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  • Lynette Louw
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    Post count: 12

    I had no questions to raise. Thank you

    Lynette Louw
    Participant
    Post count: 12

    The process outlined in this example is not usual to my University as we have a slightly different process.
    What went wrong in the processes?
    a) Erroneous Senate Minutes
    b) Registrar (RR) communique to the external examiner (SS) should have requested SS to confirm receipt and willingness to complete the examination within the 6 week period.
    c) RR should have followed up after 6 weeks
    d) Dean took too long to follow up since the challenge was evident to the Dean (CH) since 9 November. Dean only emailed RR on 8 January and followed up with RR on 30 January.
    e) Not usual for the Dean to phone an external examiner. Normally this is the responsibility of the RR.
    f) Supervisor KW did not receive the support from Registrar and untimely intervention (too late) by the Dean.
    How could this situation have been avoided?
    g) It was irresponsible of the SS not to notify the RR about having received a thesis that she did not have expert knowledge of and furthermore, she would have been approached by the supervisor (KW) prior to the external examination process to ascertain her willingness to be an external examiner. SS should have realised something is not right when she received a thesis from another discipline for examination from the same university where KW is employed.
    h) Had the RR been notified the situation could have been corrected.
    i) Open communication and proper administration from the Registrar (RR) in following the correct procedures with external examiners.
    Was the supervisor correct in copying the Dean of the Faculty?
    In this instance yes. The registrar was not very helpful in following the usual procedure.

    Was the Dean correct in intervening on behalf of the supervisor?
    In this instance yes, but not usual. It would have been better for the Dean to intervene sooner around 3 December and not to ask the Registrar to follow up with the external examiner rather than phoning her.
    What is the best course of action to follow now?
    At this point there is no other option but to retrieve the thesis and send to the correct examiner and explain what happened and ask the examiner to expedite the process though the regulations allows him six weeks. The candidate should also be informed about the delay by the Registrar’s office together with an apology. The image of the University needs to be shielded.
    Has protocol been adhered to?
    Initially yest – allowing 6 weeks for external examination (not usual not to follow up) but thereafter my response is no. If the Registrar was to follow up with the external examiner after dispatching the thesis, then my response is NO – protocol was not adhered to. The supervisor followed protocol.

    Lynette Louw
    Participant
    Post count: 12

    Handle deadlines:
    a) I sometimes overbook my diary
    b) I get stressed if I am going to miss a deadline
    c) I meet work related deadlines, however at the cost of personal deadlines such as finalising a manuscript for a journal.

    Plan your time:
    Normally good at doing so. However,
    a) I find it difficult to balance my time between my teaching responsibilities and other academic responsibilities
    b) I get stressed if I am behind in my work
    Using a diary is useful and critical to organising my time and appointments.
    Adhere to compliance requirements: Fine with handling this.
    Deal with variances in time management: Struggle with this but manage to cope. Can cope well if my diary is not too full.

    Lynette Louw
    Participant
    Post count: 12

    Coaching is short term focused in building a relationship with someone else. It is structured and formal in nature, thus impartial with a focus on improving behaviour. Usually a coach listens and challenges another person to help them decide for themselves how they will move from a current behaviour to a future behaviour or set of behaviours. As such questions such as “What is happening now’’ rather than Why is something happing now, will be used. A coach usually has implied or an actual level of authority due to their position.

    Mentoring, on the other hand, is about developing a long term relationship with the aim of building confidence, developing resilience and character and raising aspirations rather than developing specific academic skills or knowledge. Such a relationship is built on mutual trust and respect. In a supervision context this would require that the supervisor is regarded as being a ‘’nurturing knowledgeable friend’’ who is a role model, providing emotional, psychological and moral support to the student. However, it will be important to establish boundaries in this reciprocal relationship and that the student does not become too dependent on the supervisor. How much responsibility should the student and supervisor accept in this relationship. If the student takes not or little responsibility then the reciprocity in the relationship will become dysfunctions. On such a relationship the supervisor will ensure that the student is aware of the University’s academic requirements, funding opportunities, any other support (such as one-on-one support or psychological support) and the needs of the student. As a mentor the supervisor provides advice and guidance. Mentoring is integral in the emancipation dimension or approach of supervision in which the supervisor will require the student to be reflective and grow and develop from being dependent to independence in the supervision process.

