Applying a collective academic supervision model to the undergraduate dissertation

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Despite the significance of the undergraduate dissertation both in student learning, and in staff workload, there is little discussion of best practice in research supervision. The majority of undergraduate students embark on an independent research project overseen by one member of staff, but this traditional model may cause undue stress and isolation for both students and staff. In this practice exchange paper, I provoke debate about traditional versus group models of research supervision through discussion of the effectiveness of collective academic supervision of a group of undergraduate students undertaking their mandatory research dissertation. This practice aimed to 1) improve the student experience and 2) increase efficiency of academic supervision. Under my supervision, 14 students conjointly participated in a high quality research programme while individually exploring tangible and level-appropriate research questions. Through self-reflective observation, I found this model of research supervision stimulated students through structured independent learning in a collaborative research community, and increased staff efficiency by decreasing workloads. The benefits and limitations of this practice are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-26
JournalPsychology Teaching Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01 Feb 2020


  • Supervision
  • Pedagogy


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