e-Supervision (VII). Concluding Session

Notes from the workshop on Doctoral education and e-Supervision, organized by the Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP), the International Association of Universities (IAU), the Open University of Catalonia (UOC) and the Kenyatta University (KU) within the project Personal Learning Environment (PLE)-PhD project financed through the IAU LEADHER programme, and held in Barcelona, Spain, in October 31, 2013. More notes on this event: plephd.

Questions/guidelines prepared by the session moderator, Ismael Peña-López

  • How can e-supervision be implemented on a large scale?
  • What measures should be taken?
  • What resources would be needed?
  • What incentives should be offered (if any) to the supervisors?
  • Are supervisors able – in terms of skills and competences – to go on with e-supervision? What skills/training should they have?
  • What different roles can be identified campus-wide when putting up an e-supervision programme? What actors?
  • How do we assess e-supervision itself?
  • How do we assess the outcomes of e-supervision (i.e. research)?
  • How do we make sure quality of research stays at its highest level?
  • Can e-supervision “distract” researchers from their original work (i.e. focus in the forms and not the ends)?

 

  • Do you think that e-supervision could be obstructed by higher risk of plagiarism?
  • Do you think that e-supervision could be obstructed by requirements of original/unpublished work now undisclosed by e-supervision itself?
  • Do you think that e-supervision can put any especial concern on intellectual property rights, privacy, or other rights related to authors or works in general?

Concluding Session

Hilligje van’t Land, Director, Membership and Programme Development, IAU

How can e-supervision be implemented?

Let’s start with the basics and see how we can move on.

Let’s think about how to do the research, how to change the mindset of doing research, about networking, about the internationalization of the process.

What measures should be taken?

Leadership truly is key to the whole process of implementing e-supervision.

What are the incentives?

Is money the right incentive? does it scale? is it sustainable?

Universities could share their initiatives and experiences at http://www.idea-phd.net/

A very important issue is to create a community. A community within the team, the department, the university, across universities… a sense of community of e-supervisors and people interested or working on e-supervision.

Olive Mugenda, Vice-Chancellor, Kenyatta University (KU), Kenya

We need a framework to guide universities through e-supervision.

One of the major concerns is quality. Maintaining a standard of quality.

Related to quality, there’s monitoring, to guarantee that the whole process is working smoothly.

What modalities are there? What methodologies?

How frequently people should communicate, when, how… some guidelines that are just illustrative, but that can provide a framework that everybody understands and agrees upon.

What is the balance between traditional supervision and e-supervision?

Josep M. Vilalta, Executive Secretary, Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP)

A need indeed for a framework and guidelines to effectively implement e-supervision.

e-Supervision does not necessarily have to be 100% online, but can also explore a blended or hybrid approach, where traditional and e-supervision models can complement each other, as it is already happening at the undergraduate and master levels.

e-Supervision can also be very interesting in “industrial doctorates”, which consist in enterprise-university agreements to develop research that can lead towards the completion of a PhD.

Doctoral education and e-Supervision (2013)

e-Supervision (I). Opening Session

Notes from the workshop on Doctoral education and e-Supervision, organized by the Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP), the International Association of Universities (IAU), the Open University of Catalonia (UOC) and the Kenyatta University (KU) within the project Personal Learning Environment (PLE)-PhD project financed through the IAU LEADHER programme, and held in Barcelona, Spain, in October 31, 2013. More notes on this event: plephd.

Hilligje van’t Land, Director, Membership and Programme Development, IAU

There is a dire need for real phds, in Africa or elsewhere, virtual or not.

There also is a need to collaborate, to innovate in the field of how to foster brand new research and how to support the new research done by PhD students.

Added to that, there is a need for research networks: it is important to note that supervision is also part of being a network.

A very important challenge is how to provide technical support, how to bring into research ethical dimensions, or how to lead the administrative changes that have to accompany the changes in research and in supervision.

But most important of all, beyond theories, we have to see how to put e-supervision into practice, to make it happen.

Marta Aymerich, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC)

One of the keys of research and PhD is supervision. It is not a trivial matter and thus needs being addressed properly.

ICTs have provided very powerful in knowledge related tasks. We thus need to leverage the power of ICTs in research in general and in supervision in particular.

We need to discuss the structures in place for doctoral education.

Olive Mugenda, Vice-Chancellor, Kenyatta University (KU), Kenya

There is a dire need for research and for PhDs.

We especially need to train the trainers, people that will earn their own PhDs so that they can supervise/train others.

The whole process needs to be accountable, in general terms of performance, but especially in terms of ensuring quality.

We can’t keep the old model of supervision, we have to open up supervision.

We have to change paradigm, get out of old way of thinking and foster e-supervision.

Jaume Casals, Vice-Chancellor, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in representation of the Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP)

PhDs are the jewel of the crown, thus we have to harvest them with care.

Doctoral education and e-Supervision (2013)