Teaching & Learning

Supervision

About

The purpose of this site on supervision is to give advices and ideas to supervisors on handling supervision of projects. The site illutrates a short overview and it contains some concepts on how project work and handling of supervision is supposed to be conducted at CBS. It illustrates some pitfalls and ways to avoid these pitfalls.

The material presented is not conclusive, but is created for discussion and dialouge between students, between supervisors and between students and supervisors. As s supervisor please feel free to bring this material to your students' attention.

 

The first meeting

Suggested agenda
  • Presentation round
  • Formal constraints
  • Student expectations
  • Supervisor expectations
  • Discussing process of groupwork

 

Matching of expectations

Below you will be able to download a cartoon. The cartoon describes a project work situation, where expectations between students and supervisor have never been matched. Here we have no heroes, no villains. Only students who loose an opportunity for a better and more giving process.

 

 

 

Five signs of good supervision

 

 

The students have improved their skills and understanding so they will improve their capabilities to:

  • Handling the formulation of their research question
  • Be aware of the necessity of limitations
  • Be aware of the necessity of constant writing

Due to the students and the supervisors understanding of the demands:

  • The students understand the final grading of their performance.
  • The students understand the attitudes and the behavior of the supervisor during the process and the exam.

Corporation

 

Supervisors and students are equally responsible for a good coroporation. In order to ensure a good coroporation, Here are some recommendations for tasks for both supervisors and students in every loop of supervision.

 

 

 

Student Tasks

 

Before

Read, comment and write on drafts from the group's members. Produce draft (s) for content in report. Send to supervisor. Prioritize which parts the supervisor should relate to. Consider which specific challenges the group faces after the counseling meeting. Produce guidance meeting agenda

During

Ensure that the group understands the supervisor's comments, therefore: All students are required to ask what they do not understand. Write short summary of the guidance meeting (in turns).

After

Work out draft (s) that the meeting has given rise to. Discuss the consequences of the meeting for future work. Any ambiguities are clarified with the supervisor

 

Supervisor tasks

 

Before

Read and comment on drafts. Relate to the agenda the students have submitted. If necessary complement the agenda with additional themes.

During

Comment and discuss the group's draft (s). Give more exemplary comments than scanning the entire text transmitted. Based on the group's performances: discuss and give advice on the future process. Ask about the three main things that have been discussed at the meeting.

After

Eventually answer the questions (mail or telephone) guidance has given rise to.

Student capabilities

 

The capability matrix shows what normally can be expected from students in their 1st, 3rd, and 5th year as students. It is provided to give inspiration to match expectations between students and supervisor.

 

1. Year Students
Research question
Student's role

Formulate ideas that can develop into problem formulation and project design based on supervisor feedback.

Supervisor's role

Students have seldom experiences with the importance and the status of the research statement. Help students to develop their own problem and intensively and repeatedly discuss the formulation.

Use of supervisor

Students are not familiar with project supervision at all. So overall expectations and the meaning of formalities and structures have to be discussed. It has to be underlined what the supervisor is supposed to do and what not. The supervisor has to meta communicate his/her acts! – Especially the change of role from supervisor to examiner/assessor.

Competencies
Information competencies

 

Expectations of students

Can use literature from courses and make basic library searches.

Supervisors role

Help students understand when literature from courses is sufficient and aid in search when necessary.

Analytical competancies

 

Expecations of students

Can mobilize data and concepts to substantiate conclusions.

Supervisors role

Aid students to distinguish and couple data and concepts.

Method Competencies

 

Expectations of students

Apply given methods.

Supervisors role

Help the students with the choice and use of method.

Feedback Competencies

 

Expectations of students

They got to be familiar with simple principles for constructive feedback and gradually be able to give and receive it.

Supervisors role

Some of the given feedback on texts is directly useful for changing the texts.

Process management
Expectations of students

Can produce a plan for the group work. Can produce agendas for meetings.

Supervisors role

Discuss mutual expectations. Discuss plans with the students, and be aware the students track is realistic. Complete the agendas for meetings.

Group management competencies

Conflicts in groups and lack of tools to solve them can destroy the work of the students. It can be necessary for supervisor to ask the students how their cooperation works, and help them with smaller struggles. If their problem turns out to be really conflicting, supervisor can recommend the students to consult the student counselling service.

3. Year Students
Research question
Students role

Independently connect project ideas with relevant concepts and theories.

Supervisors role

In the introduction phase: Discus the students ideas, and the needed limitations of the whole project. During the work now and then ask the students if they find it necessary to change it.

Use of supervisor

Students are familiar with the process. They are supposed not to set up completely unrealistic expectations neither to themselves or the supervisor. They are supposed set agendas for meetings. Regarding the supervisors work: It might be necessary to discuss prioritizing and the fact that there might be limitations in the amount of supervisor’s readings.

