Strategies for an Online Supervision of Master Theses: The Experience of Weekly Webinars

The supervision of a master thesis is traditionally dealt through one-on-one, in-person meetings between the supervisor and the master’s student. Prior to the actual commencement of the master thesis, students usually receive some sort of formal training on research methodologies. However, it is also common for the supervisor to provide some suggestions on research strategies and techniques. During these meetings, a number of formal corrections and suggestions might reappear from one student to another. Therefore, the supervisor might end up repeating similar comments multiple times that can be of general use.

This oral presentation recounts a supervisory experience conducted through an online university, the Valencian International University. At the beginning of the 2020-21 academic year, a schedule of weekly webinars was set up for all supervised master students. These webinars were conducted via Zoom and students were grouped according to the proximity of their research topics. Each week, a group had to present their research progress in front of their peers. These presentations usually involved screen sharing for the display of writing extracts, drafts, and field notes. Students were also invited to asked relevant questions. After each presentation, the supervisor provided feedback on students’ work. Students were also invited to comment on the work of their peers creating a collaborative learning environment. With the permission of the students, meetings were recorded for personal usage. This allowed students to focus better on their questions and research problems without the need of hurriedly taking notes of everything that was said. Students could re-watch the comments and feedback they had received as many times as needed. This supervisory strategy increased the effectiveness by reducing the amount of out-of-office correspondence. At the same time, the fact of seeing peers working on their master’s theses on a weekly basis raised the engagement of the students with their own research. In summary, students valued the ideas of their peers positively and appreciated how certain comments of the supervisor were applicable to multiple master theses.

Palabras clave

Collaborative Learning Master Thesis Online Learning Online Teaching Research Supervision Webinar

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Bohdan Syroyid Syroyid

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