Student/Supervisor alignment toolkit

Tool kit

Supervisors and their students often assume that they are ‘on the same wavelength’ when, in fact, at times they have very different perceptions of the same events. The student-supervisor alignment tool allows the student and supervisor to independently express their view of current student needs and supervisor style.

Each places an ‘X’ on a two-dimensional graph, indicating where the student is on a continuum from ‘dependent’ to ‘competently autonomous’ and where the supervisor’s style is on a continuum from ‘hands on’ to ‘hands off’.

Comparing their responses prompts the supervisor and student to discuss current student needs and whether the supervisor is addressing them. When perceptions differ, there is an opportunity to clarify misunderstandings. (See Gurr (2001) for more information.)

The alignment tool kit includes:

  • Tool template
  • Instructions for use
  • Recording form
  • Discussion paper and resources


This tool was originally developed by:
Geoff Gurr, The University of Sydney, Orange
with assistance from a teaching development grant and the staff of the Institute for Teaching and Learning

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