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How Can ‘Global’ Supervisors Effectively Support Honours and Coursework Dissertation Students? A/Prof Lynne Roberts.

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Presentation on theme: "How Can ‘Global’ Supervisors Effectively Support Honours and Coursework Dissertation Students? A/Prof Lynne Roberts."— Presentation transcript:

1 How Can ‘Global’ Supervisors Effectively Support Honours and Coursework Dissertation Students? A/Prof Lynne Roberts

2 … if you wanna supervise an honours student, maybe don’t; maybe that’s not for you, if you’re the high-flying, conference-attending type (Honours student, 2013).

3 “Stars are attractive but may be distant. Pick a well-regarded supervisor who does not spend too much time away” (Brabazon, 2013)

4 Why Coursework Dissertation Students are More at Risk In comparison to PhD students: Shorter time period for completion Less developed research skills Less research experience As a result they may need closer, more frequent supervision Source:

5 Differing Views of Students Detrimental to progress “Like friends of mine last year had so much trouble with their supervisors going away in conferences and stuff and then they’d them and they wouldn’t hear back for two weeks and then they’d be like, ‘I don’t know what the hell I’m doing now’.”

6 Differing Views of Students Reluctant acceptance “I mean, I’d felt it could be potentially detrimental, but I guess I thought, well, that’s just the way it is. These supervisory staff have their teaching appointments and their conferences. That’s just – you know, I can’t, I guess, expect to monopolise my supervisor’s time. So I just kind of dealt with that.”

7 Differing Views of Students OK, as long as amount of supervision is maintained “But from my point of view I understand people have to travel, have other commitments. You all are doing your job other than being a supervisor. So I think that it’s completely fine if you have to go away. It’s just we want – Me, I want the rules to be followed so if I’m supposed to have this much time, I wanna have this much time.”

8 Differing Views of Students Forewarning required “I never had an itinerary of my supervisor's movement so it was like – sometimes we did encounter an issue and – "Oh, by the way, like I'm actually ing you from France" or wherever. And that – I felt if I knew my supervisor's movements a bit better, I could at least anticipate how long it might take to get a reply, just those sorts of things, I think.”

9 Differing Views of Students OK, as long as contact is maintained “I guess there were certain points where my supervisor was away for long periods of time or short periods of time here and there, and it was difficult to meet on campus. But he was always generally contactable by within a few days. So that was good.” “I think it’s okay as long as there’s other arrangements like just when he said ‘Oh, we can Skype’.”

10 Differing Views of Students OK, as long as alternative arrangements made “If you take on students, that’s a responsibility you have to uphold. If you're going away, unless you defer, like if you just say, ‘I’m going away. You need to contact this person while I’m away.’ Or some sort of plan”. “I thought if I went to this on-paper supervisor, they wouldn't have any clue where we’re at with the project or what we're doing. So I feel like the way to alleviate that would be to have at least initial meetings with both supervisors present.”

11 Your Input Please!

12 Question 1 What issues do supervisors experience in maintaining supervisory practice while away?

13 Barriers to Effective Supervision when Away Time Zone Internet Access Internet/Phone Charges Knowledge/experience/access to relevant technologies (student and supervisor) Distraction from purpose of trip Access to resources used in supervision Limited cues if text only

14 Question 2 How can we best support students during periods of absence?

15 Question 3 Are there advantages for students in having global supervisors?

16 Website:

17 References Brabazon, T. (2013). 10 truths a PhD supervisor will never tell you. Times Higher Education. Retrieved March 6, 2014, from truths-a-phd-supervisor-will-never-tell- you/ fullarticle truths-a-phd-supervisor-will-never-tell- you/ fullarticle Roberts, L. D. (2014). What constitutes ‘good’ supervision for course work dissertations? Student and supervisor perspectives. Western Australian Teaching & Learning Forum Transformative, innovative and engaging. Perth, Western Australia


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