Exploring the roles and responsibilities of supervisors

Questionnaire: Opinions about research supervision

Instructions

Read the pairs of conflicting statements and choose which one most accurately represents your own position. Where you do not fully agree with either one of them, estimate your position on the intervening scale. Once you have entered your choice for a question, click on the vote button and see what proportion of respondents had the same response as you.

You can also leave a comment at the bottom of the page, and  you will be able to read comments from others who have considered these statements during workshops.

After completing this questionnaire, you can reflect on your own set of skills and values as a supervisor by completing the checklist Understanding your strengths, weaknesses and values in the supervision process.

Please note that this is not a research instrument; it is simply a good exercise for prompting thought and discussion. The statements are therefore intentionally a little ambiguous and overlapping. We recommend it be used with groups of staff and students; it also works well in mixed groups.

1. Academic skills of students

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2 Appointing a supervisor

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3 Matching students and supervisors

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4 Responsibility to articulate problem

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5 Choosing a theoretical framework

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6 Project management

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7 Student-staff relationships

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8 Frequency of meetings

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9 Oversight of supervision

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10 Drafting of thesis

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11 Level of responsbility of supervisor

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12 Contribution of supervisor to thesis writing

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13 Wider responsiblity of supervisors

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14 Developing student research skills

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15 Assistance in engaging with research culture

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16 Complying with institutional requirements

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17 Student involvement with examiners' appointment

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18 Changing supervisor

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Acknowledgement

This questionnaire was originally developed by:
Dr Peggy Nightingale
fIRST Consortium consultant
Former Director, Professional Development Centre
based on an exercise developed by Brown, G. & Atkins, M. 1988. Effective teaching in higher education. London: Methuen, pp. 146-147.

It has since been edited by Emeritus Professor Mark Tennant, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Technology, Sydney

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