Three Questions for @leighblackall


To begin with, I really appreciate the zeal and effort you've already demonstrated in identifying the process you hope to follow in order to earn a Ph.D. Clearly you've done a little homework already and put forth significant thought toward the related issues.

Nevertheless, I have some questions:

  1. How do you plan on replicating the bureaucracy and tenacious hoop-jumping that it normally requires to complete a graduate degree?
  2. Will any face-to-face rigor be included in your pursuit?
  3. How long do you anticipate taking and how will you really know when you're finished?
Right now, I'm in the data-gathering stage of my dissertation. I began the Utah State University Distance Doctoral Program (Ed.D) back in 2006. I've since taken all of the courses, passed my comps, and have had my dissertation proposal accepted. For me:
  • The most difficult part of the degree has been registering for classes, jumping through hoops to pay tuition, arranging times to meet with professors, getting parking passes, driving to campus, sitting through boring (but required) courses, sweating bullets in front of my dissertation committee, 20+ hours of homework every week to accompany 6 hours of class-time (for three consecutive years), writing more than anyone would ever care to read, arranging for summer housing, and living "the dream" as I was required to stay on-campus for three Summer stints.
  • The most rewarding part of the degree has been taking what I have learned from the entire process and sharing/critiquing it with folks online. I'll never forget posting, commenting, and tweeting about my professors, their good and bad teaching behaviors, the curriculum, my fellow cohort members and their ideas, my homework, and more.
Now, I think I get that you believe in open education, that you probably want to stick it to the Man, and that you'd probably love to de-institutionalize planet earth. Edupunk lives.  However, I also think that your proposed plan for "earning" a Ph.D. will deny you of the best and the worst aspects of the traditional process.

To me, it looks like you really only want to partake of the goods, while bypassing completely the hell required to finish a terminal (or any legitimate) degree. In my opinion, you'll have "earned" nothing without having also busted your butt through the same kinds of experiences that have made my experience difficult. At that point, I'll be willing to welcome you to the club (of which, I'm not yet even a member).

For what it's worth,


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