Week Four DQ Wk 4 Discussion 1 – Progress [due Thurs] Discussion Topic Please refer to the resources provided on CDS Central. They are intended to help yo

Week Four DQ Wk 4 Discussion 1 – Progress [due Thurs]
Discussion Topic

Please refer to the resources provided on CDS Central. They are intended to help you engage effectively on the discussion board. 

Due Tuesday

Write a 250- to 300-word response to the following: 

Convey your progress and/or any barriers that have impacted your progress.

Due Thursday 

Review others’ questions and using your professional experience, provide an answer or related insights in 150 words. College of Doctoral Studies
Dissertation Guide

A Comprehensive Dissertation Development and Alignment Handbook

*Please note: This document is subject to changes, which will be recorded in Appendix
B: Document Change Log. Students and faculty should check back for changes and
download the current version often.

(Last Updated 8/4/2021)

Copyright 2021 by University of Phoenix. All rights reserved.

Overview……………………………………………………………………………………………………………4

The Dissertation Process………………………………………………………………………………4

The Dissertation Committee………………………………………………………………………….7

Topic Selection and Alignment to the Degree Program………………………………………..9

Method and Design Selection and Alignment to Research Objectives…………………10

Overview of Methods and Designs ………………………………………………………………10

Research Design Selection and Alignment ………………………………………………………..14

Qualitative Design Selection and Alignment …………………………………………………14
Action Research ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 14

Appreciative Inquiry …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 17

Case Study ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 19

Delphi Method Technique …………………………………………………………………………………………… 21

Ethnography………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 22

Grounded Theory……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 23

Narrative Inquiry ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 25

Needs Assessment ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 27

Phenomenology ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 28

Program Assessment ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 30

Quantitative Research Design Selection and Alignment ………………………………..32
Correlational Research……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 32

Experimental and Quasi-experimental Research ………………………………………………………….. 34

Ex Post Facto (Causal Comparative) …………………………………………………………………………… 36

Factor Analysis ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 38

Q-Methodology ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 39

Mixed-Method Research and Alignment ………………………………………………………41

Method and Design Selection Summary ……………………………………………………………43

Doctoral Phase 1: The Prospectus ……………………………………………………………………44

Alignment of the Prospectus Elements ………………………………………………………..46

2

Doctoral Phase 2 – Précis ………………………………………………………………………………..47

Doctoral Phase 3 – Dissertation Chapter 2: Literature Review ……………………………52

Doctoral Phase 4 – QRM: Proposal …………………………………………………………………..56

Alignment of the Proposal Elements ……………………………………………………………61

Proposal Assessment Rubric ………………………………………………………………………62

Institutional Review Board (IRB)…………………………………………………………………..62

Doctoral Phase 5 – QRF: Dissertation Chapters 4 & 5: Dissertation…………………….63

Alignment of the Dissertation Elements……………………………………………………….69

Dissertation Assessment Rubric ………………………………………………………………….70

Oral Defense ……………………………………………………………………………………………………71

Final Dissertation Editing ………………………………………………………………………………….72

Structure of a Dissertation…………………………………………………………………………..72

Elements in an APA Paper …………………………………………………………………………..73

College of Doctoral Studies Dissertation Format Requirements…………………….76

Appendix A: Dissertation Template …………………………………………………………………..82

Appendix B: Document Change Log ………………………………………………………………. 112

3

Table of Contents

Overview
This guide provides comprehensive information on University of Phoenix College of Doctoral Studies
practitioner program dissertation development steps and criteria. The overview section describes the
dissertation process and dissertation team. The Topic Selection and Alignment to the Degree Program
section describes each of the practitioner degree programs offered at the College of Doctoral Studies and
discusses potential areas for research. The Method and Design Selection and Alignment to Research
Objectives describes the research methods and provides a brief overview of the various associated
designs to assist in comparison and selection between the different designs.

The Research Design Selection and Alignment provides detailed information regarding the designs to
assist in understanding their applicability in research and provide resources for further understanding of
the designs.

