The Professional Doctorate by Portfolio: Alternative Assessment for Advanced Practitioner-Led Scholarship?

Peter Holgate, Kay Sambell

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The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) offers a bottom-up, locally situated and contextualized approach to enhancing educational practice. It has been championed for several years, yet remains curiously undervalued within the academy, despite clear benefits for curricular development and staff engagement. This paper reflects upon the production of an auto-ethnographic reflective evaluation of SoTL activities relating to architectural education, forming part of the first author’s portfolio-based assessment for a Professional Doctorate in Education (Ed D). The paper evaluates the challenges and potential of undertaking this doctoral assessment path, which appears to be seldom employed, at least in the UK. Particular attention is placed on negotiated assessment by portfolio as a key driver for practical value, and the flexibility that this route affords for academics to shape their professional development through SoTL activities. Affordances and challenges of this pathway for practitioner-led scholarship and doctoral recognition are illuminated.

Keywords: portfolio assessment; doctoral assessment; scholarship of teaching and learning; professional doctorate, pragmatism
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-69
Number of pages13
JournalPractitioner Research in Higher Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sept 2020


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