research and maginifying glass

ICL 9000 Dissertation Second Semester

Welcome! to the IDT Dissertation Process (ICL 9000) Second Semester course webpage.  This one page virtual classroom site provides you with all the resources you will need to successfully complete the dissertation proposal, IRB application, and dissertation research.

Course Overview

This dissertation courses will guide you through the final development of your dissertation proposal, the submission of your IRB application,  the execution of your research, and the writing (beginning) of chapters  4 and 5 .  The course is completely online and self-directed. The course spans 3 modules/tasks for those following syllabus 1, and the course spans 7 modules for those of you following syllabus 2.  Most assignments are due on Sunday night at 11:59 p.m. (CST), unless otherwise noted in the syllabus. The course information and instructional materials is contained on this site (a WordPress site). eCourseware and Google drive will be used for submission of course assignments. Google+ will be used for course communication.

By the end of the course, you should have completed your dissertation research and be ready to write or begin writing chapters 4 & 5 of your dissertation (syllabus 1) or completed your proposal defense (syllabus 2).

Instructor Welcome

Begin by visiting the Instructor Welcome  to learn more about your instructor and the expectations for the course. Visit the Contact Me page for instructor contact information.

Get Started

To get started, familiarize yourself with the  IDT Dissertation Process. Then, review the syllabus .  Place all the due dates in your calendar and start finalizing your proposal using the IDT DIP template and Thesis/Dissertation Preparation Guide and preparing your presentation for your proposal defense.


  • Syllabus 1 (.doc) – a guide to the course for candidates defending a proposal in September and getting ready to conduct dissertation research
  • Syllabus 2 (.doc) – a guide to the course for candidates developing a proposal and defending it in November.

**While many of us are “techies” and society is promoting paperless offices, I find that printing significant resources, such as a course syllabus helps to keep the material in front of us, literally. I encourage you to print this document, which can both be downloaded via the links as Word .docs.

 Course Tasks/Modules (for Syllabus 1. See Syllabus 2 for more information about modules)

Task 1: Finalize and Defend a Proposal (Module 1)

You will finalize a dissertation proposal outlining a quantitative, qualitative, or mixed method study. The proposal should follow the DIP template  (download as a .doc) and the University of Memphis proposal formatting guidelines (see provided in the Graduate School’s Thesis/Dissertation Preparation Guide). The proposal should be written following the most current APA style, except where Thesis/Dissertation Preparation Guide provides alternative formatting guidelines; use Microsoft styles and headers; and incorporate the feedback received previously from program faculty. You must also work with CWC or external editor to edit the manuscript and provide proof when submitting the manuscript to both the chair and the instructor via email. This task requires the following submissions and presentations:

  • Final Edited Proposal: Chapters 1,2 & 3 and evidence of edit to the instructor and chair (Due: Sunday, September 10, 11:59 pm CST)
  • Submit the finalized presentation your instructor and chair (Due: Sunday, September 17, 11:59 pm CST)
  • Oral Proposal Defense (Due: September 20, 21, 22)

**It is also important to note that once a proposal is approved, it is expected that the study will be completed within 1-2 semesters. If the dissertation is not finished within 3 years, the program Advisory/ Dissertation committee will reevaluate the candidate status in the program

Task 2: Submit an Institutional Review Board (IRB) Application (Module 2)

You will review University of Memphis’ Research Compliance Website / Institutional Review Board (IRB) Website to ensure understanding of IRB guidelines for gaining approval to conduct research with human subjects. You will acknowledge your understanding of IRB guidelines and procedures via completing an IRB application. You will submit the completed application to the chair for feedback; feedback will be provided by the chair after the oral proposal defense as needed.  Also, after a successful oral proposal defense and upon the Dissertation Chair’s approval, you will submit the application to the University of Memphis Institutional Review Board (IRB). (Due: Wednesday, September 27, 11:59 pm CST)

Visit the University of Memphis Research Compliance site to learn more about the IRB submission process. Most IRB applications for educational research fall under the expedited or exempt categories, and thus, usually take approximately two to four weeks for receive approval. However, some IRB processes take longer. Some modifications to the application may be expected. Take care to thoroughly review the IRB website to avoid delays.

