PosterPDF Available

Practice implications of online dissertation research supervisor agency to foster doctoral researcher positionality

Authors:

Abstract

This poster session continues our critical review of dissertation research supervisor agency as a necessary construct to foster doctoral researcher positionality. The session illustrates practice-based considerations for online doctoral candidates in the final phases of the dissertation manuscript through oral defense and the concurrent evolution of researcher positionality. While the literature has expanded in the exploration of student agency, little focus has been given to the construct for research supervisor agency. The relationship between the research supervisor and dissertation researcher is critical to persistence and completion, and this session illustrates the importance of how research supervisor agency can foster awareness and the articulation of dissertation researcher positionality to further the development of new investigators. This practice-based approach is specific to online or hybrid doctoral education where doctoral students and research supervisors are remote in time and space.
SCHOOL OF EDUCATION, NORTHCENTRAL UNIVERSITY
Presenters: Robin Throne, PhD; Daniel Ferreira, EdD Candidate; Stephanie Maddox, EdD
Contributors: Brian Oddi, PhD
PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS OF ONLINE DISSERTATION RESEARCH SUPERVISOR AGENCY TO FOSTER DOCTORAL RESEARCHER POSITIONALITY
KEY REFERENCES
Maddox, S. (2018). A qualitative action research
study of social capital for tutoring and technology
with Caucasian first-generation Alabama community
college students. (Doctoral dissertation). (Order No.
10980882).
Throne, R. (2012). Positionality. In Practitioner
research in doctoral education (pp. 55-77).
Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt.
Throne, R., & Oddi, B. (2019). Positionality meets
agency: Dissertation research supervisor agency, A
necessary construct for U.S. online doctoral
research supervision. In A. Elçi, L. L. Beith, & A. Elçi
(Eds.), Faculty development for digital teaching and
learning. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
Throne, R., Bourke, B., Bowlin, L., Hailey, V.,
Joseph, S., & Yedgarian, V. (2018). Insider/outsider,
betwixt and between: Post-doc perspectives of
researcher positionality after dissertation research.
2nd annual Conference on Academic Research in
Education, Las Vegas, NV.
doi:10.13140/RG.2.2.30924.31365
Throne, R., Oddi, B., Fore, C., Akagi, C., Bloomberg,
L., Clowes, M., . . . Wardlow, R. (2017). The Situated
Dissertation Advising Framework for improved
doctoral completion in a School of Education. 1st
annual Conference on Academic Research in
Education, Las Vegas, NV.
doi:10.13140/RG.2.2.17302.65606
DOCTORAL RESEARCHER POSITIONALITY
Researcher positionality (noun) A necessary
process of a principal investigator for critical
self-reflection and a determination
of self within the social constructs, biases,
contexts, layers, power structures, identities,
transparency, objectivity and subjectivities
for the viewpoint assumed within the
research (Throne & Oddi, 2019).
ABSTRACT
This poster session continues our critical
review of dissertation research supervisor
agency as a necessary construct to foster
doctoral researcher positionality. The session
illustrates practice-based considerations for
online doctoral candidates in the final phases
of the dissertation manuscript through oral
defense and the concurrent evolution of
researcher positionality. While the literature
has expanded in the exploration of student
agency, little focus has been given to the
construct for research supervisor agency.
The relationship between the research
supervisor and dissertation researcher is
critical to persistence and completion, and
this session illustrates the importance of how
research supervisor agency can foster
awareness and the articulation of dissertation
researcher positionality to further the
development of new investigators. This
practice-based approach is specific to online
or hybrid doctoral education where doctoral
students and research supervisors are
remote in time and space.
PRACTICE-BASED IMPLICATIONS
Void exists for training new and emerging
online graduate-level researchers around
the issues related to positionality
Negative views of situating researcher
self within dissertation proposal
Fears of violation of ethical assurances if
researcher positionality disclosed
Fears of data contamination by
subjectivity
Readings on researcher positionality
facilitated consideration for positionality;
yet, leave an action gap in development
Enhanced doctoral community
engagement needed
Fear of loss of objectivity with participants
who were aware of researcher dual roles
Lack of clear instruction for “how to”
situate researcher positionality within
doctoral research
Assumption of necessity to negate all bias
Confusion between agency and
positionality
Researcher positionality evolves
throughout dissertation journey
Objectivity vs. subjectivity dichotomy
needs suspension
NEXT STEPS
Offer more instruction on the definition of
researcher positionality and its purpose
within qualitative inquiry
Require explication of researcher
positionality in Dissertation Methods
chapter
Explore professional development to
enhance understanding of the
relational/transformative aspects of the
supervisor-candidate interaction for
research supervisor agency and candidate
researcher positionality
Develop centralized repository of research
& tech resources for doctoral students
Figure 1. Situated dissertation researcher positionality
(Throne & Oddi, 2019; Throne et al., 2018).
SUPERVISOR-RESEARCHER RELATIONAL
CONSIDERATIONS
Fosters researcher positionality
Fosters doctoral student agency
Offers positionality required reading list
Transformative researcher development
Fosters doctoral community engagement
Resource driven not supervisor driven
Trust, honesty, and fairness expected
Consistent iterative documental feedback
Incremental scholarly writing development
Incremental research skill development
Meaningful suspense dates remain flexible
Facilitates interactive learning forum among
doctoral researchers
Celebratory dissertation culmination
RESEARCH SUPERVISOR AGENCY
Research supervisor agency (noun)
Characterized by efficacy, strong mentoring
ethos, healthy and diverse communication
style, empathy, and non-hierarchical
relational trust between the research
supervisor and new independent investigator
(Throne & Oddi, 2019; Throne, Oddi et al.,
2017).
... In this dissertation advising framework grounded within technology and founded upon Lave (1991( , 1996( ) and Wenger's (1991 situated learning theory, we identified key characteristics among a formal approach to online practitioner research supervision to improve student persistence, scholar-practitioner preparation, and dissertation completion in practitioner doctoral programs. These key characteristics included companion constructs within a situated online doctoral learning community were iteratively developed through tangential technology, technology-rich resources, engagement, and online faculty development for practice-based research supervision (Throne, Oddi, Ferreira, & Maddox, 2019). ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper offers a critical examination of the construct of research supervisor agency to foster doctoral researcher persistence and completion in practitioner doctoral programs, especially the Doctor of Business Administration and Doctor of Education. The current literature of higher education engagement specific to supervision of practitioner doctoral research is appraised and models to foster effective practitioner research supervision are presented. New insights are presented for research supervisor engagement within online environments for practitioner doctoral programs.
Chapter
Using an illustrative case study, this chapter explores the two-year design process of a practice-based Doctor of Education degree program in an online university. Emerging from the continuous improvement lens, the redesign process centered around the examination of the purpose of the degree in the context of meeting the educational needs of practitioners in the field. Principally, this program redesign led to greater differentiation between the practitioner-based EdD degree and the PhD to provide students with distinct options for meeting their personal and professional goals.
Chapter
This chapter addresses practitioner researcher agency specific to doctoral education and the post-doctorate research agenda. Perspectives come from both doctoral scholars and doctoral research supervisors of practice-based or practice-led dissertation research for current research insights and examples of dissertation researcher agency specific to U.S. practitioner doctoral programs. Scholar-practitioner agency among the doctoral learning community is defined and discussed as well as the post-doctorate practice-based research agenda.
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