Assessing Online Doctoral Student Research Competencies


  • John C. Gillham University of Findlay
  • Nicole V. Schilling University of Findlay



EdD student development, Scholar-Practitioner Research Development Scale (SPRDS), research competencies, Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED)


The purpose of this study was to investigate online education doctoral students’ perceptions of their research competencies. The researchers utilized the Scholar-Practitioner Research Development Scale (Rockinson-Szapkiw, 2018) which consisted of 24 Likert-based items to assess research competency in five areas: attitude toward or value of research, critical evaluation and application of research, research knowledge, research skills, and research dissemination. For each of the five research competencies students reported their competency at 4.0 or above (on a scale of 1- 5) each year, with students most strongly agreeing with statements related to the value of research, evaluation and application skills, and research knowledge. This study illuminates the development of research competencies in online doctoral students. Recommendations include using the Scholar-Practitioner Research Scale to assess program effectiveness, track program improvements, and identify gaps in the curriculum.

Author Biographies

John C. Gillham, University of Findlay

Associate Professor, College of Education

Nicole V. Schilling, University of Findlay

Associate Professors, College of Education.


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How to Cite

Gillham, J., & Schilling, N. V. (2023). Assessing Online Doctoral Student Research Competencies . Impacting Education: Journal on Transforming Professional Practice, 8(4), 34–42.



Themed-Reimagining Research Methods Coursework for the Preparation of Scholar-Practitioners