This paper describes a content analysis used to examine educational doctoral degrees (EdD) dissertations in a U.S. university. The purpose of the study was to get a better understanding of the validation techniques utilized in dissertations published by EdD students. Forty-nine dissertations were selected and examined for research methodologies, research design, and elements of vigorous validation techniques. The most frequently found methodology was quantitative (n = 30; 61.22%) followed by qualitative (n = 13; 26.53%). Among the quantitative studies, the most frequently used design was survey (n = 18; 60%). The most frequently used design in qualitative studies was case study (n = 6; 12.14%). Validation techniques for quantitative designs were mostly content validity (n = 18; 50.00%). Trustworthiness techniques for qualitative designs were mostly member checking (n = 8; 19.51%). There were no legitimation techniques identified for mixed methods designs. Implications for this study in higher education include EdD doctoral students and committees use at least three techniques for validation purposes.


credibility, doctoral students, rigor, quality, trustworthiness

ORCID Identifiers

Lester A. C. Archer: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5061-0200

Ya-Hsin Hsiao: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3862-1318



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



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