January 2013 Bulletin: Item 7

Doctoral theses

Doctoral theses are valuable resources for researchers and practitioners interested in the idea of learner autonomy. Their diverse research backgrounds, methods, and findings not only enrich the literature of learner autonomy, but also enlighten future research to a large extent. Our attempt to gain access to doctoral theses is based on this premise.

Over the past decade there have been many doctoral theses completed in the field of learner autonomy around the world, but it is difficult to access all of them all at once. Therefore, in early November we started from brainstorming—listing those authors as well as the titles of their theses we knew, regardless of whether they were our members or not.  It was quite exciting that more than a dozen doctoral theses appeared in our list. Then we tried to get the contact information of those authors, and in mid-November we sent out emails to enquire whether they would like to share their theses (abstract and/or whole theses) with a wider readership and to post them on the website of ReNLA. Luckily we have received several positive responses, including those from Dr Naoko Aoki, Dr Jing Huang (Peter), Dr Leena Karlsson and Dr. Joanne Chuk, who are willing to share either the summaries or full texts of their PhD theses. Please see the new page on the website we have made to share these abstracts and links: https://ailarenla.org/theses/

To make our resources as rich as possible, our small group will continue surveying more doctoral theses, and we need recommendations from all ReNLA members. Suggestions to improve our work are also welcome.

(Peter Huang, Nana Long, Richard Smith)

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