2024 Online EdD Programs No Dissertation Required (Applied Capstone Projects)

Discussion in 'Education, Teaching and related degrees' started by imbanewbie, Feb 6, 2024.

  1. imbanewbie

    imbanewbie New Member

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  2. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    The purpose of the scholarly dissertation is to demonstrate one's ability to conduct research and make original contributions to the scholarship of one's field.

    The purpose of the applied dissertation is to demonstrate one's ability to conduct research and make original contributions to professional practice in one's field.

    It is clear to me that examinations do not make such a contribution. It is not clear to me if "capstone projects" do. The devil is in the details. The article argues that they do, while making a strawman argument about dissertations, lumping them all together as "furthering theory in the field." Only scholarly dissertations do that, not applied dissertations.

    According to the article, a capstone project would be action-based research. For example, instead of gathering or generating empirical data, the researcher would conduct a project to test an actionable idea, like conducting a new training program. It would measure change, not just static being. This, nestled in the existing knowledge and practice in one's field, would be entirely consistent with the purpose of a professional doctorate.

    The article alludes to--but does not address--the blurring of these distinctions when it comes to the EdD. Some truly are professional doctorates, while others are scholarly doctorates that carry the alternate title "EdD." It's vital that prospective students look carefully at any distinctions regarding the dissertation being made by the school under consideration, i.e. scholarly dissertation, applied dissertation, or capstone project.

    One thing the article stresses--about which I wholly agree--is that the capstone should be as significant and rigorous as a dissertation, including a front-end literature review and a back-end analysis of both the outcomes and their significance to the field of education. However, since neither the professional dissertation nor the capstone project is meant to be a sample representing a population, there is no need for inferential statistics. Descriptive statistics placed in a meaningful context ought to suffice.

    If I wanted to go back an do a professional doctorate, I'd like to do a capstone project where I design, execute, and measure an executive development program based on the precepts laid out in my book on the subject. You know, if I wanted to do such a thing.:cool:
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  3. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Come on, don't you want a hat trick? ;)
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  4. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Unless I missed something, none of the listed programs end with an exam. Capstones are very common and have been for a while.
  5. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I was responding to the OP's inclusion of "rigorous exam" as an option. I agree; I've never seen such a thing.
  6. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I'm reminded of Sean Connery's final turn as Bond.
  7. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Hey, I liked that movie.
  8. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    It was a repeat of "Thunderball." The screenplay upon which it was based fell out of EON Productions' license, so the original author re-licensed it. Connery was brought in as an advisor to the script, not thinking he'd act in it as Bond. When he agreed to do it, his wife suggested the title since he'd promised he'd never to Bond again.
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