Learning to Supervise and Supervising to Learn: The Undergraduate Dissertation as a Learning Experience for Staff and Students

Eureka Henrich

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Abstract

The scholarly literature on supervision is dominated by advice for supervisors and analyses of post-graduate research learning. Far fewer studies consider the undergraduate dissertation as a learning experience in its own right, one which makes new demands of both the student and staff, particularly those early in their careers. This article takes as its focus an undergraduate dissertation module in History at the University of Hertfordshire. It examines the link between supervisor support and student learning, and evaluates the extent to which support for new supervisors may improve the learning experience for both parties. Following a review of the literatures relating to undergraduate supervision and mentoring, critical reflection and an appraisal of constructivist pedagogic theories, the author concludes that staff mentoring schemes may provide an existing mechanism of support that can be built on to achieve better learning outcomes. While the disciple of History provides the main case study, the literature drawn on is interdisciplinary in nature and the findings will be of interest to those teaching undergraduate dissertation modules across the humanities and social sciences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-80
Number of pages10
JournalBlended Learning in Practice
Issue numberAutumn 2019
Early online date26 Jun 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Jun 2019

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