CHERE working papers

CHERE@LU invites its members and guests to publish in our ‘CHERE@LU Working Paper Series’. By widely sharing our work, we make it easily accessible. We aim to engage the wider audience and include various publics into our knowledge co-production process. 

Read more about the Centre for Higher Education Research and Evaluation (CHERE) on our webpages.

Editorial Board

Process of submission

If you would like to submit a working paper for the series, please email Janja Komljenovic.

Paper 3: Olga Rotar - A missing element of online HE students’ attrition, retention and success: an analysis through a systematic literature review

Online learning has facilitated higher education in many ways and made it more flexible and available for learners with multiple responsibilities. In spite of these benefits and rapid developments of online education, available information regarding graduation rates suggests that the vast majority of online learners drop out. This paper provides a review of the 30 empirical studies that investigate factors that influence online students’ experience in online higher education reported for a period of 10 years, from 2009 to 2019. The paper discusses the results of the analysis against the existing theoretical model of students’ attrition, retention and progress. The results of the literature review suggest 15 factors that can influence students’ online learning experience. These factors are grouped into four main sections: (a) student factors; (b) course/programme factors; (c) social factors, and d) support factors. Identified factors are discussed against existing theoretical models and a missing element in the considered models is highlighted.

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Paper 2: Anoud Abusalim - Modern Family or Game of Thrones: A Systematic Analysis of Second Language Writing Publications in Web of Science from 2002-2017

This paper responds to recent discussions about disciplinarity in SLW and its professionalizing prospects that were recently explored in the edited volume Professionalizing Second Language Writing (2016). By employing bibliometric methods to review Second Language Writing (SLW) original research articles published in Web of Science (WoS) from 2002-2017, this paper contributes an understanding of the organizational and institutional contexts in which SLW research takes place. Employing a conceptual framework that is derived from Silva and Leki’s (2004) work on the historical disciplinary roots of SLW in “Family Matters” and Matsuda’s (2016) edited book on professionalizing SLW, this paper examines: (i): SLW research topics in order to shed more light into its disciplinary roots. (ii): the different academic units that produce its research to better understand its organizational contexts and how they influence its research. The examination concluded that 43.7% of all published research in WoS examines instructional materials, which could suggest how SLW research focuses on pedagogical matters. 21% of the published SLW research in WoS is produced in colleges or departments of education, whereas 20% is produced in Language Centers and Departments. SLW’s pedagogy-centred research suggests that its disciplinary growth has expanded beyond its parent disciplines, especially with the increasing role of education departments in producing SLW research. It also seems to suggest that in spite of the expanding organizational contexts for SLW, teacher-centered research remains the primary focus. Finally, the paper concludes by emphasizing the need for SLW practitioners to expand the conversations about professionalizing SLW outside the North-American context and to consider the various organizational realities that surround SLW research.

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Paper 1: Helen Meek - ‘Thanks For All The Support’ - An Evaluation Of Gender Bias In PhD Supervision

Gender inequality continues to exist in all areas of Higher Education. This manifests itself in the area of student evaluation of teaching where female tutors are often evaluated lower than males. There is little research relating to the evaluation of PhD supervision. Student acknowledgements in PhD theses at a pre-1992 university in the North West of England are analysed as a means of evaluating supervision. Findings support previous work on acknowledgements in terms of the types of individuals and organisations acknowledged. However, despite some evidence of gender differences, it was concluded that acknowledgements could not be treated as a mechanism for evaluating teaching. Further research would be required to explore the impact of gender bias in PhD supervision.

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