In addition, this document describes the five phases of the dissertation process and provides guidance
on development and alignment of the prospectus and the dissertation chapters associated with each of
the five phases. The Dissertation Criteria Assessment (DCA) is a developmental and progression
feedback tool used to monitor students in meeting dissertation assessment criteria throughout the
Doctoral Journey Life Cycle and Dissertation Phases. The Institutional Review Board (IRB) and Oral
Defense sections briefly describe these important dissertation journey milestones, and the Final
Dissertation Editing (FDE) section describes the dissertation formatting requirements. Finally, Appendix
A: Dissertation Template provides a template for the full dissertation, including information and strategies
on completion of each section of the dissertation.

Leader

Scholar Practitioner

The practitioner programs are situated within our
Scholar-Practitioner-Leader™ (SPL) model and
aligned to our mission of developing doctoral
leaders who conduct research for creative action
and guide diverse organizations through effective
decision-making.

We hope that you will find this guide useful
throughout every phase of the doctoral process
and remember to enjoy the journey and allow it to
help you realize your passion by helping you
create research that will contribute to your
professional field!

The Dissertation Process
The dissertation process occurs in five phases, as
depicted below. The information below the figure
describes the five phases and deliverables further.

Students should use courses in each phase to build upon each
phase deliverable. Students are allowed to dovetail course

materials from content and research courses to build upon each
Dissertation Journey Phase.

4

https://multimedia.phoenix.edu/site/tk20-guides/college/doctoral-studies/dissertation-criteria-assessment/

Table of Contents

Phase 1
• Prospectus

Phase 2
• Précis (draft Chapter 1)

Phase 3
• Concept Review (draft Chapter 2)

• Quality Review Methods: Proposal Chapters 1-3
Phase 4

• Quality Review Final: Dissertation Chapters 1-5
Phase 5

Phase
Work on the phase in the following

courses (enrolled prior to 1/2/2020)
Work on the phase in the following

courses (enrolled 1/2/2020 and after)

Doctoral Phase
1 – Prospectus:

Outline of the
Planned

Dissertation
Study

DOC/700 (5 weeks)

LDR/711A (8 weeks)

RES/709 (8 weeks)

RES/724 (8 weeks) Qualitative Methods
and Design

DOC/705R – Year 1 Residency (5 days) –
Deliverable: Prospectus

BUS/700, EDD/700, or DHA/700 (8
weeks)

LDR/711A (8 weeks)

RES/709 (8 weeks)

DOC/714S – (8 weeks) – Deliverable:
Prospectus

Doctoral Phase
2 – Précis

Phase 1 courses

RES/710 (8 weeks)

RES/720 (8 weeks)

Two core program courses (8 weeks
each)

DOC/720R – Year 2 Residency (3 days) –
Deliverable: Précis

Phase 1 courses

RES/724 (8 weeks)

Program content requirement (8 weeks)

Program content requirement (8 weeks)

DOC/715 (8 weeks) – Deliverable:
Précis

Doctoral Phase
3 – Concept

Review

Three core program courses (8 weeks
each)

DOC/723 (8 weeks) – Deliverable:
Concept Review

Two content program courses (8 weeks
each)

DOC/723 (8 weeks) – Deliverable:
Concept Review

5

Table of Contents

Phase
Work on the phase in the following

courses (enrolled prior to 1/2/2020)
Work on the phase in the following

courses (enrolled 1/2/2020 and after)

Research elective course (8 weeks) Two content program courses (8 weeks

Doctoral Phase One core program course (8 weeks)
each)

4 – QRM:
Proposal

Year 3 Residency (8 days comprised of
a 5-day course and a 3-day course)

*DOC/741 (8 weeks) – Deliverable:
Proposal Chapters 1-3

(Chapters 1 – 3)
*DOC/741 (8 weeks) – Deliverable:
Proposal Chapters 1-3

Doctoral Phase
5 –QRF:

Dissertation
(Chapters 1 – 5)

Two core program courses (8 weeks
each)

*DOC/742 (8 weeks) – Deliverable:
Dissertation and Oral Defense

IRB Review and Approval (occurring
concurrently)

One Content Program Course (8 weeks)

DOC/719S (8 weeks)

*DOC/742 (8 weeks)– Deliverable:
Dissertation and Oral Defense

*Dissertation continuing enrollment courses are available and require written Chair and URM approval
prior to scheduling.

