IOUF – CICRCL’s Unique Program Aspects include mentoring, online learning, scholar-practioner model of learning, assessment, social relevance and a Project Demonstrating Excellence.
Online Learning. IOUF – CICRCL continually seeks ways to incorporate Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) into the learning processes. Mentoring is a one-on-one process and Faculty use a variety of methods to communicate with learners, including, but not limited to Skype conferences, email and social networking.
Scholar-Practitioner Model of Learning. We follow an educational process that connects scholarship with theory, and then applies them to real-world action and practice. We believe that the process of learning is as important as the content of learning, and we stress self-direction, collaboration with peers and faculty, and the importance of experiential learning
Assessment. As a foundation for adult learning, many traditional means of institutional assessment are not relevant to IOUF – CICRCL’s assessment model. For example, Learners are generally working in the fields that interest them when they apply for their PhD degree, so job placement is not an important assessment tool. We also do not believe that the use of grades provides an accurate indicator of learning achievement, although we have on-going learning self-assessment processes in place.
Social Relevance. IOUF – CICRCL requires that its Learners programs reflect both their awareness of the social implications of their studies and their obligation to share knowledge with integrity in uplifting the communities in which they serve.
Project Demonstrating Excellence (PDE)
Each IOUF – CICRCL Doctoral Learner makes a significant, original contribution to human knowledge by preparing a Project Demonstrating Excellence (PDE) – a major effort of scholarship, artistic creativity, or social action. Because of the individualized nature of IOUF – CICRCL’s doctoral program, Learners are able to create PDE’s that are relevant to both their souls and their hearts.
The PDE addresses the appropriate intellectual, cultural, and/or artistic traditions of their field(s) and signifies grounding in the relevant theoretical, creative and critical scholarship. It allows them to exercise their originality and creativity, so that their work provides new knowledge and approaches to the larger scholarly community.
A PDE can take several forms:
- Traditional Dissertation – A traditional dissertation is based on the collection and analysis of relevant data in the investigation of an empirical question, the exploration of a phenomenon of scholarly interest, the testing of a hypothesis, and /or the examination of a generalization or theoretical proposition. It presents both new knowledge and new approaches to the scholarly community; it addresses the intellectual traditions of your field(s), and it demonstrates your knowledge of the crucial theoretical and critical scholarship. Learner dissertations must make an original contribution to human knowledge and demonstrate excellence in scholarship.
- Artistic/Creative Project – Artistic/creative projects explore something new, demonstrate seriousness of purpose, convey a sense of depth, and communicate your discoveries and insights. Learner projects should provide clear evidence of their contribution to the chosen genre, furthering the work of other artists, past or present. Those Learners who choose to do a creative/artistic project become a scholar-artist. A scholarly contextual essay must accompany their artistic/creative project. For example, a project based on poetry will include a contextual, scholarly component placing your poetry into a historical, literary, and/or theoretical context. The Contextual Essay will show how your work relates to relevant literature. It may take the form of a research project in the arts related to the same genre as the artistic project itself. It may also incorporate research methods related to the arts, such as historical methods, content analysis, theoretical and critical methods, or arts-based research. A project of this type does not automatically exclude quantitative research methods.
- Social Action Projects – As with artistic/creative projects, Learners may chhoose a PDE that takes the form of a social action project that plan to explore something new, to demonstrate seriousness of purpose, to convey a sense of depth, and to communicate discoveries and insights. The project should further the understanding and social effort of others while clearly bearing their personal stamp. For a social action project, Learners will develop and assess the impact of social structures, actions, or interventions in actual operation on the topics studied. An evaluation of the project or program will include documentation of the results achieved. If the study will result in a product, such as a handbook or training program, the product must be field-tested and evaluated and the results must be documented.