Being a supervisor

This section explores the role of  supervisors and their relationship to research students.

Exploring different ways of supervising

This resource contains a reflective interview task for supervisors, and briefing and debriefing notes for workshop facilitators. The task was designed for participants to do between workshops in a supervisor development program. Participants interview an experienced supervisor, then reflect on the interview in relation to both their own experiences and an article on the ‘delicate balance’ in supervision (Delamont, Parry & Atkinson, 1998). They then attend a workshop where the task is debriefed in pairs and with the whole group.

Students’ perceptions of research supervision

Students and supervisors sometimes have different conceptions of supervision. One may give a higher priority to an element of supervision that the other thinks is relatively unimportant. In this tool, both candidate and supervisor independently complete parallel questionnaires in which they indicate how they rate 35 items in terms of priority. They then discuss their responses together and clarify differences of opinion.

Exploring the roles and responsibilities of supervision

This resource is designed to provoke thought and discussion about the differing roles and responsibilities of research education.

Making use of your prior knowledge

This resource contains a series of exercises designed to help you bring your own experiences of research supervision to light and encourage reflection. The insights gained will flesh out your own understanding of your current supervisory practice and can be used to establish your own agenda of interest in research supervision.

Quality in Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Postgraduate Research and Supervision

Researchers and research students are increasingly engaged in problems that require approaches that transcend disciplines, at least in part because problems of society are increasingly complex and interdependent and cannot be tackled adequately from specific individual disciplines. In these realms of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research, the whole must be greater than the sum of the parts.

The three resources available here have been developed to support supervisors and students engender ‘quality’ for interdisciplinary (ID) and transdisciplinary (TD) doctoral research.

Conceptions of Supervision

Some universities count supervision as part of the teaching workload of academics, others define it as part of the research load. This may influence how you think of it. We don’t think that it particularly matters whether you see your supervision as teaching or as research. However, based on our reading of the scholarly literature, we think it does matter what conception of teaching or what conception of research you have as a supervisor. It also matters that you can clearly articulate those conceptions. This is because how you think about teaching and how you think about research are largely what determines how you supervise and how you manage the supervisory process.

This resource contains information and questions tailored to help you think about your conceptions of supervision—as teaching or research—and the ramifications for particular approaches both within and across these categories.

Towards a pedagogy of supervision in the technology disciplines

The framework presented in the resource is intended to provide supervisors with a range of options on  supervisory pedagogy. It has been developed to highlight different aspects of thinking about supervision as a teaching and learning practice; as well as approaches, strategies and roles associated with supervision.

In supervisor’s words…. an insider’s view of postgraduate supervision

Through informal interviews, supervisors were asked to clarify their understanding of what constitutes effective supervision and share their insights and experience with colleagues from within and across disciplines. The case studies in the attached document go part of the way in raising an awareness of the variation in supervisory practice and supporting supervisors’ reflections of their own postgraduate supervision. The resource was written by Peter Kandlbinder and Tai Peseta of The University of Sydney

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