Execution of research CANNOT be begun prior to receiving IRB approval.

After IRB approval is obtained, you will work with the course instructor and chair to complete the following forms and file them with the College of Education: 1) Proposal Approval Form, 2) a copy of the IRB approval letter, and 3) copy of your approved proposal.

Create a Google drive folder with the name (e.g. Lastname_Firstname) and a subfolder with the course number (e.g. ICL_9000). The personalized folder and its subfolder(s) should be shared with and your chair. Within the ICL_9000 folder create a Proposal Approval folder with the three documents. Send an email to your instructor and chair to inform them that the three completed documents have been uploaded to the folder. Also submit the paper work to eCourseware for documentation purposes.

Task 3: Execute the Research, Write and Refine the Manuscript, & Provide Regular Updates (Module 3)

You execute your research, including doing the intervention, data collection, and analysis. Under the guidance of the course instructor and committee chair, you will refine chapters 1-3 and write chapters 4 and 5. The course instructor should be your first point of contact, the instructor may advise you to contact the chair and the chair may advise you to seek guidance from committee members or external consultants on specific aspects.

The manuscript should follow the University of Memphis proposal formatting guidelines (see information provided in the Graduate School’s Thesis/Dissertation Preparation Guide)and the IDT DIP template. The final dissertation manuscript typically consists of chapters 1 (problem statement), 2 (review of literature), 3 (methodology), 4 (results), and 5 (discussion). It is written following the most current APA style, except where noted by the template and guide. You  should expect that the manuscript will go through multiple revisions before a defense date is established. Again, the first point of contact should be the course instructor.

Please note that depending on your level of comfort, ability, and skill with chosen statistical or qualitative analysis, an outside consultant may be sought. However, it is recommended that you make sure you run the analysis and have the ability to explain it for the defense. A course instructor or chair may also request that you seek the assistance of the Center for Writing and Communication (CWC), a university service that provides free writing and editing consultation, or a writing coach. At minimum you should have the manuscript well edited prior to all submissions to the course instructor or chair.

Through the execution of research and development of final dissertation manuscript, you are encouraged to have frequent contact (i.e., monthly updates on progress) with the course instructor, dissertation chair, and peers.  Regular contact with the committee members as directed by the chair is also encouraged.  Having ongoing feedback and support increases the probability of a successfully completed dissertation. There are two types of updates required throughout the course.

Google+ Research Update Discussions (Various Modules/Weeks)

In the Google+ private course community, you will participate in discussions throughout the course, providing research updates. For each Research Update, tell or update your peers on the following: 1) Progress on implementing the research/writing the manuscript, 2) projected timeline 3) weekly plan for working on the dissertation (e.g. 2 hours a night, all day Saturday). You are expected to respond to comments posted to the initial post.

For general questions about the courses throughout the semester, you are encouraged to post them in the Ask the Instructor category in Google+. If you have a question, it is likely peers may have the same question. Or, the your peers may have the answer or additional resources. You are encouraged to ask and answer course questions that are not personal in nature in Ask the Instructor. This is also a great place to ask questions that arise about conducting your research.

There are 4 required updates in this course:

  • Sunday, September 10, 11:59 pm CST
  • Sunday, October 8, 11:59 pm CST
  • Sunday, November 5, 11:59 pm CST
  • Sunday, December 3, 11:59 pm CST
Dissertation Update Submissions (Various Modules/Weeks)

In eCourseware, the candidate will submit the dissertation manuscript demonstrating progress. In the submission comment area, the candidate will summarize in 3-5 sentences how they have progressed in either implementing the research or writing the manuscript. Each submission should demonstrate active work on the dissertation.

There are 4 required updates in this course:

  • Sunday, September 10, 11:59 pm CST (the final edited proposal; see Task 1/Module 1 for more information)
  • Sunday, October 8, 11:59 pm CST
  • Sunday, November 5, 11:59 pm CST
  • Sunday, December 3, 11:59 pm CST

Course Resources & Sites