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Pages: 9189-9197
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-3777-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2017.0724

Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain

DISCUSSING THE THESIS WRITING - HOW DO DOCTORAL STUDENTS AND SUPERVISORS COMMUNICATE?

C. Killander Cariboni

Lund University (SWEDEN)
Effective communication between students and supervisors has been shown to be of importance for a high quality doctoral education by many pedagogical studies (Manathunga 2005, Delamont, Aktinson & Parry 2007, Halse & Malfroy 2010, Bergnéher 2013). This contribution focuses on communication between supervisors and doctoral students with regard to the writing of the doctoral thesis. When it comes to supervising the thesis writing process, researchers emphasize the importance of taking four aspects into account: The thesis addressee (For whom does one write?); The kind of texts to be discussed during supervisory meetings (How preliminary should they be?); Writing planning (Is it necessary or not?); Feedback (What kind?). These aspects become even more crucial when the thesis is written in a foreign language, which is the case in the present study, based on empirical data collected within third-cycle education in foreign languages (specialization in French and Italian linguistics) at Lund University in Sweden.

With the aim of investigating whether and how the four topics above were actually discussed during the supervisory meetings, four supervisors and their respective doctoral students, having completed their education, were interviewed individually. This contribution accounts for and analyzes their testimonies.

The testimonies provide evidence of varying degrees of effectiveness in the communication. The results show that there are no given answers to the four questions above, which in itself proves that they need to be discussed. More importantly, the results clearly indicate that such a discussion is essential to the attainment of the goals of a doctoral degree, namely a thesis of an excellent scientific standard and an autonomous researcher. From the analysis of the participants’ answers it emerges that the communication must be open (not based on assumptions), on a regular basis (since different decisions can be made at different phases of the writing process) and constructive (self-confidence being a major quality of the independent researcher).

References:
[1] Bergnéher, D., "Att handleda en doktorand – en relationell balansgång som fodrar flexibilitet och struktur", Högre utbildning, 3(3), pp. 173-185, 2013.
[2] Delamont, S., Aktinson P. & Parry O., Supervising the doctorate. A guide to success, Maidenhead, McGraw-Hill International (UK) Ltd, 2007
[3] Halse, C. & Malfroy, J., "Retheorizing doctoral supervision as professional work", Studies in Higher Education, 35(1), pp. 79-92, 2010.
[4] Manathunga, C., "Early warning signs in postgraduate research education: a different approach to ensuring timely completions", Teaching in Higher Education, 10(2), pp. 219-233, 2005.
@InProceedings{KILLANDERCARIBONI2017DIS,
author = {Killander Cariboni, C.},
title = {DISCUSSING THE THESIS WRITING - HOW DO DOCTORAL STUDENTS AND SUPERVISORS COMMUNICATE?},
series = {9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN17 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-3777-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2017.0724},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2017.0724},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {3-5 July, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {9189-9197}}
TY - CONF
AU - C. Killander Cariboni
TI - DISCUSSING THE THESIS WRITING - HOW DO DOCTORAL STUDENTS AND SUPERVISORS COMMUNICATE?
SN - 978-84-697-3777-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2017.0724
PY - 2017
Y1 - 3-5 July, 2017
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN17 Proceedings
SP - 9189
EP - 9197
ER -
C. Killander Cariboni (2017) DISCUSSING THE THESIS WRITING - HOW DO DOCTORAL STUDENTS AND SUPERVISORS COMMUNICATE?, EDULEARN17 Proceedings, pp. 9189-9197.
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