Credentials needed to award a doctorate?

Discussion in 'Online & DL Teaching' started by tracefleeman, Jul 18, 2013.

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  1. tracefleeman

    tracefleeman New Member

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    No, no I'm not attempting to give out doctorates for just anything. Hypothetically, let's say that:

    • There is a distance learning site
    • It teaches a course in a "new" or generally unknown subject
    • It is currently the only site to offer a course in it

    Since it is technically the highest level of education in this course, would it be wise to give it as a non-traditional doctorate?
     
  2. StefanM

    StefanM New Member

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    A thousand times no.

    I doubt that the topic is entirely new in the sense of being independent from a broader field of study. Sure, it might be a new sub-field, but you could probably still view it from the perspective of at least one established academic discipline.

    Furthermore, offering a doctorate is best suited for institutions with existing programs at the MA/MS level.
     
  3. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

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    A doctorate isn't necessarily the highest possible award in a discipline. Social work, fine arts, maybe a few others I'm forgetting have teh Master's as the terminal degree.

    What a doctorate is, at least in this context, is a research program. If you're specfically talking about students doing significant research projects overseen by supervisors who themselves have doctorates, then yes, maybe. Otherwise I'm with Stefan: No.
     
  4. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

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    Since you're being especially vague it's difficult to give an especially precise answer. However, I'd say that if you were to follow this plan these "doctoral degrees" would be worthless or very close to it. Who would pay for such a program and who would recognize these degrees? I respect knowledge for the sake of knowledge but a doctoral degree is something else, something more.
     
  5. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Active Member

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    What Stefan and Steve said.

    It would be difficult to envision a "new" subject that wasn't already part of an academic discipline.

    Also, what does and does not make a doctorate is not specific to a discipline. Perhaps, as Steve implies, one could (or would) only take it to a master's level. Then that's the degree that would be appropriate.
     
  6. tracefleeman

    tracefleeman New Member

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    Thank you all very much. Now, as a follow up question, what is a "non-traditional" degree?
     
  7. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Active Member

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    It's in the eye of the beholder, but a degree would be considered "nontraditional" if it varied from the norm in terms of content or delivery. It's a vague and moving target.
     
  8. Boethius

    Boethius New Member

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    Someone expressed the norm in this forum sometime ago. It's a bit comical but is spot on: "butt-in-seat at a B&M college or university."
     
  9. StefanM

    StefanM New Member

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    And, although not absolutely essential, increased consumption of ramen noodles is very strongly correlated to such an experience.
     

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