Best Practice in Supervisor Feedback to Thesis Writers
- A wide range of beliefs and practices about feedback are held by supervisors. From the student perspective, direct or ‘to-the-point’ feedback was easier to understand and act on. Written feedback, followed by face-to-face meetings, is useful in allowing discussion to ‘flesh out’ and clarify points that are made and to help students move forward to the next stage.
- Supervisors and students recognized the fact that the relationship between them needs to be framed as a partnership of equals.
- Professional development for supervisors is necessary to support supervisors in identifying and diagnosing problems in students’ writing.
This project was completed in December 2011
- research supervisors
- researcher leaders and managers
- research students
- Professor John Bitchener (Project Leader), AUT University
- Dr Helen Basturkmen, University of Auckland
- Dr Martin East, Unitec and University of Auckland
- Heather Meyer, AUT University
$85,268 GST exc.
What's happened since
The findings of this work have been shared with approximately 250 learners at AUT university through a series 8 workshops. Seminars for staff have also been held at 5 universities, where over 200 staff attended to learn about this work.
Also from this project, a Global Supervision Project has developed, which seeks to gather information about supervision practices from around the world. To date collaborators include representatives from the US, UK, selected European countries, South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand. The findings are expecting to be developed into a book and shared at the 2015 Second Language writing symposium, to be held at AUT University.
Congratulations to John for being awarded the AUT Faculty Researcher of the Year in 2010, and for winning the AUT Vice Chancellor's Award 2011 for Research Excellence in Research Supervision.
Information gathered through the Ako Aotearoa Impact Evaluation Process
- Bitchener, J. (2009, October). Perception and Reality. Higher Ground. New Zealand Educational Review.
- Bitchener, J. (2010, May). Investigating the type of feedback given to thesis-writing students. Paper presented at the Applied Linguistics Association of New Zealand Regional Seminar, Waikato, New Zealand.
- Bitchener, J. (2010, May). Supervisor feedback in the thesis-writing process. Paper presented at the Second Language Writing Conference in Murcia, Spain.
- Bitchener, J. (2010, December). An investigation into perceptions of effective practice in supervisor feedback on the writing of thesis students. Paper presented at the Tertiary Writing Network Colloquium, Wellington New Zealand.
- Bitchener, J. (2010, December). An investigation into best practice in supervisor feedback to thesis students. Paper presented at the New Zealand Association for Research in New Zealand, Auckland, New Zealand.
- Bitchener, J., & Basturkmen, H. (2010). The focus of supervisor written feedback to thesis/dissertation students, International Journal of English Studies, 10, 79-97
- East, M., Bitchener, J., & Basturkmen, H. (2011, September). Improving the effectiveness of supervisor feedback to thesis students: A New Zealand case study. Paper presented at the British Educational Research Association Conference, Institute of Education, London.
- East, M., Bitchener, J., & Basturkmen, H. (November, 2011). Increasing the usefulness of supervisors’ written feedback to thesis students: A New Zealand investigation. Part of colloquium on Expanding Perspectives on Second Language Writing Assessment. ALAA/ALANZ Conference, Canberra, Australia.
- Basturkmen, H., Bitchener, J., & East, M. (2011, December). The pragmatic intentions of supervisor feedback comments on students’ drafts of dissertations. New Zealand Discourse Conference, AUT University.
- Basturkmen, H., Bitchener, J., & East, M. (2011, November). An investigation into perceptions of effective practice in supervisor feedback on the writing of thesis students. LED (Language, Education & Education) Conference, University of Auckland.
- Bitchener, J. & Basturkmen, H. (2011, February) Supervisor feedback to postgraduate research students. Paper presented at Unitec, Auckland, NZ.
- Bitchener, J., Basturkmen, H., East, M., Meyer, H. (2011) Best Practice in Supervisor Feedback to Thesis Students. Wellington, New Zealand: Ako Aotearoa
- Bitchener, J., Basturkmen, H., & East, M. (2011). The focus of supervisor written feedback to thesis/dissertation students. International Journal of English Studies, 10 (2), 79-97.
- East, M., Bitchener, J., & Basturkmen, H. (2012, under review). What constitutes effective feedback on postgraduate research students’ writing? The students’ perspective. Studies in Higher Education.
- Basturkmen, H., East, M., & Bitchener, J. (2012, in preparation). The pragmatic intentions of supervisor feedback comments on students’ drafts of dissertations. Teaching in Higher Education
The report from this project is published under the Creative Commons 3.0 New Zealand Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike Licence (BY-NC-SA). Under this licence you are free to copy, distribute, display and perform the work as well as to remix, tweak, and build upon this work non-commercially, as long as you credit the author/s and license your new creations under the identical terms.