Use of a web-based delphi for identifying critical components of a professional science master's program in biotechnology
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The primary purpose of this research was to develop a model for a professional science masters program combining biotechnology and business. The objectives were to identify stakeholder preferences for various dimensions of a professional science masters program combining biotechnology and business and to identify differences in priorities between subgroups. A secondary purpose was to examine user preferences between Web-based and traditional methods of conducting a Delphi study and the panelists impressions of its usefulness for program development. Prior to the first round, demographic data were collected on panelists regarding their gender, age, years experience in their current field, position title and education levels. Round 1 started with eight open-ended questions designed to investigate (a) learning objectives, (b) internships, (c) thesis vs. nonthesis degrees, (d) program focus (e) possible entry level positions, (f) roles for the industry advisory board, (g) recommended hours of hands-on experience and (h) other issues of importance. The final round ended with three questions to assess the panelists perception of the usefulness of the Delphi for program development in higher education. Twenty-four panelists started Round 1 and participation in subsequent rounds varied from 17 in Round 2 to 11 in Round 4. Education level varied and included all levels of education in science and business. Issues emerged early in the study regarding development of different program tracks and the program goals, which were clarified in subsequent rounds. Significant differences occurred between industry and academic subgroups for two tracks, six skills designated for tracks, method of evaluating the internship, and entry-level positions appropriate for new graduates. When analyzed by level of confidence (high confidence vs. low confidence), significant differences occurred for (a) the number of semesters of hands-on experience students should have upon graduation, (b) skills recommended for core curriculum, (c) skills recommended for tracks, (d) compensation level and (e) entry level positions for new graduates. Perceived usefulness of the Delphi for program development was varied with only 10 panelists responding--five in favor, three undecided, and two against.
professional science master's
Kantz, Jeannine Wells (2004). Use of a web-based delphi for identifying critical components of a professional science master's program in biotechnology. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from