Making the Implicit Explicit: Creating Performance Expectations for the Dissertation

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9781579221805: Making the Implicit Explicit: Creating Performance Expectations for the Dissertation

“An excellent resource for graduate students beginning the dissertation phase, for faculty who serve on dissertation committees or as dissertation advisors, and for faculty who may teach dissertation process courses. The text is also a valuable resource for academic departments who may want or need to develop dissertation standards from the ground up or to revamp their existing standards and expectations. The strength of Lovitts' book lies in the practical usefulness of the text...and its functionality for different academic disciplines. "?The Review of Higher Education

This book and the groundbreaking study on which it is based is about making explicit to doctoral students the tacit “rules” for the assessment of the final of all final educational products―the dissertation. The purpose of defining performance expectations is to make them more transparent to graduate students while they are in the researching and writing phases, and thus to help them achieve to higher levels of accomplishment.

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About the Author:

Barbara E. Lovitts is an independent higher education researcher. She was formerly Senior Program Officer in the Center for the Advancement of Scholarship on Engineering Education at the National Academy of Engineering, and is the author of Leaving the Ivory Tower: The Causes and Consequences of Departure from Doctoral Study. She has worked at the University of Maryland, the American Institutes for Research, the National Science Foundation, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Review:

"The culminating achievement of the research doctorate, the dissertation, can be a virtually insurmountable obstacle for graduate students who, having taken on the biggest intellectual challenge of their lives, are mystified about what is expected of them. Barbara Lovitts does much to demonstrate the importance of clearly communicating discipline-based faculty expectations to students who need to understand the purpose, standards, and scope of the dissertation research and writing processes." -- Richard Wheeler, Dean, Graduate College University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

"This is a solid and credible work, unlike anything I've seen. The empirical part of the study is commendable in scope and depth. It will be both thought- and action-provoking in an arena that needs both. For deans, faculty, and students willing to read it, the book will be stimulating and helpful." -- David Leslie, Chancellor Professor, School of Education, College of William and Mary

"This is an important piece of work that adds significantly to the national discussion concerning doctoral education by focusing on the dissertation. The book will contribute to the improvement of graduate education by encouraging faculty to talk with their students about standards pertaining to the dissertation, and by helping doctoral students feel more confident about what is always a very demanding part of their graduate experience. Lovitts provides practical strategies useful to department chairs, faculty advisors, and doctoral students." -- Ann E. Austin , Dr. Mildred B. Erickson Professor of Higher, Adult, & Lifelong Education, Michigan State University

"What do faculty members look for when evaluating doctoral dissertations? Barbara Lovitts answers this question in Making the Implicit Explicit. Reporting on an extensive study of faculty in 10 disciplines, Lovitts describes standards that cut across disciplines and reveals fascinating discipline-specific considerations regarding doctoral students' research. Intriguing facts and figures about the history of doctoral education are a plus. For faculty who seek an articulation and analysis of the `ineffable' qualities they routinely evaluate but rarely discuss, this is the book to read! " -- Mary E. Huba, Iowa State University

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Lovitts, Barbara E.
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