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Dilemmas for supervisors Helen’s personal experience.

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Presentation on theme: "Dilemmas for supervisors Helen’s personal experience."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dilemmas for supervisors Helen’s personal experience

2 The student who overwrites This student is over-ambitious and may have the thesis written before the data is at hand. Enthusiasm to finish could mean the conclusion is written before the work is done. SOLUTION: This student needs reassurance that they can finish on time – perhaps within the timeframe of a scholarship or visa. Some early writing efforts could be publishable as critiques or viewpoints.

3 The student who seeks approval This student is looking for feedback. They may claim to have done things which have not really been done. SOLUTION: It is important to check experiments and data and to differentiate between work which is appropriate from that which is incomplete or may miss essential controls. The student may need extra training.

4 The complaining student SOLUTION: The student may need recognition of the extra effort they are making and of the work they are producing. The supervisor can make plans for publication, for extension projects and for collaborations. This shows they value the student’s work. This student may be overworked and stressed and may feel in need of more attention than others.

5 The student with low self-esteem This student may feel they are not achieving and may cast responsibility for this on to the supervisor. SOLUTION: Ways to boost student confidence include publication of papers, winning travel awards, presenting a paper at a conference. There are many opportunities for student recognition which require only a supervisor’s recommendation.

6 The procrastinator This student has problems meeting milestones. Failure to achieve can lead to low self esteem. SOLUTION: The supervisor can emphasise time management and goal setting. Continual review of progress is needed to adjust expectations. Achievement of goals can be recognised and celebrated.

7 The foreign student Both cultural and language difficulties can lead to miscommunication and underachievement. SOLUTION: The importance of establishing effective communication cannot be emphasised enough. There are ways to communicate with foreign students which go beyond the language barrier. A keen supervisor will work hard to reassure the student that they understand them and the problems they face.

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