Students and Supervisors’ Evaluation of Online International Doctoral Supervision

Keywords: Supervisory methods, doctoral programs, doctoral supervision, online supervision, research training.

Abstract

This research presents the initial results of a study on the processes of online PhD supervision in the Education Sciences field. Remote mentoring and supervision bring new problems to the delivery of high-level doctoral studies with a widely dispersed base of mature, part-time, international students. These processes are analyzed by taking into account the supervision dynamics, the communication and support systems used, the activity space developed, and the tools used. For this exploratory study, we opted for a semi-structured interview; open ended at first, but to which some closed questions were added (especially questions to order or statements to evaluate). Twenty-six supervisors and students were interviewed, affording a view from both sides, so as to better understand the process and its difficulties. A classification system was set up afterwards, using notes taken on the spot in the interviews, and, later on, the categories were applied to the interview transcripts. Key elements have been identified, in which to intervene to improve the process. By taking into account the supervisors’ and students’ points of view, a certain coincidence could be observed when identifying such elements, both in relation to the style of supervision and support to the process, as well as to the dynamics, or susceptible tools and applications to improve the process; although both groups do not attribute the same value.

Author Biography

Jesús Salinas, Universidad de las Islas Baleares
Doctor en Filosofía y Ciencias de la Educación. Catedrático de Didáctica y Orgnaización Escolar de la Universitat de les Illes Balears. Investigador Principal del Grup de Tecnologia Educativa. Director del Institut de Recerca i Innovació Edcuativa (UIB). Co-director del Master Interuniversitario en Tecnología Educativa: E-learning y Gestión del Conocimiento (2001-2015), y coordinador del Doctorado en Tecnología Educativa (UIB, URV, U. Lleida y U. Murcia). Director de la Maestría en Educación en Entornos Virtuales de la Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia Austral (Argentina), Robert de Kieffer International Fellowship Award, 2006  de la AECT. Director de Edutec Revista electrónica de Tecnología Educativa. Más infomación en http://gte.uib.es/pape/gte/users/jsalinas

References

Barnacle, R. (2004). Reflection on lived experience in educational research. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 36(1), 57-67. doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-5812.2004.00048.x

Cilesiz, S. (2011). A phenomenological approach to experience with technology: Current state, promise, and future directions for research. Educational Technology Research and Development, 59(4), 487-510. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-010-9173-2

Combe, C. (2005). Developing and implementing an online doctoral programme. International Journal of Educational Management, 19(2), 118-127. doi: https://doi.org/10.1108/09513540510582417

Edwards, B. (December, 2002). Postgraduate supervision: Is having a Ph.D. enough? Paper presented at the Australian Association for Research in Education Conference “Problematic futures: Educational research in a era of uncertainty. Brisbane, Australia. Retrieved from https://www.aare.edu.au/data/publications/2002/edw02382.pdf

Erichsen, E. A., Bolliger, D., U., & Halupa, C. (2014). Student satisfaction with graduate supervision in doctoral programs primarily delivered in distance education settings. Studies in Higher Education, 39(2), 1-18. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2012.709496

European University Association (EUA). (2007). Doctoral programmes in europe’s universities: Achievements and challenges. Report prepared for european universities and ministers of higher education. Belgium: Autor. Retrieved from https://www.dcu.ie/sites/default/files/graduate_research/pdfs/doctoral_programmes_in_europe_s_universities.pdf

Evans, T. (2010). Supervising part-time doctoral students. In M. Walker, & P. Thomson (Eds.), The routledge doctoral supervisor’s companion. Support effective research in education and the social sciences (pp. 131-137). London and New York: Routledge.

Grant, B. M. (2010). Challenging matters: Doctoral supervision in post-colonial sites. Acta Academica Supplementum, 1, 103-129. Retrieved from http://scholar.ufs.ac.za:8080/xmlui/bitstream/handle/11660/2699/academ_supp1_2010_a5.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

Green, B. (2009). Challenging perspectives, changing practices: Doctoral education in transition. In D. Boud, & A. Lee (Eds.), Changing practices of doctoral education (pp. 239-248). London and New York: Routledge.

Gilbert, R. (2004). A framework for evaluating the doctoral curriculum. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 29(3), 299-309. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/0260293042000188258

Golde, C. M. (2005). The role of the department and discipline in doctoral student attrition: Lessons from four departments. The Journal of Higher Education, 76(6), 669-700. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/00221546.2005.11772304

Gurr, G. M. (2001). Negotiating the “Rackety Bridge” — a Dynamic model for aligning supervisory style with research student development. Higher Education Research & Development, 20(1), 81-92. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/07924360120043882

Hartikainen H., Suhonen J., & Sutinen E. (2006). IMPDET - an Online PhD study program in educational technology. In Proceeding ICALT 06 Proceedings of the sixth IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (578-580). Finland: Department of Computer Science, University of Joensuu. doi: https://doi.org/10.1109/ICALT.2006.1652508

Ives, G., & Rowley, G. (2005). Supervisor selection or allocation and continuity of supervision: Ph. D. students’ progress and outcomes. Studies in Higher Education, 30(5), 535-555. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/03075070500249161

Latona, K., & Browne, M. (2001). Factors associated with completion of research higher degrees. Canberra, Australia: Higher Education Division Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs.

