Dissertation Tips « phd monkey

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Dr. Fox and Assessing Faculty

"Entertainment" level of the classroom experience has been shown to affect over-all instructor ratings (Costin, Greenough, & Menges, 1971). The famous "Dr. Fox" study (Naftulin, Ware, & Donnelly, 1973) found that an enthusiastic actor was highly rated on teaching quality despite a lecture intentionally devoid of content.

All from (Wright, 2006, p. 418)

Naftulin, D.H., Ware, J.E., & Donnelly, E.A. (1983). The Doctor Fox lecture: A paradigm of educational seduction. Journal of Medical Education, 75, 138-149.

Costin, E., Greenough, W.T., & Menges, R.J. (1971). Student ratings of college teaching: Reliability, validity, and usefulness. Review of Educational Research, 41, 511-535.

Wright, R. E. (2006, June). Student evaluations of faculty: Concerns raised in the literature. College Student Journal, 40(2), 417-422.


Dissertation Tip – Follow IRB Guidelines and Succeed

It is important to stress to everyone, when you submit your proposal, very carefully following the IRB application, keep in mind the austere responsibility placed on the IRB in assuring ethical, safe research in human beings. It is a time consuming thorough process, which may result in requesting further information or changes from the applicant. Sometimes it may seem trivial, but this is a rigorous process with grave responsibility.

My experience with IRB includes membership on two concurrent boards. We had two boards because of the volume of proposals submitted. Different from what you will experience by going through the University of Phoenix IRB, investigators were invited to attend a part of the review when there were questions or doubts of the scientific value or rigor for a proposal. To me it was analogous to a court room trial where the investigator had to have their proposal clear in mind and be able to defend the proposed methods.

Because of events occurring in research since my experience, the responsibilities are even greater for IRB's. Keep this in mind as you progress in developing your proposal using the research process. Following the IRB guidelines and providing the answers and changes if requested will enhance the rigor and ethical compliance for your proposals.

~F. Nelson (2011)


Dissertation Tip – Feasibility – (Corner, 2002)

A pilot study is appropriate for determining feasibility of a larger study. Corner’s (2002) comments regarding saving time and money suggested feasibility to me. During the design process we must determine feasibility related to availability of a sample (who meets the requirements for our research question to be examined), the skills of the investigator, the actual costs associated with methods and sample, and the time required to complete the study (extremely important for doctoral students).

As you progress through the steps of the research process from review of the literature to presentation of results, feasibility is considered. As an example, some of my research studies required measuring melatonin in saliva and serum. After reviewing the literature, I discovered the feasibility of using these media to accurately measure changes in melatonin in humans, and responses to stimuli in animals. However, I also discovered the cost of such measures was expensive and required special training in the laboratory procedures. These considerations of feasibility added to methods selected and the timeline for my research.

As you develope your studies, keep in mind Corner's economics ideas. Each element of the research process feeds back to preceding ones in determining the most economical but valid and reliable methods for obtaining an answer.

Corner, P. D. (2002). An integrative model for teaching quantitative research design. Journal of Management Education, 26, 671-692.