A responsive evaluation into a small group approach to the supervision of BEd (Hons) students

Year: 2004

Author: Anderson, Raelene

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper discusses the findings of a project that developed as a result of an 'Open Forum on Supervision' at the University of Wollongong (September 2002), where the discussion centred on the need to explore different forms of doctoral supervision. An important element of research supervision however that appears to be significantly overlooked within the current research is the supervision of the research student at the undergraduate honours level. This highlights the need for appropriate measures to assist in developing alternatives to the traditional approach to supervision that focuses on ensuring the needs of novice undergraduate research students are met. With this in mind, this project set out to conduct a responsive evaluation into the efficacy of developing a small group approach to the supervision of undergraduate education honours students. Four academic staff and four honours students from the Faculty of Education at the University of Wollongong were involved in the inquiry with data collected throughout the use of semi-structured interviews, participant observation, and journal entries based on observations. Findings highlighted that these beginning research students were provided with an optimal supervisory experience underpinned by a balance of support, encouragement, autonomy, and flexibility.