Evidence-based projects versus dissertations to enhance retention

Date & Time

Aug 4th at 4:45 PM until 5:30 PM


Online Education Administration 


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Many students do not succeed in doctorate studies due to failure to complete a dissertation or other required research project which leads to high doctoral program attrition. Up to 50% of US doctorate students do not complete their degree. The presentation will explore an alternative method of educating doctorate students to enhance successful completion of the degree and promote relevant, real-time applicable projects. The number of doctorate programs offered through distance education is growing as this medium enhances flexibility of learning and accommodates diverse learners. Therefore, innovative and applicable curriculum is needed to support these learners and enhance graduation rates. The presentation will compare and contrast the strengths and limitations of an online evidence-based project versus a research dissertation curriculum for doctorate level education. A case study will present how one university developed the curriculum for an evidence-based capstone project, offered through distance education, to doctorate of health science students. The purpose of the capstone project is to assist students in learning the skills required to thoughtfully question current practices in healthcare through critically searching, reviewing, and appraising research literature; promoting research utilization; and participating in the development and implementation of evidence-based outcomes in their area of practice. The project promotes students to become leaders and facilitators in the translation of evidence to promote positive healthcare outcomes. The curriculum has been successfully delivered through the online education format with the use of technology, such as teleconference meetings and presentations. Forty students have presented and defended their final evidence-based projects to varying international audiences. Graduation rate from the program has been positive with an attrition rate of less than 10%. Results of capstone satisfaction surveys indicated that 91% of students believed the project they developed will make a difference to the health of society in some way; 96% noted the capstone had high academic standards; and 95% supported that the capstone curriculum provided applicable theory to their profession. Overall, 88% of students were very satisfied with the capstone experience. VIEW THIS SESSION [Blackboard Collaborate Ultra]