Let’s make dissertations masterly again! A study on improving the experience and results of the post-graduate final project in the UAE

Main Article Content

Article Sidebar

Published Sep 12, 2019
Alun Epps

Abstract

This paper aims to enhance the supervision-level of post-graduate dissertations in a Middle East Branch Campus of a Transnational Higher Education Institution (HEI). For a number of years, the proposal stage of the dissertation had been more or less ignored and final dissertation results had been adequate. Then in one academic year, a series of initiatives comprising; focused workshops, formative assessment, one to one guidance, best practice panels and proposal grading, were developed and implemented. This resulted in a sustained passing rate and a significant elevation of grade classifications awarded. The author suggests that the practices contained herein could benefit similar dissertation programs offered both in the Middle East region and worldwide.

How to Cite

Epps, A. (2019). Let’s make dissertations masterly again! A study on improving the experience and results of the post-graduate final project in the UAE. Journal of Research in Emerging Markets, 1(3), 55–66. https://doi.org/10.30585/jrems.v1i3.350
Abstract 214 | PDF Downloads 196

Article Details

Keywords

formative assessment, masters dissertations, improving award classifications, research methods, research supervision

Section
Articles

References

Akister, J., Williams, I., & Maynard, A. (2006). Innovations in the supervision of social work undergraduate dissertations: group and individual supervision. The Higher Education Academy Annual Conference July 2006-Session Papers.

Anderson. C, Day. K and McLaughlin, P. (2006). Mastering the dissertation: lecturers’ representations of the purposes and processes of Master’s level dissertation supervision, Studies in Higher Education, 31(2), 149-168. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075070600572017

Aspland, T., & O’Donoghue, T. (1994). Quality in supervising overseas students? In O. Zuber-Skerritt & Y. Ryan (Eds.), Quality in Postgraduate Education, 59-76. London: Kogan Page.

Berge, Z., de Verneuil, M., Berge, N., Davis. L., and Smith, D. (2002). The increasing scope of training and development competency. Benchmarking: An International Journal 9 (1), 43–61. https://doi:10.1108/14635770210418579

Brew, A., & Peseta, T. (2004). Changing postgraduate supervision practice: A programme to encourage learning through reflection and feedback. Innovation in Education and Teaching International, 41(1), 5–22. https://doi.org/10.1080/1470329032000172685

Bridgstock, R, (2009). The graduate attributes we’ve overlooked: Enhancing graduate employability through career management skills. Higher Education Research & Development, 28 (1), 31–44. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07294360802444347

Buttery, E. A., Richter, E. M., & Filho, W. L. (2005). An overview of the elements that influence efficiency in postgraduate supervisory practice arrangements. International Journal of Educational Management, 19(19), 7–26. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09513540510574920

Cartney, P., and Rouse, A. (2006). The emotional impact of learning in small groups: highlighting the impact on student progression and retention. Teaching in Higher Education, 11, 79-91. https://doi.org/10.1080/13562510500400180

Conrad, L. (1994). Gender and postgraduate supervision. In O. Zuber-Skerritt & Y. Ryan (Eds.), Quality In Postgraduate Education, 51–58. London: Kogan Page.

Cottrell, D. (1999). Supervision. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 5, 83–88. https://doi.org/10.1192/apt.5.2.83

Cullen, S., 2009. Resource Guide to Dissertation Supervision on Taught Undergraduate and Post Graduate Programmes. The Higher Education Academy. Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Network.

Day, K, and McLaughlin, P. (2006).Mastering the dissertation: lecturers’ representations of the purposes and processes of Master’s level dissertation supervision. Studies in Higher Education, 31(2), 149-168, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03075070600572017

Dickson-Swift, V., James, E.L., Kippen, S., & Liamputtong, P. (2008). Risk to researchers in qualitative research on sensitive topics: issues and strategies. Qualitative Health Research, 18 (1), 133. https://doi.org/10.1177/1049732307309007

Emilsson, U., & Johnsson, W. (2007). Supervision of supervisors: on developing supervision in postgraduate education, High Education Research and Development, 26(2), 163-179. https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360701310797

Grant, B. (1999). Walking on a rackety bridge: mapping supervision. Paper presented at the HERDSA Annual International Conference, Melbourne.

Hajar, A. (2018). Understanding Arab students’ challenges, strategy use, and future vision while writing their Masters dissertations at a UK University: a qualitative inquiry. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, 12(3), 260-273. https://doi.org/10.1080/17501229.2016.1199555

Hart, S. (2009). Converging on green. BizEd, July/August, 24–28.

Harwood, N., & Petri?. B. (2018). Adaptive master’s dissertation supervision: a longitudinal case study. Teaching in Higher Education, https://doi.org/10.1080/13562517.2018.1541881

Hattie, J. & Marsh, H. (2004). One journey to unravel the relationship between research and teaching. Paper read at Research and teaching: Closing the divide! An international colloquium. United Kingdom. Higher Education, 58(6), 841–855. http://dx.doi:10.1007/s10734-009-9228-7

Horowitz, J., & Christopher, K. B. (2013). The research mentoring program: Serving the needs of graduate and undergraduate researchers. Innovative Higher Education, 38(2), 105-116. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10755-012-9230-3

Justice, C., Rice, J., Roy, D., Hudspith, B., & Jenkins, H. (2009). Inquiry-based learning in higher Education: Administrators' Perspectives on Integrating Inquiry Pedagogy into the Curriculum, Higher Education: The International Journal of Higher Education and Educational Planning, 58(6), 841-855. http://dx.dot.org/10.1007/s10734-009-9228-7

