University of the Cumberlands Online PhD in Information Technology

Discussion in 'IT and Computer-Related Degrees' started by Marcus Aurelius, Jan 29, 2018.

  1. learningnut

    learningnut New Member

    There may be some confusion. The Dissertation Portal (not Doctoral Research) is what I'm referring to. It has the "Welcome to the new dissertation portal" and "[your name] dissertation journey" headers at the top, and it lists out all of your courses and requirements. It's the portal you go to to submit your topic request, committee request, etc.. There is no QC requirement listed in it.
  2. Xspect

    Xspect Member non grata this is the dissertation portal link
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  3. learningnut

    learningnut New Member

    Correct. I don't see a QC requirement in mine. I wonder if the requirements listed on the portal are based on when someone started on their dissertation?
  4. Atlas

    Atlas New Member

    There are 2 portals:

    The dissertation portal to submit your dissertation request/IRB approval/Committee approval, etc. Think of this site as the place you just submit stuff to the school.

    The doctoral research site is used to understand the requirements expected, provide guidance on research, IRB expectations, quantitative/qualitative methodologies, etc. This is also the same site that has the most up-to-date list for committee member selections (found under the DSRT 930 resources). This is the one that outlines the requirements for QC checks. I have conversed with the Graduate school (Stephanie Freeman) on a number of items and am always directed to this site for guidance.

    Like I said, I am pretty much firm that the QC thing is not a real thing anymore, which is why I was asking if Wingshot was actually getting feedback from them. Nobody in our cohort has been subject to the QC process and we are wrapping up the program this month.

    Edit: your dissertation is supposed to be sent to QC by your chair according to the site which is why it wouldn't show up as a requirement in our dissertation portal.
  5. wingshot

    wingshot New Member

    My Chair, who is the "Dissertation Coordinator" at UC, says there is a Dissertation Committee or Review Committee (can't remember the exact wording) whose members are in a pool. Members from the pool are randomly selected to QC all dissertations published by UC. There's a QC for Chapters 1-4 and another one for Chapter 5. I saw comments from a third party for the QC from Chapters 1-4.

    I mean, either she's fabricated an elaborate story for months about the QC requirement at UC including comments from the third party reviewer. Or, she's telling the truth. I'm going with the latter. :)

    Also, there are other requirements that do not appear in the Dissertation Portal (where you applied for IRB approval and picked your committee members). For example, in addition to the two-stage QC check, your committee members must also perform a read of the dissertation, provide any needed remedial actions, and you must implement them before you are allowed to defend.

    Now, the real question is the following: Are there processes in place to prevent a Chair from circumventing these supposedly required steps and just signing off on a dissertation for publication? The answer may be "no" and that's we are seeing the discrepancies we are seeing. Another possibility is there are processes and procedures in place and that you later find that out when your Chair finds that out. I've heard from other students who say that their Chair did not always understand the dissertation process or roadmap.

    This Dean likely knows the answer:

    Last edited: Apr 2, 2024
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  6. Atlas

    Atlas New Member

    Oh yeah, I definitely don't doubt your chair told you these things about the QC process. I am just in complete doubt it actually occurs based on my own experiences. Like I said, we literally have a person in our cohort who came into 931 without IRB approval - which means no QC check possible. Many of the people in my class didn't even have Chapter 3 or 4 written. My chair literally told us the school guidance was to pass everyone and move them to 931, and if they need additional time, move them to 931-a or whatever the new naming convention is. You would think that a student would not be progressed past 930 without a check by the school for the QC process. I mean, we have 1 student who has already successfully defended and several others in the pipeline who are approved to defend. Surely, the school would see they haven't done any QC stuff, so they shouldn't be able to defend. But, I am not sure what path you're going down - I assume Leadership given who your chair is - which leads me to believe my initial hunch: there are wildly different approaches occurring for the broader PhD program.

    Worth mentioning, I am only referencing the QC check by the school too. I have had countless phone calls and facetime's with my chair/committee members about my dissertation and issues they have with it/revisions. That process absolutely occurs.
  7. wingshot

    wingshot New Member

    My Chair said that they are now requiring students to pass IRB approval in 839 rather than letting students get to 930/931 without IRB approval. However, students are grandfathered in if they already passed 839 without IRB approval. We, too, have students in 930 without IRB approval after they changed chairs. Some appear to have previously passed 839 but also failed 930 previously.

