CESA Discussion Paper No. 46
Research Assessment Issues:
Scholarly Report/Research Thesis/
Dissertation Assessment Guidelines
Submitted by Emeritus Professor A G (Tony) Shannon, CESA Academic Dean
This document is a first attempt to try to help students in their initial research efforts, such as capstone projects. They frequently find the structure of such reports difficult and cannot interpret what it means to go more deeply into something that that they have already written.
Another motivation was that I have examined doctoral theses from three different universities in recent months, and the guidance is often quite vague; this can make the examination process unreliable. I have read dozens of such theses over many years and am aware of my likes and dislikes, but they may differ from the other examiners. The variability of marking schemes can contribute to the unreliability of the process especially when external examiners are engaged to safeguard standards of validity and levels of achievement.
Many of our members are research candidates for higher degrees and many are supervisors and advisors and external examiners for such degrees. The purpose of these guidelines is to attempt to improve the reliability of research degree examinations. It has been prompted from acting as external examiner for many different universities with seemingly quite different expectations for the HDR assessment processes. Thus, these suggestions are intended for discussion among candidates, supervisors and examiners.
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