics Winter 2012 Enrollment = 49, % are international students 6911 doctoral students in the research process 3

4 Centralized Research Services In 2007 research services for students and faculty were centralized under the Center for Research Quality (CRQ) CRQ is comprised of the following offices: Office of Student Research Administration Office of Research Quality Management Office ceof Research Ethics and Compliance Office of Faculty Research and Sponsored Programs 4

5 History of Research Enhancement Initiatives 2004 Walden Dissertation Rubric Revised Research Course Sequence 2011 Wave II External Evaluation of Dissertations 2007 CRQ Forms DoctoralTask Force Recommendations 2010 Wave I External Evaluation of Dissertations Implementation of Revised Assessment Tools, Resources and Initiatives 5

6 Rockman Wave I and Wave II Studies Wave I participants (N=48) were tenured professors from Research I (Research University/Very High) universities Wave II participants (N=55) were associate or full professors from peer institutions in one of the four academic disciplines examined in Wave I. The Wave II study sought to expand on the first study by Affording a contrast of Walden dissertation quality to the quality of dissertations from other universities Providing a comparison to universities that are more closely aligned to Walden s mission that embraces open access to education to effect social change The comparison group was benchmarked againsttwo two nationally recognized authorities on higher education Carnegie classifications to align to structural similarities in program arrays The Survey of Earned ddoctorates to align to the scholar practitioner career trajectories of our graduates 6

7 Universities Included in the Wave I & II Studies Arizona State University Brown University Florida State University Indiana University Michigan State University Ohio State University Penn State University UC Berkeley UC San Diego UCLA University of Alabama at Birmingham University of Arizona University of Colorado, Boulder Wave I Study University of Connecticut University of Hawaii University of Illinois Universityof Iowa University of Kentucky University of Massachusetts, Amherst University of Miami University of Minnesota University of Pittsburgh University of South Florida University of Utah University of Washington University of Wisconsin Mdi Madison Wave II Study Andrews University Seton Hall University Barry University Tennessee State University Duquesne University i Texas Woman's University i East Carolina University University of Northern Colorado Fielding Graduate University University of San Francisco Indiana University of PA University of South Dakota Louisiana Tech University of the Pacific Morgan State University 7

8 Doctoral Quality Ratings of External Faculty of Walden Dissertations versus Comparison Universities The study was designed to examine the quality of Walden dissertations against dissertations from peer institutions. i i Among a randomly selected set of 23 peer dissertations and a set of 32 randomly selected Walden dissertations, no statistical differences were found in doctoral quality. *1 = significantly below minimal doctoral quality, 2 = somewhat below, 3 = meets minimal i ldoctoral quality expectations, tti 4 = somewhat above, 5 = significantly above minimal doctoral quality expectations 8

9 Learning from the Data The rubric used in dissertation evaluation should allow for assessment of quality, in addition to structure. The rubric should focus on critical and innovative thinking of the student. The rubric should provide a global assessment of the dissertation in addition to the chapter by chapter criteria. The rubric should include a mixed methods section Need to improve inter rater reliability of the rubric Some reviewers questioned if the research contributed to the field and thus rose to doctoral level investigation 9

10 Actions from the Data Using findings from the Rockman study, cross university committees worked to develop the following enhancementsto to dissertation assessment: An enhanced dissertation prospectus, to ensure a sound research plan of appropriate doctoral quality before starting the dissertation ti proposal (first 3 chapters of the dissertation) ti A dissertation checklist for easier student document preparation and self assessment and committee assessment of doctoral quality A quality checklist for committee review to determine quality level beyond meeting doctoral level standards A Litmus Test for doctoral level problem to ensure significant contribution to the field Historical Alignment Tool for improved study design 10

11 Actions from the Data Support Services and Resources CRQ Methodology Advisors to assist faculty as committee members Self paced research tutorials for students and faculty on specific methodologies Faculty research training through targeted webinars and development sessions 11

12 Funding Faculty Innovations for Support Virtual Research Training Labs Mentoring for Scholarship and Dissemination Research Dissemination Grants Professional Development Funds 12

13 Looking Ahead Continued external assessment of and review of internal data to inform improvement Assess evolving needs of growing student population and provided target support to programs Fund and support faculty innovation to support student research skill development and scholarship IT solutions: Research Content Management System 13

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