About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3906-3911
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-3777-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2017.1841

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

DATING YOUR SUPERVISOR: A GAMIFIED APPLICATION FOR ALLOCATING STUDENT DISSERTATION SUPERVISORS

J. Murray, R. Wetzel, Z. Claret-Scott

University of Lincoln (UNITED KINGDOM)
In the University of Lincoln’s School of Computer Science, students entering their third year of study are tasked with choosing a dissertation project and supervisor. In this process students need to select a project idea, either from one proposed by a member of staff, or one of their own and then they need to identify a project supervisor. This is one of the most contested, problematic and time consuming processes we deal with in the school. As the students third year of study can be heavily dependent on their allocation of project supervisor, and as students have their own personal preferences for whom they wish to be supervised by, getting this wrong, or perceiving to get this wrong can have a huge impact on the satisfaction of the students.

The process of project supervisor allocation works as follows: Students meet with academics to discuss potential project ideas; students select a project (or decide on one of their own); students select five potential supervisors - in order of preference. Once all students have submitted their choices, the arduous and manual process of allocating students to supervisor begins. Due to the number of students who gravitate to a relatively small number of academic staff, and due to the available number of projects these academics can supervise, less than 30% of students receive their 1st or 2nd choice of supervisor. Indeed, in the past two years, over 40% of students received none of their five nominated supervisors.

This is a problem, or indeed students perceive this as a problem “I didn’t get my choice of supervisor!”, this leads to high student dissatisfaction. This project aims to turn on its head the selection of project student-supervisor allocation, through a social media style interface (based on the Tinder app) and gamification. This will allow both staff and students to engage real-time with each other during the selection process and allow students to make supervisor selections of their choice. The nature of the project is to change the student’s perceptions of selecting a project supervisor. It will give the student far more perceived control over their selection of supervisor than they currently have.

The research question being answered is:
Can the use of a social media ‘tinder’ style app be used to improve the efficiency and satisfaction of a student-supervisor allocation process?

Initial qualitative and quantitative questionnaires were sent to staff and students in the school to understand their satisfaction and perceptions of the current allocation process. The system developed can be thought of as a combination of the Tinder Dating App (swipe right for love – or rather supervision) and Top Trumps. The application works by showing students the available supervisor options, with a number of statistics: Available Projects, Interests, etc. and showing supervisors the available students, with a number of statistics: programme of study, interests, etc. The key to this system is once a supervisor’s allocation is full, they are removed from the list, and students are only able to see the remaining supervisors.

The perception change on behalf of the students comes from the fact that _they_ are selecting supervisors from the available pool and thus their perception is _they_ selected the supervisor rather than being _given_ a supervisor through some closed process. This will also reduce the time and overhead of student-supervisor allocation whilst making it an engaging and fun process.
@InProceedings{MURRAY2017DAT,
author = {Murray, J. and Wetzel, R. and Claret-Scott, Z.},
title = {DATING YOUR SUPERVISOR: A GAMIFIED APPLICATION FOR ALLOCATING STUDENT DISSERTATION SUPERVISORS},
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.2017.1841},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2017.1841},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {3-5 July, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {3906-3911}}
TY - CONF
AU - J. Murray AU - R. Wetzel AU - Z. Claret-Scott
TI - DATING YOUR SUPERVISOR: A GAMIFIED APPLICATION FOR ALLOCATING STUDENT DISSERTATION SUPERVISORS
SN - 978-84-697-3777-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2017.1841
PY - 2017
Y1 - 3-5 July, 2017
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN17 Proceedings
SP - 3906
EP - 3911
ER -
J. Murray, R. Wetzel, Z. Claret-Scott (2017) DATING YOUR SUPERVISOR: A GAMIFIED APPLICATION FOR ALLOCATING STUDENT DISSERTATION SUPERVISORS, EDULEARN17 Proceedings, pp. 3906-3911.
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