PhD orals from the convenors’ perspective: implications for academics and candidates

Kumar, V., Kaur, A. and Sanderson, L. (2022)

International Journal for Academic Development


Taking into consideration the unique relational position of convenors (Chairs) in PhD oral examinations, this qualitative study explores insights from 55 convenors at a research-intensive university in New Zealand into the ways academic staff developers can better prepare doctoral supervisors and examiners for oral examinations. 

One striking insight was that convenors focused not only on technical and practical aspects of the oral exam, which are predominately cognitive, but also on emotional support to candidates, indicating the value of the affective aspect of a meaningful oral. This study outlines practices academic developers can use to enhance quality assurance of oral facilitation processes, create a positive experience for stakeholders, and introduce improvements in university practices and policies on conducting orals.

Cite this article

Kumar, V., Kaur, A. and Sanderson, L. (2022) PhD orals from the convenor’s perspective: implications for academics and candidates, International Journal for Academic Development. DOI: 10.1080/1360144X.2022.2051516.

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