Supervising for Independence – A Case Study of Master Science Projects in Higher Education

Bjarnason, Elizabeth and Borg, Markus and Lindvall, Bertil (2015) Supervising for Independence – A Case Study of Master Science Projects in Higher Education. In: LU:s femte högskolepedagogiska utvecklingskonferens, 26 Nov 2015, Lund, Sweden.

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Students completing a Swedish Master's degree in engineering should have knowledge and skills to independently solve engineering issues. This autonomy should be developed and demonstrated within the M.Sc. project course. But, how can supervisors encourage independence? We have explored this in a case study through semi-structured interviews with students, supervisors and examiners of two M.Sc. projects. We investigated their view of independence, and how supervision correlates to independence. The results identify areas relevant to independence, namely supervision roles and relationships, student characteristics, M.Sc. process, and view on independence. The results confirm previous findings that students' knowledge of and motivation for the topic support independence. The supervisor's role is to guide and support through frequent peer-level discussions and to act as a discussion partner, while the student should have the main responsibility for the project. We conclude that it is important for supervisors to encourage students to take ownership of their M.Sc. projects and to design their own solutions, while providing the overall process and timelines.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords:teaching, learning, supervision, higher education
ID Code:5902
Deposited By:Markus Borg
Deposited On:27 Nov 2015 11:15
Last Modified:29 Aug 2016 15:20

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