    To summarise. In the supervision process there are times that coaching and mentoring will be necessary. The extent to which this will take place will depend on the student as well as the stage in the supervision process.

    Lynette Louw
    Participant
    Post count: 12

    Being a member of a higher degree’s committee or research committee responsible for approving research proposals: As a member and Chair of the HDC in my Faculty one has to ensure fairness and consistency in the consideration of each proposal that serves at each meeting. In my Faculty we have clear criteria for our proposals and we have generated a reader’s template requiring the reader to assess the proposal based on the stated criteria in as fair and objective manner as possible. The culture in our HDC is one of providing critical yet constructive feedback to the candidate and supervisor. The Chair has to manage any potential unforeseen dynamics carefully and run the meeting in an efficient and effective manner. To do so, an agenda together with all the proposals, a reader’s list and template is distributed to all Faculty members. In addition, the Chair reads all the proposals and has to systematically guide the meeting through the agenda following a set process with decisive decisions about the proposal. For example, the proposal is accepted.
    Being an examiner of theses, in writing and orally in a viva: This role should be done in a fair and objective manner as possible, providing critical yet constructive feedback. I always include a note to the candidate and supervisor at the end of my report. One should have a clear understanding of the university’s assessment criteria for external examining and assess accordingly.

    Lynette Louw
    Participant
    Post count: 12

    Ethical issues that are particularly pertinent in your field: In management we need ethical clearance if the study involves humans. Usual ways of collecting data include interviews, focus groups and use of a survey.

    Suggestions on how to nurture ethical responsibility in our students: Creating an awareness of ethical responsibilities in Management is most definitely included in the undergraduate curriculum. Research ethical responsibilities are briefly outlined when students have to do their assignments at the undergraduate level. At the post graduate level a component of research ethics is included in the research sessions. The ethical application process at my university is specifically included in the research sessions.

    Deliberations about processes for obtaining ethical clearance at your institution: At my university we have an ethics research committee (Ethical Standards Committee) that consists of two sub-committee’s, namely Human and Animal Ethical Standards Committee’s. There is a formal online application process using the ERAS system for any research that does not use publically available data bases. All the usual ethical considerations such as confidentiality, anonymity, risk, harm etc have to be thoroughly dealt with in the application.

    Lynette Louw
    Participant
    Post count: 12

    What kind of feedback do you give on your students’ writing?
    Usually using electronic means of feedback by inserting comments in the margin. I have to admit that at a point in time I try to assist them with some form of editing – a section in a chapter for example. In this past this has helped them to gain a better understanding of what my expectations are in terms of contributing towards the Discourse in the discipline and what it means to write at the PhD level (usually difficult for them to grasp, especially in the beginning stages).
    I prefer to have face-to-face discussions but our number of full time in attendance students are decreasing. And even if in attendance, there is a preference for electronic feedback. Some of my colleagues convert the word files into a PDF version, which is sent to the student. Do you think this is wise? They are of the opinion that the student has to work through all the feedback rather than using accept ‘’track changes’’ and limited learning takes place. Whether in word or PDF version, the student has to respond to the comments/questions posed.
    What kind of feedback, in your view, is the most effective?
    Using questions rather than telling students what to do. There are various responses that be used by the supervisor such as posing questions to enhance sense making (clarify meaning), present an opposing viewpoint (disagree) and encouraging students to elaborate more on certain aspects (not sufficient information).
    If students articulate well but struggle with writing academically, then they should be encouraged to have an imaginary conversation with their supervisor, asking appropriate questions. After which they should redraft and redraft their writing.

    Lynette Louw
    Participant
    Post count: 12

    Do you already use some of these techniques with your students? Let us know which ones or share other suggestions.
    Yes, all of them. There seems to be a resistance from students to use a writing journal and engaging in free writing.

