⬅ Abductive Reasoning: A type of reasoning that uses creative intuition as the basis for possible directions for inquiry.
⬅ Brainstorming: To spontaneously think of ideas.
⬅ Case Study Design: A qualitative research design that examines time-sensitive activities that have explicit and tacit rules that affect human experience and interaction.
⬅ Causation: Establishing, through scientific inquiry, the reasons for specific effects occurring.
⬅ Comparative Analysis: Examination of the component parts of subject or object for purposes of discussion.
⬅ Comparative Research: Examination of the constituent parts of a subject or object as a basis for ascertaining fact or drawing conclusions.
⬅ Constructivist Paradigm: A paradigm in which researchers view knowledge and reality as socially constructed, which places an emphasis on contextual factors.
⬅ Content Expert: The content expert is selected by the learner based on the specific area of interest in the dissertation. They provide valuable feedback on the proposal and dissertation.
⬅ Convergent Design: A mixed-method design that collects and analyzes both quantitative and qualitative data simultaneously, compares the two datasets, and then interprets combined findings.
⬅ Correlation: Establishing, through scientific inquiry, the degree of association between variables.
⬅ Critical Thinking: An engaged examination of component characteristics of a problem or question, taking acquired knowledge and new knowledge in to account in order to develop an informed, coherent and clear position.
⬅ Deductive Reasoning: A type of reasoning that subtracts items no longer relevant because of new information.
⬅ Dissertation Chair: In charge of the dissertation committee. Chairs are selected because of their knowledge of GCU’s dissertation process, overall research experience, and skills in coordination. GCU provides each learner with a chair.
⬅ Dissertation Committee: Consists of a chair and a methodologist supplied by the University, and a content expert selected by the learner.
⬅ Doctoral DNA: A high-level design concept that has been used in the development of all doctoral programs to ensure that research and dissertation skills are embedded through the program, proper support structures are in place, and the curriculum is scaffolded and effectively creates learners who can balance application and theory.
⬅ Engaging Doctoral Learners (EDL): GCU uses the acronym “EDL” to refer to the specific development of curriculum, training of faculty, and buildup of support for learners in the first courses to promote a successful start to the program.
⬅ Enrollment Counselor (EC): A college representative who initially assists learners in enrolling in the program and advises them through their first course.
⬅ Epistemology: The study of how people go about obtaining facts and how people justify and, hence, provide warrant for their belief in such facts.
⬅ Ethnographic Design: A qualitative research design focused primarily on describing culture and how individuals create and interact with the culture.
⬅ Experimental Design: A quantitative research design that uses control and intervention groups of participants to determine causal relationships between variables.
⬅ External Validity: The degree to which the results of a scientific study are generalizable or can be applied to other populations outside of the sample used for inquiry.
⬅ Grounded Theory Design: A qualitative research design that uses an inductive approach to build or discover theory from the ground up not by imposing theory on participants.
⬅ Heuristics: Cognitive shortcuts that reduce the cognitive load necessary to come to conclusions, also called rules of thumb.
⬅ Hypothesis: A prediction made for the purpose of being tested by methods employed in scientific inquiry.
⬅ Inductive Reasoning: A type of reasoning that involves a subjective assessment based upon exemplars found in experience.
⬅ Information Literacy: The ability to know when there is a need for information, to be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and use that information effectively for the issue or problem at hand.
⬅ Internal Validity: The degree to which confounding factors or systematic errors are minimized to make a research design and research study coherent.
⬅ Literature Review: Within a doctoral program, a compiling and synthesizing of empirical studies for the purpose of determining appropriate questions for research, which provide empirical reasons for inquiring about a research topic.
⬅ Mechanics: In reference to editing, mechanics refers to items such as punctuation, capitalization, indentions, etc., pertaining to written language as guidance for communicating appropriate action in oral language.
⬅ Metacognition: Being aware of and taking in to account one’s own knowledge foundations while looking across wide information sources to provide a glimpse of commonalities and differences across contexts.
⬅ Methodology: The study of tools and procedures used to obtain knowledge within science.
⬅ Methodologist: Provides direct support for the research essentials, whether qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods. Methodologists support the chair and provide important feedback on the prospectus, proposal, and dissertation. GCU provides each learner with a methodologist.
⬅ Milestones: Key steps in the dissertation journey.
⬅ Narrative Design: A qualitative research design used to tell the narrative life stories of participants. In this design, often the researcher is a co-participant in telling the life story of the sample participants.
⬅ Nonexperimental Design: Survey Research: A quantitative research design in which surveys are used to obtain data from sample participants.
⬅ Objective: Of or relating to external reality; not influenced by personal feelings or biases.
⬅ Ontology: The study of how one construes existence, a person's conception of the world and what is entailed in such an existence.
⬅ Paradigm: The tacit rules, theoretical lens, or epistemological and ontological commitments inherently employed when utilizing certain methods in science to obtain knowledge about the world.
⬅ Paraphrase: To express the meaning and content of another author’s work in different words.
⬅ Phenomenology Design: A qualitative research design used to inquire about the unique thoughts, feelings, and experiences that help describe people within situations.
⬅ Positivist Paradigm: A paradigm in which researchers measure objects in the real world with the intent of discovering facts that increase the body of human knowledge. In this paradigm, contextual factors are not of primary concern.
⬅ Post-Positivist Paradigm: a paradigm in which researchers use measurements to discover facts, but such facts are deemed falsifiable, which introduces the need for exhaustively testing hypotheses.
⬅ Pragmatic Paradigm: A paradigm that assumes the need to employ all practical means to obtain knowledge, including the analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data.
⬅ Proposition: A statement about phenomena that does not imply a need to be tested.
⬅ Prospectus: A summary of a proposed research project. At GCU, the Prospectus is an evolution of a Learner’s 10 Strategic Points document, expanding on the 10 points for 8-12 pages, providing an overview of the learner’s proposed dissertation proposal in summary form. Learners start work on their prospectus during Year 2 and should have a completed draft ready when they are assigned to their committee in Year 3.
⬅ Quote: To directly copy another author’s work word-for-word.
⬅ Self-editing: The process of proofreading and editing one’s own writing by revising content for clarity and reducing or eliminating grammatical, word usage, and mechanical errors.
⬅ Self-plagiarism: The use of one's own previously written/published work without referencing the associated source.
⬅ Seminal Works: Publications recognized by the research community as important landmarks and major breakthroughs in scholarship.
⬅ Sequential Design: A mixed method design that collects and analyzes both quantitative and qualitative data sequentially (different types of sequential designs dictate which is collected first).
⬅ Statistics: The use of numerical values and formulas to predict the relationship of phenomena.
⬅ Subjective: Influenced by personal feelings or biases; based on internal perception and not external reality.
⬅ Technology Literacy: The ability to understand and use technology as a tool to facilitate achieving the objectives.
⬅ Thesis Statement: A statement that sets forth the purpose and/or themes of a work that will be discussed or proven.
⬅ Tone: The style in which an author writes (formal, informal, academic, etc.).
⬅ Transformative Paradigm: A paradigm in which there is an assumption that humans are oppressed in modern culture. This approach assumes research should empower individuals to lift the constraints that limit human potential through discovering knowledge.
⬅ Variable: In statistics, a label used in statistics to assign attributes that represent characteristics of people, places, things, or ideas.
⬅ Voice: The personality and style of an author’s writing.