Doug Leigh on helping graduate students come up with interesting research topics.
Guest: Doug Leigh, PhD
Professor, Pepperdine University
Dr. Doug Leigh earned his PhD in instructional systems from Florida State University, where he served as a technical director of projects with various local, state, and federal agencies. His current research, publication, and lecture interests concern cause analysis, organizational trust, leadership visions, and dispute resolution. He is coeditor of The Handbook of Selecting and Implementing Performance Interventions (Wiley, 2010) and coauthor of The Assessment Book (HRD Press, 2008), Strategic Planning for Success (Jossey-Bass, 2003) and Useful Educational Results (Proactive Publishing, 2001).
Leigh served on a two-year special assignment to the National Science Foundation, is two-time chair of the American Evaluation Association’s Needs Assessment Topic Interest Group, and past editor-in-chief of the International Society for Performance Improvement’s (ISPI) monthly professional journal, Performance Improvement. A lifetime member of ISPI, he is also a member of the editorial board for its peer-reviewed journal, Performance Improvement Quarterly. More
Some of the differences between doctoral work and master’s work have to do with the amount of original data collection.
I try to set up the expectation that when a dissertation chair is doing a good job, they’re giving a lot of feedback, and that may involve several iterations of drafting.
Though we call them defenses, they’re not interrogations. They’re not about getting lined up to be battered with questions to prove your worth before a student is allowed into the club.
Students who can avoid just reaffirming what’s already known are able to position themselves to do research that sticks with them as a passion.
Interestingness by Composing or Decomposing: what seems to be varied and complex is really better understood simply, or something that is currently understood to be simple is actually elaborate, distinct, independent, heterogeneous, and diverse. Example: Quanta’s “The New Laws of Explosive Networks”
Interestingness by Globalizing or Localizing: what seems to be a global truth is really just a more local one, or that something thought to be experienced just locally is actual more global. Example: Pew Research Center’s Views on Science poll
Interestingness by Stabilizating or Destabilizating: what seems to be stable and unchanging is actually unstable and changing, or things thought to be unstable are surprisingly stabilit and even permanent. Example: BBC’s “The Libet Experiment: Is Free Will Just an Illusion?” (video)
Interestingness by Re-assessment of Costs or Benefits: what seems to be bad is in reality good, or what was believed to be good is actually bad. Example: On Point’s “Is Recycling Really Worth It?” (radio broadcast)
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