A traditional doctoral student lives on campus and pursues the degree in a face to face environment. The shift from traditional to non-traditional has expanded because of advances in technology, changes in workforce needs, and the development of a global economy (Evans & Green, 2013). Technology has enabled students to work online, pursuing an education to support a desire for professional knowledge and skills. The purpose of this meta-data analysis is to examine the research findings from primary research studies on online doctoral students.
Online education has been gaining grounds in the past decade. However, the online doctoral student is a new phenomenon. There is a lack of clarity and insight related to the obstacles and advantages faced by these new nontraditional doctoral students.
As demand for online courses and the flexibility they provide increases, it is essential for institutions and their administrators to monitor and assess the quality of online course design and delivery through a systematic review process. Developing such a process can, in turn, support institutional and programmatic accreditation efforts as well as provide data for both professional development and human resource decisions.