The Importance Of Formative Supervision In Higher Education

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Background

Scientific supervision as performed during bachelor courses is a regular role for lecturers at higher education institutions. The main aim of the thesis at the undergraduate level is to give students basic knowledge about the research process (Meeus, van Looy and Libotton 2004). According to Grant (2003) scientific supervision differs from other forms of teaching and learning in higher education in its peculiarly intense and negotiated character, as well as in its requirements for a blend of pedagogical and personal relationship skills. Therefore, it is demanding primarily due to that the students have the lowest degree of autonomy and knowledge of scientific methodology (Wisker 2012). Formative feedback has been defined as information
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In teacher education, students found practical-oriented supervision preferable to create a good learning process when compared to traditional supervision, which was perceived as solely focusing on the final product, the thesis (Meeus, van Looy and Libotton 2004). The Finnish study described earlier correspondingly assessed students ' perceptions (Kangasniemi et al. 2011; Utriainen et al. 2011). The result describes positive student experiences of group supervision due to the dynamic ways in which learning activities could take place and students could be involved in each other’s processes. However, if the students only focused on their own work it was a risk that they would perceive the group supervision as meaningless. Group supervision from the students ' perspective has also been studied in a group of Japanese students in a thesis course in the humanities (Yamada 2013). The results emerged that the students felt that the seminars allowed them to gain knowledge from their classmates and it was good to receive feedback from more than just the supervisor. The students also experienced that the group supervision better socialized them into academic writing. In an English study of students in a social work programme, the students were supervised in groups or individually (Akister et al. 2009). At the midpoint of the study, the students who were being supervised as a group had significantly higher hope of learning more about the topic and developing their writing skills compared to the students who were being supervised individually. Individual supervision has also been studied in students studying economics at a South African college (Paxton 2011) where the students expressed the opinion that they received too little supervision to be able to write an academic thesis. The students understood what was missing but they did not know how to change the text to meet the

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