This paper aims to investigate doctoral students’ perceptions of and satisfaction with their doctor of education program, specifically related to dissertation writing preparation. The results offer a complex picture that has implications for the design of doctoral education programs that aim to help students prepare for culminating academic writing products such as dissertations.
Qualitative data, by means of an anonymous online survey with open-ended questions, were used to ascertain 115 doctoral students’ writing experiences in a doctoral program at one university in the USA.
The findings of this study suggest the importance of intrapersonal factors, specifically the ability to engage in self-directed learning; interpersonal factors, such as peer and faculty support; and institutional factors, namely, faculty’s writing-based pedagogical practices, in supporting doctoral students’ academic writing.
This study suggests in addition to selecting and nurturing students’ ability to engage in self-directed learning, there are a number of specific strategies and practices doctoral faculty can engage in and use to prepare students for successful dissertation writing.
This study provides the perspective of former and existing doctoral students to illuminate the needs they perceive as they engage in dissertation writing. The study provides practical strategies based on common themes in student responses.
Ciampa, K. and Wolfe, Z. (2019), "Preparing for dissertation writing: doctoral education students’ perceptions", Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education, Vol. 10 No. 2, pp. 86-108. https://doi.org/10.1108/SGPE-03-2019-0039
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