    I am in the PhD / IT program.

    If you are also in PhD / IT, it sounds like there are not any processes or procedures to verify anything beyond IRB approval before allowing a student to defend.

    Atlas likes this.
  8. Xspect

    Xspect Member non grata

    This sounds right. My chair has instructed those who finished with all tasks in 736 to start working on the IRB application now and get it completed if possible during the first two weeks in 839 since so much depends on IRB
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  9. learningnut

    learningnut New Member

    This is accurate. Source: I'm in 839 and had to get it. It's also listed on both the portal and the doctoral research sites as well. 839 is pretty front-loaded which is why I recommend passing comps in 736.

    I was told the same thing. It was along the lines of "if you pass this course (839), you're going to 931 regardless of what happens in 930." I can see the logic since there are those remedial 931s for more time. Basically, 930 and 931 seem to be nearly synonymous at this point, with the exception of the timegates in place.
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  10. Atlas

    Atlas New Member

    Yeah, I'm in the same program. I have guys in my cohort that came from previous cohorts and said those previous chairs were super strict, tough to get along with, etc., but say our chair isn't like that at all. So, it may just be a luck of the draw who you get with a chair. Maybe there is a "requirement" to QC but the school isn't actively enforcing it on those chairs who fail to submit student's dissertations. I don't know anymore... lol
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  11. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    I am living vicariously through you all until I get into the dissertation courses myself :D
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  12. wingshot

    wingshot New Member

    I think you nailed it with the luck of the draw on the chair. From the dissertations I see UC publishing versus what my chair says indicates huge discrepancies in the requirements. You can see that just by reading recently published UC dissertations.

    A few months ago, I was discussing chairs with someone on Facebook through private message. We connected through the Facebook UC Phd IT page. He said that for months, he battled his chair who told the student that his dissertation was not on the right track, was misaligned, needed radical changes, etc.. He asked for a new chair and the new chair said he thought the existing dissertation was near ready to publish. They reverted some of the old chair's changes back to the way the student originally had it. The student defended that same semester. Don't be afraid to ask for a different chair.

    Putting that together with what you are saying, which is you guys are in 930 and some of you are already defending in 930, the lack of a QC process, etc. seems to contradict what my chair says. Thus, it seems the whole dissertation process hinges on whatever a chair wants to do, assuming the student has IRB approval.

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  13. wingshot

    wingshot New Member

    Dustin, you should probably private message Atlas about who is chair is so you can pick that chair. ;) From what it seems, some chairs are a whole lot easier to work with than others. I've heard echoes of that before.

    I certainly believe some chairs have a much more streamlined approach than others. That's one conclusion you can draw from our contradictory experiences.

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  14. Atlas

    Atlas New Member

    Yeah, there is definitely differences between chairs and I'm sure that extends to the committee members as well. This is why I believe the QC process is needed. It should help cover down on any issues and ensure that dissertations are meeting the expectations of the school at large, and not just some chair/committee member. But, I also see it as the school entrusting the chair/committee to make decisions that align with requirements laid out by the school. I just don't know that it occurs - notice a few pages back when I found a couple dissertations that were word-for-word copies of each other minus 1-2 buzzwords that tailor it to the topic. Makes me wonder if the QC process missed this, QC didn't occur and/or SafeAssign/any other plagiarism tool failed to do its job.

    Maybe I misspoke - I am in 931 and people are defending. We didn't have anyone in 930 defend. You mentioned Dustin asking me about my chair too. That's another thing - my chair was assigned to me right off the rip, but when I was in Dr. Throne's class (school missed that I needed her class before pushing me into the dissertation phase, so pretending to write a dissertation while actually in that phase made her class fun lol), there were people in the Leadership track that said they picked their chair. I didn't have any option to pick a chair - I was told by the school who my chair was. I suppose I could have complained along the way and gotten a different one, but it wasn't the same process for getting a chair as the Leadership track did.
  15. learningnut

    learningnut New Member

    This is what happens when the tools cry wolf over and over, spitting back an arbitrarily high "plagiarism risk score" over your reference list and table of contents. Professors just start ignoring them.

    When I started, we were given a form to fill out with, among other things, a ranked choice between four different chairs. Pick your most preferred and second-most preferred, and pray there's availability by the time your name comes up. I got neither but it has worked out so far.

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