About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 5916 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.0337

Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain

SUPERVISION FEEDBACK ON DOCTORAL WRITING: HANDLING THE LOSS OF INNOCENCE

S. Carter1, D. Laurs2

1University of Auckland (NEW ZEALAND)
2Victoria University of Wellington (NEW ZEALAND)
Newly registered doctoral candidates submit their first piece of writing to the supervisor often anxiously or with naïve innocence. Working through it, supervisors can be disconcerted by what they find (and have signed up to partner for the next four years or so). When feedback is given and received, disillusionment may be mutual. We suggest the first negotiation around doctoral writing feedback is a significant liminal moment in need of careful management.

This paper draws on data from doctoral candidates [n80] who were asked to remember how they felt submitting writing to their supervisor for the first time, and receiving feedback on it. The goal of the survey was to inform supervisors could benefit from hearing students’ views about the writing feedback cycle. Data from supervisors [n226] tells the other side of the experience. To gather supervisors’ perspectives, a 22-question questionnaire asked about three supervisory areas: communication, project management and writing.

Poor doctoral writing and its support are emotionally and fiscally taxing for institutions, students and supervisors. Providing adequate doctoral feedback is a mounting problem: in the current auditing culture, timeliness to completion is expected. Supervisors have a duty of care for doctoral students, and now have more of them, and more pressure to get those students through. A student’s sense of self is inextricably bound up with their writing and often makes feedback conversations challenging. Our context is a large research university in New Zealand, ambitious for increasing annual doctoral completions, and where the ratio of international students is increasing, with further potential for cultural disconnect, and mismatched expectations. Our findings, we suspect, are universal.

In our experience, the initial exchange of supervisory feedback sets the pattern for how it will be done, and so understanding gathered from doctoral student experience should be helpful towards a guide to good practice. Doctoral feedback practice generally occurs behind closed doors and without examination of the sheets. Appreciating experience from both sides of this first time loss of innocence suggests strategies for handling it. We acknowledge that first time experiences are always different, because of individual difference: age, gender, previous experiences, values, culture etc. However, when supervisors are aware of common themes from student experience, they’ll be better equipped to manage future writing feedback exchanges, while students would benefit from being aware of their role in this initial process of writing development. This research sheds light on what happens, and from there draws on literature and experience to suggest careful handling of the doctoral writing feedback’s first time.
@InProceedings{CARTER2016SUP,
author = {Carter, S. and Laurs, D.},
title = {SUPERVISION FEEDBACK ON DOCTORAL WRITING: HANDLING THE LOSS OF INNOCENCE},
series = {9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-5895-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2016.0337},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2016.0337},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {5916}}
TY - CONF
AU - S. Carter AU - D. Laurs
TI - SUPERVISION FEEDBACK ON DOCTORAL WRITING: HANDLING THE LOSS OF INNOCENCE
SN - 978-84-617-5895-1/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2016.0337
PY - 2016
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2016
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2016 Proceedings
SP - 5916
EP - 5916
ER -
S. Carter, D. Laurs (2016) SUPERVISION FEEDBACK ON DOCTORAL WRITING: HANDLING THE LOSS OF INNOCENCE, ICERI2016 Proceedings, p. 5916.
User:
Pass: