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Harmonized Supervision of Degree Project Work
KTH, Centres, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Protein Science, Systems Biology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4254-6090
KTH, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), Computer Science, Theoretical Computer Science, TCS.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0074-8786
KTH, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), Electrical Engineering, Electronics and Embedded systems.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9380-7708
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2019 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Resource type
Text
Abstract [en]

Background and purposeEffective supervision practices are vital for the educational and professional development of students,for continuous growth of supervisors, as well as for the development of respective scientific fields. In lightof different learning styles (Taylor & Beasley 2005) and having in mind the time resource constraints ofsupervisors, it is not easy to point out the best pedagogical approach to supervision that maximizes thelearning experience. In addition to the traditional individual supervision (IS) style there are other options(e.g., group supervision (GS) and peer supervision (PS)), which offer certain advantages. These threestyles do not exclude each other, but can rather be combined to complement each other’s strengths.In order to maximize the effectiveness of combining multiple approaches, it is essential to understand itsadvantages and disadvantages. Based on a survey of different experiences among supervisors andstudents collected from different Swedish education institutions, our paper suggests ways to optimizethe supervision processes. Moreover, we call it harmonized supervision, and belive that it would savetime and effort for the supervisors, and help students to overcome the individual limitations of eachsupervision style. 

Work done/work in progressIn order to study the preferences of students and supervisors with respect to IS, GS, and PS weconducted a survey among faculty members as well as former students at four higher educationinstitutions (HEIs), where our goal was to aggregate their experiences and learnings. The sampling wasdone in two-stages. First, we selected the HEIs. Due to convenience and connections to specific departments at given HEIs that the authors had, we then sent e-mail invitations to both students andsupervisors at these HEIs. In the second stage, through a voluntary process, respondents from bothgroups took part in the survey. Questions in the survey were inspired by the previous experiences of theauthors, and traditional supervision approaches of the affiliated institutions. We asked informants abouttheir experiences, and what they believed were advantages and disadvantages of each of theexperienced supervision styles. Finally, data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and qualitativeanalysis of open-ended questions. Basically, we looked into which style was used the most and in whichsituations, as well as compared different answers that spoke in favor and against each style.Results/observations/lessons learnedIt is interesting to note that supervisors and students had similar views with respect to IS, GS, and PS. Interms of IS “lack of different perspective” and “limited flows of new idea/opinions” are among thedrawbacks highlighted by both supervisors and students. Interestingly enough, a solution to these issuesis readily available among the benefits of GS and PS, i.e., “New ideas for solving problems” and“Diverse feedback”. This observation leads us to conclude that combining IS, GS, and PS in aharmonized supervision approach. By harmonized supervision we refer to an approach where GS andPS are used as the basis, and where IS is used only when needed.Take-home messageRegardless of the choice of the supervision method, one can note that a mixture of style is moreeffective depending on the learner’s phase, which can be broken down in two main stages. In theinitial phase, the supervisor exercises a more structural and contractual style. For instance, thesupervisor acts as a teacher explaining the research method and the student performs it on a step-bystep basis. The next stage is the training phase, where the supervisor can give the student moreformative assessment support and feedback to develope student's skills until a certain autonomy qualityis achieved. Lastly, the learner becomes a master of the thesis topic and therefore becomes moreindependent. When considering supervision it is important to think about different levels of intellectualdevelopment and the social component of the learning process. At the second phase, i.e. trainingphase, the supervisor can adopt group or peer supervision. Engaging the students in peer and groupsupervision may be conducive to the creation of a more secure learning environment. However, it isessential to provide a constructive group constellation and complementing instructions for peers tomaximize the learning outcomes in an efficient manner.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm, 2019.
Keywords [en]
Teaching, Learning
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-291888OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-291888DiVA, id: diva2:1538900
Conference
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 2019
Note

QC 20210710

Available from: 2021-03-22 Created: 2021-03-22 Last updated: 2022-06-25Bibliographically approved

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Jocevski, MilanMardinoglu, AdilGurov, DilianMohammadat, TageMonti, Paolo

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