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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Evaluating Retrospective Experiential Learning as Process in Scholarship on a Work Based Professional Doctorate

Fulton, John and Hayes, Catherine (2017) Evaluating Retrospective Experiential Learning as Process in Scholarship on a Work Based Professional Doctorate. Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education (11). pp. 1-24. ISSN 1759-667X

Item Type: Article


Acknowledging retrospective experiential learning as a unique contribution to knowledge in the context of the workplace is the fundamental focus of the work-based professional doctorate. This report details an evaluation of a ‘Second Generation’ professional doctorate programme. The programme provides a mechanism for both learning development and the acknowledgement and development of pre-existing, discipline specific, professional practice. Evaluation was used as a means of highlighting how the theory-praxis gap might be bridged via translational knowledge construction. Semistructured interviews were undertaken with eleven doctoral candidates to explore their experiences and perceptions of the programme. The interviews were then transcribed and thematically analysed during which a “base superstructure model” was identified. This model identified the underpinning skills of critical reflection,investigation and adaptive capacity necessary to inform and facilitate the research phase of the professional doctorate programme. The facilitation and upskilling of doctoral candidates in the use of emergent technology was identified as the basis for the development of professional and academic practice. The role of the doctoral supervisor, as a facilitator of the development of these skills, was also established as pivotal to learning development for doctoral candidates; in terms of developing their ‘base super-structure’ to become independent,reflective and adaptive learners.

Keywords: work-based learning; learning development; practice-based research; professional doctorate.

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Depositing User: Barry Hall


Item ID: 6911
ISSN: 1759-667X
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Catherine Hayes: ORCID iD

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Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2017 10:18
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2019 15:40