    Were there any writing development techniques that were new to you that you might like to try in the future? No. However, in the process of writing, I am going to encourage writing freely for self and a reading journal in the future. I shall also pay more attention to the development of academic literacies and note the advice from Marrow (2009) on epistemological access. I found the discussion on identity issues in writing very useful, especially the illustrative examples.

    Do you develop your own writing in the ways suggested in these videos? I try to do so. I do not practice enough and have not thought about having a journal handy at all times.

    Lynette Louw
    Participant
    Post count: 12

    In addition to my previous post. I wanted to mention that information about research paradigms would be useful. I am willing to assist in this regard.

    Lynette Louw
    Participant
    Post count: 12

    Case E “Same old, same old – how can this be a contribution to knowledge?”

    Key issues:
    a) Was the research design appropriate to the research question?
    b) Kirui (student) has become disinterested in completing his study
    c) Kirui needs to have interaction with peers for encouragement and to assist him in peer review, critique and advice
    d) Supervision approach at this stage of his study might not be correct
    e) Despite Kirui having generated an excellent research proposal, he feels like a failure now.
    f) Kirui might not be open to receiving the feedback from his supervisor and resistant to changing his mindset.

    How is the student’s sense of self challenged?
    Kirui feels frustrated and that the findings are not making a contribution to his study since the results are the same. Possibly he is not being open and honest with his supervisor as he does not want to accept the guidance provided by the supervisor. The supervisor indicated that his methodology is unique and that he should provide an argument that the methodology makes a contribution to knowledge in his thesis, besides the findings that might not be so insightful.

    How is the supervisor positioned?
    The supervisor is frustrated and the candidate is not open to their advise about the contribution the methodology chapter can make. It is also possible that the supervisor is approaching Kirui incorrectly by using a supervision approach that seems to be somewhat “hands-off’’ at this moment rather than further building the relationship (relationship development) and coaching him (emancipation) into the Discourse of knowledge contribution in his field of study (enculturation)
    What would you need to consider in understanding the issues involved?
    Be empathic, pay attention of the relationship and emotional intelligence, be encouraging and engage in a conversation about the different ways in which a contribution to knowledge can be made.

    How would you engage with the student as a supervisor?
    I would spend time with Kirui in which we would have a gentle conversation on the different ways in which a contribution to knowledge can be made. Highlight what his contribution is and encourage him to write a conference paper on his methodology section and present it at a conference. The feedback he will receive would also encourage him to complete the chapter and the thesis. I would also invite Kirui to present his methodology chapter to a group of colleagues from my own department and different disciplines at the university where I am employed. The feedback he will received at such an opportunity will be extremely valuable. Likewise, I will encourage him to present his methodology at a colloquium session to his peer postgraduates.

    Have you encountered similar issues as a student or a supervisor? Yes as a supervisor

    Lynette Louw
    Participant
    Post count: 12

    The key lessons for me from this session is that as scholars and supervisors we are inclined to take for granted issues regarding the information landscape. Firstly, there is the assumption that all post graduate students, especially those from the same HEI of employment, have the digital skills for research, are aware of the support from the library, are informed about information literacy aspect such as Open Access and having an online presence (ORCID-ID). Even though I involve the librarian in sharing information about the library, how to use data bases, how to use reference tools for instance, in this session I have become more aware of incorporating the “starting points’’ highlighted in the presentation into my own research methodology sessions.

    Lynette Louw
    Participant
    Post count: 12

    I found this presentation to be most interesting. I am challenged to reflect on what it really means to contribute towards social inclusion and social justice in the supervision process. What does it really mean to follow a “humanising pedagogy”? I shall most certainly reflect on what “achievement means at the PG level and what constitutes good supervision” in respecting PG as social beings, all of whom are influenced by different contexts. What can I do to be more fair in inducting PG students into the world of the knowledge community they are seeking to join, one that is so familiar to myself.

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)