, Volume 58, Issue 4, pp 62–72 | Cite as

An analysis of professional practice Ed.D. dissertations in Educational Technology

  • Kara DawsonEmail author
  • Swapna Kumar


The University of Florida offers an online professional practice Ed.D. focused on Educational Technology. Twenty-three students have completed professional practice dissertations and graduated since the program’s inception in 2008. The purpose of this article is to share what these dissertations have looked like and to begin a dialogue about professional practice dissertations completed in online educational technology programs. Specifically, we (1) provide an overview of different ways professional practice Ed.D. dissertations are structured, (2) share guiding principles for professional practice dissertations in our Ed.D. program, (3) analyze the ways in which these guiding principles played out in the dissertations and (4) discuss the implications of our analysis for our program and for other online professional practice programs in Educational Technology.


Professional Development Educational Technology Professional Practice Guide Principle Professional Context 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Auerbach, S. (2011). “It’s not just going to collect dust on a shelf:” Faculty Perceptions of the Applied Dissertation in the New California State University (CSU) Ed. D. Programs Leadership Education from within a Feminist Ethos.Journal of Research on Leadership Education, 6(3), 59-82.Google Scholar
  2. Boote, D. N., & Beile, P. (2005). Scholars before researchers: On the centrality of the dissertation literature review in research preparation. Educational researcher, 34(6), 3-15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Dana, N. F., & Yendol-Silva (2009). The reflective educator’s guide to classroom research: Learning to teach and teaching to learn through practitioner inquiry. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.Google Scholar
  4. Dawson, K., Cavanaugh, C., Sessums, C., Black, E. & Kumar, S. (2011). Designing a professional practice doctoral degree in Educational Technology: Signature pedagogies, implications and recommendations. Journal of Distance Education, 25(3).
  5. Gay, L.R., Mills, G.E., & Airasian, P. (2009). Educational research: Competencies for analysis and applications, 9th Ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.Google Scholar
  6. Guskey, T. R. (1998). The age of our accountability: Evaluation must become an integral part of staff development. Journal of Staff Development, 19(4), 36-44.Google Scholar
  7. Herr, K & Anderson, G.L. (2005). The action research dissertation: A guide for students and faculty. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  8. Illinois State University. (online). Introduction to the Doctoral Project. Retrieved October 21, 2013 from
  9. Knupfer, N. N., & McLellan, H. (1996). Descriptive research methodologies. Handbook of research for educational communications and technology, 1196-1212.Google Scholar
  10. Kumar, S. (2013). Signature Pedagogy, Implementation and Evaluation of an Online Program that impacts Educational Practice. Internet and Higher Education. Available Online Dec 1, 2013. Google Scholar
  11. Kumar, S., Johnson, M. L., & Hardemon, T. (2013). Dissertations at a Distance: Students’ perceptions of Online Mentoring in a Doctoral Program. Journal of Distance Education, 27(1). Google Scholar
  12. Marsh, D. D., & Dembo, M. H. (2009). Rethinking school leadership programs: The USC Ed. D. program in perspective. Peabody journal of Education, 84(1), 69-85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Moustakas, C. (1994). Phenomenological research methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  14. Patton, M. Q. (1990). Qualitative evaluation and research methods (2nd ed.). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  15. Professional Doctorate in Educational Leadership [ProDEL]. (2012). Dissertation in practice guidelines (DP-2.2-Fa12). Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA: Author.Google Scholar
  16. Raudenbush, S. W., & Bryk, A. S. (2002). Hierarchical linear models: Applications and data analysis methods (2nd ed.). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  17. Rossman, G. B., & Rallis, S. F. (2012). Learning the field: An introduction to qualitative research (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  18. Shulman, L. S., Golde, C. M., Bueschel, A. C., & Garabedian, K. J. (2006). Reclaiming education’s doctorates: A critique and a proposal. Educational Researcher, 35(3), 25-32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Stake, R. E. (1995). The art of case study research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  20. Stufflebeam, D. (2000). CIPP. Evaluation models - viewpoints on educational and human services evaluation second edition (2nd edition). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  21. VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University Dissertation in Practice (online). Retrieved October 21, 2013 from
  22. Wetzel, K., & Ewbank, A. (2013). Conceptualizing the innovation: factors influencing doctoral candidates’ interventions in the action research dissertation. Educational Action Research, 21(3), 392-411.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Willis, J., Inman, D., & Valenti, R. (Eds.). (2010). Completing a professional practice dissertation: a guide for doctoral students and faculty. IAP.Google Scholar
  24. Yin, R. K. (2009). Case study research: Design and methods. Los Angeles, Calif: Sage Publications.Google Scholar


  1. 1.
    Much of the information for this section comes from documents available from the Carnegie Project on Education. While we have used the most current information available on this site, dissertation structures tend to evolve other time.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Association for Educational Communications and Technology 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of FloridaMobileUSA

Personalised recommendations