6

Table of Contents

The Dissertation Committee
Newer Programs (DBA 004, EDD 004, DM 005, DHA 004; enrolled 1/2/2020
and after)
Students enrolled in the College of Doctoral Studies at the University of Phoenix are expected to be
dedicated, self-motivated, responsible, and independent learners accountable for the development of their
dissertation. Doctoral faculty members are dedicated to supporting and guiding students to the
completion of the doctorate.

Doctoral Seminar courses* are writing-intensive classes for students. The faculty provides guidance,
review, and feedback on dissertation deliverables to support the student in building a quality, robust
dissertation. Students should be in Doctoral Seminar classes for full reviews.

Role of Doctoral Student – Dissertation Phases 1-5
Doctoral students are accountable for writing all chapters of the proposal and dissertation while enrolled
in dissertation classes and independently outside of designated dissertation courses. Students select
dissertation topics that reflect gaps in the literature or problems identified from their practitioner
experience. Students must choose dissertation topics aligned with their degree programs.

Doctoral students should use work completed in content classes to build Chapter 2: The Literature
Review. Using work from prior classes or dovetailing enables students to capitalize on their work without
duplicating effort. Doctoral students will rely on committee feedback to build robust, cohesive, and quality
research projects aligned with the College of Doctoral Studies’ mission to enhance students’ positions as
a Scholar-Practitioner-Leaders (SPL) Model in their industries.

The Dissertation Committee includes three College of Doctoral Studies Staff Faculty members (chair and
two committee members, University Research Methodologist (URM) and Panel Validator (PV)), each
having a specialized role. The Dissertation Committee is assigned to work with student cohorts at
different stages.

Role of Chair – Assigned Phase 2 at the Start of DOC/715*
The Dissertation Chair is the subject matter expert for content and discipline relevance. The Dissertation
Chair leads the research problem development, research feasibility, rigor, and overall quality of the
proposal and dissertation phases. Dissertation Chairs facilitate DOC/715, DOC/723, DOC/742, and the
DOC/742 respective continuing enrollment courses. The Dissertation Chair leads the Oral Defense.

Role of the University Research Methodologist (URM) (first committee member) – Assigned
upon completion of Dissertation Phase 2
The URM leads proposal and dissertation research method and design to ensure alignment of
methodological strategies, rigor, and quality. The URM facilitates DOC/741 and DOC/741 continuing
enrollment courses. The URM and the Dissertation Chair are assigned to cohorts at the same time. The
URM reviews the research problem, purpose, research questions/hypothesis, and research method
design at DOC/715 and DOC/723 for alignment. The URM participates in the Oral Defense.

Role of the Panel Validator (second committee member) – Assigned upon completion of
Dissertation Phase 4
The PV is the subject matter expert who reviews Chapters 1-3 for scope and provides feedback to ensure
Chapters 4 and 5 offer robust and innovative industry recommendations aligned with the SPL Model. The
PV participates in the Oral defense and provides final APA and formatting review for the completed
dissertation.

7

Table of Contents

Dissertation Staff Faculty are not assigned to students but cohorts. *Chairs and URMs are tentatively
assigned at Phase 2. The permanent assignment is made after DOC/741.

*DOC/715, DOC/723, DOC/741, DOC/741A, DOC/741B, DOC/742, DOC/742A, DOC/742B, and all
continuing-enrollment extension courses.

