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The Nature of a Successful Online Professional Doctorate

The Nature of a Successful Online Professional Doctorate
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Author(s): Gordon Joyes (School of Education, University of Nottingham, UK), Tony Fisher (University of Nottingham, UK), Roger Firth (University of Nottingham, UK) and Do Coyle (University of Nottingham, UK)
Copyright: 2014
Pages: 35
Source title: Cases on Professional Distance Education Degree Programs and Practices: Successes, Challenges, and Issues
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Kirk P.H. Sullivan (Umeå University, Sweden), Peter E. Czigler (Örebro University, Sweden) and Jenny M. Sullivan Hellgren (Umeå University, Sweden)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4486-1.ch011


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This chapter provides a case study of a wholly online professional doctorate in Teacher Education that has been running successfully since 2003 within the School of Education at the University of Nottingham, UK. It begins with both the background and context in which the development took place—this covers the team involved and identifies the drivers that led to this innovative course. The main body of the chapter focuses on the course itself, which was constructed collaboratively through written reflections of the team. This illuminates the reasons for its success as measured by healthy recruitment, high student evaluation scores, and high retention and completion rates. The pedagogic rationale for the design of one module involving collaborative knowledge creation is presented with some student reactions to this. Six student voices are then presented, which provide an insight into the value of the course. This leads to a consideration of the current context and the new challenges facing the course.

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