"It's a PhD, not a Nobel Prize": How experienced examiners assess research thesis

Gerry Mullins, Margaret Kiley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

150 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Research to date on the examination process for postgraduate research theses has focused largely on the deconstruction of examiners' reports. This article reports on a study of the processes that experienced examiners go through, and the judgements they make before writing their reports. A sample of 30 experienced examiners (defined as having examined the equivalent of at least five research theses over the last five years), from a range of disciplines in five universities was interviewed. Clear trends emerged with regard to: the criteria used by examiners and the levels of student performance expected by them; critical judgement points in the examination process; the examiners' perceptions of their own role in the process; the influence on examiners of previously published work, the views of the other examiner(s) and their knowledge of the student's supervisor and/or department, and the level of perceived responsibility between student and supervisor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-386
Number of pages18
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Volume27
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

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