All Other Programs (enrolled prior to 1/2/2020)
Students in all other programs working with selected dissertation committees will continue to work with
those faculty members. For students with selected dissertation committees, if a faculty resigns or
students wish to change a faculty member, students will be assigned a staff faculty member. There are
situations where changes in dissertation committee faculty may delay student progression based on new
faculty feedback and incomplete student documents.

8

Table of Contents

Topic Selection and Alignment to the Degree Program
The initial step in achieving dissertation alignment is selecting a topic aligned with the program of study,
also referred to as the industry or discipline of study. The topic should reflect an existing problem within
the industry. The following information provides brief examples of dissertation topics that align with the
various practitioner programs currently offered as University of Phoenix doctoral studies. For detailed
program information, visit https://www.phoenix.edu/degrees/doctorate.html. Please note, specializations
are for program-specific versions prior to 1/2/2020.

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
Dissertation topics for the DBA program may focus on various commercial ventures including business
startup activities, small to medium businesses, business operations, business processes, finance, or
marketing activities.

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EDD)
The EDD program focuses on K-12 education. The dissertation may focus on broad aspects associated
with these educational levels including test scores, drop out decisions, and examining academic success.

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership with a specialization in Curriculum and Instruction
(EDD/CI)
The CI specialization of the EDD program often focuses on the curricula during the K-12 educational
programs. The dissertation may also explore teaching methods, strategies, and instruction used in the
design or implementation of new educational programs.

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership with a specialization in Educational Technology (EDD/ET)
The ET specialization within the EDD program focuses on how technology is used or can be used to
facilitate learning. The emphasis may include examination of currently used techniques or development
of recommendations for improving use of technology in the classroom.

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership with a specialization in Higher Education Administration
(EDD/HEA)
The HEA specialization within the EDD program focuses on college- and university-level instruction. The
dissertation may focus on broad aspects associated with higher education including student retention,
student engagement, drop out decisions, instructional approaches and strategies, design, or
implementation of new educational programs, or use of technology to facilitate learning.

Doctor of Health Administration (DHA)
The DHA program is intended to develop executive level health care professionals. Added program focus
is on health administration research within clinical settings, hospital settings, or home health settings.
Dissertations often focus on policies, processes, and procedures involved in the delivery of care,
leadership of health care professionals and support staff, resources, and cost effectiveness and
efficiency.

Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership (DM)
The DM program focuses on organizational leadership and management. Dissertation writers may
explore leadership behavior, leadership skills, human resources, employee satisfaction, employee
engagement, management of organizational resources, operational processes, change management, or
business processes and procedures within an organization.

Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership with a specialization in Information Systems and
Technology (DM/IST)
The DM/IST program focuses on the use of technology within organizations. Relevant dissertation topics
include the current or proposed use of information technology (IT) within the organizational setting.

9

https://www.phoenix.edu/degrees/doctorate.html

Table of Contents

Method and Design Selection and Alignment to Research
Objectives
Once the student selects a dissertation topic and identifies a problem, the student should develop a
research purpose that aligns with the problem then select a research method and design aligned with the
purpose. Note that alignment between the purpose and design is an iterative process; the purpose should
be modified to reflect the selected design.
The following information describes the three research methods. The most commonly used method
within practitioner doctoral programs is qualitative followed by quantitative. The third method, mixed-
method, combines qualitative and quantitative approaches.

Overview of Methods and Designs
Qualitative Research

• Qualitative research is used to address a social problem by gaining an understanding of
participants’ opinions, perceptions, and feelings, or by reviewing documents.

• Qualitative data are narrative data collected using approaches such as interviews, questionnaires,
focus groups, observations, or archival documents.

• The researcher is typically very involved with the participants during the research.
• The sampling type is usually purposeful, and the sample size is typically small.

Qualitative Research and the Inductive Process
• Qualitative research is based on inductive reasoning.
• Induction is a “bottom up” approach that moves from the research questions to narrative

interview or questionnaire data or observations, to patterns and themes based on these data, to
broad conclusions about those data, and can lead to a theory.

.