Competencies
Information competencies

 

Expectations of students

Can find and use literature to develop and understand a problem.

Supervisors role

Facilitate student search for relevant literature to develop and understand problems.

Analytical competancies

 

Expecations of students

Can mobilize data and concepts to substantiate conclusions with a view to contributing to business and academic discourse.

Supervisors role

Aid with a view to rigorous arguments, their limitations and contributions.

Method Competencies

 

Expectations of students

Select and apply methods and evaluate their usefulness.

Supervisors role

Help the students with the choice and use of methods. Discuss limitations and alternatives.

Feedback Competencies

 

Expectations of students

They know simple principles for constructive feedback and are able to give and receive it.

Supervisors role

Feedback is mostly given for discussion.

Process management
Expectations of students

Have an idea of linear and iterative parts of the process.

Supervisors role

Discuss mutual expectations. Be aware the students track is realistic and intervene if the students run out of track.

Group management competencies

Since the students have experience with group work, conflicts which students can’t solve, on this stage most likely are serious. – So student counselling service will be needed.

5. Year Students
Research question
Students role

Independently encircle and formulate drafts for research questions containing relevant concepts and theories.

Supervisors role

In the introduction phase: Discus the students ideas, drafts, final formulations and needed limitations of the whole project. During the work now and then ask the students if they find it necessary to change.

Use of supervisor

Students know their own strength and weaknesses, and know where and how in the process they are in need for supervision. They automatically set up agendas for meetings, and they are able to prioritize the work of the supervisor and ex guide the supervisor’s reading of the drafts.

Competencies
Information competencies

Expectations of students

Can search research literature systematically and discuss shortcomings of particular perspectives.

Supervisors role

Keep an eye on and inquiry in to information search and use of literature and information.

Analytical competancies

Expecations of students

Can strategically make and unfold a research design with a view to intervening in business and academic discourse.

Supervisors role

Aid with a view to rigorous arguments, and their contributions/limitations vis-à-vis bodies of literature

Method Competencies

Expectations of students

Select and apply methods and evaluate their usefulness.

Supervisors role

Help the students with the choice and use of methods. Discuss limitations and alternatives.

Feedback Competencies

Expectations of students

They know simple principles for constructive feedback and are able to give and receive it.

Supervisors role

Feedback is mostly given for discussion.

Process management
Expectations of students

Are fully able to manage the process. Have an understanding of the different parts of the process and how they interfere and are able to act when the process is out of track.

Supervisors role

Discuss mutual expectations. If students run out of track discuss different ways to get back.

Group management competencies

Since the students have experience with group work, conflicts which students can’t solve, on this stage most likely are serious. – So student counselling service will be needed.

The capability matrix is constructed by Christian Frankel, Thomas Rousing, Sof Thrane and Jens Tofteskov

Instructions from students to supervisors

Below we have provided two examples of students telling their supervisor how to read and give response on their texts:

 

Group A

Hallo Jens,

Here you have a draft for some analyze. Will you look at it and give us some feedback. We have of course not finished it, but we hope it will give you an idea of what we intends to do. Finaslly we hope your feedback will give us some ideas to improve our text, so it can be even better.

Best
Group A

Group B

Hallo Jens,

In this mail we have attached the material we hope you will look at before we meet you tomorrow. To give you an overview, we have sent you a draft for the whole project. But we only want you to focus how you think we answer question 2: Which focus are central in "Code of Conduct for employees"? The passages in the text are covred with yellow.

Then we hope you will quickly read question 3. We have only made a draft with a lot of ideas, and it is not finished at all. Tomorrow we want to create a dialogue with you as an inspiration for the further work. If you have any questions before the meeting please send us a mail.

Best
Group B

 

These supervisor instructions differ a lot. The first one does not tell what the supervisor should focus on, and which problems the meeting should contribute to solve. To optimize the outcome of a supervisor it is important to instruct the supervisor on specific questions and tell which passages in the text he/she has to focus on.

 

 

Learn more

Below you will find some suggestions for recommended litteratur on supervision. Two of the examples are only available in a danish version.

Following Chapters: 3.5, 4.2, 4.6.1, 5.1., 5.2., in Rienecker, Lotte  m.fl. (ed): University Teaching and Learning Samfundslitteratur, 2015.

Riencker, Lotte. m.fl.: Vejledning af specialer, bacheloropgaver og projekter, Samundslitteratur, 2019.

Olsen, Poul Bitsch & Pedersen, Kaare: Problemorienteret projektarbejde, Samfundslitteratur, 2018

Support

Please do not hesitate to contact Jens Tofteskov for more information.

jt.tl@cbs.dk