Mats Lundström Maria Åström Karin Stolpe Lasse Björklund


The writing of student theses is an important activity at universities and is expected to demonstrate the students’ academic skills. In the teacher-education programme, examiners from different academic disciplines are involved in supervising and examining student theses. Moreover, different subject disciplines have different traditions concerning what is seen as knowledge and the way research is performed, which could result in different assessment practices and judgements. Earlier studies demonstrate a fragmented picture concerning the importance of the examiners’ academic discipline in judging theses. The purpose of this article is to investigate whether examiners from different academic subject disciplines emphasise similar or different criteria when assessing student theses. A total of 66 examiners from six universities with teacher education programmes in Sweden have answered an online Q-survey where they compared different criteria and rank-ordered them. The results demonstrate minor differences between individuals from different academic disciplines: Only two out of the 45 criteria had significant differences between academic discipline groups. Thus, the results indicate that teacher education is a boundary-crossing, multi-disciplinary field which primarily uses generic criteria.