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Students’ Experience of The Honours’ Supervisory Relationship: A Preliminary Investigation

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Abstract

This study considers the role and intervention strategies adopted by supervisors at the Honours level from the student perspective, and their implications for student learning. Using an adaptation of the presage-process-product model for the supervisory setting and interview data from eight students enrolled in a Bachelor of Business Honours programme, we report two key findings. First, the largest gaps observed related predominantly to academic and validation roles. More specifically, students reported the need for supervisors to take on a greater mentoring, innovative and judgemental roles. Second, students preferred more facilitative interventions (e.g. more supportive and catalytic strategies) rather than authoritative interventions (such as prescriptive or confronting) as they promote confidence building and independence. The study concludes with a discussion of implications of the research for stakeholders in the supervisory process.

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