Lee, A. (2008). How are doctoral students supervised? Concepts of doctoral research supervision. Studies in Higher Education, 33(3), 267-281. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/03075070802049202

Lee, A., & Boud, D. (2009). Framing doctoral education as practice. In D. Boud, & A. Lee, (Eds.), Changing Practices of Doctoral Education (pp. 10-25). London and New York: Routledge.

Lessing, A. C., & Schulze, S. (2003). Lecturers’ experience of postgraduate supervision in a distance education context. South African Journal of Higher Education, 17(2), 159-168. Retrieved from http://uir.unisa.ac.za/bitstream/handle/10500/199/ar_schulze_lecturerexperience.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

Macauley, P. (2002). Doctoral research at a distance: Are the deficits illusory? In T. D. Evans, (Ed.), Research in Distance Education: revised papers from the fifth Research in Distance Education Conference, (pp. 64-76). Geelong, Victoria: Deakin University.

Malfroy, J. (2005). Doctoral supervision, workplace research and changing pedagogic practices. Higher Education Research & Development, 24(2), 165-178. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360500062961

Manathunga, C. (2009). Research as an intercultural ‘contact zone’. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 30(2), 165-177. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/01596300902809161

Orellana, M. L., Darder, A., Pérez, A., & Salinas, J. (2016). Improving doctoral success by matching PhD students with supervisors. International Journal of Doctoral Studies (IJDS), 11, 87-103. Recuperado de http://ijds.org/Volume11/IJDSv11p087-103Orellana1629.pdf

Price, D. C., & Money, A. H. (2002). Alternative models for doctoral mentor organisation and research supervision. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 10(2), 127-135. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/1361126022000002446

Seagram, B. C., Gould, J., & Pyke, S. W. (1998). An investigation of gender and other variables on time to completion of doctoral degrees. Research in Higher Education, 39(3), 319-35. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1018781118312

Sinclair, M. (2004). The pedagogy of ‘good’ PhD supervision: A national cross-disciplinary investigation of PhD supervision. Canberra: Faculty of Education and Creative Arts, Central Queensland University. Retrieved from http://site.uit.no/epinor/files/2013/08/The-Pedagogy-of-Good-PhD-Supervision.pdf

Strang, K. D. (2009). Measuring online learning approach and mentoring preferentes of international doctorate students. International Journal of Educational Research, 48(4), 245-257. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijer.2009.11.002

Unwin T. (2007). Reflections on supervising distance-based PhD students. Retrieved from http://www.gg.rhul.ac.uk/ict4d/distance-based%20PhDs.pdf

Watts, J. H. (2010). Supervising part-time doctoral students. Issues and challenges. In M. Walker, & P. Thomson (Eds.), The routledge doctoral supervisor’s companion. Support effective research in education and the social sciences (pp. 123-130). London and New York: Routledge.

Van Manen, M. (1990). Researching lived experience. Human science for an Action sensitive pedagogy. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Vilkinas, T. (2008). An exploratory study of the supervision of Ph.D./Research students’ theses. Innovative Higher Education, 32(5), 297-311. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10755-007-9057-5

Villardón-Gallego, L. y Yániz, C. (2013). Propuesta de un plan de tutoría y apoyo a estudiantes de doctorado. REDU Revista de Docencia Universitaria, 11(2), 135-152. Recuperado de https://polipapers.upv.es/index.php/REDU/article/view/5570/5560

Wikeley, F., & Muschamp. Y. (2004). Pedagogical implications of working with doctoral students at a distance. Distance Education, 25(1), 125-142. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/0158791042000212495

Winston, B. E., & Fields, D. L. (2003). Developing dissertation skills of doctoral students in an internet-based education curriculum: a case study. American Journal of Distance Education, 17(3), 161-172. doi: https://doi.org/10.1207/S15389286AJDE1703_3

Woolderink, M., Putnik, K., van der Boom, H., & Klabbers, G. (2015). The voice of PhD candidates and PhD supervisors. A qualitative exploratory study amongst PhD candidates and supervisors to evaluate the relational aspects of PhD supervision in the Netherlands. International Journal of Doctoral Studies, 10, 217-235. Recuperado de http://ijds.org/Volume10/IJDSv10p217-235Woolderink0852.pdf

Published
2017-09-25
How to Cite
Salinas, J. (2017). Students and Supervisors’ Evaluation of Online International Doctoral Supervision. Revista Electrónica Educare, 22(1), 1-23. https://doi.org/10.15359/ree.22-1.4
Section
Articles (Peer Reviewed Section)