Five ways of enhancing the postgraduate community: Student perceptions of effective supervision and support

You are here

Research and Development in Higher Education: Learning for an Unknown Future Vol. 26

July, 2003, 692 pages
Published by
Helen Mathews and Rod McKay
ISBN
0 90 8557 55 8
Abstract 

How do students understand ‘especially effective supervision and support’? Do they think primarily in terms of a one-to-one relationship with a supervisor – or effectiveness in the context of a community of support? These questions, among others, were the basis for a study in which RHD students were surveyed in 1999-2000 in one institution (as a pilot for a national study). The survey showed, as expected, dissatisfaction with the social and intellectual climate for postgraduate research that is reflective of nationwide results of the Postgraduate Research Experience Questionnaire for graduates. However, students pointed to positive initiatives taken by supervisors and schools to enhance the climate and create a research community. What was most interesting about student responses to an open-ended question about effective supervision and support is that they were (in the largest plurality) calling attention to the climate for study. Students emphasised the positive initiatives taken by supervisors (and schools) to enhance the RHD community. A powerful underlying understanding of supervision and support was that of the extended family of scholars and peers, not just that of the nuclear family of supervisor and student. This paper is based on data derived from an ARC-funded national project conducted collaboratively with Prof. Paul Ramsden, University of Sydney.

Key words: Postgraduate education; peer support, supervision; research community

Five ways of enhancing the postgraduate community: Student perceptions of effective supervision and support

pdf (182.21 KB)
Download
Conrad, L.