- Previous events
- Vitae researcher development conference 2008
- Workshop programme NEW UPDATE December 08
- A3/B3 Workshop summary and outcomes
- A3/B3 Supplementary notes
A3/B3 Supplementary notes
Vitae Researcher Development Conference 2008
Workshop session A3/B3: The changing doctorate
Janet Bohrer and Pam Denicolo
Record of discussion with regard to two questions about the changing doctorate and evolving context
1) how is your institution responding in terms of delivery?
2) how do you think assessment should evolve to accommodate this broader remit?
- include points from doctoral qualification descriptor (FHEQ) on Viva Form
(met - not met ------) or report form for comment (more or less explanation /detail)
- use the upgrade procedures + annual progress reviews to assess skills (not Viva)
- transferable skills requires formative assessment - and feedback
- PhD by publication (have to engage to achieve) similar to Eng. D. (the traditional PhD could learn a lot from such other doctorates)
- examiners' expectations - rubric is still based on traditional version (need to re-frame)
- difficulty of ‘valuing' TST - poor cousin perspective
- include some form of accreditation in qualification e.g. of modules for skills training
- the concept of the doctorate is broadening but need to recognise that there are different motivations for undertaking which will reflect on the skills agenda
- size, style PhD thesis - story of journey etc but question how appropriate - need to recognise diversity
- embed skills in research (not add-on) (too much included?) (need to recognise differences between 3 or 4 years) and (part-time and experienced student) (need flexible systems) but important that are keeping up standards; the external is important.
- teams of supervisors; independent reviews of progress; expectations of supervisors' involvement
- rewrite CoP for own Institution
- compulsory skills training but what can we do about ‘non-engager'?
- evaluation of skills achieved /descriptors matched needs to be throughout the process
- problem of the UK PhD
- what realistically can do in the given time frame! (what is doctorateness?)
- the mode of study is mixed - taught courses and written publications
- problem of attitudes towards prof doc (snobbish; disdainful).
- current assessment can be flexible to meet needs
- continuous assessment /or progression made more rigorous (appraisals etc)
- NO sleepwalking into written (national) exams - be careful about wording
- need criteria for demonstrating skills achievement
- disconnection between documents and what happens - skills agenda may be implemented but not reflected in assessment
- product + writing about product e.g. prof docs.
- There are now more formal courses but great variety
- some incorporated into credit system
- not always transparent to stakeholders
- academic quality is most important (but what if someone brilliant fails ‘skills'?)
- should be embedded in research
- need to engage supervisors
- assessment isn't the right tool
- need to engage not force
QAA should promote appropriate mechanisms, not be prescriptive
- traditional PhD + Viva still alive and well - how might progression be used more to incorporate skills.
- Could use a questionnaire for examiners for feedback only
- For non-traditional PhD students (mature, experienced, studying for interest) what is the place of skills training?
- how can TS be assessed (?Scandinavian approach presentation + thesis).
- happy with traditional assessment (all skills developed in normal course not recognised well)
- professional development is individual - different skills for different folks.
- lot of change (students might be based abroad or at a distance which means changes in delivery; tighter project management, use of on-line materials - need for work with supervisors)
- professional documents - extent to which each descriptor satisfied is variable