Beyond Traditional Theses and Dissertations: Nontraditional Approaches to Organizing an ETD

A session at USETDA 2013

Wednesday 24th July, 2013

2:45pm to 3:45pm (PST)

Roberts Hall North 15

Nathalia Bauer, Coordinator of Information and Publications, College of Graduate Studies, University of Central Florida

Debra Winter, Director, Graduate Financial Assistance and Publications, College of Graduate Studies
University of Central Florida

Nearly two decades after their emergence, ETDs are now widely embraced. However, despite their forward-sounding moniker, many ETDs still mimic their paper counterparts in function and appearance. This begs the question, what changes are leading to the next revolution in theses and dissertations?

Pressures to increase student publication, improve retention rates, shorten time to degree completion, and the desire to produce more relevant theses and dissertations, are all influences shaping the future of ETDs. Some programs and faculty members are also guiding students to create theses and dissertations more relatable to non-academic careers.

ETDs have been mandatory at the University of Central Florida (UCF) since 2004 and while publication has always been a desired academic goal, many graduate programs at UCF are now seeking ways to integrate publication as part of the thesis/dissertation process, and in some cases requiring it as a matter of policy. One UCF program is also requiring students to conduct dissertation research in conjunction with a “real world” scenario to be more applicable to their careers. Other examples of nontraditional ETDs include graphics-based and entirely digital formats.

Academic institutions must begin to consider how to react to the changing needs nontraditional ETDs present. This presentation will provide an overview of the influences leading to an increase in nontraditional ETDs, the results of research conducted on nontraditional ETDs at UCF, and the possible implications and issues nontraditional ETDs pose. This session is intended for those who advise students on the preparation of ETDs for submission.

Next session in Roberts Hall North

4pm Vireo 2.0: An Evolving Partnership in the Service of ETDs

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Time 2:45pm3:45pm PST

Date Wed 24th July 2013


Roberts Hall North, The Claremont Colleges

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