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Zen and the art of transdisciplinary postgraduate studies: Quality Criteria
This document is one of a suite of resources from a project focused on developing appropriate evaluation quality criteria for transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary doctoral research for use by students, supervisors and others. The goal was to provide a frame that is consistent across different discipline areas, as different disciplines judge quality in different ways, but specifically addressing implications for transdisciplinary/ interdisciplinary research.
This resource provides the identified quality criteria for evaluating transdisciplinary/ interdisciplinary research theses. It provides analyses of: the nature of transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research; difficulties associated with judging its quality; pedagogy in the area; and a literature review on the topic. It culminates in a set of criteria developed through the project and literature-based analyses. The criteria also emerge from practice and workshop discussions involving experienced transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary supervisors.
This resource is therefore an informative document on these areas for the practice of transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research study and supervision as well as for those conducting research in the area. Readers may want to read the whole document for the coverage of issues in the field. Alternatively, for practical purposes, they can turn to the seven identified generic criteria of research quality on pages 17 and 18 and summary of interpretations for transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research. However, the discussion of the generic quality criteria and application for transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research provided on pages 7-16 is very readable and well-worth reading to gain understanding of the final summary.
The resource is valuable for supervisors and students engaging in transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research. It could also be used by Thesis Examination Offices in higher education institutions in Australia and internationally in order to reflect on the appropriateness of current thesis examination procedures and criteria for transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research examinations and identification of suitable examiners.
The title of this work shows a focus on doctoral research students and supervision. However, the materials could be modified to suit transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research outcomes for any level of higher education, undergraduate or postgraduate.