10

Table of Contents

Strengths and Weakness of Qualitative Research
• Strengths:

o Provides a wide variety of designs.
o Flexibility in data collection approaches.

• Weaknesses:
o Selecting an appropriate design can be a challenge for novice researchers.
o Results cannot be generalized due to small samples and limitedcontext.

Qualitative Research Designs
The qualitative method includes several designs. The following information provides a brief synopsis of
many of the major qualitative designs. Detailed information about the implementation of each of these
designs is provided in the Qualitative Design Selection and Alignment section.

• Action research: The researcher works collaboratively with an organization or institution to
address a problem or create policy. There are various types of action research; each differs
regarding the researcher’s role and the objectives.

• Appreciative inquiry: Like action research, but rather than focusing on existing problems it
focuses on building on the existing positive aspects of an organization and envisioning innovative
enhancements for the future.

• Case study: The researcher examines an existing bounded “case” such as an organizational or
institutional process using multiple sources of data to triangulate knowledge about the case.
Case studies require an explicit “type.”

• Delphi technique: Delphi research uses a panel of subject matter experts to examine consensus
on topics such as best industry practices or the future of the topic under study. This technique is
usually accomplished in two to three rounds.

• Ethnography: The researcher examines a culture to identify the cultural norms, social structures,
and other patterns.

• Grounded theory: The researcher seeks to generate a new theory or a theoretical model that
explains a process or action. The theory is “grounded” in data from these participants. This
design implies that no theory currently exists.

• Needs assessment: This research is the first step for an institution or organization considering
the development of a program or training. The research focuses on defining the program
requirements or training competencies.

• Phenomenology: This research focuses on first-hand “lived experiences” of participants who
have all experienced a common personal phenomenon. This design seeks to explore participants’
internal dialog about the phenomenon.

• Program assessment (or program evaluation): The researcher evaluates an organizational or
institutional program to measure the actual program outcomes against its intended outcomes.

Quantitative Research
• Quantitative research is used to address a social problem by quantifying participants’ opinions,

perceptions, and feelings. This is not limited to what is quantifiable to humans as phenomena,
instrumental measures (e.g., BP/pulse measures, weight loss/gain, expenses), retention rates
and error rates are also quantifiable.

• Quantitative data are numerical data collected using approaches such as surveys or big data
sets, which are statistically analyzed to test hypotheses.

11

Table of Contents

• The researcher may not be directly involved with participants during the research. In a
pretest/posttest design, the researcher could be active.

• The sampling type is usually random, and the sample size is typically large and based on the
population size. There are times when a researcher may not use random sampling.

Quantitative Research and the Deductive Process
• Quantitative research is based on deductive reasoning.
• Deduction is a “top down” approach that transitions from general to specific by developing

hypotheses and statistically testing the hypotheses with quantitative data to develop findings and
conclusions.

Strengths and Weakness of Quantitative Research
• Strengths:

o Tests and validates hypotheses.
o Straight-forward data collection and analysis; easy to replicate.
o The large sample size allows the results to be generalized to the population.

• Weaknesses:
o Theoretical conceptualization of the study isolates variables, which limits the measurable

impact of other interveningvariables.
o Measuring relationships between the variables does not determine cause- and-effect.

Quantitative Research Designs
The quantitative method includes several designs. The following list describes the most common
quantitative designs used in doctoral research. Each of these designs is detailed in the Quantitative
Design Selection and Alignment section.

12

Table of Contents

• Correlational research: The researcher is interested in determining the relationship between two
or more quantifiable variables. It is important to note that correlation does not determine cause-
and-effect.

• Experimental research: The researcher randomly assigns participants to experimental and
control groups and manipulates one or more variables to determine cause-and-effect.

• Ex post facto (or causal-comparative): The objective of this design is to identify causal
relationships among variables that cannot be manipulated such as gender, ethnicity, or birth
order. Causal research can be used to determine cause-and- effect between variables.

• Factor analyses: The researcher analyzes interrelationships within a set of variables or objects to …

Submit a Comment

Open chat