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Online Learning and the Doctorate

By Alison Carr-Chellman / December 2014

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  • Wed, 14 Jan 2015
    Post by Ali Carr-Chellman

    Great to see some dialogue on this here. Glad it was helpful to some. I totally agree that there are significant places where doctoral study is moribund, I also see some terrible infractions of doctoral degree awarding not just for inappropriate or unworthy topics, but also, far more insidiously, for mediocre work. All of this is worthy of careful study, and I encourage more study of the doctorate. My point here is not to defend the current system, it's to point out the realities of online delivery as potentially out of alignment with the needs of academic institutions. Most importantly, I think the academy expects people to fill faculty positions who have strong research backgrounds, who have spent good swaths of their life within the very institutions that they want to populate. Practice, while important is not the focus for faculty working at an R-1 institution. Many faculty do not wish to go to an R-1 research focused university. But being prepared outside of that space makes it difficult (but not impossible) to translate the practical background of the online EdD or DEd into a more academic and theoretical focus of an R-1 faculty appointment. Saying so out loud is being honest with those who seek doctorates so that they can be faculty someday. Making it clear that there are currently still limitations on what an online degree will get you doesn't seem heretical, but straightforward and forthright.

  • Tue, 06 Jan 2015
    Post by sherio

    Not only is the argument that Dr. Carr-Chellman makes based on a 10 year old study when online doctorates were in their infancy, but Dr. Chellman clearly lacks knowledge of research into doctoral education. The work of the Carnegie Institute on the Doctorate, Lovitts' work on time to completion and departure rates and the Carnegie Project on the education doctorate among other efforts point to a wide-spread need for renewal and study of doctoral education. Why is there but one journal wholly devoted to the study of doctoral education?

    I would love to hear Dr. Carr-Chellman explain/defend the PhD Harvard University awarded to Jason Richwine for his offensive screed.

    Doctoral degrees have come down from their elite perch. The massive expansion of doctoral degrees, programs, for profit & delivery options has exposed a lack of rigour/knowledge/renewal in the pedagogy of doctoral education. It needs to be the quality of the pedagogy of the program that employers use to discern worthwhile applicants not the delivery mechanism.

    Show me a doctoral program devoted to ongoing renewal via study of the program, as in the work done by the Carnegie Institute on the Doctorate, and I'll show you a more aligned doctoral grad.

  • Sat, 20 Dec 2014
    Post by Adriana Meza

    This is an article that help us to make a better election of the doctoral program that we are going to chose.