Katikireddi, S., Reilly, J. (2016). Characteristics of good supervision: a multi-perspective qualitative exploration of the Masters in Public Health dissertation. Journal of Public Health, 39(3), 625–632. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fdw107

Kiley, M, (2011). Developments in research supervisor training: causes and responses, Studies in Higher Education, 36(5), 585-599. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2011.594595

Kirton, J., Straker, K., Brown, J., Jack, B., & Jinks, A. (2011). A marriage of convenience? A qualitative study of colleague supervision of master's level dissertations. Nurse education today, 31(8), 861-865. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2010.12.025

Knight, C. C. (2005). An educational process for developing student post-graduate mastery in research, theory and its application. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 17(1), 69-74. http://dx.doi/10.1.1.586.2984&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Kumar, S., & Johnson, M. (2019). Online mentoring of dissertations: the role of structure and support. Studies in Higher Education, 44(1), 59-71. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2017.1337736

Lumadi, M. W. (2008). The pedagogy of postgraduate research supervision and its complexities. College Teaching Methods and Styles Journal, 4(11): 25–32. https://doi.org/10.19030/ctms.v4i11.5577

Marland, G., & Lyttle, C. (2003). Literature review on research supervision and the structure of the supervision relationship. Nursing Standard, 17(25), 33–37. https://doi.org/10.7748/ns2003.03.17.25.33.c3353

McMichael, P. (1992). Tales of the unexpected: supervisors’ and students’ perspectives on short term projects and dissertations, Educational Studies, 8(3), 299–310. https://doi.org/10.1080/0305569920180304

O’Niel, S., Schurink., W & Stanz, S. (2016). Benefits of using small supervisor-initiated groups. South African Journal of Higher Education, 30(4) 210-230. http://dx.doi.org/10.20853/30-4-613

Olibie, E. I., Agu, N. N., & Uzoechina, G. O. (2015). Characteristics of Post Graduate Education Research Mentoring in Universities in Nigeria: Curricular Enhancement Strategies. Journal of Curriculum and Teaching, 4(1), 156-166. http://dx.doi.org/10.5430/jct.v4n1p156

Podonly, J. (2009). The buck stops (and starts) at business school. Harvard Business Review, 87(6), 62–67.

RCP. (1998). Higher Specialist Training Handbook. Occasional Paper OP43. Royal College of Psychiatrists, London.

Roberts, L., & Seaman, K. (2018). Good undergraduate dissertation supervision: perspectives of supervisors and dissertation coordinators, International Journal for Academic Development, 23(1), 28-40, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1360144X.2017.1412971

Román-Suero, S., Sánchez-Martín, J., & Zamora-Polo, F. (2013). Opportunities given by final degree dissertations inside the EHEA to enhance ethical learning in technical education. European Journal of Engineering Education, 38(2), 149-158. https://doi.org/10.1080/03043797.2012.755498

Rowley, J., & Slack, F. (2004). What is the future of undergraduate dissertations? Education and Training, 46, 176–181. http://doi.org/10.1108/00400910410543964

Scholefield, D., & Cox, G. (2016). Evaluation of a model of dissertation supervision for 3rd year B.Sc. undergraduate nursing students. Nurse Education in Practice, 17, 78-85. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nepr.2015.11.006

Singh, S. (2011). An intervention to assist students with writing their dissertations and theses. South African Journal of Higher Education, 25(5), 1020–1030. https://doi.org/10.14804/3-1-55

Sinkovics, R., Richardson, C., & Lew, Y. (2015). Enhancing student competency and employability in international business through master’s dissertations. Journal of Teaching in International Business, 26, 293–317. https://doi.org/10.1080/08975930.2015.1130107

Sroufe, R, and Ramos, D. (2011). MBA program trends and best practices. Teaching sustainability: live project, courses in decision sciences. Journal of Innovative Education, 9(3).

http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4609.2011.00315.x

Viswanath., B, Chandra., P & Chaturvedi S. (2013). Supervision as-usual—Is it enough?” Asian Journal of Psychiatry, 6, 488–493. https://doi.org/10.1080/07325223.2016.1233478

Vos, L., & Armstrong, K. (2019). Context and process challenges associated with supervising postgraduate dissertations: An example from marketing, The International Journal of Management Education, 17, (1), 47-61. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijme.2018.11.005

Wagener, B (2018). The importance of affects, self-regulation, and relationships in the writing of a master's thesis.Teaching in Higher Education, 23(2), 227-242. https://doi.org/10.1080/13562517.2017.1379480

Wagener, B. (2013). Autogenic training, metacognition, and higher education. Educational Psychology, 33(7), 849–861. https://doi.org/10.1080/01443410.2013.785051

Wagener, B. (2016). Metacognitive monitoring and academic performance in college.” College Teaching 64 (2): 47–54. https://doi.org/10.1080/87567555.2015.1116056

Wichmann-Hansen, G., Thomsen, R., & Nordentoft, H. (2015). Challenges in collective academic supervision: Supervisors’ experiences from a master programme in guidance and counselling. Higher Education, 70, 19–33. https://doi 10.1007/s10734-014-9821-2

Youngman, M. (1994). Supervisors’ and students’ experiences of supervision, in R. Burgess (Ed.) Postgraduate education and training in the social sciences (London, Jessica Kingsley), 75–104.